Ships hit by U-boats


American Motor merchant

Photo courtesy of SSHSA Collection, University of Baltimore Library

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage1,654 tons
Completed1938 - Helsingørs Jernskibs-og Maskinbyggeri A/S, Elsinore 
OwnerUS Army Transport Service 
Date of attack8 Jun 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-172 (Carl Emmermann)
Position17° 30'N, 71° 20'W - Grid EC 3198
Complement77 (46 dead and 31 survivors).
RouteNew Orleans - Kingston, Jamaica - San Juan, Puerto Rico 
CargoGeneral cargo, including beer, foodstuffs and mattresses 
History Completed in August 1938 as Danish Sicilien for Det Forenede D/S (DFDS), Copenhagen. In April 1940 laid up in New York. On 30 Mar 1941, seized by the US government and later handed over to the US Maritime Commission. On 23 Jul 1941, taken over by the War Department and used as US Army transport. 
Notes on event

At 04.58 hours on 8 June 1942 the unescorted Sicilien (Master Albert F. Sundmacher) was hit by one G7a torpedo from U-172 about 10 miles south of Cape Beata, Dominican Republic. The torpedo struck on the starboard side at #3 hold, destroyed the lifeboats and started small fires. The ship listed to starboard due the flooding of the engine room, #3 and #4 holds and sank by the stern after nine minutes. The master, 26 crew members and 19 passengers (US Army troops) were lost. The survivors jumped overboard, swam to rafts and were questioned by the Germans. They made landfall after few hours at Barahona, Dominican Republic.

On boardWe have details of 45 people who were on board

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