Ships hit by U-boats

Cold Harbor

Panamanian Steam merchant

Photo from City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 447-2120

NameCold Harbor
Type:Steam merchant (Hog Island)
Tonnage5,010 tons
Completed1920 - American International Shipbuilding Corp, Hog Island PA 
OwnerUS Lines Inc, New York 
Date of attack15 Jun 1942Nationality:      Panamanian
FateSunk by U-502 (J├╝rgen von Rosenstiel)
Position11° 40'N, 62° 55'W - Grid ED 9471
Complement51 (7 dead and 44 survivors).
RouteNew York (24 May) - Key West - Port of Spain, Trinidad - Persian Gulf 
Cargo6200 tons war material, including 28 tanks, aircraft and ammunition 
History Completed in February 1920 as Cold Harbor for US Shipping Board (USSB). Later transferred to the Southgate-Nelson Corp, Norfolk. 1940 registered in Panama for US Lines Inc, New York. 
Notes on event

On 24 May 1942 the Cold Harbor (Master Lauritz Bartho) had left New York in convoy, then spent several days anchored in Chesapeake Bay awaiting convoy KS-505 to Key West and was then ordered to proceed alone to Port of Spain, Trinidad.

At 04.10 hours on 15 June, the Cold Harbor was hit by one torpedo from U-502 about 100 miles northwest of Trinidad. The torpedo struck on the starboard side just forward of the bridge. The explosion caused the ammo in #2 hold to blow up and the ship took a heavy list to starboard. About 30 minutes later, a second torpedo struck in the port side between #4 and #5 hatches, causing the ship to sink port side up after 15 minutes.

The crew of 10 armed guards and 41 men of many nationalities including four Americans were ordered to abandon ship 10 minutes after the first hit. They left the ship in three lifeboats and two rafts because the #1 boat had been destroyed. The master, chief engineer and the radio operator remained on board until the second hit and left in another raft. The eight survivors on this raft were picked up at 09.00 hours by the patrol yacht USS Opal (PYc 8) and were first taken to the American Naval Base and then to Port of Spain. 19 survivors in two boats were picked up by the American steam merchant Exmouth about 24 hours after the attack and were also taken to Port of Spain. The 14 crew members and three armed guards in the third boat were picked up by the Kahuku, which was herself sunk by U-126 (Bauer) at 03.20 hours on 16 June. One crew member and one armed guard died, the remaining survivors were also picked up by the USS Opal (PYc 8).

On boardWe have details of 11 people who were on board

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