Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News VA

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,868 tons
Completed1919 - Kawasaki Dockyard Co Ltd, Kobe 
OwnerCalmar SS Co Inc, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack24 Sep 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-432 (Heinz-Otto Schultze)
Position58° 12'N, 34° 35'W - Grid AK 2721
Complement62 (2 dead and 60 survivors).
ConvoySC-100 (straggler)
RouteNew York - Halifax - Liverpool 
Cargo7500 tons of general cargo, including steel, food and trucks 
History Completed in December 1919 as Eastern Ocean for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1923 renamed George Allen for Garland SS Corp, New York. 1927 renamed Pennmar for Calmar SS Co Inc, New York. 
Notes on event

The Pennmar (Master Sigmund Charles Krolikowski) straggled from convoy SC-100 due to mechanical difficulties and proceeded toward Cape Farewell for repairs. On 21 Sep 1942, an armed guard was washed overboard and lost while assisting to hand steer from the emergency steering station on the stern. The steering gear mechanism had been broken when a truck had shifted in the heavy seas and rolled against the gear.

At 18.47 hours on 23 September, U-432 fired a stern torpedo at the Pennmar in 58°25N/32°15W, but it was spotted approaching from the starboard quarter and avoided by a hard left rudder. One hour later they saw the U-boat surfacing on the starboard quarter, which was taken under fire from the 4in stern gun. After four rounds were fired the U-boat submerged. At 01.44 hours on 24 September, U-432 fired a spread of four torpedoes and managed to hit the Pennmar with one torpedo on the port side about 30 feet from the bow near the fore peak oil tank. A second torpedo was seen by a lookout to pass under the ship, probably due to heavy seas. The eight officers 31 crewmen and 22 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in, four 20mm, four .50cal and two .30cal guns) abandoned ship in one lifeboat and two rafts, while the ship began to settle by the bow rapidly sinking after eleven minutes. One man died after being crushed between a raft and the ship and another drowned near the propeller of the ship. The survivors were picked up the same day by USCGC Bibb (WPG 31) and taken to Reykjavik, arriving on 2 October.

On boardWe have details of 4 people who were on board

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