Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News VA

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,592 tons
Completed1919 - American Shipbuilding Co, Lorain OH 
OwnerStockard Steamship Co, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack4 Oct 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-175 (Heinrich Bruns)
Position8° 30'N, 59° 37'W - Grid EO 1829
Complement35 (6 dead and 29 survivors).
RouteTrinidad - Georgetown, British Guiana 
History Completed in October 1919 as Lake Fanquier for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1925 renamed Guayaquil for Panama Railroad Co Inc, New York. 1940 renamed Caribstar for Stockard SS Co, New York. 
Notes on event

At 11.11 hours on 4 Oct 1942 the unescorted Caribstar (Master Fred Gomez Velez) was steaming a zigzag course off the mouth of the Orinoco River, when the master sighted the track of a torpedo from U-175 fifty yards away. Despite of the evasive maneuvers taken, the torpedo struck on the port side amidships in the boiler room and destroyed the boilers, ruptured steam lines and killed one officer and two men on watch below. The freighter listed first to starboard and then to port. A few minutes later a second torpedo struck on the starboard side just aft of amidships and caused a huge explosion, probably magnified by the ship’s ammunition being ignited. She sank by the stern but remained afloat with 100 feet of her bow out of the water for three hours before finally sinking because her stern was resting at the bottom.

The survivors abandoned ship in one lifeboat and two rafts, but one crew member drowned. 14 hours after the attack, six officers 19 men and all six armed guards (the ship was armed with one 6pdr and two .30cal guns) were picked up by USS PC-469 and landed at Port of Spain, Trinidad. One man died of burns on board and the second assistant engineer later died from burns ashore in the US Army hospital in Docksite, Trinidad.

On boardWe have details of 11 people who were on board

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