Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Minotaur under her former name M.J. Scanlon. US Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH65067

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,554 tons
Completed1918 - New York Shipbuilding Corp, Camden NJ 
OwnerWaterman Steamship Co, Mobile AL 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack9 Jan 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-124 (Johann Mohr)
Position7° 12'N, 55° 37'W - Grid EO 5266
Complement52 (6 dead and 46 survivors).
RouteTrinidad - Rio de Janeiro 
Cargo4400 tons of coal, 12.000 barrels of fuel oil and 600 bags of government service mail 
History Laid down as lumber carrier M.J. Scanlon for Hammond Lumber Co, San Franciso CA. Acquired upon completion in September 1918 by the US Navy as cargo transport USS M.J. Scanlon (ID # 3513) for the Naval Overseas Transportation Service. Returned to owner by the US Shipping Board in January 1919. 1925 renamed Missoula for the same owner. 1935 renamed Malamton for C.D. Mallory & Co Inc, New York. 1941 taken over by the US Maritime Commission and renamed Minotaur for Waterman SS Co, Mobile AL. 
Notes on event

At 05.57 hours on 9 Jan 1943, U-124 fired two torpedoes in a second attack on convoy TB-1 about 100 miles northeast of Paramaribo and two minutes later another torpedo. Mohr thought that he had hit three ships, but in fact the first torpedo passed astern of the Collingsworth, the second hit the ship and the third missed also, but hit the Minotaur.

The torpedo was seen about 200 yards from the Minotaur (Master Jens Jensen) and the helmsman put the wheel hard to port, but it was too late and it struck on the port side in the #1 hold. The explosion opened a large hole and flooded the hold rapidly. The engines were secured and the eight officers, 28 crewmen, 15 armed guards (the ship was armed with two 3in and two .50cal guns) and one passenger (naval medical officer) began abandon ship in two lifeboats, but the ship sank by the bow within four minutes, fouling one boat and capsizing the other. The men were thrown in the water and had to swim to three rafts that floated free. Two officers and four crewmen drowned. The survivors were picked up by USS PC-577 later that day and landed at Paramaribo, Surinam.

On boardWe have details of 11 people who were on board

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