Ships hit by U-boats

Molly Pitcher

American Steam merchant

NameMolly Pitcher
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,200 tons
Completed1943 - Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc, Baltimore MD 
OwnerPrudential SS Co, New York 
Date of attack18 Mar 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-521 (Klaus Heinrich Bargsten)
Position38° 21'N, 19° 54'W - Grid CF 5675
Complement70 (4 dead and 66 survivors).
ConvoyUGS-6 (straggler)
RouteBaltimore - New York (4 Mar) - Casablanca 
Cargo5600 tons of general cargo, including sugar, coffee, explosives, coal, tractors, trucks, ambulances 
History Completed February 1943 
Notes on event

At 20.34 hours on 17 March 1943, U-167 (Sturm) fired one T-3 and three FAT torpedoes at convoy UGS-6 about 500 miles west of Lisbon and heard one detonation after 3 minutes and sinking noises. The Molly Pitcher (Master David Martin Bailie) on her maiden voyage in station #82 was struck by one torpedo on the port side at the #3 hold. The blast damaged the forward bulkhead between holds #2 and #3, resulting in the flooding of both compartments. The helmsman deserted the wheel and the ship veered to port toward the center of convoy. After getting the ship under control, the master ordered the eight officers, 34 crewmen, 27 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in and nine 20mm guns) and one passenger (US Army Major) on board to abandon ship. They left the vessel with great confusion in three lifeboats and by jumping overboard, the engines still running and leaving 17 men behind. Two officers and two armed guards drowned. The ship began making circles and those left on board under command of the third mate managed to avoid the survivors and get the ship under way at 10 knots to rejoin convoy. But the compass had been damaged and they were not able to find convoy, so they abandoned ship at 23.30 hours on one raft and two improvised ones.

66 survivors were rescued by USS Champlin (DD 601), the American steam merchant William Johnson and USS Rowan (DD 405) and landed at Casablanca on 20 and 21 March. The license of the master was later suspended on a charge of misconduct. USS Champlin (DD 601) tried to scuttle the Molly Pitcher by a torpedo, but the ship remained afloat and was sunk by a coup de grĂ¢ce from U-521 at 05.50 hours on 18 March.

On boardWe have details of 5 people who were on board

Attack entries for Molly Pitcher

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
17 Mar 1943U-167KrvKpt. Kurt SturmDamaged7,200  
18 Mar 1943U-521Kptlt. Klaus Heinrich BargstenSunk7,200  

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