American Steam merchant
|Type:||Steam merchant (Liberty)|
|Completed||1943 - Todd-Houston Shipbuilding Corp, Houston TX|
|Owner||J.H. Winchester & Co Inc, New York|
|Date of attack||26 Aug 1943||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-410 (Horst-Arno Fenski)|
|Position||37° 15'N, 8° 24'E - Grid CJ 7826|
|Complement||72 (1 dead and 71 survivors).|
|Route||Philadelphia - Hampton Roads (5 Aug) - Bandar Shahpur, Iran|
|Cargo||7200 tons of general military cargo|
|History||Completed March 1943 |
|Notes on event|
At 22.16 hours on 26 Aug 1943, U-410 fired a spread of three torpedoes at convoy UGS-14 off La Calle, Algeria, heard three hits and reported two ships sunk and another damaged. In fact, the John Bell and Richard Henderson were sunk.
The John Bell (Master David Dunlap Higbee) had been in station #52, but changed the to station #32 in the afternoon as convoy was reformed into four columns to pass through minefields. The ship was struck by one torpedo on the starboard side between the #4 and #5 holds in a compartment with aviation gasoline. The explosion ignited the cargo, the flames rose 25 feet above the holds and spread rapidly aft and slowly forward. The most of the eight officers, 35 crewmen and 29 armed guards (the ship was armed with two 3in and eight 20mm guns) abandoned ship immediately in five of the six lifeboats. But five armed guards on the stern had to jump overboard and swam to the boats. The ship was soon ablaze from stem to stern and burned for nine hours before sinking stern first.
|On board||We have details of 2 people who were on board.|
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