Ships hit by U-boats

José Navarro

American Steam merchant

NameJosé Navarro
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,244 tons
Completed1943 - Todd-Houston Shipbuilding Corp, Houston TX 
OwnerGrace Line Inc (W.R. Grace & Co), New York 
Date of attack27 Dec 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-178 (Wilhelm Spahr)
Position8° 20'N, 73° 55'E - Grid LC 2519
Complement166 (0 dead and 166 survivors).
RouteNew Orleans (19 Dec) - Port Said - Aden - Calcutta - Colombo 
Cargo3000 tons of Army cargo, including mules, fodder, pipes and landing mats 
History Completed October 1943 
Notes on event

At 00.12 hours on 27 Dec 1943 the unescorted José Navarro (Master Ernest Wesley MacLellan) was torpedoed by U-178 about 175 miles southwest of Cochin, India. One torpedo struck on the starboard bow, forward of the torpedo streamer, between the #1 and #2 holds at the foremast. The blast threw the ship to port and she then rapidly settled by the bow, sticking the propeller halfway out of the water. The bulkhead between the holds was destroyed and the bulkhead between #2 and #3 holds was damaged, all three holds flooded quickly. 30 minutes after the hit the engines were secured and the master ordered the eight officers, 38 crewmen, 34 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, two 3in and eight 20mm guns) and 86 troops to abandon ship in eight lifeboats, only one man was injured. The gun crew fired two errant shots at lights on two rafts that had been released. After three hours, 30 volunteers reboarded the ship in an attempt to salvage her, but after working for three hours the men gave up and abandoned ship again.
At 14.58 hours, the U-boat fired a coup de grâce in grid LC 2197, which struck the vessel, sinking her immediately. All survivors were picked up the next day by HMIS Rajputana (J 197) (Lt W.G. Coltham, RIN) and landed at Cochin.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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