Ships hit by U-boats

William B. Woods

American Steam merchant

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NameWilliam B. Woods
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,176 tons
Completed1943 - J.A. Jones Construction Co, Brunswick GA 
OwnerA.H. Bull & Co Inc, New York 
Date of attack10 Mar 1944Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-952 (Oskar Curio)
Position38° 36'N, 13° 45'E - Grid CJ 9472
Complement478 (52 dead and 426 survivors).
RoutePalermo (10 Mar) - Naples, Italy 
Cargo2115 tons of general cargo, ammunition and army vehicles 
History Completed in June 1943 
Notes on event

At 16.15 hours on 10 March 1944 the William B. Woods (Master Edward Ames Clark), escorted by Aretusa, was hit on the port side by a Gnat torpedo from U-952 about 47 miles northeast of Palermo, Sicily. The torpedo struck in the #5 hold, opening a hole twelve feet wide, breaking the shaft, blowing off the hatch cover and beams and throwing cargo over the deck, but did not ignite the bombs stowed in that hold. The master tried to save the ship, but the engines had to be secured as she settled by the stern and most of the nine officers, 34 crewmen, 28 armed guards (the ship was armed with two 3in and eight 20mm guns) and 407 US Army troops began to abandon ship after 25 minutes in four lifeboats, one raft and 14 Army rafts. 70 men had to remain behind and constructed makeshift rafts before they jumped overboard when the ship sank by the stern at 19.40 hours. One armed guard and 51 troops were lost. The survivors were picked up by the escort and two small British motor boats and taken to Palermo. Complaints were made about the actions of the Italian escort due to her deplorable rescue efforts.

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

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