Ships hit by U-boats

Dan Beard

American Steam merchant

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NameDan Beard
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,176 tons
Completed1943 - Permanente Metals Corp, Richmond CA 
OwnerStockard Steamship Co, New York 
HomeportSan Francisco 
Date of attack10 Dec 1944Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-1202 (Rolf Thomsen)
Position51° 56'N, 5° 29'W - Grid AM 9577
Complement67 (29 dead and 38 survivors).
RouteBarry, Wales (10 Dec) - Belfast - USA 
Cargo2100 tons of ballast 
History Completed February 1943 
Notes on event

On 10 Dec 1944, U-1202 reported in a radio telegram the sinking of four ships totalling 26000 tons from a convoy.
In fact, only the unescorted Dan Beard (Master William Robert Wilson) was hit at 13.55 hours by one torpedo in rough seas off Strumble Head, North Wales. The ship had left Barry at 02.00 hours the same day and was unescorted because the Admiralty had reported the Irish Sea clear of U-boats and ordered the master to sail alone. The torpedo struck at the #3 hold on the port side. A second torpedo struck the stern, rised the ship out of the water, blew off the rudder and broke the propeller. The motion of the ship caused her to break in two at the #3 hold, where a plate had been welded over a crack in December 1943 (This left the vessel in a weakened state). The afterpart sank immediately and the forepart drifted ashore and was wrecked. No SOS was sent because both antennas were destroyed. Her complement of eight officers, 32 men and 27 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) abandoned ship in four lifeboats, but one of the boats swamped and another capsized in the 30-feet seas. 16 men in one boat landed at Dwll-Deri Bay, South Wales. Another boat made landfall with nine men. A coastal craft picked up 13 others from a raft. Three officers, 14 men and 12 armed guards were lost.

On boardWe have details of 29 people who were on board

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