Ships hit by U-boats

Tacoma Star

British Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Allan C. Green Collection

NameTacoma Star
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage7,924 tons
Completed1919 - Workman, Clark & Co Ltd, Belfast 
OwnerBlue Star Line Ltd, London 
Date of attack1 Feb 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-109 (Heinrich Bleichrodt)
Position38° 46'N, 64° 17'W - Grid CB 5447
Complement97 (97 dead - no survivors)
RouteBuenos Aires - Hampton Roads - Liverpool 
Cargo5107 tons of refrigerated and general cargo 
History Laid down as War Theseus for The Shipping Controller, completed in July 1919 as Wangaretta for British India Steam Navigation Co Ltd, London. 1929 renamed Tacoma Star for Blue Star Line Ltd, London. At 22.40 hours on 3 May 1941, the Tacoma Star was hit by a heavy bomb while in dock at Liverpool during an air raid on the city. She caught fire and settled slowly by the stern on to the dock bottom, but was subsequently salvaged and repaired. 
Notes on event

At 03.30 hours on 1 Feb 1942, U-109 fired a spread of three torpedoes at the unescorted Tacoma Star (Master Robert George Whitehead) about 387 miles north of Bermuda. One torpedo hit at the forward hold and a second struck amidships in the engine room, causing the ship to sink by the bow after four minutes. The U-boat was just about to meet U-130 (Kals) for refueling when the vessel was spotted at 16.20 hours on 31 January and Bleichrodt began chasing the zigzagging ship. The Germans reported that the crew abandoned ship in five lifeboats but the survivors were not questioned as the vessel had already been identified from her distress signals. These signals were also received ashore and USS Roe (DD 418) was sent to search for survivors but found no trace of the ship because the position 37°33N/69°21W mentioned in the radio message proved to be wrong. The master, 87 crew members and nine gunners were lost.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 93 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats