Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Steamship Historical Society (

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,766 tons
Completed1920 - Mitsui Bussan Kaisha, Tama 
OwnerCalmar SS Co Inc, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack20 Mar 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-71 (Walter Flachsenberg)
Position36° 22'N, 68° 50'W - Grid CA 9641
Complement36 (6 dead and 30 survivors).
RouteCalcutta - Port of Spain, Trinidad - Boston 
CargoManganese ore, burlap and rubber 
History Completed in July 1920 as Eastern Exporter for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1923 renamed William Campion for Garland SS Corp, New York. 1927 renamed Oakmar for Calmar SS Co Inc, New York. 
Notes on event

At 20.54 hours on 20 March 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Oakmar (Master Nolan Eugene Fleming) was stopped by U-71 with machine gun fire into the bridge and superstructure because bad weather prevented the use of the deck gun. The ship was stopped and the eight officers, 27 crewmen and one passenger abandoned ship in two lifeboats. A first torpedo at 21.20 hours missed due to the heavy seas, but the second fired at 21.39 hours hit forward of the bridge and caused the ship to sink by the bow about 300 miles east of Cape Hatteras. The master, one officer and four crewmen were lost. Two men fell overboard and drowned as they could not be rescued due the heavy seas and the port lifeboat containing four survivors was never found. The survivors in the starboard lifeboat were picked up on 22 March by the Stavros and landed at Bermuda two days later.

On boardWe have details of 9 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