Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

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Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,839 tons
Completed1920 - Todd Drydock & Construction Corp, Tacoma WA 
OwnerAmerican-West African Line Inc, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack3 Apr 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-754 (Hans Oestermann)
Position36° 25'N, 72° 22'W - Grid CA 8618
Complement53 (32 dead and 21 survivors).
RouteTakoradi, Gold Coast - Philadelphia 
Cargo4400 tons of maganese ore, 1300 tons of palm oil and 750 tons of tin 
Notes on event

At 11.49 hours on 3 April 1942 the unescorted Otho (Master John Makkinje) was hit by one torpedo from U-754 about 200 miles east of Cape Henry, Virginia, while proceeding on a nonevasive course at 9.5 knots. The torpedo struck on the starboard side amidships directly below the stack at the bulkhead between the #3 tank and the engine room. The explosion severely damaged the vessel and caused her to sink after twelve minutes.
Most of the ten officers, 26 crewmen, ten armed guards and seven passengers abandoned ship within five minutes in three boats and a raft. Three officers, nine crewmen, one armed guard and three passengers were picked up by the American patrol yacht USS Zircon (PY 16) and landed at Cape May on 8 April. On 25 April, one crewman and five armed guards were picked up from a raft by the Norwegian motor tanker Gallia (Master Reidar Henriksen) about 150 miles west of Bermuda and landed in Halifax. When they were found, the survivors were too exhausted to move so that two men from the tanker had to jump overboard in order to help them. One of the armed guards died one hour after being picked up. The remaining survivors were never found, in all the master, six officers, 16 crewmen, five armed guards and four passengers were lost.

On boardWe have details of 49 people who were on board

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