Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam tanker

Photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News VA

Type:Steam tanker (Hog Island)
Tonnage5,030 tons
Completed1920 - American International Shipbuilding Corp, Hog Island PA 
OwnerCuba Distilling Co Inc, New York 
Date of attack5 Apr 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-154 (Walther K├Âlle)
Position19° 16'N, 68° 12'W - Grid DO 7471
Complement45 (7 dead and 38 survivors).
RouteSan Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic (4 Apr) - Wilmington 
History Completed in September 1920 as steam merchant of the Hog Island type for US Shipping Board (USSB), Philadelphia. 1921 converted to a steam tanker. 
Notes on event

At 23.18 hours on 5 April 1942 the unescorted Catahoula (Master Gunvald B. Johannesen) was struck on the port side at the #4 hatch by one torpedo from U-154. The explosion blew molasses over the entire length of the vessel and ripped up deck plates, destroyed one lifeboat, one raft and the catwalk to the poop deck. The engine room bulkhead was also destroyed, causing this compartment to flood and killing one officer and one man on watch below. The armed guards opened fire at the periscope (the ship was armed with one 4in, four .50cal and two .30cal guns) and the radio operator sent a distress signal. Four minutes later a second torpedo hit on the starboard side about ten feet forward of the bridge, causing the ship to roll over and sink within one minute off the northwest coast of the Dominican Republic. The two starboard lifeboats which were already in the water were swamped by the wave and five crewmen drowned. The last port lifeboat got away safely with 25 men and 13 others on a raft. Three hours later, the survivors were sighted by a bomber, which led USS Sturtevant (DD 240) to the area, that picked up seven officers, seven armed guards and 24 crewmen about 13 hours after the attack.

On boardWe have details of 15 people who were on board

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