Ships hit by U-boats

San Jacinto

American Steam passenger ship

Photo courtesy of SSHSA Collection, University of Baltimore Library

NameSan Jacinto
Type:Steam passenger ship
Tonnage6,069 tons
Completed1903 - Delaware River Iron Shipbuilding & Engine Works, Chester PA 
OwnerNew York & Puerto Rican SS Co (Agwilines Inc), New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack22 Apr 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-201 (Adalbert Schnee)
Position31° 10'N, 70° 45'W - Grid DC 5631
Complement183 (14 dead and 169 survivors).
RouteNew York - San Juan, Puerto Rico 
Cargo3200 tons of general cargo and passengers 
History Completed in August 1903. In the First World War used as transport by the US Army. On 11 Jul 1918, collided with the US Navy transport USS Oosterdijk (ID # 2586) in a convoy from New York to St. Nazaire. Herself badly damaged, she took abord the survivors of the other ship and returned to port to be repaired. 
Notes on event

At 03.29 hours on 22 April 1942 the unescorted and unarmed San Jacinto (Master Robert W. Hart) was hit on the port side by one G7e torpedo from U-201 about 375 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The U-boat had chased the ship for about 12 hours and was spotted only 300 feet off the port beam just before the torpedo (a surface runner) struck slightly aft of amidships in the #5 hold near the waterline. The explosion blast vented upwards, tore up the deck and demolished the staterooms, recreation halls, radio room and the boat deck. The damaged engines were stopped and the ship lost all power. After the survivors of the eight officers, 71 crewmen and 104 passengers on board abandoned ship in six lifeboats and several rafts quickly and in good order, the U-boat fired 75 rounds from the deck gun at the vessel, which caught fire and sank after three hours. The master, four crewmen and nine passengers were lost.

The survivors (among them 32 women and children) tied together the boats and rafts and waited until dawn to sent a distress signal from a portable radio transmitter in one of the boats because they feared an attack by the U-boat. They were picked up the same day by USS Rowan (DD 405) and landed at Norfolk on 24 April.

On boardWe have details of 7 people who were on board

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