Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Marines Museum, Newport News VA

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage6,191 tons
Completed1920 - George A. Fuller Co, Wilmington NC 
OwnerLykes Bros SS Co Inc, New Orleans LA 
Date of attack26 May 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-703 (Heinz Bielfeld)
Position72° 35'N, 5° 30'E - Grid AB 5581
Complement39 (11 dead and 28 survivors).
RoutePhiladelphia - Reykjavik - Murmansk 
Cargo6390 tons of general war cargo, including ammunition 
Notes on event

At 02.59 hours on 26 May 1942 the Syros (Master Cornelius Albert Holmes) in convoy PQ-16 was hit on the port side by two torpedoes from U-703 about 200 miles southwest of Bear Island. The first torpedo had been spotted by other ships in the convoy and was fired on, but it struck abreast of her stack in the engine room and was followed by a second torpedo which hit at the #2 hatch, causing the ammunition in the cargo to explode. The ship broke in two and sank within 80 seconds. The eight officers, 29 crewmen and two Navy signalmen had to abandon ship in three rafts because two lifeboats had been destroyed and the others could not be launched. 30 survivors clung to the rafts until they were picked up by HMS Hazard (J 02) and landed at Murmansk, but two of them died of exposure and were buried at sea. The master, two officers, seven crewmen and a signalman were lost.

26 survivors boarded the American steam merchant Hybert and left for Reykjavik in convoy QP-13, but on 5 July the convoy unintentionally entered a British minefield in bad weather northwest of Iceland and the ship sank after striking a mine in 66°34N/23°14W. All hands safely abandoned ship, were picked up by HMS Lady Madeleine (FY 283) and FFL Roselys (K 57) and landed at Reykjavik.

On boardWe have details of 13 people who were on board

Location of attack on Syros.

ship sunk.

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