American Steam merchant
|Completed||1918 - Northwest Steel Co, Portland OR|
|Owner||Isthmian SS Co, New York|
|Date of attack||23 Feb 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-129 (Asmus Nicolai Clausen)|
|Position||9° 13'N, 59° 04'W - Grid EO 1524|
|Complement||35 (0 dead and 35 survivors).|
|Route||Mombasa - Capetown - Trinidad - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Cargo||Part cargo of chrome ore as ballast|
|History||Completed in December 1918 for US Shipping Board (USSB), later laid up as part of the reserve fleet. |
|Notes on event|
At 04.43 hours on 23 Feb 1942 the unarmed and unescorted West Zeda (Master Ivar J.H. Rosequist) was hit on the starboard side by one G7a torpedo from U-129 about 125 miles southeast of Trinidad. The torpedo had been spotted by the third officer, but it was too late and it struck at the #2 hold, blowing the hatch cover into the air. The nine officers and 26 crewmen abandoned ship in both port lifeboats within ten minutes and after sending four distress signals without receiving an answer. At 04.57 hours, a G7e coup de grâce hit amidships in the engine room and caused the ship to break in two and to sink after ten minutes. At noon the survivors were picked up by the schooner Emeralda from St. Vincent after being spotted by an US Navy patrol aircraft and taken to Georgetown, British Guiana.
The West Zeda had been bombed while at Suez and was badly damaged when she ran aground in the Red Sea on her homebound voyage. Temporary repairs were made two weeks at Aden and four months in Mombasa before she left to Philadelphia for permanent repairs.
|On board||We have details of 1 people who were on board.|
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