David H. Atwater
American Steam merchant
|Name||David H. Atwater|
|Completed||1919 - Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ashtabula OH|
|Owner||Atwacoal Transportation Co, Fall River MA|
|Date of attack||3 Apr 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-552 (Erich Topp)|
|Position||37.57N, 75.10W - Grid CA 5714|
|Complement||27 (24 dead and 3 survivors).|
|Route||Lambert´s Point, Virginia - Norfolk - Fall River, Massachusetts|
|Cargo||3911 tons of coal|
|History||Completed in June 1919 as Crabtree for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1922 renamed W.J. Crosby for North Shore Transit Co, Port Huron MI. 1929 sold to Canada Forwarding Co Ltd, Port Arthur, Canada. 1935 renamed David H. Atwater for Atwacoal Transportation Co, Fall River MA. |
|Notes on event|
At 03.40 hours on 3 Apr, 1942, the unescorted and unarmed David H. Atwater (Master William Keith Webster) was attacked by U-552 about ten miles east of Chincoteague Inlet, Virginia. Topp had followed her underwater, surfaced and began to shell the vessel without warning. 93 shots were fired from 600 yards distance, hitting her with about 50 shots and set her on fire. USCGC Legare (WPC 144) observed the gunfire and headed for the ship, upon arrival at the scene 45 minutes after the attack, they saw the vessel sinking, leaving two feet of mast above water. The crew of eight officers and 19 men had been unable to leave the ship in lifeboats and most jumped overboard and drowned. All officers died and only three men who dove overboard and swam to an empty lifeboat survived the attack. The survivors and three bodies were picked up by the US Coast Guard vessel USCGC CG-218 and taken to Chincoteague Inlet.
|On board||We have details of 23 people who were on board.|
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