American Steam merchant
|Completed||1920 - Los Angeles Shipbuilding & Drydock Corp, San Pedro CA|
|Owner||States SS Co, San Francisco CA|
|Date of attack||2 Jun 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-159 (Helmut Friedrich Witte)|
|Position||24° 00'N, 60° 00'W - Grid DO 6324|
|Complement||38 (32 dead and 6 survivors).|
|Route||Vizagapatam, India - Colombo - Capetown - Baltimore|
|Cargo||8000 tons of manganese ore|
|History||Completed in May 1920 as Las Vegas for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1928 renamed Illinois for States SS Co, San Francisco CA. |
|Notes on event|
At 02.53 hours on 2 June 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Illinois (Master Hans Mathiesen, lost) was torpedoed and sunk by U-159 about 400 miles northeast of Puerto Rico, while steaming a non-evasive course at 10 knots. Two torpedoes hit amidships, just aft of the bridge. The ship sank within 40 seconds, capsizing to starboard. No distress signal could be sent and no lifeboats could be launched. Only a few men of the eight officers and 30 crew members managed to leave the ship. One officer and five men rightened a capsized lifeboat and remained nearly 20 hours in the area before then sailing a southwesterly course, but found no other survivors. The survivors were picked up by the American steam tanker Esso Montpelier six days after the attack and landed at Port of Spain, Trinidad on 10 June.
|On board||We have details of 32 people who were on board.|
If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.