Dutch Steam merchant
|Completed||1916 - NV Werf v Rijkee & Co, Rotterdam|
|Owner||NV Koninklijke Nederlandsche Stoomboot Mij (KNSM), Amsterdam|
|Date of attack||13 Aug 1942||Nationality: Dutch|
|Fate||Sunk by U-658 (Hans Senkel)|
|Position||19.54N, 74.16W - Grid DN 7656|
|Complement||28 (5 dead and 23 survivors).|
|Route||New York (24 Jul) - Key West - Curaçao - Maracaibo and other Venezuelan ports|
|Cargo||1636 tons of general cargo, including 220 cases of dynamite|
|History||Completed in November 1916 |
|Notes on event|
At 05.07 hours on 13 Aug, 1942, U-658 fired two spreads each of two G7e torpedoes while on the surface on the starboard quarter of the convoy WAT-13 at a big tanker and a freighter of approx. 8000 grt and claimed both ships sunk after observing two columns of fire after 3 minutes 35 seconds and another after 3 minutes 58 seconds about 15 miles southwest of Cape Maysi in the Windward Passage. However, the Germans had misjudged the course and speed of the convoy, so all torpedoes missed the intended targets and only one of them struck and sank Medea in station #74 while the British steam merchant Lodestone in station #43 was severely shaken by a torpedo that apparently detonated at the end of its run.
The Medea (Master Willem van der Heul) was struck by one torpedo on the starboard side aft in #3 hold. The explosion stopped the engines and caused several fires in the deck cargo which contained paint, benzine and chemicals. The crew immediately abandoned ship in lifeboats and on rafts without sending a distress signal while the Medea developed a heavy list to port and eventually capsized and sank about 5 minutes after being hit. Four crew members were lost. The master and 23 survivors were picked up after about one hour by the American submarine chaser USS SC-533, assisted by USS PC-478. They were transferred to HMS Havelock (H 88) (Cdr E.H. Thomas, DSC, RN) and landed at Guantanamo Bay later that day, where eight of them had to be hospitalized with injuries and one died of his wounds on 14 August.
|On board||We have details of 6 people who were on board.|
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