American Steam passenger ship
|Type:||Steam passenger ship|
|Completed||1926 - Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Newport News VA|
|Owner||Merchants & Miners Transportation Co, Baltimore MD|
|Date of attack||27 Aug 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-517 (Paul Hartwig)|
|Position||51° 53'N, 55° 48'W - Grid AH 9823|
|Complement||562 (14 dead and 548 survivors).|
|Route||Sydney, Nova Scotia - Greenland|
|Cargo||150 tons of food supplies and 428 passengers|
|Notes on event|
The Chatham (Master Edward A. Anderson) sailed in the convoy SG-6F with the US Coast Guard cutter USS Mojave (WPG 47) about 1200 yards ahead.
At 13.48 hours on 27 Aug 1942 the Chatham was struck by one torpedo from U-517 on the starboard side slightly forward of amidships. The explosion wrecked the ship through five decks, destroyed the boilers and threw them through the deck. The blast damaged the generators, the steering engines and blew up all but two starboard lifeboats next to the stack. The vessel remained on an even trim and sank within 30 minutes in the Belle Isle Strait. On board were ten officers, 96 crewmen, 28 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and four 20mm guns) and 428 passengers, mostly construction personnel. Seven crewmen and seven passengers died. The survivors abandoned ship in orderly fashion in twelve lifeboats and nine rafts, many of them rowed ashore. The survivors on the rafts were picked up by USS Bernadou (DD 153), HMCS Trail (K 174) and USS Mojave (WPG 47), which picked up alone 293 men. The survivors were landed at Sydney, Argentia and Forteau Bay, Newfoundland.
|On board||We have details of 11 people who were on board.|
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