American Steam merchant
|Completed||1918 - Globe Shipbuilding Co, Superior WI|
|Owner||Alcoa SS Co Inc, New York|
|Date of attack||2 Oct 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-201 (Günther Rosenberg)|
|Position||09.03N, 60.10W - Grid EO 1472|
|Complement||36 (6 dead and 30 survivors).|
|Route||Trinidad - Georgetown, British Guiana|
|Cargo||Ballast (to load bauxite ore)|
|History||Completed in September 1918 as Lake Medford for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1926 renamed H.J. Lawrence for Lawrence SS Co Inc, New York. 1929 renamed Elwyn C. Hale for Alaska Salmon Co, San Francisco CA. 1940 renamed Alcoa Transport for Alcoa SS Co Inc, New York. |
|Notes on event|
At 07.00 hours on 2 Oct, 1942, lookouts on the unescorted Alcoa Transport (Master Clement Hunter) observed a flashing red light, so the ship changed course about 100 miles southeast of Trinidad. At 08.33 hours a torpedo from U-201 struck the starboard side at the after end of the engine room, demolished the engine, broke steam lines and blew off the #3 hatch covers. The ice machine was wrecked, releasing heavy ammonia fumes. Concrete blocks used for ballast shot through the port side and hastened the sinking. The survivors among the eight officers, 23 men and five armed guards (the ship was armed with one 3in and two .30cal guns) abandoned ship in one lifeboat. No rafts could be released because the nips on the pelican hooks proved to be too tight. The vessel sank in four minutes, but 100 feet of her bow remained out of the water for several hours at an angle of 60°. USS PC-490 picked up seven officers, 19 men and five armed guards about 13 hours later and landed them at Port of Spain. The chief engineer died of burns in a Army hospital at Trinidad.
|On board||We have details of 8 people who were on board.|
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