Ships hit by U-boats


Dutch Motor passenger ship

Type:Motor passenger ship
Tonnage10,909 tons
Completed1939 - Wilton-Fyenoord NV, Rotterdam 
OwnerNederlandsche-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Mij NV, Rotterdam 
Date of attack2 Nov 1942Nationality:      Dutch
FateSunk by U-174 (Ulrich Thilo)
Position1° 25'N, 36° 22'W - Grid FB 3622
Complement299 (134 dead and 165 survivors).
RouteBeira - Capetown - New York 
Cargo7000 tons of copper and chrome ore and 600 tons of general cargo 
History Laid down as Schiedam, completed as Zaandam 
Notes on event

At 18.17 hours on 2 Nov 1942 the unescorted Zaandam (Master J.P. Wepster) was hit on the port side in the engine room by one torpedo from U-174 about 300 miles north of Cape Sao Roque, Brazil. At 18.28 hours, a coup de grĂ¢ce hit on the port side between #2 and #3 holds and caused the ship to sink by the bow within two minutes. The ship carried 130 crew members and armed guards and 169 passengers, mostly crew members and armed guards of the Coloradan, Examelia, Chickasaw City, Swiftsure and Firethorn. The survivors abandoned ship in three lifeboats and two rafts and were questioned by the Germans. On 7 November, 106 men in two lifeboats were picked up by the Gulfstate, but two of them died from wounds and four other badly wounded survivors were transferred to USS Winslow (DD 359) on the next day and landed at Belem, Brazil. On 10 November, a leaking lifeboat with 60 survivors made landfall near Barreirinhas, Brazil where two men died of exposure and were later buried there. Three survivors on a raft were picked up after 84 days (!) by USS PC-576, which was escorting a convoy along the coast. They were fed with liquid food for two days and landed at Pernambuco, where they spent six weeks in hospital. The master, 54 crew members, ten armed guards and 69 passengers were lost.

On boardWe have details of 287 people who were on board

Location of attack on Zaandam.

ship sunk.

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