American Steam merchant
|Type:||Steam merchant (Liberty)|
|Completed||1943 - Delta Shipbuilding Co, New Orleans LA|
|Owner||R.A. Nicol & Co Inc, New York|
|Date of attack||14 Jul 1943||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-178 (Wilhelm Dommes)|
|Position||15.25S, 41.13E - Grid KE 2274|
|Complement||71 (5 dead and 66 survivors).|
|Route||Suez, Egypt - Mombasa, Kenya (11 Jul) - Capetown - Bahia, Brazil|
|History||Completed in March 1943 |
|Notes on event|
At 02.36 hours on 14 Jul, 1943, the unescorted Robert Bacon (Master Clyde Frank Henderson) was hit by a torpedo from U-178 about 35 miles off the Mozambique Light. A first torpedo was seen to cross the bow, but a second struck the port side at the #2 hatch in one of the fuel bunkers. The explosion threw oil and water into the air, destroyed steam lines and caused a 10° list to starboard. The engines were secured and the nine officers, 35 crewmen and 27 armed guards (the ship was armed with two 3in and eight 20mm guns) abandoned ship in three lifeboats and three rafts, because two other lifeboats filled with oil and water were unusable.
This boat set sail and reached on 16 July the Mozambique harbour, where a tug took them in tow to the pier. 14 survivors in a second boat were picked up by the British steam merchant English Prince on 26 July and landed at Beira. The seven men in the last boat were rescued by the British steam tanker Steaua Romana on 27 July in 14°32S/41°11E and landed at Durban. All rafts reached land, the first after 14, another after 20 and the last 44 days after the sinking. Two crewmen and two armed guards were lost with the ship and another crewman died ashore from exposure.
|On board||We have details of 4 people who were on board.|
If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.