James A. Farrell
American Steam merchant
|Name||James A. Farrell|
|Type:||Steam merchant (Liberty)|
|Completed||1943 - Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc, Baltimore MD|
|Owner||American-South African Line Inc, New York|
|Date of attack||29 Jun 1944||Nationality: American|
|Fate||A total loss by U-984 (Heinz Sieder)|
|Position||50° 07'N, 0° 47'W - Grid BF 3532|
|Complement||494 (4 dead and 490 survivors).|
|Route||Southampton - Omaha Beach, Normandy|
|Cargo||1200 tons of military vehicles and troops|
|History||Completed in July 1943 |
|Notes on event|
At 15.28 hours on 29 June 1944, U-984 fired a spread of two LUT torpedoes at the convoy ECM-17 about 30 miles south of St. Catherine’s point on the Isle of Wight. The first struck the Edward M. House and the second the H.G. Blasdel. Six minutes later, the U-boat fired a single torpedo at one of the damaged ships and missed but struck the John A. Treutlen. At 15.43 hours, a Gnat was fired which struck the James A. Farrell.
The James A. Farrell (Master Michael E. Martin) was right behind the John A. Treutlen in the port column and had to take a 40° turn to avoid a collision. Moments later a torpedo struck on the starboard side just forward of the stern post. The explosion threw water mast high, tore a large hole in the hull, blew off the propeller and twisted the bent the rudder, blew off the #5 hatch cover and buckled the main deck. The shaft alley, steering engine room, #3, #4 and #5 holds flooded and the engines were secured as the ship slowly settled by the stern. Four soldiers died in the #5 hold and 45 were injured when the hatch cover and beams collapsed. The eight officers, 34 crewmen, 31 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) and surviving 417 soldiers all went directly on board the British landing ship HMS LST-50, which came alongside to port after one hour. All survivors were landed at Portland the same evening. A British tug towed the reboarded vessel to Spithead, arriving on 30 June. On 1 July, she was moved to shallow water near Netley Beach, where the cargo was removed until 8 July. On 13 July, the vessel was beached there, declared a total loss and later scrapped in place.
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