American Steam merchant
|Type:||Steam merchant (Liberty)|
|Completed||1943 - New England Shipbuilding Corp, Portland ME|
|Owner||International Freighting Co Inc, New York|
|Date of attack||8 Aug 1944||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-667 (Karl-Heinz Lange)|
|Position||50.42N, 05.03W - Grid BF 22|
|Complement||71 (0 dead and 71 survivors).|
|Route||Avonmouth (7 Aug) - Falmouth|
|Cargo||5800 tons of Army cargo, including trucks, acid and flour|
|History||Completed August 1943 |
|Notes on event|
At 21.27 hours on 8 Aug, 1944, the Ezra Weston (Master Joseph Patoka) in convoy EBC-66 was hit by one torpedo from U-667 about eight miles off Trevose Head, Cornwall, while proceeding in the starboard column as third ship in line. The torpedo struck the port side at the #1 hold. The explosion lifted the ship out of the water, blew of the covers of the #1 and #2 hatches and ruptured the hull on both sides. A column of water and deck cargo flew mast high. She flooded slowly, possibly due in part to the flour in the first hold, seen trailing on both sides of the ship. The corvette HMCS Regina (K 234) turned and thinking the Liberty ship was mined slowed down to pick up survivors. U-667 fired a Gnat at the corvette, which blew up and sank within 30 seconds.
The master tried to beach the Ezra Weston and steamed toward the coast of England seven miles away. At 22.12 hours, with the forecastle head awash the master ordered the engines secured. The vessel cracked forward of the bridge shortly after she was hit and had now broken nearly in two. The British landing ship HMS LCT-24 came alongside and the most of the nine officers, 34 men, 26 armed guards (the ship was armed with two 3in and eight 20mm guns) and two US Army security officers transferred to her. The master, two mates and the armed guard officers all left by a lifeboat five minutes later and went on board the British armed trawler HMS Jacques Morgand. All survivors were landed in Padstow Bay, England. At 23.22 hours, the Ezra Weston broke in two and sank.
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