American Steam merchant
|Type:||Steam merchant (Liberty)|
|Completed||1943 - Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc, Baltimore MD|
|Owner||R.A. Nicol & Co Inc, New York|
|Date of attack||20 Mar 1945||Nationality: American|
|Fate||A total loss by U-995 (Hans-Georg Hess)|
|Position||69.23N, 35.17E - Grid AC 8947|
|Complement||69 (5 dead and 64 survivors).|
|Route||Gourock (10 Mar) - Murmansk|
|Cargo||6500 tons of locomotives, tires, ammunition, machinery and trucks|
|History||Completed in October 1943 |
|Notes on event|
At 09.10 hours on 20 Mar, 1945, U-995 fired torpedoes at the convoy JW-65 about 25 miles east of North Kilden Light and reported one ship sunk and two others damaged. In fact, only the Horace Bushnell (Master William John Lacey) in station #11 was hit by one torpedo on the port side in the engine room. The blast created a hole 33 feet by 26 feet, cracked the main deck, completely destroyed the engines and killed the second engineer and three men on watch below. The explosion also blew the engine room skylight over the side, cut off the power, destroyed one lifeboat and filled another with oil. The vessel settled with a slight list by the stern until water reached 34 feet and then steadied. The survivors among the eight officers, 34 crewmen and 27 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) on board prepared themselves to abandon ship, while HMS Orwell (G 98) (LtCdr J.R. Gower, DSC, RN) took the ship in tow. Heavy seas prevented the destroyer from making any headway and advised the crew to abandon ship. At 11.50 hours, all survivors went directly on board the destroyer, which took them to Murmansk. The chief engineer died of shock on the escort vessel.
The Horace Bushnell was later beached by two Soviet salvage tugs at Teriberski, where the cargo was salvaged by the Soviets and the ship was declared a total loss. 1949 the wreck was salvaged by the Soviets and repaired in the Mathias Thesen-Werft in Wismar, East Germany. The ship was converted to a transport and supply ship for the Soviet high seas fishing fleet and renamed Pamyati Kirova. Broken up in Russia in 1978.
|On board||We have details of 6 people who were on board.|
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