Ships hit by U-boats

Munger T. Ball

American Steam tanker

Photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News VA

NameMunger T. Ball
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage5,104 tons
Completed1920 - Terry Shipbuilding Co, Savannah GA 
OwnerSabine Transportation Co Inc, Port Arthur TX 
Date of attack5 May 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-507 (Harro Schacht)
Position25° 17'N, 83° 57'W - Grid DM 1467
Complement34 (30 dead and 4 survivors).
RoutePort Arthur, Texas (1 May) - Norfolk, Virginia 
Cargo65,000 barrels of gasoline 
History Completed in October 1920 as Lilmae for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1927 renamed Chilsco for Chile SS Co Inc, New York. 1935 renamed Munger T. Ball for Sabine Transportation Co Inc, Port Arthur TX. 
Notes on event

At 01.32 hours on 5 May 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Munger T. Ball (Master Karl Ragnar Olsen) was hit by one torpedo from U-507 while steaming at 10 knots on a non-evasive course about 80 miles northwest of Dry Tortugas Island. The torpedo struck on the port side amidships, followed by a second torpedo 30 seconds farther aft near the engine room. The tanker burst into flames after the first hit and prevented the launching of lifeboats. Only four crewmen of the eight officers and 26 crewmen on board managed to abandon the ship by jumping overboard and swimming away before burning gasoline spread on the water, trapping many men on the tanker. The burning tanker sank about 15 minutes after the second hit. The four survivors swam to a life raft, were picked up about four hours later by the Katy and landed at Key West, Florida.

On boardWe have details of 31 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats