Ships hit by U-boats


Panamanian Steam merchant

Crusader under her former name Brosund. Photo courtesy of Danish Maritime Museum, Elsinore

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,939 tons
Completed1916 - Osaka Iron Works, Osaka 
OwnerUS Maritime Commission, Washington DC 
Date of attack14 Nov 1941Nationality:      Panamanian
FateSunk by U-561 (Robert Bartels)
Position49° 30'N, 37° 15'W - Grid BD 1542
Complement34 (33 dead and 1 survivor).
ConvoySC-53 (straggler)
RouteBaltimore (23 Oct) - Sydney (4 Nov) - Liverpool 
Cargo3926 tons of general cargo, including foodstuffs, cotton, iron and steel 
History Completed in May 1916 as Japanese Yesaki Maru for Nippon Kisen KK, Tokyo. 1916 sold to Norway and renamed General Wergeland for O. Rosenvold, Kristiansand. 1917 renamed Aslaug for D/S A/S John K. Haalands Rederi, Haugesund. 1921 sold to USA and renamed Winneconne for Winneconne Corp, New York. 1924 sold to Denmark and renamed Danevirke for Suensen & Jespersen, Copenhagen. 1925 renamed Brosund for T.C. Christensen, Copenhagen. On 12 Nov 1940, seized by the US Maritime Commission in Baltimore, renamed Crusader in 1941 and registered in Panama. 
Notes on event

On 4 Nov 1941 the Crusader was supposed to sail with convoy SC-53, but failed to join in fog and was reported missing thereafter. At 03.37 hours on 14 November, U-561 fired a spread of three torpedoes at an unescorted steamer, which immediately stopped after two hits and then sank fast by the stern. No survivors or lifeboats were sighted by the U-boat.

It is reported that the Brazilian coal passer Edward Barreto from Rio de Janeiro was the only survivor of Crusader, held as prisoner of war at Milag Nord and released in 1945, but it is not known when and how he was captured.

On boardWe have details of 24 people who were on board

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