Ships hit by U-boats

Empire Wildebeeste

British Steam merchant

Empire Wildebeeste under her former name West Ekonk. US Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH65041-A

NameEmpire Wildebeeste
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,631 tons
Completed1918 - Skinner & Eddy Corp, Seattle WA 
OwnerGeorge Nisbet & Co, Glasgow 
Date of attack24 Jan 1942Nationality:      British
FateSunk by U-106 (Hermann Rasch)
Position39° 30'N, 59° 54'W - Grid CB 6192
Complement43 (9 dead and 34 survivors).
ConvoyON-53 (dispersed)
RouteHull - Loch Ewe - Halifax - Baltimore 
History Completed in July 1918 as West Ekonk for US Shipping Board (USSB) and acquired by the US Navy as cargo transport USS West Ekonk (ID # 3313) for the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, making her maiden voyage with a cargo of flour to Brest, France. The ship made two trips from France to Italy between September 1918 and April 1919 and was then decommissioned and returned to the US Shipping Board. 1933 sold to Lykes Bros SS Co Inc, New Orleans. 1941 transferred to Britain and renamed Empire Wildebeeste by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). 
Notes on event

At 06.53 hours on 24 Jan 1942 the unescorted Empire Wildebeeste (Master Hugh Cameron Stewart), dispersed from convoy ON-53, was torpedoed and sunk by U-106 east of New York. Seven crew members and two gunners were lost. The master, 25 crew members and eight gunners were picked up by USS Lang (DD 399) (LtCdr E.A. Seay, USN) after being spotted by a Catalina flying boat and landed at Bermuda.

On boardWe have details of 43 people who were on board

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