Ships hit by U-boats

India Arrow

American Steam tanker

NameIndia Arrow
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage8,327 tons
Completed1921 - Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, Quincy MA 
OwnerSocony-Vacuum Oil Co Inc, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack5 Feb 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-103 (Werner Winter)
Position38° 48'N, 72° 43'W - Grid CA 5813
Complement38 (26 dead and 12 survivors).
RouteCorpus Christi, Texas - Carteret, New Jersey 
Cargo88.369 barrels of diesel fuel 
Notes on event

At 01.53 hours on 5 Feb 1942 the unescorted and unarmed India Arrow (Master Carl Samuel Johnson) was torpedoed by U-103 about 20 miles southeast of Cape May, New Jersey, while steaming a nonevasive course at 10.5 knots. The torpedo struck the starboard quarter at about the #10 bunker. The ship caught fire and began to sink rapidly by the stern. Only a distress signal without position could be sent before the dynamo failed. The nine officers and 29 crewmen immediately began to abandon ship, but were only able to launch one lifeboat. Two boats were destroyed by the explosion and a third was pulled beneath the water by the sinking tanker, drowning 18 of the 20 occupants in it.
The U-boat then surfaced and fired seven shells from her deck gun at two minutes intervals from a distance of 250 yards into the bow section which remained above water as the stern was sinking. Two men died as a result of the shelling. Only one officer and eleven crewmen survived in the lifeboat, set sail and headed for shore. They were picked up on 6 February by the American 24 foot fishing skiff Gitana (Frank Marshall and John Shaw) 20 miles southeast off Atlantic City and taken to the Coast Guard station there.

On boardWe have details of 38 people who were on board

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