Ships hit by U-boats

Major Wheeler

American Steam merchant

Major Wheeler after completion in 1918. US Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH105269

NameMajor Wheeler
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage3,431 tons
Completed1918 - Hanlon Dry Dock & Shipbuilding Co, Oakland CA 
OwnerA.H. Bull & Co Inc, New York 
Date of attack6 Feb 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-107 (Harald Gelhaus)
Position34° 39'N, 73° 02'W - Grid DC 2134
Complement35 (35 dead - no survivors)
RouteFajardo, Puerto Rico (31 Jan) - Philadelphia 
Cargo4611 tons of sugar 
History Completed in October 1918 for US Shipping Board (USSB) and acquired by the US Navy as cargo transport USS Major Wheeler (ID # 3637) for the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, making her maiden voyage with general cargo from San Pedro, California to Callao, Peru. The ship loaded nitrates and proceeded via the Panama Canal to Charleston, South Carolina, arriving in December 1918. She then made one voyage to various South American ports and was decommissioned in May 1919 after returning with a cargo of maize from Argentina. Returned to the US Shipping Board, the ship was sold in 1922 to A.H. Bull & Co Inc, New York. 
Notes on event

At 16.08 hours on 6 February 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Major Wheeler (Master Frank Walter Losey) was hit on starboard side underneath the aft mast by one G7e torpedo from U-107 while steaming on a nonevasive course in good weather about 130 miles east-southeast of Cape Hatteras. The U-boat had spotted another freighter, but disengaged to chase the Major Wheeler which developed a list to starboard after being hit and sank in two minutes by the stern. None of the eight officers and 27 crewmen survived.

On boardWe have details of 35 people who were on board

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