Ships hit by U-boats

West Zeda

American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of E. Kenneth Haviland

NameWest Zeda
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,658 tons
Completed1918 - Northwest Steel Co, Portland OR 
OwnerIsthmian SS Co, New York 
Date of attack23 Feb 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-129 (Asmus Nicolai Clausen)
Position9° 13'N, 59° 04'W - Grid EO 1524
Complement35 (0 dead and 35 survivors).
RouteMombasa - Capetown - Trinidad - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
CargoPart cargo of chrome ore as ballast 
History Completed in December 1918 for US Shipping Board (USSB), later laid up as part of the reserve fleet. 
Notes on event

At 04.43 hours on 23 February 1942 the unarmed and unescorted West Zeda (Master Ivar John Harold Rosenquist) was hit on the starboard side by one G7a torpedo from U-129 about 125 miles southeast of Trinidad. The torpedo had been spotted by the third officer, but it was too late and it struck at the #2 hold, blowing the hatch cover into the air. The nine officers and 26 crewmen abandoned ship in both port lifeboats within ten minutes and after sending four distress signals without receiving an answer. At 04.57 hours, a G7e coup de grĂ¢ce hit amidships in the engine room and caused the ship to break in two and to sink after ten minutes. At noon the survivors were picked up by the schooner Emeralda from St. Vincent after being spotted by an US Navy patrol aircraft and taken to Georgetown, British Guiana.

The West Zeda had been bombed while at Suez and was badly damaged when she ran aground in the Red Sea on her homebound voyage. Temporary repairs were made two weeks at Aden and four months in Mombasa before she left to Philadelphia for permanent repairs.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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