Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage6,421 tons
Completed1919 - Skinner & Eddy Corp, Seattle WA 
OwnerLykes Bros SS Co Inc, New Orleans LA 
HomeportNew Orleans 
Date of attack30 Mar 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-435 (Siegfried Strelow)
Position70° 28'N, 35° 44'E - Grid AC 8646
Complement43 (12 dead and 31 survivors).
ConvoyPQ-13 (straggler)
RouteBoston – Reykjavik (20 Mar) - Murmansk 
Cargo4672 tons of general cargo, including explosives 
History Completed in November 1919 
Notes on event

At 10.35 hours on 30 March 1942, U-456 (Teichert) attacked two stragglers from convoy PQ-13 in the Barents Sea and missed the Honduran steam merchant Mana with a spread of three torpedoes. At 10.36 hours, a fourth torpedo was fired that hit and stopped Effingham (Master Charles H. Hewlett). The U-boat then tried to finish off the ship by a coup de grâce from the stern torpedo tube at 10.45 hours, but missed. They then lost the ship from sight in a snow squall while reloading the torpedo tubes. Shortly thereafter, the ship was spotted by U-435 which first missed with two torpedoes, probably because it was not realized that Effingham had been abandoned. At 12.19 hours, a third torpedo was fired that hit in the bow. The ship exploded and sank after being hit by another torpedo two minutes later.

The Effingham was part of a new convoy of six ships, led by the vice commodore, after a gale had scattered convoy PQ-13 . When the ships reached ice they continued along it towards Murmansk and were separated in bad visibility. The torpedo from U-456 struck amidships on the port side at the #4 hold and the crew of eight officers, 26 men and nine armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, four .50cal and four .30cal guns) immediately abandoned ship in rough seas with two lifeboats as the ship began to settle by the stern. Two men fell overboard and drowned. After about two hours the survivors observed the explosion of Effingham when U-435 torpedoed the ship again. On 31 March, the master, the chief mate and 15 men in one of the boats were picked up by HMS Harrier (J 71) (Cdr E.P. Hinton, DSO, RN) which was on patrol off Kola Inlet in search for stragglers from convoy and landed them in Polyarnoe the next day. However, six men in this lifeboat had died of exposure. 65 hours after the attack, eleven men and three armed guards in the second boat were picked up by a Soviet patrol vessel, but four men had also died of exposure. The survivors were all taken to Murmansk, where they lived on various merchant ships until they were repatriated.

Revisions Juli 2010 by Rainer Kolbicz:
Effingham was listed as being sunk by U-435 alone and an attack of U-456 the same morning was thought to have caused the loss of HMS Sulla, but this vessel had been lost in a gale during the night of 24/25 March 1942. In fact, the attack of U-456 damaged Effingham, which was two hours later sunk by U-435. 
On boardWe have details of 15 people who were on board

Attack entries for Effingham

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
30 Mar 1942U-456Kptlt. Max-Martin TeichertDamaged6,421  
30 Mar 1942U-435Kptlt. Siegfried StrelowSunk6,421  

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