Ships hit by U-boats

West Irmo

American Steam merchant

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NameWest Irmo
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,775 tons
Completed1919 - Ames Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Seattle WA 
OwnerAmerican-West African Line Inc, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack3 Apr 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-505 (Axel-Olaf Loewe)
Position2° 10'N, 5° 35'W - Grid EU 9781
Complement109 (10 dead and 99 survivors).
RouteNew York - Freetown - Marshall, Liberia - Takoradi, Gold Coast - Lagos 
Cargo3800 tons of general cargo 
History Completed in May 1919 for US Shipping Board (USSB) 
Notes on event

At 21.31 hours on 3 April 1942 the West Irmo (Master Torlief Christian Selness) was hit on the port side by one torpedo from U-505 about 300 miles southwest of Takoradi. The ship was not zigzagging as ordered by her escort HMS Copinsay (T 147) (Skr E.R. Harris, RNR), which was about two miles off the starboard quarter. The torpedo struck the forward part of #1 hold, blew the bow off, opened a hole 20 by 18 feet near #2 hold and killed ten African stevedores, who were sitting on #1 hatch. The nine officers, 27 crewmen, eight armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in and four .30cal guns) and the 55 surviving African stevedores abandoned ship in four lifeboats after 30 minutes and were picked up by the escort until 23.30 hours. Next day, the M/S trawler took the West Irmo in tow stern first but stopped as her rudder and propeller came out of the water because she settled by the bow and dropped a depth charge to hasten the sinking at 21.10 hours in 02°17N/05°25W.

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

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