Ships hit by U-boats


Panamanian Steam merchant

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Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage3,014 tons
Completed1918 - Irvine´s Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co Ltd, Harbour Dock, West Hartlepool 
OwnerMoore-McCormack SS Co, New York 
Date of attack21 Apr 1942Nationality:      Panamanian
FateSunk by U-84 (Horst Uphoff)
Position35° 25'N, 74° 55'W - Grid DC 1314
Complement38 (37 dead and 1 survivor).
RouteRio de Janeiro - Santos - St. Thomas (13 Apr) - Baltimore 
CargoManganese ore 
History Completed in August 1918 as British War Hamlet for The Shipping Controller (W.H. Cockerline & Co), London. 1919 renamed Newaster for Aster Shipping Co Ltd (E. R. Brown & Co), Cardiff. 1933 sold to Finland and renamed Kurikka for Vaasan Laiva O/Y (Paul Eriksson), Wasa. On 27 Dec 1941 seized by the US government at New York, renamed Chenango by the US Maritime Commission and registered in Panama. 
Notes on event

At 00.30 hours on 21 April 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Chenango (Master Alfred Rasmussen) was struck on the port side between #4 and #5 hatches by one torpedo from U-84, blasting a huge hole in the hull. The cargo caused the ship to sink within one minute 60 miles southeast of Cape Henry. One boat was launched but it capsized, the other boat went down with the ship, like all the regulation rafts on the ship, because they were improperly stowed on deck instead of in quick release racks. Two men managed to reach a raft which had floated free when the ship sank. This raft had been condemned in New York and the only supplies on the raft was water and a fishing line. Twelve days later the raft was sighted by an US Army aircraft in position 34°30N/74°25W. Six hours later they were picked up by a PBY Catalina flying boat of the US Coast Guard and were taken to the Marine Hospital in Norfolk, but one of the rescued men died two days later.

The crew of Chenango was made up of men from 14 different nationalities, they were from the U.S.A., Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Belgium, France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Chile, Columbia and Philippines. Only one Irish fireman survived.

On boardWe have details of 38 people who were on board

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