Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Norlantic under her former name Lexington

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,606 tons
Completed1919 - Detroit Ship Building Co, Wyandotte MI 
OwnerNorlasco SS Co, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack13 May 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-69 (Ulrich Gräf)
Position12° 13'N, 66° 30'W - Grid ED 7325
Complement29 (7 dead and 22 survivors).
RoutePensacola, Florida - Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela 
Cargo3800 tons of general cargo, including cement, steel and iron pipes 
History Built as Lake Fandango for US Shipping Board, Washington DC. 1933 sold to Merchants & Miners Transportation Co, Baltimore MD and renamed Lexington. 1941 sold to Norlasco SS Co, New York and renamed Norlantic
Notes on event

At 03.47 hours on 13 May 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Norlantic (Master Rodger John O´Sullivan) was shelled by U-69 from a distance of 2000 metres after two first torpedoes at 03.38 and 03.39 hours missed the ship about 90 miles east of Bonaire. After the first hits, the crew of seven officers and 22 crewmen began to abandon ship in two lifeboats and two rafts. They had tried to signal the U-boat that they would abandon ship, but apparently this was not noticed. The ship sank three minutes after being hit on the port side at the boiler room by a coup de grâce at 04.08 hours.
Two men on watch below went down with the ship and four were killed on deck by the gunfire, while one other men later died of wounds in a lifeboat. Late in the afternoon of 16 May, the lifeboats were sighted by the Netherlands trading schooners India and Mississippi, the latter took them in tow to the Island of Bonaire, where they landed on the morning of the next day. On 24 May, two survivors were picked up from a raft by the merchant Marpesia and landed at Port of Spain, Trinidad. The last three survivors were picked up from a raft by the tug Crusader Kingston on 19 June in 14°02N/83°13W, the raft had drifted about 1000 miles in the 37 days since the sinking.

On boardWe have details of 8 people who were on board

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