Ships hit by U-boats

Plow City

American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of SSHSA Collection, University of Baltimore Library

NamePlow City
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage3,282 tons
Completed1920 - Submarine Boat Corp, Newark NJ 
OwnerHedger SS Co, New York 
Date of attack22 May 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-588 (Victor Vogel)
Position38° 53'N, 69° 57'W - Grid CA 6650
Complement31 (1 dead and 30 survivors).
RoutePort of Spain, Trinidad - New York 
Cargo4971 tons of bauxite ore 
History Ordered as Yapam, completed in March 1920 as The Plow City for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1920 renamed Plow City
Notes on event

At 20.10 hours on 22 May 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Plow City (Master George Hazeleaf) was hit by one torpedo from U-588 about 200 miles off Cape May, New Jersey. At 15.00 hours, the ship had spotted the sail of a lifeboat from Peisander, which had been sunk by U-653 (Feiler) on 17 May, but the master suspected an U-boat and fled the area on a zigzag course at eight knots. The U-boat had noticed the smoke and chased the ship for four hours before firing a spread of two torpedoes. The first missed by about five feet ahead and the second struck on the port side aft of the #2 hold at the waterline. The second mate was blown overboard by the explosion and drowned. The watch below secured the engines and the most of the eight officers and 23 crewmen abandoned ship in two lifeboats, while the radio operator stayed behind to send distress messages. At 20.22 hours, a coup de grĂ¢ce hit the engine room on the starboard side and caused the ship to sink by the stern within three minutes.

One survivor was taken aboard the U-boat for questioning and the Germans returned him along with rations of cigarettes and rum to one of the lifeboats. They also rightened one of the boats that capsized during launching before leaving the area. The survivors were picked up after five days by the American patrol yacht USS Sapphire (PYc 2).

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

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