Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of John H. Melville

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,639 tons
Completed1909 - Workman, Clark & Co Ltd, Belfast 
OwnerUnited Fruit SS Co, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack27 May 1942Nationality:      American
FateDamaged by U-106 (Hermann Rasch)
Position25° 50'N, 89° 05'W - Grid DL 2138
Complement72 (0 dead and 72 survivors).
RouteNew Orleans - Cristobal 
CargoGeneral cargo 
History Completed in July 1909 for Tropical Fruit SS Co Ltd (United Fruit SS Co), Glasgow. 1914 transferred to US flag.

Broken up at Baltimore in 1950.

Notes on event

At 20.00 hours on 26 May 1942 the unescorted Atenas (Master Trygve Angell) spotted a periscope one point off the port beam about 175 miles south of the entrance to the Mississippi River. It moved slowly toward the vessel, so the master changed course so that the 4in stern gun (the only other guns on the ship were two .30cal guns) could be cleared and fired. After four shots on the periscope, it disappeared. She then proceeded with southerly course in a zigzagging pattern.

At 04.00 hours on 27 May, U-106 opened fire with the 37mm AA gun at the Atenas from about 1500 metres. Rasch planned to stop the zigzagging ship by gunfire, but his deck gun was out of order, so he tried unsuccessfully to bring down the radio antenna with the AA gun. Again the master changed course and the stern gun fired at the U-boat, which submerged after the first shot and gave up the attack. Seven shells had hit the port side and started two small fires but did little damage. There were no casualties among the eight officers, 46 men, eight armed guards and ten passengers. At daylight, the Atenas hove to while the holes in the hull were plugged. She continued on her voyage zigzagging constantly and arrived safely.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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