Ships hit by U-boats

Ante Matkovic

Yugoslavian Steam merchant

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NameAnte Matkovic
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,710 tons
Completed1920 - Ateliers & Chantiers de Bretagne, Nantes 
OwnerBrodarsko Poduzece Eugen Matkovic, Split 
Date of attack19 Jun 1942Nationality:      Yugoslavian
FateSunk by U-159 (Helmut Friedrich Witte)
Position12° 05'N, 72° 30'W - Grid EC 8524
Complement29 (6 dead and 23 survivors).
RouteNorfolk, VA (10 May) - Cartagena, Colombia (17 Jun) - Curaçao - Santiago - Trinidad 
Cargo3100 tons of coal 
History Completed in January 1921 as French Mossi for Devès Chaumet & Cie, Bordeaux. 1934 sold to Yugoslavia and renamed Ante Matkovic for Brodarsko Poduzece Eugen Matkovic, Split. 
Notes on event

At 17.30 hours on 19 June 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Ante Matkovic (Master Niko Ivanovic) was shelled by U-159 while steaming on a non-evasive course at 6 knots off the Manaure Bay about 20 miles west-southwest of Cabo de la Vela, Colombia. The master ordered a hard turn to starboard in an attempt to ram the attacker, but the engine room was hit and no distress signals could be sent because the third or fourth round hit the wireless cabin. The crew then quickly abandoned ship in a lifeboat and on a raft and observed how the U-boat went around the vessel and fired into the water line with the deck gun and anti-aircraft guns. Very rough seas injured two men of the gun crew while they fired 100 rounds and scored about 70 hits. Ante Matkovic soon caught fire, developed a list and sank at 18.10 hours. When the Germans tried to question some survivors on a raft, they could not understand them due to strong winds and took a man on board, who wrote down everything they wanted to know without being ordered to do so. He was placed back on the raft before the U-boat left the area about 20 minutes after the ship sank. The master was in charge of the lifeboat with 23 occupants and they managed to reach the shore near Rio Hacha, Colombia. However, the raft with the chief officer and five crew members was never seen again.

On boardWe have details of 28 people who were on board

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