Dutch Motor merchant
|Completed||1934 - Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw Mij NV, Amsterdam|
|Owner||NV Vereenigde Nederlandsche Scheepvaart Mij, The Hague|
|Date of attack||26 Jun 1942||Nationality: Dutch|
|Fate||Sunk by U-107 (Harald Gelhaus)|
|Position||31° 56'N, 54° 48'W - Grid DE 1737|
|Complement||220 (0 dead and 220 survivors).|
|Route||Galveston (18 Jun) - Liverpool|
|Cargo||9000 tons of general cargo, including lead, copper, resins, cotton and timber|
|History||Completed in December 1934 |
|Notes on event|
At 09.13 hours on 26 June 1942 the unescorted Jagersfontein (Master M.A. van der Est) was hit by one of two torpedoes fired by U-107 about 500 miles east of Bermuda. The torpedo struck on the port side between #4 and #5 hold and destroyed the bulkhead. The explosion was weakened by the cargo of cotton. Distress signals were immediately sent and the master tried to reach Bermuda. The U-boat chased the ship on the surface but was forced to submerge after the vessel opened fire with the 105mm stern gun. However, soon her rudder jammed as the ship sank slowly by the stern and the engines broke down at 12.15 hours. So the ship was abandoned by the 108 crew members, 14 gunners and 98 passengers (86 US Army officers and 12 civilians, among them women and children) in four lifeboats. At 14.59 hours, the U-boat fired a coup de grâce which hit underneath the bridge and caused the ship to sink by the stern within minutes in 32°02N/54°53W. The occupants of the lifeboats later observed the U-boat surfacing and searching for traces between the debris and could hear them speaking German before it disappeared on a westerly course. One of the boats had a transmitter, which led the Swiss steam merchant St. Cergue to them on 27 June. Later the same day, USS Bernadou (DD 153) (LtCdr R.E. Braddy, Jr., USN) took the 86 officers and 13 gunners off the Swiss ship and landed them at Bermuda on 28 June. St. Cergue proceeded with the remaining survivors to Gibraltar, arriving on 7 July.
An interesting story exist about this rescue: It is said that some days after the rescue, a German U-boat surfaced near the Swiss ship and passed before the bow. When passing the Germans shouted from the conning tower: Hallo Jagersfontein, Hallo Jagersfontein! and the U-boat disappeared.
|On board||We have details of 211 people who were on board.|
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