Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

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Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage4,833 tons
Completed1919 - Seattle Construction & Dry Dock Co, Seattle WA 
OwnerA.H. Bull & Co Inc, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack29 Jun 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-153 (Wilfried Reichmann)
Position21° 40'N, 59° 20'W - Grid DP 4769
Complement39 (35 dead and 4 survivors).
RouteRio de Janeiro - Port of Spain, Trinidad - Baltimore 
Cargo5000 tons of manganese ore 
History Completed in December 1919 as Gaffney for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1928 renamed Barreado and later laid up as part of the reserve fleet. 1940 renamed Ruth for A.H. Bull & Co Inc, New York. 
Notes on event

At 05.55 hours on 29 June 1942 the unescorted Ruth (Master Robert Melville Callis) was hit in the stern by one torpedo from U-153 while steaming a zigzag course at 8.5 knots about 320 miles north-northeast of Barbuda. The explosion ignited the magazine and the whole stern was blown off. She developed a list to port and sank by the stern within two minutes. She sank so rapidly that the seven officers, 28 crewmen and four armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in and two .30cal guns) had no time to launch boats or to leave the vessel otherwise. Three crewmen managed to swim to a raft that floated free and another crewman was picked up by the U-boat and placed aboard the raft after being questioned. The Germans apparently searched for other survivors before leaving the area. On 4 July, the survivors were picked up by USS Corry (DD 463) (LtCdr E.C. Burchett, USN) in 22°23N/62°35W and landed at Port of Spain three days later.

On boardWe have details of 39 people who were on board

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