American Steam merchant
|Type:||Steam merchant (Liberty)|
|Completed||1942 - Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc, Baltimore MD|
|Owner||Calmar SS Co Inc, New York|
|Date of attack||4 Jul 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-457 (Karl Brandenburg)|
|Position||75° 49'N, 22° 25'E - Grid AB 3683|
|Complement||50 (3 dead and 47 survivors).|
|Route||Baltimore - Halifax - Reykjavik - Archangel|
|Cargo||8200 tons of war material|
|History||Completed in March 1942 |
|Notes on event|
On 4 July 1942 the Christopher Newport (Master Charles Ernest Nash) was en route in convoy PQ-17 in station #81, when German He115 aircraft of the Küstenfliegergruppe 906 attacked convoy with torpedoes in the Barents Sea about 35 miles northeast of Bear Island (75°49N/22°15E). One aircraft dropped a torpedo about one-half mile away. It passed between the Carlton and the American Liberty ship Samuel Chase but struck the Christopher Newport amidships on the starboard side. The ship was armed with one 4in, four .50cal and two .30cal guns, but the armed guards were unable to fire on the attacking aircraft because it flew in a direct line of fire of another ship in convoy. The explosion tore a large hole in the hull, completely flooded the engine room, killed one officer and two men on watch below and destroyed the steering gear. The ship continued veering to port, crossed the bows of ships in two other columns and headed in the opposite direction before being stopped. Seven officers, 29 crewmen and 11 armed guards abandoned ship in the two port lifeboats because the two starboard lifeboats had been destroyed. They were picked up by the British rescue ship Zamalek within 15 minutes and were taken to Archangel. The badly damaged Christopher Newport, which was on her maiden voyage, was then hit by a coup de grâce from HMS P-614, which was part of convoy escort, but still remained afloat.
|On board||We have details of 17 people who were on board.|
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