Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam passenger ship

Photo courtesy of Rich Turnwald Collection

Type:Steam passenger ship
Tonnage5,649 tons
Completed1926 - Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Newport News VA 
OwnerMerchants & Miners Transportation Co, Baltimore MD 
Date of attack27 Aug 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-517 (Paul Hartwig)
Position51° 53'N, 55° 48'W - Grid AH 9823
Complement562 (14 dead and 548 survivors).
RouteSydney, Nova Scotia - Greenland 
Cargo150 tons of food supplies and 428 passengers 
History Completed in May 1926 
Notes on event

The Chatham (Master Edward A. Anderson) sailed in convoy SG-6F with USCGC Mojave (WPG 47) about 1200 yards ahead.

At 13.48 hours on 27 August 1942 the Chatham was struck by one torpedo from U-517 on the starboard side slightly forward of amidships. The explosion wrecked the ship through five decks, destroyed the boilers and threw them through the deck. The blast damaged the generators, the steering engines and blew up all but two starboard lifeboats next to the stack. The vessel remained on an even trim and sank within 30 minutes in the Belle Isle Strait. On board were ten officers, 96 crewmen, 28 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and four 20mm guns) and 428 passengers, mostly construction personnel. Seven crewmen and seven passengers died. The survivors abandoned ship in orderly fashion in twelve lifeboats and nine rafts, many of them rowed ashore. The survivors on the rafts were picked up by USS Bernadou (DD 153), HMCS Trail (K 174) (A/LtCdr G.S. Hall, RCNR) and USCGC Mojave (WPG 47), which picked up alone 293 men. The survivors were landed at Sydney, Argentia and Forteau Bay, Newfoundland.

On boardWe have details of 12 people who were on board

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