Ships hit by U-boats

Topa Topa

American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of Bob Boys

NameTopa Topa
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,356 tons
Completed1920 - Los Angeles Shipbuilding & Drydock Corp, San Pedro CA 
OwnerWaterman Steamship Co, Mobile AL 
Date of attack29 Aug 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-66 (Friedrich Markworth)
Position10° 16'N, 51° 30'W - Grid EO 3323
Complement60 (25 dead and 35 survivors).
RouteNew York - Philadelphia - Trinidad - Takoradi - Lagos 
Cargo6500 tons of general cargo, including cars, aircraft and 800 tons of gasoline 
History Completed in August 1920 
Notes on event

At 02.37 hours on 29 August 1942 the unescorted Topa Topa (Master Clarence Edward McCoy) was hit on the starboard side by two torpedoes from U-66 about 350 miles north of Cayenne, French Guiana. The vessel had been spotted at 17.23 hours the day before and her zigzag course at 12 knots prevented a first attack, but due to a rain squall they stopped zigzagging. The first torpedo struck at the #2 hatch and blew off the side of the bridge, while the second hit the #5 hatch. The cargo of gasoline drums caught fire, forcing the eight officers, 34 crewmen, 15 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in, four .50cal and two .30cal guns) and three Canadian passengers to abandon ship in three lifeboats. The burning ship sank at 04.02 hours. The master, two officers, 15 crewmen and seven armed guards were lost. The chief officer was taken aboard by the U-boat, questioned and then returned to the lifeboat. The survivors were picked up the next day by the British steam merchant Clan Macinnes and landed at Port of Spain, Trinidad on 9 September.

On boardWe have details of 26 people who were on board

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