Ships hit by U-boats

Commercial Trader

American Steam merchant

Commerical Trader under her former name Delaware River

NameCommercial Trader
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,606 tons
Completed1920 - Detroit Shipbuilding Co, Wyandotte MI 
OwnerMoore-McCormack SS Co, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack16 Sep 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-558 (Günther Krech)
Position10° 30'N, 60° 15'W - Grid ED 9995
Complement38 (10 dead and 28 survivors).
RouteFortaleza, Brazil - Trinidad - USA 
Cargo2000 tons of caster seed and 1500 tons of manganese ore 
History Laid down as Lake Deerfield, completed as Lake Tippah for US Shipping Board. 1924 renamed Delaware River for Philadelphia & Norfolk SS Co, Wilmington DE. 1939 sold to Moore-McCormack Lines Inc and renamed Commercial Trader
Notes on event

At 10.59 hours on 16 September 1942 the unescorted Commerical Trader (Master James Wilber Hunley) was hit by one torpedo from U-558 about 75 miles east of Trinidad. The vessel did not steer a zigzagging course at 9 knots but had changed her direction several times during the night. The torpedo struck the starboard side in the #2 hold and blew the hatch off, collapsed the starboard side of the bridge and threw some men into the water. The blast damaged the fireroom´s forward bulkhead and flooded that compartment. Water also poured in the skylight over the engine room. The throttle became inaccessible and the watch below could not secure the engines. Most of the crew of eight officers, 21 men and nine armed guards (the ship was armed with one 3in and two .30cal guns) left the ship in one lifeboat and one raft. No other boats could be launched because the vessel sank bow first in two minutes. Two officers, four crewmen and three armed guards were lost. All survivors transferred into the boat and set sail for Tobago, arriving there twelve hours later. Ten survivors required hospitalisation and one of these men later died of pneumonia on 24 September.

On boardWe have details of 14 people who were on board

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