Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Mae under her former name West Eldara. Photo courtesy of Stuart Smith

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,607 tons
Completed1918 - Skinner & Eddy Corp, Seattle WA 
OwnerA.H. Bull & Co Inc, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack17 Sep 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-515 (Werner Henke)
Position8° 03'N, 58° 13'W - Grid EO 4320
Complement41 (1 dead and 40 survivors).
RouteTrinidad - Georgetown, British Guiana 
CargoWater ballast 
History Completed in November 1918 as West Eldara for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1936 renamed Mae for A.H. Bull SS Co Inc, New York. 
Notes on event

At 06.25 hours on 17 September 1942 the unescorted Mae (Master Willard R. Hudgins) was torpedoed by U-515 about 41 miles north of the Georgtown Beacon, while steaming a zigzag course at 10 knots. One torpedo struck on the starboard side at the after bulkhead of the #5 hold. The explosion blew off the hatch covers and the well deck bulkhead, destroyed the crew´s quarter, ruptured steam lines, flooded the #4 and #5 hold and damaged the steering gear. The seven officers, 25 crewmen and nine armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in and two .30cal guns) abandoned ship in three lifeboats without orders in 10 minutes. The U-boat then surfaced and began shelling the ship from the starboard side and fired 16 shells at 200 yards, killing one Able seaman and causing the ship to sink by the stern at 07.50 hours. The survivors were questioned before the U-boat left, but Henke reported the vessel as the Mary. Six hours later the survivors were picked up by the Norwegian steam merchant Sørvangen and at 20.15 hours transferred to the British steam merchant Gypsum King at the Demerara Beacon. The injured were taken immediately by motor launch to Georgetown, while the remaining survivors were landed later.

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

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