Ships hit by U-boats


American Motor merchant

Photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News VA

Type:Motor merchant
Tonnage6,174 tons
Completed1921 - Doullut & Wiliams Shipbuilding Co Inc, New Orleans LA 
OwnerUS Lines Inc, New York 
HomeportNew Orleans 
Date of attack19 Sep 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-516 (Gerhard Wiebe)
Position11° 51'N, 59° 21'W - Grid EE 7545
Complement50 (50 dead - no survivors)
RouteTakoradi (1 Sep) - St. Thomas, Virgin Islands - New York 
CargoGeneral cargo 
History Completed in March 1921 as steam merchant for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1929 converted to a motor merchant. 
Notes on event

At 06.48 hours on 19 September 1942 the unescorted Wichita (Master Herman Swain Chessman) was hit on starboard side between the forward mast and the bridge by one G7e torpedo fired from a stern torpedo tube of U-516 and sank in less than one minute about 75 miles south of Barbados. The ship was zigzagging at 11.5 knots and had been missed with a spread of two torpedoes at 06.05 hours. The Germans searched the sinking position but sighted no lifeboats or survivors, the ten officers, 30 crewmen and ten armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in and four .50cal guns) were lost.

On boardWe have details of 50 people who were on board

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