American Steam merchant
|Completed||1919 - South Western Shipbuilding Co, San Pedro CA|
|Owner||Seas Shipping Co Inc, New York|
|Date of attack||24 Sep 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-175 (Heinrich Bruns)|
|Position||8° 45'N, 57° 00'W - Grid EO 1396|
|Complement||50 (31 dead and 19 survivors).|
|Route||Norfolk, Virginia - Trinidad - Aruba - Table Bay - Basra, Iraq|
|Cargo||6097 tons of general war supplies|
|History||Built for US Maritime Commission, Washington DC, later laid up as part of the reserve fleet. |
|Notes on event|
At 09.24 hours on 24 Sep 1942 the West Chetac (Master Frank Matthew Jasper), dispersed about seven hours earlier from convoy TRIN-14, was hit on the port side at #2 hold by one torpedo from U-175 about 100 miles north of Georgetown, British Guiana. The U-boat reported that the ship had an aircraft escort for some time, was zigzagging at various speeds and missed by a spread of three torpedoes at 06.45 hours. The explosion blew off the hatch covers and beams and caused the ship to sink by the bow within two minutes. The nine officers, 30 crewmen and eleven armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, four 20mm and two .30cal guns) tried to abandon ship in four lifeboats but rough seas and the suction of the sinking ship capsized all boats, drowning many men. Three officers, 14 crewmen and two armed guards rescued themselves on three rafts and were questioned by the Germans. The survivors were picked up on 1 October by USS Roe (DD 418) about 20 miles off Trinidad and landed at Port of Spain, where six crewmen and the armed guards were hospitalized.
|On board||We have details of 33 people who were on board.|
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