Ships hit by U-boats

Alcoa Transport

American Steam merchant

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NameAlcoa Transport
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage2,084 tons
Completed1918 - Globe Shipbuilding Co, Superior WI 
OwnerAlcoa SS Co Inc, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack2 Oct 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-201 (Günther Rosenberg)
Position9° 03'N, 60° 10'W - Grid EO 1472
Complement36 (7 dead and 29 survivors).
RouteTrinidad - Georgetown, British Guiana 
CargoBallast (to load bauxite ore) 
History Completed in September 1918 as Lake Medford for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1926 renamed H.J. Lawrence for Lawrence SS Co Inc, New York. 1929 renamed Elwyn C. Hale for Alaska Salmon Co, San Francisco CA. 1940 renamed Alcoa Transport for Alcoa SS Co Inc, New York. 
Notes on event

At 07.00 hours on 2 October 1942, lookouts on the unescorted Alcoa Transport (Master Clement Hunter) observed a flashing red light, so the ship changed course about 100 miles southeast of Trinidad. At 08.33 hours a torpedo from U-201 struck the starboard side at the after end of the engine room, demolished the engine, broke steam lines and blew off the #3 hatch covers. The ice machine was wrecked, releasing heavy ammonia fumes. Concrete blocks used for ballast shot through the port side and hastened the sinking. The survivors among the eight officers, 23 men and five armed guards (the ship was armed with one 3in and two .30cal guns) abandoned ship in one lifeboat. No rafts could be released because the nips on the pelican hooks proved to be too tight. The vessel sank in four minutes, but 100 feet of her bow remained out of the water for several hours at an angle of 60°. USS PC-490 picked up the master, five officers, 19 men and five armed guards about 13 hours later and landed them at Port of Spain. The chief engineer died of burns in a Army hospital at Trinidad.

On boardWe have details of 9 people who were on board

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