American Steam merchant
|Completed||1921 - Federal Shipbuilding Co, Kearny NJ|
|Owner||Isthmian SS Co, New York|
|Date of attack||12 Oct 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-514 (Hans-Jürgen Auffermann)|
|Position||5° 48'N, 51° 50'W - Grid EP 4761|
|Complement||47 (1 dead and 46 survivors).|
|Route||Suez - Capetown (22 Sep) - Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana|
|Cargo||200 tons of general cargo and 1800 tons of salt ballast|
|History||Completed in December 1921 |
|Notes on event|
At 00.10 hours on 12 Oct 1942 the unescorted Steel Scientist (Master Karl O. Bornson) was struck on the starboard side in the #4 hold by a torpedo from U-514 while steaming at 11 knots on a zigzag course about 95 miles north of Cayenne, French Guiana. The explosion stopped the engines, filled the engine room with ammonia fumes from the broken ice machinery, started a fire on the poop deck, blew away the radio antenna and caused the ship to settle fast by the stern. About 10 minutes later, all but one crew member of the ten officers, 28 crewmen and nine armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, four 20mm and two .30cal guns) on board abandoned ship in three lifeboats and a gig, the fourth lifeboat was left hanging vertically on its davit. At 00.22 hours, a first coup de grâce hit and showered the gig about 200 yards away with debris. At 00.52 hours, a third torpedo struck aft of the bridge and caused the ship to sink by the bow eight minutes later. The U-boat surfaced near the gig containing the master and the radio operator and asked for the master but they told the Germans that he was not present so they left the area. On 19 October the two men made landfall at Tarlogie Loretyne near New Amsterdam, British Guiana. The three lifeboats with 44 survivors landed in Paramaribo on 20 October.
|On board||We have details of 46 people who were on board.|
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