Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News VA

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,432 tons
Completed1920 - Merchant Shipbuilding Corp, Harriman PA 
OwnerWaterman Steamship Co, Mobile AL 
Date of attack18 Nov 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-522 (Herbert Schneider)
Position54° 07'N, 38° 26'W - Grid AK 4874
Complement52 (0 dead and 52 survivors).
RouteReykjavik - Halifax - Boston 
History Completed in September 1920 for US Shipping Board (USSB).

On 15 May and 13 June 1942, the Yaka (Master Oscar Pederson) was bombed and damaged by German aircraft while lying at anchor in Murmansk (arrived there in convoy PQ-14 on 15 April). On 6 July, she left in convoy QP-13 and went to New York for repairs, arriving on 27 July via Iceland and convoy ON-110. 
Notes on event

At 06.03 and 06.04 hours on 18 Nov 1942, U-624 (Soden-Fraunhofen) fired torpedoes at convoy ONS-144 south-southeast of Cape Farewell and reported the sinking of two merchants and one corvette and another merchant damaged. In fact, the President Sergent (the ship of convoy commodore) and Parismina were sunk and the Yaka damaged, while HNoMS Montbretia (K 208) was missed by a torpedo.

The Yaka (Master Frank Lewis Murdock) in station #63 was struck by one torpedo on the starboard side between the #2 hold and the bridge. The explosion destroyed a lifeboat, caused the foremast and jumbo boom to fall onto the bridge and blew debris through the hull on the port side. The eight officers, 33 crewmen and eleven armed guards (the ship was armed with one 3in, four 20mm, two .50cal and two .30cal guns) abandoned ship in three lifeboats, were picked up by HMS Vervain (K 190) (Lt H.P. Crail, RNR) and landed at St. Johns.
At 08.05 hours on 18 November, U-522 fired a spread of four torpedoes at a group of steamers from convoy, heard two detonations and claimed the sinking of two freighters. However, this attack very likely sank the abandoned wreck of Yaka.

The master Frank Lewis Murdock was also in command of Andrew Jackson, which was sunk by U-84 (Uphoff) on 13 July 1942.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

Attack entries for Yaka

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
18 Nov 1942U-624Oblt. Ulrich Graf von Soden-FraunhofenDamaged5,432  
18 Nov 1942U-522Kptlt. Herbert SchneiderSunk5,432  

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