Ships hit by U-boats

James McKay

American Steam merchant

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NameJames McKay
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage6,762 tons
Completed1941 - Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, Sparrow´s Point MD 
OwnerLykes Bros SS Co Inc, New Orleans LA 
Date of attack8 Dec 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-600 (Bernhard Zurmühlen)
Position57° 50'N, 23° 10'W - Grid AL 1853
Complement62 (62 dead - no survivors)
ConvoyHX-217 (straggler)
RouteNew York - Wabana (3 Dec) - Belfast 
Cargo12.790 tons of general cargo 
Notes on event

At 01.37 hours on 8 Dec 1942 the James McKay (Master Herman N. Olsen) was torpedoed by U-600 about 425 miles south of Iceland. The ship had met convoy HX-217 east of Newfoundland, but she fell out of convoy on 6 December for some unknown reason. The vessel was hit by three torpedoes, the first amidships under the stack and the others behind. Distress signals were sent as the freighter immediately stopped and the crew abandoned ship in two lifeboats. At 02.02 hours, a coup de grâce was fired from the opposite side. The explosion threw smoke and water 300 feet high, but the ship remained afloat. Another coup de grâce fired seven minutes later missed, but at 02.19 hours, two heavy explosions occured on the ship and she sank. None of the ten officers, 38 crewmen and 14 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, four 20mm and one .30cal guns) was ever found.

On boardWe have details of 62 people who were on board

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