Ships hit by U-boats

City of Flint

American Steam merchant

Photo from City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 447-4009

NameCity of Flint
Type:Steam merchant (Hog Island)
Tonnage4,963 tons
Completed1920 - American International Shipbuilding Corp, Hog Island PA 
OwnerMoore-McCormack SS Co, New York 
Date of attack25 Jan 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-575 (Günther Heydemann)
Position34° 47'N, 31° 10'W - Grid DG 1326
Complement65 (6 dead and 59 survivors).
ConvoyUGS-4 (straggler)
RouteNew York (13 Jan) - Casablanca 
CargoWar cargo, including tanks, aircrafts, jeeps, gasoline in drums, poison gas and telegraph poles 
History Laid down as Collingdale, completed in February 1920 as City of Flint for US Shipping Board (USSB).

On 4 September 1939 the City of Flint (Master Joseph A. Gainard) met the Swedish motor yacht Southern Cross and took over 236 survivors from the Athenia, which had been torpedoed by U-30 (Lemp) the day before and brought them to Halifax.

On 9 October 1939 the City of Flint (Master Joseph A. Gainard) was taken as prize by the German pocket battleship Deutschland en route from New York to the United Kingdom in the North Atlantic, because she was suspected to carry contraband. On 21 October, she arrived in Tromsø, Norway, for water. The Norwegian government ordered the ship to leave and she sailed for Murmansk. On 23 October, the ship arrived at Murmansk, where the German prize crew was interned by the Soviet authorities the next day. On 27 October, the City of Flint was returned to German control and she left the following day and set course to Germany. The master, an inactive US Navy reserve officer, was not allowed to communicate with the US Embassy in Moscow during this time. On 3 November, the City of Flint was stopped by the Norwegian minelayer Olav Tryggvason off the Norwegian coast and ordered to go to Haugesund, Norway. She was finally released at Bergen on 14 November. 
Notes on event

The City of Flint (Master John B. MacKenzie) sailed from New York as part of convoy UGS-4. While en route she encountered a storm that caused her deckload to shift and she straggled from convoy. The ship maintained a zigzag course at 11 knots and tried to find the other ships, when she was hit by one torpedo from U-575 at 22.05 hours on 25 January 1943. The torpedo struck on port side at the #1 hold and ignited the oil and gasoline stored there. As the vessel settled by the head, flames engulfed the forward section. With the engines secured, the crew of ten officers, 30 crewmen, 24 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and six 20mm guns) and one US Army Security officer abandoned ship with four lifeboats in rough seas within ten minutes. Then a second torpedo struck the port side aft of the bridge and the ship sank bow first at 23.05 hours about 300 miles south of Flores, Azores. Two crewmen and three armed guards were lost in the sinking. The chief cook Robert Daigle was picked up by U-575 as prisoner and was later taken to the POW camp Marlag und Milag Nord. Three of the boats stayed in the area for two days before setting sail for the Azores. They used a portable radio for sending distress calls. The following day, the Portuguese destroyer Lima (D 333) picked up 48 men and landed them at Ponta Delgada, Azores. The destroyer had also tried to locate the missing fourth lifeboat, but became involved in another rescue operation when they came across the survivors from Julia Ward Howe, which had been sunk by U-442 (Hesse) on 27 January 1943. The remaining lifeboat from City of Flint with eleven occupants was not located and one crew member died before its red sail was eventually spotted by HMS Quadrant (G 11) (LtCdr W.H. Farrington, RN) in position 11°50N/18°04W south-southwest of Dakar on 12 March 1942. The ten survivors were rescued and taken to Gibraltar and found to be very weak, but in otherwise good condition after a open boat journey of more than 1600 miles in 46 days.

On boardWe have details of 11 people who were on board

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