Julia Ward Howe
American Steam merchant
|Name||Julia Ward Howe|
|Type:||Steam merchant (Liberty)|
|Completed||1942 - New England Shipbuilding Corp, Portland ME|
|Owner||American-West African Line Inc, New York|
|Date of attack||27 Jan 1943||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-442 (Hans-Joachim Hesse)|
|Position||35° 29'N, 29° 10'W - Grid CE 8763|
|Complement||74 (4 dead and 70 survivors).|
|Route||New York - Oran, Algeria|
|Cargo||8000 tons of war material, incl. 60 tanks, foodstuffs, cigarettes, clothing and 4 railroad tank cars|
|History||Completed November 1942 |
|Notes on event|
At 18.07 hours on 27 Jan 1943 the Julia Ward Howe (Master Andrew Anthony Hammond) was torpedoed by U-442 about 175 miles south of the Azores. The ship was a straggler from convoy UGS-4 due to heavy weather. One torpedo struck on the starboard side between #3 hold and the deckhouse. The explosion blew off the #3 hatch cover, wrecked two lifeboats and destroyed the radio equipment. The ship immediately took a 15° list but flooded slowly afterwards and gradually righted herself on an even keel. Three shots from the after 5in gun (the ship was also armed with one 3in and eight 20mm guns) were fired in the direction of the U-boat. The eight officers, 36 crewmen, 29 armed guards and one passenger (US Army security officer) abandoned ship in two lifeboats and two rafts. The master, one armed guard and the passenger were lost. 40 minutes after the attack, a coup de grâce struck amidships and broke the ship in two. The U-boat then surfaced and questioned the crew, taking the second mate on board for closer examination. Then the mate was released and the U-boat left.
The rafts were secured to the lifeboats and they set sail for the Azores. After 15 hours, the survivors were picked up by the Portuguese destroyer Lima about 330 miles southwest of the Azores and landed at Ponta Delgada, but the chief engineer died of wounds on the rescue ship.
|On board||We have details of 4 people who were on board.|
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