Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Photo from City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 447-2256

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage7,460 tons
Completed1921 - Los Angeles Shipbuilding & Drydock Corp, San Pedro CA 
OwnerSeas Shipping Co Inc, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack3 Feb 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-255 (Reinhart Reche)
Position70° 52'N, 0° 21'W - Grid AB 7552
Complement70 (0 dead and 70 survivors).
RouteMurmansk - Iceland - New York 
Cargo1130 tons of calcium phosphate as ballast 
History Completed in August 1921 as West Greylock for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1924 renamed Greylock for Greylock SS Corp (Seas Shipping Co Inc), New York.

At 03.27 hours on 9 May 1942, U-588 (Vogel) fired three torpedoes at the unescorted Greylock (Master Charles Herbert Whitmore) in fog about 10 miles from the Sambro Lightship outside Halifax Harbor in 44°14N/63°33W. Lookouts spotted the torpedoes as they approached from astern. Two missed and the third struck the ship at the stern, blowing off a section of the stern frame. The ten officers, 31 crew members and eleven armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, four .50cal and four .30cal guns) did not abandon ship and brought the freighter into Halifax under her own power. The Greylock was en route at 10 knots from New York having left there on 6 May to Russia via Halifax with 8530 tons of general cargo. 
Notes on event

At 14.12 and 14.13 hours on 3 Feb 1943, U-255 fired torpedoes at convoy RA-52 about 600 miles northeast of Iceland and observed two hits on one ship after a running time of 1 minute 50 seconds and heard one further detonation after 3 minutes 20 seconds. Reche reported the Greylock sunk and claimed a hit on another freighter of 5000 GRT, but this can not be confirmed from Allied sources.

Lookouts on the Greylock (Master Charles Herbert Whitmore) spotted a torpedo in the smooth seas and broad daylight about 300 yards off the port side. They tried to evade the torpedo, but it struck between the #5 and #6 holds, creating a large hole below the waterline and also locking the steering gear. A second torpedo missed the bow by 75 yards. The ship immediately flooded and took a starboard list. 15 minutes after the hit, the ten officers, 26 crew members, 25 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in, eight 20mm and two .30cal guns) and nine passengers (three of them survivors from the Panamian freighter Ballot, which had been bombed and sunk on 25 Dec 1942) left the ship in four lifeboats. A British escort ship shelled the Greylock, causing her to sink stern first at 14.30 hours. The most men were picked up by HMS Lady Madeleine (FY 283) (T/Lt W.G. Ogden, RNVR) and HMS Northern Wave (FY 153) (T/Lt W.G. Pardoe-Matthews, RNR) and landed at Belfast and Gourock. Four crew members were picked up by HMS Harrier (J 71) (Cdr A.D.H. Jay, DSO, DSC, RN) and taken to Scapa Flow. All the crew came together in Glasgow and were eventually repatriated from Liverpool.

On boardWe have details of 33 people who were on board

Attack entries for Greylock

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
9 May 1942U-588Kptlt. Victor VogelDamaged7,460  
3 Feb 1943U-255Kptlt. Reinhart RecheSunk7,460  

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