Ships hit by U-boats

Matt W. Ransom

American Steam merchant

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NameMatt W. Ransom
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,177 tons
Completed1943 - North Carolina Shipbuilding Co, Wilmington NC 
OwnerSmith & Johnson Co, New York 
Date of attack11 Apr 1943Nationality:      American
FateDamaged by U-117 (Hans-Werner Neumann)
Position33° 55'N, 7° 52'W - Grid DJ 2277
Complement64 (0 dead and 64 survivors).
RouteNew York (19 Mar) - Casablanca 
Cargo8000 tons of general cargo, including iron pipe, sugar, vehicles, war materials and road equipment 
History Completed February 1943

On 16 Jul 1944, the Matt W. Ransom was scuttled to form Gooseberry 1 breakwater which was a section of the artificial harbour known as Mulberry A built off the Normandie beachhead at Verreville. The ship had departed New York on 23 Feb 1944 and arrived at Halifax on 5 March stopping at Newport, Rhode Island and Boston. She left Halifax on 14 March in convoy SC-155, arriving Falmouth on 1 April and later Oban on 1 May for orders. 

Notes on event

At 15.40 hours on 11 April 1943 the Matt W. Ransom (Master John Metsall) on her maiden voyage in station #32 of convoy UGS-6A was struck under the #1 hold by two mines laid on 10 April by U-117 off Casablanca. The explosions threw water 100 feet in the air, causing holds #1 and #3 to flood within one hour. The keel was broken, steam lines were severed and other equipment was damaged. The crew of eight officers, 26 crewmen, 28 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) and two passengers abandoned ship in six lifeboats after 25 minutes because they misinterpreted the order of the master to go for their abandon ship stations. One boat swamped because the men mishandled the falls. The men in the lifeboats were picked up by the American submarine chasers USS PC-481 and USS PC-471 and landed at Casablanca. The master and six men later reboarded the ship, got her under way and took her into Casablanca six hours later, where temporary repairs were made until 20 September. Then she left for Gibraltar for further repairs, arriving the next day. On 7 November, the Liberty ship left with convoy GUS-20 for New York, arriving there on 25 November.

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

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