Ships hit by U-boats

Elihu B. Washburne

American Steam merchant

NameElihu B. Washburne
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,176 tons
Completed1943 - California Shipbuilding Corp, Los Angeles CA 
OwnerMatson Navigation Co, San Francisco CA 
HomeportLos Angeles 
Date of attack3 Jul 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-513 (Friedrich Guggenberger)
Position24° 03'S, 45° 11'W - Grid GA 38
Complement70 (0 dead and 70 survivors).
RouteSantos, Brazil (3 Jul) - Rio de Janeiro 
Cargo7638 tons of coffee 
History Completed January 1943 
Notes on event

At 19.25 hours on 3 Jul 1943 the unescorted Elihu B. Washburne (Master George Lambert Mollison) was struck by one torpedo from U-513 off the coast of Brazil between the after port peak tank and the #5 hatch. The explosion either knocked off the propeller or broke the shaft. The ship lost the rudder, the after magazine for 3in rounds discharged and the magazine for 20mm ammunition exploded. Without control of the vessel, she turned 90° to port and gradually lost way. The most of the eight officers, 34 men, 25 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 3in gun and nine 20mm guns) and three passengers abandoned ship in three lifeboats. The master, eight crewmen and the armed guards remained on board to attempt to beach the ship. 25 minutes after the first hit, a second torpedo struck the hapless vessel at the #3 bulkhead. This explosion lifted the bow out of the water and threw water over the ship. At 20.00 hours, a third torpedo struck in the engine room and the remaining men now left in the fourth lifeboat. The ship was last seen by the survivors drifting with her bow completely out of the water. All hands survived and landed on the island of São Sabastião early the next morning.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats