Ships hit by U-boats

Richard Caswell

American Steam merchant

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NameRichard Caswell
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,177 tons
Completed1942 - North Carolina Shipbuilding Co, Wilmington NC 
OwnerSouth Atlantic Steamship Co, Savannah GA 
Date of attack16 Jul 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-513 (Friedrich Guggenberger)
Position28° 10'S, 46° 30'W - Grid GA 91
Complement69 (9 dead and 60 survivors).
RouteBuenos Aires (12 Jul) - New York 
Cargo9000 tons of manganese ore, tungsten, hides, cased meat and fertilizers 
History Completed in December 1942 
Notes on event

At 21.15 hours on 16 July 1943 the unescorted Richard Caswell (Master Solomon A. Suggs) was hit by one torpedo from U-513 about 150 miles southeast of Florianopolis, Brazil. The torpedo struck on the starboard side at the after end of the engine room, destroying the engines and killing three men on watch below. The most survivors among the eight officers, 34 crewmen, 24 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in and nine 20mm guns) and two passengers on board abandoned ship in three lifeboats and two rafts. The master and a small party stayed on board but ten minutes after the hit a second torpedo struck at the forward end of the engine room. The explosion blew a few men over the side and caused extensive damage to the amidships deck and the superstructure. Just as the ship broke in two and sank after about 15 minutes, the U-boat surfaced and questioned the survivors. The commander told the men that he had lived in Brooklyn for seven years and asked how the Dodgers were doing, the Germans gave them cigarettes and then left the area. In all, the master, two officers and six crewmen were lost.
The 26 survivors in two of the boats were picked up on 19 July by the Argentine steam merchant Mexico and landed two days later at Rio Grande, Brazil. On 22 July, the 16 survivors in the third lifeboat made landfall at Barra Valha, Brazil. The 18 survivors on the rafts were picked up by the American seaplane tender USS Barnegat (AVP 10) on 22 July and landed three days later at Rio de Janerio.

On boardWe have details of 21 people who were on board

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