Ships hit by U-boats

Frederick Douglass

American Steam merchant

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NameFrederick Douglass
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,176 tons
Completed1943 - Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc, Baltimore MD 
OwnerLuckenbach Steamship Co, New York 
Date of attack20 Sep 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-645 (Otto Ferro)
Position57° 03'N, 28° 08'W - Grid AK 3932
Complement70 (0 dead and 70 survivors).
RouteAvonmouth (14 Sep) - Clyde - New York 
CargoSand ballast 
History Completed May 1943 
Notes on event

At 09.32 hours on 20 Sep 1943, U-238 (Hepp) fired four torpedoes at convoy ON-202 and reported two hits on the ships in station #11 and #21. The Frederick Douglass in station #11 was damaged and the Theodore Dwight Weld in station #21 was sunk.

The Frederick Douglass (Master Adrian Richardson) was struck by one torpedo on the port side bulkhead between the #4 and the #5 holds. The explosion made only a relatively small hole in the side but blew off the hatch covers and strongbacks. The ship began to settle slowly. About seven minutes after the explosion and without orders, some of the eight officers, 32 men, 29 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in and nine 20mm guns) and one woman stowaway abandoned ship in two lifeboats. As the engine room was flooded five hours after the attack, the remaining men left the ship in the remaining two lifeboats. All hands were picked up by the British rescue ship Rathlin and landed in Halifax on 28 September.

At 21.56 hours the same day, the drifting Fredrick Douglass was sunk by two coups de grĂ¢ce by U-645.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

Attack entries for Frederick Douglass

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
20 Sep 1943U-238Oblt. Horst HeppDamaged7,176  
20 Sep 1943U-645Oblt. (R) Otto FerroSunk7,176  

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