Ships hit by U-boats


American Turbine tanker

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Type:Turbine tanker (T-2)
Tonnage10,172 tons
Completed1943 - Alabama Dry Dock & Shipbuilding Co, Mobile AL 
OwnerAmerican Petroleum Transport Co, New York 
Date of attack3 Dec 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-193 (Hans Pauckstadt)
Position25° 50'N, 86° 30'W - Grid DL 2626
Complement80 (10 dead and 70 survivors).
RouteBaytown - Galveston, Texas (1 Dec) - New York 
Cargo120,000 barrels of heating oil 
History Completed in November 1943 for US War Shipping Administration 
Notes on event

At 07.47 hours on 3 Dec 1943 the unescorted Touchet (Master Jesse Field Bird) was hit on the port side by a torpedo from U-193 in the Gulf of Mexico while steaming at 16.5 knots. The torpedo struck the bow ten feet aft of the stem and opened a 20 feet long hole. The tanker was equipped with a torpedo indicator that warned the crew but the turn to port was too late, after the hit the engine was first secured while turning to the opposite direction and then ordered full ahead in an attempt to escape. Due to the flooding the bow settled and forced the ship to stop, when another torpedo warning sounded but this was apparently a dud hitting the port side amidships. The most of the ten officers, 40 crewmen and 30 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) abandoned ship in six lifeboats, only the armed guard officer and ten of his men remained behind and manned the 5in stern gun. At 08.22 hours, a coup de grĂ¢ce hit the engine room on the starboard side and caused the ship to sink stern first at 11.00 hours. The men still on board had to jump overboard and swam to a raft but the suction of the sinking ship was so strong that all except one armed guard drowned.

On 5 December, the 43 survivors in four boats were picked up by the Norwegian steam merchant Lillemor (Master Bernt Belland) and landed them the next day at Pensacola, Florida. The same day, USS Falgout (DE 324) picked up eleven survivors from another boat and on 6 December, the remaining 16 survivors in the last boat were picked up by USS Raven (AM 55) and landed in Galveston on 8 December.

On boardWe have details of 31 people who were on board

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