Ships hit by U-boats

George Cleeve

American Steam merchant

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NameGeorge Cleeve
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,176 tons
Completed1943 - New England Shipbuilding Corp, Portland ME 
OwnerAmerican Export Lines Inc, New York 
Date of attack22 Feb 1944Nationality:      American
FateA total loss by U-969 (Max Dobbert)
Position37° 22'N, 7° 17'E - Grid CJ 7727
Complement69 (1 dead and 68 survivors).
RouteTunis (21 Feb) - Hampton Roads, Virginia 
Cargo1002 tons of scrap iron, scrap rubber and aircraft engines 
History Completed June 1943 
Notes on event

At 12.13 hours on 22 Feb 1944, U-969 fired a spread of three torpedoes at convoy GUS-31 about 15 miles off Bône, Algeria and heard two detonations. The Peter Skene Ogden and George Cleeve were each hit by one torpedo and were both beached, but later declared total losses.

The George Cleeve (Master Daniel Livingston MacDonald) in station #121 was hit by one torpedo on the starboard side amidships in the engine room. The explosion created a hole 21 feet long, killed the second assistant engineer on watch below and destroyed the engine and turned it over on its side. The blast forced its way into the #4 hold, blew scrap iron through the deck and enveloped the superstructure in steam and oil. A large crack appeared amidships and the master thought the ship would break in two. The vessel settled with a 20° list to port until the after deck was awash and the bow rose out of the water. About one hour after the attack, the eight officers, 33 men and 28 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) were ordered to abandon ship in two boats and a raft.
The survivors were picked up by the American steam merchant William T. Barry after 30 minutes and landed in Oran on 25 February. One armed guard had been blown overboard and was picked up by a small boat from the other torpedoed ship.
A salvage crew later boarded the Liberty ship, which was towed to Bône and beached. After her cargo was discharged, the vessel was declared a total loss and was later scrapped in Italy.

On boardWe have details of 3 people who were on board

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