Ships hit by U-boats


American Landing ship

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NameUSS LST-133
Type:Landing ship (LST-1)
Tonnage1,625 tons
Completed1943 - Chicago Bridge and Iron Co, Seneca IL 
OwnerUnited States Navy 
Date of attack15 Jun 1944Nationality:      American
FateDamaged by U-621 (Hermann Stuckmann)
Position50° 01'N, 0° 49'W - Grid BF 3615
Complement? men (43 dead and ? survivors).
RoutePortland, Dorset (14 Jun) – Omaha Beach, Normandy 
CargoUS Army vehicles and personnel and two Rhino tugs in tow 
History Completed in November 1943. USS LST-133 participated in the Normandy landings and was the first tank landing ship to land on Omaha Beach on 7 June 1944. She earned one battle star and the Navy Unit Commendation during the operation. USS LST-133 earned a second battle star for her participation in the assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto in May and June 1945.

The landing ship was used as a target in the Bikini atomic bomb tests in July 1946 and was decommissioned on 29 August that same year. USS LST-133 was eventually scuttled off Kwajalein on 11 May 1948. 
Notes on event

At 08.03 hours on 15 June 1944, U-621 fired one Gnat torpedo at convoy EPL-8 and hit USS LST-133 (Lt Floyd E. Richards, USN) which was about 2000 yards behind station, steaming at full speed of 10 knots with two Rhino tugs in tow about 27 miles northeast of Barfleur, France. The U-boat observed how the vessel broke in two and then managed to retreat without being attacked by the escorts as it was assumed that the vessel had struck an acoustic mine. However, the landing ship remained intact from frame 41 forward so the Germans probably mistook the Rhino tugs that drifted away after the hit as parts of the vessel. The explosion blew away the greater part of the fantail and both 40mm Bofors gun tubes on the stern, demolished the crew quarters and steering engine room and left the vessel without propulsion as the screws and rudder were destroyed. The deck house was damaged by the stern anchor winch that was blown forward and large pieces of twisted deck plate hurled through the air fell on deck and the vehicles stored there. The landing ship carried the men and equipment of the HQ and three batteries of the 113th Field Artillery Battalion, 30th US Infantry Division. As breakfast had just been served many men were washing their mess kits on the fantail when the torpedo struck and the casualties were high: 15 crew members and 28 passengers (22 US Army and 6 USN Seabees) were killed and 17 crew members and 11 passengers (8 US Army and 3 USN Seabees) were wounded.

USS Raven (AM 55) and USS Chickadee (AM 59) en route to Portsmouth went alongside to take off the wounded, the former taking USS LST-133 in tow towards Omaha Beach until relieved by USS Arikara (ATF 98) at 12.35 hours. Eleven hours after the hit, the landing ship was beached with the help of USS LCI(L)-490 and USS LCI(L)-84 and unloaded until 02.00 hours on 16 June. Afterwards the ship was sufficient repaired to permit towing her to Southampton by the British tug Empire Meadow on 18 June. USS LST-133 was prepared at Barry for a transatlantic crossing and returned to service after being repaired in the US.

Revisions June 2013 by Rainer Kolbicz:
This attack of U-621 was earlier credited with damaging USS LST-280, but the reported time and position of the attack indicate that USS LST-133 was the target. The other landing ship was probably damaged by a German torpedo bomber. 
More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 32 people who were on board

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