Ships hit by U-boats

John Barry

American Steam merchant

NameJohn Barry
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,176 tons
Completed1942 - Oregon Shipbuilding Co, Portland OR 
OwnerLykes Bros SS Co Inc, New Orleans LA 
Date of attack28 Aug 1944Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-859 (Johann Jebsen)
Position15° 10'N, 55° 18'E - Grid MQ 1891
Complement68 (2 dead and 66 survivors).
RoutePhiladelphia - Aden (26 Aug) - Ras at Tanura, Persian Gulf 
Cargo8200 tons of general cargo and 2000 tons of silver 
History Completed February 1942 
Notes on event

At 22.00 hours on 28 Aug 1944 the unescorted John Barry (Master Joseph Ellerwald) was torpedoed by U-859 about 125 miles off the coast of Saudi Arabia, while steaming a zigzag course at 12 knots. One torpedo struck on the starboard side between the #2 and #3 hatches and flooded the forward portion of the ship. The explosion tossed one lifeboat onto the after deck and blew another overboard, so the ten officers, 31 crewmen and 27 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) abandoned ship in the other two lifeboats and launched three of four rafts. One boat capsized while being launched and spilled the occupants into the water, drowning the chief officer and one crewman. Some survivors rightened and bailed out the capsized lifeboat the next morning. At 22.30 hours, the U-boat fired a coup de grĂ¢ce, which hit the engine room, causing the vessel to break in two and sink.
Two hours after the sinking, 31 survivors on two rafts and one lifeboat were picked up by the Dutch steam tanker Sunetta and landed at Aden on 2 September. The remaining 35 survivors were rescued after 14 hours by the American steam merchant Benjamin Bourn and landed at Khorramshar, Iran on 6 September.

In 1994, the cargo of 26 million dollars in 1800 tons of silver bullion and 3 million of silver coins was salvaged.

On boardWe have details of 4 people who were on board

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Media links

Stalin's Silver

Beasant, John

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