Ships hit by U-boats

John R. Park

American Steam merchant

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NameJohn R. Park
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,194 tons
Completed1943 - Permanente Metals Corp, Richmond CA 
OwnerLuckenbach Steamship Co, New York 
HomeportSan Francisco 
Date of attack21 Mar 1945Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-1195 (Ernst Cordes)
Position49° 56'N, 5° 26'W - Grid BF 2514
Complement75 (0 dead and 75 survivors).
RouteSouthampton (20 Mar) - Swansea, Wales - USA 
CargoSand ballast 
History Completed March 1943 
Notes on event

At 15.18 hours on 21 March 1945 the John R. Park (Master Otto Leiner Bortfeld) was torpedoed by U-1195 about nine miles from Lizard Head. The ship carried convoy commodore and was proceeding as the first ship in the port column of the two-column convoy TBC-102 in a heavy fog. One torpedo struck on the port side at the #4 hold just forward of the bulkhead separating the #5 hold. The explosion threw a column of water, sand ballast and oil over the bridge and onto the main deck, ruptured the main deck between the after two hatches, caused a large crack that extended across the vessel, destroyed the after life rafts and the steering gear and damaged the shaft. As the bow swung to port, the ship lost way and began settle by the stern. The eight officers, 33 crewmen, 28 armed guards (the ship was armed with two 3in and eight 20mm guns), the commodore and five naval staff members abandoned ship after 15 minutes in the six lifeboats. Later the master and ten crewmen reboarded the vessel, but the vessel could not be saved and sank stern first about six hours after the attack. The men in five of the boats were picked up by the steam merchant American Press, the ship behind her in convoy and taken to Swansea. The boat of the master was towed to Newland by a RAF crash boat.

On boardWe have details of 3 people who were on board

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