Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam tanker

Photo courtesy of the Peabody and Essex Museum, Salem MA

Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage5,939 tons
Completed1921 - South Western Shipbuilding Co, San Pedro CA 
OwnerPetroleum Navigation Co, Houston TX 
Date of attack19 Mar 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-124 (Johann Mohr)
Position34° 17'N, 76° 39'W - Grid DC 1167
Complement34 (2 dead and 32 survivors).
RouteProvidence, Rhode Island (15 Mar) - New York - Corpus Christi, Texas 
CargoWater ballast 
History Built as Dutch Silvanus 1927 sold to USA and renamed Papoose 
Notes on event

At 04.31 hours on 19 March 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Papoose (Master Raymond Zalnick) was torpedoed by U-124 about 15 miles southwest of Cape Lookout, while steaming a zigzag course at 11 knots in moderately rough seas. One torpedo struck on the port side at the break of the poop and entered the fuel bunker, causing the flooding of the engine room and fireroom. The engines stopped immediately and two crew members on watch below were killed.

The first lifeboat was launched after five minutes and was barely missed by a second torpedo at 04.44 hours, which struck on the starboard side just aft of amidships. The explosion opened a large hole near the waterline that extended eight feet above the water, causing the ship to sink a few hours later. A second lifeboat was launched five minutes after the second hit. The surviving eight officers and 24 crewmen were picked up by USS Stringham (DD 83) about ten hours after the attack and taken to Norfolk, Virginia.

On boardWe have details of 34 people who were on board

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