Ships hit by U-boats

Christopher Newport

American Steam merchant

Christopher Newport sinking

NameChristopher Newport
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,191 tons
Completed1942 - Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc, Baltimore MD 
OwnerCalmar SS Co Inc, New York 
Date of attack4 Jul 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-457 (Karl Brandenburg)
Position75° 49'N, 22° 25'E - Grid AB 3683
Complement50 (3 dead and 47 survivors).
ConvoyPQ-17 (straggler)
RouteBaltimore - Halifax - Reykjavik - Archangel 
Cargo8200 tons of war material 
History Completed in March 1942 
Notes on event

On 4 July 1942 the Christopher Newport (Master Charles Ernest Nash) was en route in convoy PQ-17 in station #81, when German He115 aircraft of the Küstenfliegergruppe 906 attacked convoy with torpedoes in the Barents Sea about 35 miles northeast of Bear Island (75°49N/22°15E). One aircraft dropped a torpedo about one-half mile away. It passed between the Carlton and the American Liberty ship Samuel Chase but struck the Christopher Newport amidships on the starboard side. The ship was armed with one 4in, four .50cal and two .30cal guns, but the armed guards were unable to fire on the attacking aircraft because it flew in a direct line of fire of another ship in convoy. The explosion tore a large hole in the hull, completely flooded the engine room, killed one officer and two men on watch below and destroyed the steering gear. The ship continued veering to port, crossed the bows of ships in two other columns and headed in the opposite direction before being stopped. Seven officers, 29 crewmen and 11 armed guards abandoned ship in the two port lifeboats because the two starboard lifeboats had been destroyed. They were picked up by the British rescue ship Zamalek within 15 minutes and were taken to Archangel. The badly damaged Christopher Newport, which was on her maiden voyage, was then hit by a coup de grâce from HMS P-614, which was part of convoy escort, but still remained afloat.
At 08.08 hours, U-457 came across the abandoned ship and sank her with one coup de grâce.

The master Charles Ernest Nash was also the master of the Marore, which had been sunk by U-432 (Schultze) on 27 Feb 1942.

On boardWe have details of 17 people who were on board

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