Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam merchant

Honomu under her former name Edmore. Photo from City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 447-2173

Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage6,977 tons
Completed1919 - Skinner & Eddy Corp, Seattle WA 
OwnerMatson Navigation Co, San Francisco CA 
HomeportSan Francisco 
Date of attack5 Jul 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-456 (Max-Martin Teichert)
Position75° 05'N, 38° 00'E - Grid AC 2933
Complement41 (13 dead and 28 survivors).
ConvoyPQ-17 (dispersed)
RoutePhiladelphia - Archangel 
Cargo7000 tons of food, steel, ammunition and tanks 
History Completed in June 1919 as Edmore for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1928 renamed Grays Harbor for Tacoma-Oriental SS Co, Tacoma WA. 1937 renamed Honomu for Matson Navigation Co, San Francisco CA. 
Notes on event

At 14.31 hours on 5 July 1942 the Honomu (Master Fredrik Anderson Strand), dispersed from convoy PQ-17, was torpedoed by U-456 in the Barents Sea. One torpedo struck on the starboard side at the #3 hold. The explosion destroyed the fireroom, killed two men on watch below and shut off all power. As the ship began to settle, a second torpedo struck at the #4 hold, causing her to sink by the stern within ten minutes. 19 of the seven officers, 28 crewmen, four British gunners (the ship was armed with two .30cal guns) and two Navy signalmen managed to launch a lifeboat and 20 others scrambled onto four rafts. The master was taken prisoner by the U-boat and they gave meat and bread to the survivors before leaving. The lifeboat set sail and took the rafts in tow until 16 July, when the chief mate decided to cut the rafts loose and continue alone. The 19 survivors on the rafts were picked up 13 days after the sinking by a British minesweeper and another escort vessel about 360 miles from Murmansk and taken to a small village near Murmansk.

At 10.13 hours on 28 July, U-209 (Brodda) picked up five crew members and three British gunners from the lifeboat and took them as prisoners to Norway. They had been without food for the last 6 days. Two officers, eight crewmen and one British gunner had died of exposure in this boat.

On boardWe have details of 17 people who were on board

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