Ships hit by U-boats

William A. McKenney

American Steam merchant

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NameWilliam A. McKenney
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage6,153 tons
Completed1916 - Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Newport News VA 
OwnerMystic Steamship Co, Boston MA 
Date of attack5 Oct 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-175 (Heinrich Bruns)
Position8° 35'N, 59° 20'W - Grid EO 1575
Complement35 (1 dead and 34 survivors).
RouteGeorgetown - Trinidad - Mobile, Alabama 
Cargo3118 tons of bauxite ore and general cargo 
Notes on event

At 06.06 hours on 5 Oct 1942 the unescorted William A. McKenney (Master James Franklin Lusby) was hit on the port side by one torpedo from U-175 while steaming on a nonevasive course at 11.5 knots about 50 miles east of Corocoro Island, Venezuela. The torpedo struck in #3 hold just aft of the engine room bulkhead, opening a hole about 20 feet in diameter, blowing off the hatch covers and wrecking the steering gear and antennas. About 15 minutes later, the U-boat began shelling the ship from the port side about one half mile off with 32 rounds. About seven shells hit the hull and bridge house and set fire to the fuel in the settling tanks before the eight officers, 23 crewmen and four armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in and two .30cal guns) abandoned ship in two lifeboats and one float. Afterwards, the ship was hit by further ten shells and sank about four hours after the initial attack. One crew member was lost. The survivors were picked up after 14 hours by USS Blakeley (DD 150) and landed at Trinidad.

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

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