Ships hit by U-boats

John Carter Rose

American Steam merchant

NameJohn Carter Rose
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,191 tons
Completed1942 - Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc, Baltimore MD 
OwnerAmerican-West African Line Inc, New York 
Date of attack8 Oct 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-201 (Günther Rosenberg)
Position10° 27'N, 45° 37'W - Grid EF 9795
Complement61 (8 dead and 53 survivors).
ConvoyTRIN-15 (dispersed)
RouteNew York - Trinidad (3 Oct) - Freetown 
Cargo7979 tons gasoline in 26,000 drums and general cargo, including foodstuffs, piping, tires and trucks 
History Completed in August 1942 
Notes on event

At 16.04 hours on 6 October, the unescorted John Carter Rose (Master Magnus Leknes), dispersed from convoy TRIN-15 two days earlier, was sighted by U-201 about 620 miles east of Trinidad and a few hours later also by U-202 (Poser) which then both chased the vessel eastwards. At 00.06 hours on 7 October, U-201 fired a stern torpedo that either was a dud or missed and was then forced to dive when four shots from the 5in stern gun were fired by the John Carter Rose. The Liberty ship on her maiden voyage turned away at the maximum speed of 12 knots towards U-202 which fired a spread of three torpedoes at 00.29 hours and heard two detonations, but could not observe any effect and therefore fired the stern torpedo at 00.35 hours. It missed the zigzagging ship and the U-boat then had to crash dive when they were taken under fire too. This action was witnessed from some distance by William Gaston from the same dispersed convoy and reported by both ships in several radio messages.

The John Carter Rose almost managed to get away from both U-boats, but U-201 regained contact at 13.38 hours and missed her with a spread of two torpedoes at 23.58 hours. Eventually, after a 32 hours chase over a distance of about 290 miles and being missed by seven torpedoes, the ship was struck aft between #2 and #3 holds by one torpedo at 02.32 hours on 8 October. The explosion blew the hatch covers off and ignited the cargo of gasoline, but did little structural damage. Fire spread from the bridge to the stack and the vessel continued for 20 minutes before the engines could be stopped. The eight officers, 33 crewmen and 20 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in, four 20mm and four machine guns) had difficulty abandoning ship in three lifeboats due to the fire. Three armed guards and five crewmen were lost. At 06.06 hours, U-201 hit the vessel amidships with a coup de grâce and then opened fire with the deck gun at the still burning wreck at 11.00 hours. 55 minutes later she sank by the bow with a list to starboard after 51 rounds were fired. The Germans then questioned the survivors and handed them cigarettes, first aid supplies and bread and gave them the course to Venezuela. They also picked up one man from the water and placed him in one of the lifeboats. The three boats became separated that night. At 18.00 hours on 13 October, 18 survivors in one boat were picked up by West Humhaw and landed at Freetown. The remaining 35 survivors in the other two boats were picked up by the Argentinean steam tanker Santa Cruz on 13 October and landed seven days later at Recife, Brazil.

Revisions Juli 2011 by Rainer Kolbicz: John Carter Rose was listed by Rohwer as being sunk by U-202 and U-201 because both U-boats attacked the ship and it was not clear who scored the torpedo hits. A detailed analysis of the Allied reports and the KTBs shows that she was only hit by U-201. 
On boardWe have details of 37 people who were on board

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