Ships hit by U-boats

Nathaniel Hawthorne

American Steam merchant

NameNathaniel Hawthorne
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,176 tons
Completed1942 - Oregon Shipbuilding Co, Portland OR 
OwnerPacific-Atlantic SS Co, Portland OR 
Date of attack7 Nov 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-508 (Georg Staats)
Position11° 34'N, 63° 26'W - Grid ED 9474
Complement52 (38 dead and 14 survivors).
RouteGeorgetown, British Guiana - Trinidad - New York 
Cargo7576 tons of bauxite ore 
History Completed in May 1942 
Notes on event

At 04.27 hours on 7 Nov 1942 the Nathaniel Hawthorne (Master Richard C. Brannan) in convoy TAG-19 was hit on the port side by two torpedoes from U-508 about 40 miles northeast of Isla de Margarita. The first struck at the #1 hold and the second in the engine room. The ship filled rapidly with water, listed to port, settled by the bow and sank within one minute. When she sank the acetylene supply or refrigerator gas exploded. The survivors among the eight officers, 32 crewmen, ten armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in, four .50cal and two .30cal guns) and two passengers abandoned ship by jumping overboard after realeasing three rafts. Ten crewmen, three armed guards and one passenger were picked up about 39 hours later by the USS Biddle (DD 151), 150 miles from the sinking position and landed at Trinidad on 9 November.

The armed guard officer Lt Kenneth Muir won the Navy Cross for Valor by directing his men to safety as the ship sank.

On boardWe have details of 46 people who were on board

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