Ships hit by U-boats

Mathew Luckenbach

American Steam merchant

Photo courtesy of SSHSA Collection, University of Baltimore Library

NameMathew Luckenbach
Type:Steam merchant
Tonnage5,848 tons
Completed1918 - Sun Shipbuilding Co, Chester PA 
OwnerLuckenbach SS Co Inc, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack19 Mar 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-523 (Werner Pietzsch)
Position54° 23'N, 23° 34'W - Grid AL 4838
Complement68 (0 dead and 68 survivors).
ConvoyHX-229 (romper)
RouteNew York (8 Mar) - UK 
Cargo8360 tons of general cargo, including steel, grain, ammunition, mail and trucks on deck 
History Completed in October 1918 as Deerfield for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1926 renamed Kelvinia for J. Black & Co. 1930 renamed Mathew Luckenbach for Luckenbach SS Co Inc, New York. 
Notes on event

At 10.47 hours on 19 March 1943 the Mathew Luckenbach (Master Atwood N. Borden), a straggler from convoy HX-229, was hit by two of three torpedoes fired by U-527 (Uhlig). The ship had deliberately left convoy at 23.00 hours on 18 March, because the master and his officers thought that they had a better chance alone after several ships had been torpedoed, but they came into the area of the battle against convoy SC-122. The first torpedo struck on the port side at the #2 hatch, opening a hole about nine feet long in the hull at the waterline and the second hit at the #4 hatch. The engines were secured and the crew of eight officers, 34 crewmen and 26 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) immediately abandoned ship in three lifeboats and two rafts. The survivors were picked up 90 minutes later by USCGC Ingham (WPG 35) and landed at Londonderry. The commander of the cutter asked for volunteers from the crew to go back to their ship to see if it could be salvaged, but none was prepared for this.

In the evening on 19 March, U-523 came across the drifting wreck of the Mathew Luckenbach and hit her at 20.08 hours with a coup de grĂ¢ce, causing the ship to sink within seven minutes.

On boardWe have details of 44 people who were on board

Attack entries for Mathew Luckenbach

DateU-boatCommanderLoss typeTonsNat.
19 Mar 1943U-527Kptlt. Herbert UhligDamaged5,848  
19 Mar 1943U-523Kptlt. Werner PietzschSunk5,848  

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