Ships hit by U-boats

William Pierce Frye

American Steam merchant

NameWilliam Pierce Frye
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,176 tons
Completed1943 - New England Shipbuilding Corp, Portland ME 
OwnerMystic Steamship Co, Boston MA 
Date of attack29 Mar 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-610 (Walter Freiherr von Freyberg-Eisenberg-Allmendingen)
Position56° 57'N, 24° 15'W - Grid AL 1996
Complement64 (57 dead and 7 survivors).
ConvoyHX-230 (straggler)
RouteBoston - New York (18 Mar) - Liverpool - Barry 
Cargo7500 tons of military stores, including 750 tons of explosives, wheat and five landing craft as deck cargo 
History Completed in February 1943 
Notes on event

At 23.36 hours on 29 March 1943 the unescorted William Pierce Frye (Master Meinhard Scherf), a straggler from convoy HX-230 due to engine trouble since 28 March, was hit on the starboard side in #1 hold by one of three torpedoes from U-610, while steaming on a zigzag course at 12.5 knots. At 23.40 hours, a coup de grĂ¢ce was fired that hit forward of amidships and caused the ship to sink by the bow within five minutes. Three of the lifeboats had previously been damaged by heavy weather and two more by the torpedo explosions, so only one boat was launched but it swamped in the rough seas and the four rafts and two floats were carried away before any of the eight officers, 32 crewmen and 24 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 3in and nine 20mm guns) could board them. The men had to jump overboard when the ship sank and only seven of them managed to swim to one of the landing craft that floated free. The two officers, three crewmen and two armed guards were picked up after five days by HMS Shikari (D 85) (LtCdr D.A. Rayner, DSC, RNVR) and landed in Londonderry.

On boardWe have details of 57 people who were on board

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