Ships hit by U-boats

Samuel Jordan Kirkwood

American Steam merchant

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NameSamuel Jordan Kirkwood
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,191 tons
Completed1942 - Delta Shipbuilding Co, New Orleans LA 
OwnerA.H. Bull & Co Inc, New York 
HomeportNew Orleans 
Date of attack7 May 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-195 (Heinz Buchholz)
Position15° 00'S, 7° 00'W - Grid FU 1615
Complement71 (0 dead and 71 survivors).
RouteSuez - Durban - Capetown (28 Apr) - Bahia, Brazil - Paramaribo - USA 
CargoWater ballast 
History Completed in December 1942 
Notes on event

At 01.37 hours on 7 May 1943 the unescorted Samuel Jordan Kirkwood (Master Samuel Olsen) was hit by one torpedo from U-195 about 125 miles southeast of Ascension Island. The U-boat had missed the ship that was zigzagging at 12 knots already with two torpedoes about 20 hours before and since then chased the ship. The third torpedo had been spotted by a lookout on the port beam, but could not be avoided and struck on the port side just aft of the #5 hatch. The explosion opened a 20 feet hole, destroyed the shaft alley and steering gear and caused the aft gun platform to collapse. The engines were secured and the six officers, 36 crewmen, 25 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) and four passengers (repatriated seamen) abandoned ship in four lifeboats and one raft. The ship immediately sank after a coup de grĂ¢ce hit at 03.52 hours. The lifeboats were spotted on 17 May by a US Army crash boat and taken in tow for Ascension Island.

On boardWe have details of 7 people who were on board

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