Ships hit by U-boats

Melville E. Stone

American Steam merchant

NameMelville E. Stone
Type:Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage7,176 tons
Completed1943 - Permanente Metals Corp, Richmond CA 
OwnerNorton Lilly & Co, New York 
HomeportSan Francisco 
Date of attack24 Nov 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-516 (Hans-Rutger Tillessen)
Position10° 36'N, 80° 19'W - Grid EB 8899
Complement88 (15 dead and 73 survivors).
RouteAntofagasta, Chile - Cristobal (23 Nov) - New York 
Cargo10538 tons of copper, coffee, balsa, antimony, vanadium and 294 bags of mail 
History Completed August 1943 
Notes on event

At 06.14 hours on 24 Nov 1943 the unescorted Melville E. Stone (Master Lawrence J. Gallagher) was hit by two torpedoes from U-516 about 100 miles northwest of Cristobal. The ship was less than seven hours in sea when the torpedoes were spotted by a lookout. The first torpedo struck on the port side in the settling tank and the second hit ten seconds later near #4 hold. The explosions opened large holes in the side and extensively damaged the main and auxiliary engines. As the ship settled rapidly on an even keel, the ten officers, 32 crewmen, 23 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) and 23 passengers (military personnel) abandoned ship immediately in rough seas. Two of the lifeboats capsized from the suction created by the ship, which sank within eight minutes and several men drowned, including the master. Three boats got away and later picked up men from rafts and debris. The survivors were later spotted by an aircraft, which dropped flares so that the American submarine chasers USS SC-1023 and USS SC-662 could pick them up. Five officers, seven crewmen, two armed guards and one passenger were lost.

On boardWe have details of 17 people who were on board

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