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SHIPS SUNK USA 78 - U S SHIPS L / O

2)LEHIGH U-126




Photo. https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/303532/



Built 1919


Tonnage:  4,983 / 8,000 tons 


Cargo: Ballast


Sunk 19/Oct/41 by U-126 on pos. 08º 26"N 14º 37"W.


0 Dead


44 Survivors


At 10.51 hours on 19 Oct, 1941, the unescorted and unarmed Lehigh (Master Vincent Patrick Arkins) was hit by one torpedo from U-126 on the starboard side at the #5 hold. The ship was stopped and 35 minutes after the hit abandoned by the ten officers, 30 crewmen and four Spanish stowaways in four lifeboats. The radio operator and two other men re boarded the vessel and unsuccessfully tried to send a message.


At 13.10 hours, the vessel sank stern first about 75 miles west of Freetown. The survivors in two lifeboats were picked up by British motor launches. The remaining survivors, five of them injured, were picked up two days after the sinking from the two other boats by a British destroyer.


The Lehigh was sunk 49 days before war was officially declared against the USA by the Axis, despite the American markings on the ship, which were clearly visible at the time of the attack. The vessel was zigzagging and Bauer looking through the periscope, thought she was a Greek ship at first. He saw the USA markings only after he had fired the torpedo from a distance of about 2500 meters.


By www.uboat.net


 

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