Photo by Torsten Hagnéus
At 09.50 hours on 22 Aug 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Hammaren (Master Carl Gunnar Herman Clase), dispersed from convoy OS-36, was attacked with gunfire by U-507 while steaming at 13 knots with dimmed navigation light set about 40 miles east of Salvador, Bahia. Unaware of the recent enemy activity off the Brazilian coast, the ship had set her lights after spotting some fishing craft off Itapoan Point. The U-boat surfaced less than a mile off the port beam and opened fire with the deck gun after missing with three single torpedoes at 09.09, 09.11 and 09.12 hours.
The first round struck underneath the bridge, jammed the telegraph on slow astern and set this part of the ship on fire. Seven more rounds were fired of which five hit, killing three and injuring four crew members and causing another fire aft. All surviving crew members, except the master and three men, immediately abandoned ship in both lifeboats but the port boat swamped as it was damaged by the shelling. One occupant drowned and the others were picked up by the starboard boat. At 09.52 hours, U-507 fired one torpedo from the port side that apparently missed because the Hammaren was moving slowly astern.
The U-boat then went around the stern and five minutes later fired another torpedo that struck on the starboard side underneath the forward mast and caused the ship to sink by the bow at 10.12 hours. The four men still aboard had to jump into the water and the master and two men were picked up by the lifeboat, but the fourth drowned. The lifeboat then set sail towards the nearby coast and made landfall after five hours near Salvador. The four injured men were admitted to a hospital, where the chief engineer died of wounds ten days after the sinking.