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Saturday, July 04, 2015

July 4th - 1942 - the USS Norlandia was sunk by a German Uboat

Here are some random notes I found out about the ship my grandfather died on in World War II.
ex- Lake Galata 1926 purchased from US Shipping Board renamed Wyoming 1941 chartered to Norgulf renamed Norlandia 1942 torpedoed and sunk off Dominican Republic
2689 July 4
Crew 9 died
July 3 - Unarmed U.S. freighter Norlandia steaming from San Juan Puerto Rico to Nuevitas Cuba is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-575 at 19°33'N 68°39'W; nine crewmen lose their lives. U-575's commanding officer Kapitanleutnant Gunther Heydemann apparently genuinely solicitous of the needs of those whose ship he has just torpedoed gives them a bottle of brandy before the boat departs (see 4 and 5 July).
July 4 - Fourteen survivors from U.S. freighter Norlandia sunk by German submarine U-575 the previous day reaches Samana  Dominican Republic (see 5 July).
July 5 - Seven survivors from U.S. freighter Norlandia  sunk by German submarine U-575 on 3 July  reaches Samana  Dominican Republic.

At 03.38 hours on 4 Jul  1942  the unescorted and unarmed Norlandia (Master Herbert Elvin Callis) was torpedoed by U-575 about 25 miles northeast of Cape Samana  San Domingo. The torpedo struck on the starboard side between the engine room and the #3 hatch. The explosion tore up the deck  destroyed the radio room  jammed the machinery and caused the ship to flood rapidly  sinking by the stern after 15 minutes. The 21 survivors among the crew of eight officers and 22 crewmen abandoned ship in two lifeboats and were later questioned by Heydemann  who expressed regret at having to sink an American ship and gave them a bottle of German brandy before leaving. He reported the ship erroneously as the Panamanian steam merchant Portland. One boat with 14 survivors landed after 18 hours at Saman√°  Dominican Republic  while the other boat arrived 12 hours later.

U-575 - Type VIIC
Commissioned: Jun 19 1941 Fate: Sunk Date: Mar 13 1944
Sunk 13 March, 1944 in the north Atlantic north of the Azores, in position 46.18N, 27.34W, by depth charges from the Canadian frigate HMCS Prince Rupert, the US destroyer USS Hobson, the US destroyer escort USS Haverfield, and by depth charges from a British Wellington and Fortress aircraft (Sqdn. 172/B and 206/R and 220/J) and Avenger aircraft of the US escort carrier USS Bogue. 18 dead and 37 survivors.

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