All The Way From America
for merchant vessels sailing from Americaacross the unpredictable and often stormy North Atlantic Ocean by far the most dangerous part of thevoyage was on the approach to the British Isles. Here, almost within sight of land German Uboats took a heavy toll ofthese slow unarmed and unescorted cargo ships. OnMarch the 27th, 1915,
the four thousand ton steamship SouthPoint built at Irvine's shipyard, West Hartlepool,in 1912 was torpedoed and sunk by U28 as sheapproached the Bristol Channel. The ship, owned by the Norfolk and NorthAmerican Steam Shipping Company Limited had sailed from Philadelphia bound forCardiff with a cargo of bulk china clay and casks. She went down just 60 miles west ofLundy Island fortunately without loss of life. Barelytwo months later on the morning of
Saturday May the 29th, 1915, the three thousand ton steamer Dixianawas torpedoed and sunk off the Cornish coast by U41. She had been launched from the WilliamGray shipyard in 1901 as the Putney Bridge but by 1916 had been sold to the Dixiana Steamship Company and renamed. Sailing from Savannah, Georgia bound forthe French port of Le Havre with a cargo of cotton, her captain wasdeceived by the surfaced German Uboat
being disguised as a small sailing craft.with sails hoisted. Having abandoned ship withoutloss her twenty sixman crew were picked upthe next day by a passing Greek steamer. The 7,100 ton Noorderdijk was one of the largest Hartlepoolbuilt ships to be lost during the First World War She was launched from the William Grayshipyard on the 21st of February, 1913, for the Netherlands American SteamNavigation Company
better known today as the HollandAmerica Line. Almost exactly four years later on February 22nd, 1917, on a voyage from New York to Rotterdam,she was stopped by the German submarine U21 30 miles northwest of the Sclly Isles.After her crew had safely abandoned ship, the Noorderdijk was torpedoed sending the ship and her cargo of wheatand corn meal to the bottom. The Leyland steamship Bostonian wastorpedoed and sunk without warning off
the coast of Devon on October the 10th, 1917. Launched from theWilliam Gray shipyard in 1896 as the Cambrian, she fell victim to the German submarineU53 when some 34 miles of Start Point on avoyage from Philadelphia to London with ageneral cargo. Four lives were lost.