Daily Event for October 5, 2010

The cargo ship William A. McKenney was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in 1916 and served with the U.S. Navy as USS William A. McKenney ID-2101, the ship survived the Great War and made it into the next one. The ship was en route from Trinidad to Mobile, Alabama late in the evening when she was hit by an unannounced torpedo on her port side. The explosion damaged the steering gear and made the ship uncontrollable, it also destroyed the aerials so no distress signal could be sent. As the crew were abandoning the ship the aggressor, U-175, began shelling the ship, hitting her six or seven times and setting the fuel ablaze. After the crew got off the ship U-175 continued to shell her and she finally sank in the early morning hours of October 5, 1942.

The thirty-four men in the two lifeboats were lucky in that they were picked up later that day by USS Blakeley DD-150, a ship which had only recently returned to duty after having her bows blown off by a torpedo fired by U-156 on May 22, 1942. One man perished sometime during the action. U-175 returned to France and during her next cruise was sunk by USCG Spencer south of Ireland, her commander Korvettenkapitän Heinrich Bruns, who had been her only commander, and twelve others perished in the loss.
© 2010 Michael W. Pocock

Roll of Honor
In memory of
Fireman/Watertender Juan Sar Martinez
who lost his life in SS William A. McKenney
"As long as we embrace him in our memory, his spirit will always be with us"

SS William A. McKenney, date and location unknown.

2005 Daily Event
2008 Daily Event