For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
SS IRISH PINE
Completed in June 1919 as West Hematite for US Shipping Board (USSB) and later placed in the reserve fleet. On 26 Sep 1941, chartered for the duration of the war by Ireland and renamed Irish Pine when taken over at New Orleans in October.
At 00.14 hours on 16 Nov 1942, U-608 fired one torpedo from a distance of 800 meters at the unescorted and neutral Irish Pine (Master Matthew O’Neill) and observed a hit in the stern after 80 seconds. The U-boat had chased the ship for about eight hours, apparently not noticing the neutrality markings because of bad visibility in stormy weather with rain and snow squalls in which the contact was frequently lost and regained. The very rough seas also caused a first torpedo to miss at 23.39 hours on 15 November. The ship immediately began to settle by the stern after the hit until she sank vertically at 00.17 hours. The crew was seen to abandon ship in a lifeboat with a very bright light by the Germans, but they did not approach it and the survivors were never found.