american United Fruit S. S. Co. (Chiquita Great White Fleet) SS Esparta (+1942)
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nationality american
purpose transport
type cargo ship
propulsion steam
date built 1904
is nickname no
weight (tons) 3365  grt
dimensions 100.8 x 13.6 x 8.8 m
material steel
engine triple expansion engine, single shaft, 1 screw
power 320  n.h.p.
speed 14  knots
yard no. 211
about the loss
cause lost torpedo
date lost 09/04/1942  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.1rank: 669
about people
Workman, Clark & Co. Ltd., Belfast
last owner
[1]United Fruit S. S. Co. (Chiquita Great White Fleet), New York
SS Esparta (+1942)
period 1923 ~ 1942
prev. owners
SS Esparta
period 1915 ~ 1923
[3]Tropical Fruit S. S. Co. Ltd., Glasgow
SS Esparta
period 1904 ~ 1915
captain Alfred L.Case
no. of crew 39
about the wreck
depth (m.) 9.5 max. / -- min. (m)
war grave
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 02/02/2008
last update Allen Tony
last update 26/10/2013
Lettens Jan02/02/2008
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Lettens Jan02/02/2008

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Claes Johnny08/04/2008At 07.16 hours on 9 Apr, 1942, the unescorted and unarmed Esparta (Master Alfred L. Case) was hit by one G7e torpedo from U-123 about 14 miles south of Brunswick, Georgia. The torpedo struck the starboard side at the #4 hatch, blew off the #3 and #4 hatch covers, damaged both sides of the ship and released ammonia gas used in the refrigerating system of the ship. A small fire burned at the point of impact and the fumes forced several men to jump overboard, one of them drowned.

The vessel quickly listed 15° to starboard and began to sink rapidly by the stern. Distress signals were sent and acknowledgments were received. Ten minutes after the hit most of the crew of eleven officers and 29 men abandoned ship in two lifeboats and one raft, the master and radio operator left last by jumping ove rboard onto the raft. The bow of the ship remained afloat and finally sank two hours later. The survivors were picked up by the American patrol boat USS Tyrer (WIX 339) seven hours later.
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SS Esparta (+1942)
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