american United States Lines Inc. (U.S.L Delaware, Chapman) MV American Leader (+1942)
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nationality american
purpose transport
type cargo ship
propulsion motor vessel (diesel)
date built 1941
weight (tons) 7463  grt
dimensions 120.4 x 18.29 x 11.49 m
material steel
engine 1 x diesel, single shaft, 1 screw
power 4170  b.h.p.
speed 14  knots
yard no. 58
IMO/Off. no. 240658
about the loss
cause lost gunfire - shelled
other reasons foundered
date lost 10/09/1942  [dd/mm/yyyy]
casualties  max.23rank: 630
about people
Western Pipe & Steel Co., San Francisco
United States Lines Inc. (U.S.L Delaware, Chapman), New York
captain Petersen H.A.
no. of crew 39
about the wreck
depth (m.)
war grave
entered by Allen Tony
entered 25/04/2008
last update Gothro Phil
last update 07/02/2014
Allen Tony18/03/2009
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dist. homeportdist. homeport
ref. used
 Miramar Ship Index
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  copyright: South Africa Hydrographic Office  copyright: Unknown - onbekend - inconnu 
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Allen Tony18/03/2009The American steamship American Leader SS, Capt. H. A. Petersen, was shelled and sunk by a German raider about 800 miles W. of the Cape of Good Hope on September 10th, 1942. Twenty-three men were killed. The captain and 16 survivors were taken prisoners of war.
ref. used: 
 Hocking C., Dictionary of Disasters at Sea during the Age of Steam
Lettens Jan30/10/2010The German Raider Michel was a successful one, she sank the following ships during her career:

First cruise

Second cruise

[*] German uboat U-504 is attributed with her sinking.

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About Builders
 Western Pipe & Steel Co., San Francisco
Western Pipe & Steel Company was created in Los Angeles in 1906, by T. A. Hays and James A. Talbot. They acquired the Shaw-Batcher shipyard in San Francisco in 1917 and built cargo ships for the U.S. Shipping Board in World War I. It was one of the few WWI emergency yards not to close after the war, building barges and dredges and fabricating pipe between the wars, and becoming one of the pioneers of automatic welding machinery. The yard was in South San Francisco and had four berths from which ships were launched sideways, two on each side of a large basin. The site is now a residential complex. For WWII, the company started a second yard in San Pedro, which was in the West Basin, where Berths 125 to 132 are now. Several sources say that they used side-launch ways here too, but photographs clearly show end-launch ways. Both yards closed at the end of the war and were sold to Consolidated Steel, which became Consolidated Western Steel, a division of U.S. Steel. The two yards used a single sequence of hull numbers, but the known numbers do not match the chronological sequence of contract award dates.

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MV American Leader (+1942)
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