|Dimensions:||409.8 x 54.2 x 27.7||MC Type:||USSB EFC Design #1013|
|Builder:||Northwest Steel Co.|
USMC Hull #
Date of Build:
|Engines:||DR Geared Steam Turbine||Engine Builder:||General Electric Co.|
|Navigation:||SUB.SIG, DF||Decks, etc.:||2 Decks, Fitted for Oil Fuel|
|Began SM Service:||1941||Ended SM Service:||1943|
----------------------------------- Vessel History -----------------------------------
|West Cherow||U.S. Shipping Board|
|Sage Brush||Shepard Steamship Co.|
|Keystone||States Marine Corporation|
1929: Sold to Shepard Steamship Co., renamed SAGE BRUSH.
1941: Sold to States Marine Corp., renamed KEYSTONE.
|1943||3/13 - On 3/4 the vessel departed New York en route to North Africa in Convoy UGS-6, consisting of 45 merchant ships and 7 escorts. On 3/12 the KEYSTONE developed engine problems and straggled from the convoy. An escort remained with the freighter for some time and then left to rejoin the convoy. The U-172 (Emmermann) spotted the lone freighter and fired a torpedo, striking the port side aft of the #5 hatch. The explosion ruptured the hull, destroyed the steering engine and steering gear, buckled the deck, disabled the 4 inch gun, and flooded the shaft alley. A fire started 5 minutes later and one of the planes lashed to the deck began to burn. The crew immediately secured the engines. Convinced the vessel was unsalvagable, the Master ordered the crew to abandon ship. Most of the 8 officers, 35 men, 27 armed guards and 2 passengers left the ship in good order in 4 lifeboats. After the crew cleared the ship, the U-172 fired a second torpedo that struck at #3 hold, causing the vessel to break in two and sink rapidly. The initial explosion killed one of the gun crew and a fireman. The Portuguese SS SINES rescued 71 men, landing them in the Azores.|