July 29, 1942 the sinking of the Robert E Lee


  • On this day in 1942 saw the most famous u-boat sinking in the Gulf of Mexico. The passenger steamer Robert E Lee was making for the Mississippi River when she was intercepted by U-166. The 5200 ton steamer had just broke off from a coastal convoy (TAW-7), when she was struck by a single torpedo. The ship went down in minutes taking 25 crew and passengers along with tons of general cargo. Sixty people on board the steamer were from previous torpedoed ships.

    USS PC-566 was escorting the steamer. She made sonar contact with the U-Boat and dropped ten depth charges. An oil slick was noticed and the ship claimed a sinking.

    U-166 survived the attack but was spotted and sunk in the Mississippi Delta the next day. The bomber reported the U-boats hatches were open. This was the U-boats second mission, she was credited with four kills for 7000 tons of shipping.

    U-166 was the only U-boat sunk in the Gulf. The Robert E Lee was the only escorted ship sunk in the Gulf. The other 80 ships were all unescorted.

  • Moderator 2023 '22 '21 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Morning Worsham. Thank you for that story on Maddy’s birthday.
    Have been away, so was nice to come back to it.
    Had no idea so many ships were sunk in the Gulf of Mexico.

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