SS Meriwether Lewis

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United States
Name: SS Meriwether Lewis
Namesake: Meriwether Lewis
Laid down: 19 May 1941
Launched: 19 October 1941
Fate: torpedoed by U-634 3 March 1943
General characteristics
Class and type: Cargo ship
Displacement: 14,245 tons[1]
Length: 135 m (441 ft 6 in)
Beam: 17.3 m (56 ft 10.75 in)
Draft: 8.5 m (27 ft 9.25 in)
  • Two oil-fired boilers,
  • triple-expansion steam engine,
  • single screw, 2,500 horsepower (1,864 kW)
Speed: 11 to 11.5 knots (20 to 21 km/h)
Range: 23,000 miles (37,000 km)
Capacity: 10,856 tonnes deadweight (DWT)[1]
Complement: 41 men
Armament: Stern-mounted 4-in (102 mm) deck gun for use against surfaced submarines, variety of anti-aircraft guns

The SS Meriwether Lewis (Hull Number 170) was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after Meriwether Lewis, an American explorer who, along with William Clark, led the Corps of Discovery which explored the American West.

The ship was laid down on 19 May 1941, then launched on 19 October 1941. On February 7, 1943, the ship left New York as part of convoy HX-227, "bound for the United Kingdom and then to Murmansk, Russia."[2] According to the German Navy, in the early morning of March 2, she was identified as a straggler separated from her convoy; an initial attack by U-759 failed due to engine problems.[2] U-759 then contacted U-634, leading it to SS Meriwether Lewis.[2] One of four initial torpedoes stopped her; the second of two more torpedoes detonated the ship's ammunition cargo.[2] She was torpedoed by in the North Atlantic Ocean on 3 March 1943, southwest of Iceland at position 62°10′N 28°25′W / 62.167°N 28.417°W / 62.167; -28.417Coordinates: 62°10′N 28°25′W / 62.167°N 28.417°W / 62.167; -28.417.

By the time USCGC Ingham arrived at the site of the attack, all that was found was a 30-mile line of floating tires.[2] There were no survivors from her crew.[3]


  1. ^ a b Davies, 2004, page 23.[incomplete short citation]
  2. ^ a b c d e The American Maritime History Project (2014). Braving the Wartime Seas. Xlibris Corporation. p. 559. ISBN 1493186159. Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  3. ^ "SS Meriwether Lewis (L)". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2015-08-20.