SS Pink Star

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Saga (1926-1931)
  • Lundby (1931-1941)
  • Pink Star (1941)
  • Waages Rederi, Norway (1926-1931)
  • A.E. Reimann, Denmark (1931-1941)
  • War Shipping Administration, USA (1941)
BuilderÖresundsvarvet, Landskrona
Yard number25
IdentificationOfficial number: 5606466
FateSunk by U-boat, 20 September 1941
General characteristics [1]
TypeSteam merchant ship
Tonnage4,150 GRT 6,850 DWT[2]
Length108.8 m (356 ft 11 in)
Beam15.6 m (51 ft 2 in)
Depth7.7 m (25 ft 3 in)
Propulsion391 nhp triple expansion steam engine, 1 shaft
Speed11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)

SS Pink Star, the former Danish ship Lundby taken over as an idle foreign vessel in United States ports,[3] was an American-owned ship flying under the Panamanian flag. Pink Star was the seventh American ship sunk by a German U-boat prior the United States entry into World War II.[4] On September 20, 1941, she was torpedoed by U-552.[1]

Ship history[edit]

The 4,150-ton steel-hulled ship was built by Öresundsvarvet of Landskrona in Sweden, and completed in 1926. Under the name Saga she was owned by Waages Rederi of Oslo, Norway, until 1931, when she was sold to A.E. Reimann of Stensved, Denmark, and renamed Lundby.[1]

On July 12, 1941, Lundby was requisitioned by the United States Government and ownership was transferred to the War Shipping Administration.[2] In August 1941 she was assigned to the United States Lines Inc. under a General Agency Agreement (GAA), renamed Pink Star and registered in Panama.[1][2]

On September 3, 1941 Pink Star sailed from New York, under the command of John S. MacKenzie, as part of Convoy SC-44, bound for the United Kingdom.[5] The ship was loaded with general cargo with a crew, due to provisions of the Neutrality Act prohibiting United States flagged vessels or citizens sailing into war zones, composed of 8 Canadians, 8 Netherlanders, 6 Britons, 3 Belgians, 3 Chinese and one each of Polish, French, Portuguese, Irish, Danish and Ecuadorian nationality.[6] At 01:51 on September 20, 1941, U-552, under the command of Erich Topp fired a spread of torpedoes into the convoy. Only Pink Star was hit, and quickly sank at position 61°36′N 35°7′W / 61.600°N 35.117°W / 61.600; -35.117Coordinates: 61°36′N 35°7′W / 61.600°N 35.117°W / 61.600; -35.117. Of her crew of 35 men, 13 died with the ship;[5] one was American, one British, five Canadian, one French, one Danish, two Dutch and one Chinese.[7]

The sinking came seven days after the United States had warned Germany concerning attacks on shipping in the Western Atlantic and three days after Secretary of the Navy Knox announced the Navy would take protective measures.[8] The attack was the first since the announcements and was used to support Lend Lease in Congress and to question validity of the Neutrality acts supported by isolationists in Congress.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d "PINK STAR CARGO SHIP 1926-1941". 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b c MARAD Vessel Status Card: Pink Star.
  3. ^ Palm Beach Post: "16 More Idle Danish Cargo Vessels".
  4. ^ "American Merchant Marine Casualties: U.S. Owned or Chartered Ships Attacked Before Pearl Harbor". American Merchant Marine at War. 2008. Archived from the original on 25 October 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  5. ^ a b Helgason, Guðmundur. "Pink Star (Panamanian Steam merchant)". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  6. ^ Ottawa Citizen: "Another American-Owned Ship Sunk", p. 13.
  7. ^ "Panamanian and Honduran ships". 2004. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  8. ^ a b Ottawa Citizen: "Hitler Shoots First", p. 3.