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Dorchester Heights / Caddo (2)
See also : SS "CADDO (2)" THE LOSS

 "Caddo (2)", ex. "Dorchester Heights", anchored, July 18th, 1942.
( Photo Us Coast Guard )

History :
Built by Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pennsylvania.
Yardnumber 243. UMSC No. 318. Off. nr. 241763,
Keel laid 15-09-1941. Launched 22-05-1942. Completed 04-06-1942. Gr. 10196 t., Net. 6253 t., Dw. 16613 t. L.o.a. 159,57 m., Br. 20,78 m., Dr. 9,23 m. Engine: 2 steam turbines, manufactured by General Electric Company, Lynn, Massachussetts. 7240 B.h.p., 5401 kW. Speed 15 knots. 26 Tanks.
CADDO-1942 completed for Socony-Vacuum Oil Company Inc., New York, USA
Additional Reports:
Reported Caddo torpedoed and sank 23 Nov. 1942 by German Submarine U-518 in position 42.25 N / 48.27 W, whilst on voyage from Baytown to Reykjavik, with diesel oil, fuel oil & gasoline products. 52 crewmembers/gunners killed.

Caddo (II)
LOA 523'6", Beam 68', Depth 39'3", ex DORCHESTER HEIGHTS 1942
16,828 DWT, 141,158 bbls, Westinghouse turbo-electric 2400,Vac 6600,SHP at 93 RPM
Launched 22 May 1942 at Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, Chester, Pennsylvania, under the government building program.
A great many events involving this vessel took place on 4 June 1942. She was commissioned as DORCHESTER HEIGHTS; she was purchased by Socony-Vacuum and named CADDO; and she was requisitioned for war service by WSA.
CADDO, captained by our senior master, Paul Muller, made two coastal voyages and one transatlantic convoy to the UK. On her fourth voyage, With Navy fuel for Iceland, she was travelling alone off the coast of Newfoundland on 23 November 1942 when she was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine.
Captain Paul Muller and chief officer Bendick Lande were taken aboard the submarine and carried to Germany where they were interned as POWs.
Captain Muller died in the prison camp. Chief officer Lande was repatriated in an exchange of civilian prisoners shortly before the war’s end.

Maritime Administration Cards:

Additional information from :
Steam tanker
10.172 tons
1941 - Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, Sparrow´s Point MD
Socony-Vacuum Oil Co Inc, New York
New York
Date of attack
23 Nov, 1942
Nationality: American
Sunk by U-518 (Friedrich-Wilhelm Wissmann)
42.25N, 48.27W - Grid CC 3215
- See location on a map -
59 (51 dead and 8 survivors).
Baytown, Texas (11 Nov) - Iceland
105000 barrels of fuel oil and 300 drums of gasoline
Notes on loss
At 06.36 hours on 23 Nov, 1942, the unescorted Caddo (Master Paul B. Muller) was torpedoed by U-518, while proceeding on a zigzagging course, changing every six to nine minutes. The torpedo struck the port side at the pump room, just forward of the after bulkhead. The explosion ripped up the deck, tore a huge hole in the side, flooded the pump room and destroyed a lifeboat and a raft. As the Caddo began to settle by the stern the watch below secured the engines. The survivors of the complement of ten officers, 32 men and 17 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in, four 20mm and two .30cal guns) abandoned the ship after 30 minutes in three lifeboats and three rafts.
The tanker sank stern first at 08.30 hours and ten minutes later, the U-boat surfaced and took the master and the chief officer as prisoners. The boat in charge of the second mate with 17 men set course for Bermuda, but this boat capsized twice in heavy seas during the night of 7 December. Eight men drowned and three others died after the boat was righted. After 15 days at sea, the remaining three crewmen and three armed guards in this boat were picked up by the Spanish motor merchant Motomar in 38°10N/35°24W, 650 miles south of where the Caddo sank. On 24 December, they were landed at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania and hospitalized. The 40 men in the other two lifeboats were never seen again.
The master, Paul B. Muller, died later in a POW camp and the chief officer was repatriated in 1945.