SS Stella Lykes


Steam Merchant Vessel
Built by Bethlehem Steel Corp.
Commissioned: 1941
Owned by Lykes Bros. Steamship Co.
Length: 463 ft
Beam: 70 ft
Service Speed: 14 knots
6,900 tons

Nationality: American


Stella Lykes

The US freighter Stella Lykes was torpedoed and shelled by U-582 off the west coast of Africa July 27, 1942. The starboard side of the vessel was completely wrecked, including the starboard lifeboat. The ship was abandoned and the crew took to the port lifeboat and 3 life rafts. The captain and the chief engineer were captured and taken aboard the U-boat to become POWs. The vessel was then scuttled with demolition charges. The position was given as grid reference ES 5555 (06.40N, 25.05W). Before the U-boat departed, they provided the fifty survivors in the lifeboat with first aid supplies, cigarettes and a piece of paper with course and distance to 3 alternate points of land. They sailed for 10 days, landing safely at Cacheu, Portugese Guinea on August 8, 1942. One crewman lost his life.