U.S. Merchant Ships Sunk or Damaged by Mines in World War II

Mines, once known as torpedoes, have been used in war for nearly 400 years. [Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" -- Admiral Farragut referred to mines]

Early mines comprised simple containers such as wooden barrels containing TNT or gunpowder, and bobbed 10 or 20 feet below the surface while anchored to the sea bed. The mines usually had "horns," which, when depressed by contact with a ship's hull, set off an explosion.German contact mine

[German Contact mine shown at right from The Battle of the Atlantic, Barrie Pitt, Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1977]

During World War I, the combatants developed:

World War II brought even greater "improvements:"

Even more diabolically, mines used combinations of types, such as pressure-magnetic or magnetic-acoustic, and those in turn, were combined with ship counters, which could be set to allow any number of ships to pass by safely before exploding. Some mines were programmed to deactivate after a certain period, others were dangerous permanently.

Some ships were accidently sunk by "friendly" mines. In poor weather, Convoy QP-13, Murmansk to Iceland, was led into a British-laid minefield on July 5, 1942, resulting in the sinking of 7 vessels including a minesweeper, and damage to another.

Axis Mines
German submarines laid mines in the Delaware River, Chesapeake Bay, Boston, Charleston, Jacksonville and New York harbors. The Germans counted on the submarine to win the war at sea, with the mine as an important "assist."

The Japanese heavily mined the waters of their homeland and their conquered territories throughout Asia. 30,000 Japanese Mines Loose warned a New York Times headline on August 25, 1946.

The list of ships is from:
Most Dangerous Sea - A History of Mine Warfare, and an Account of U.S. Navy Mine Warfare Operations in World War II and Korea, Arnold S. Lott, Annapolis, Maryland: U.S. Naval Institute, 1959

The World's Merchant Fleets 1939: The Particulars and Wartime Fates of 6,000 Ships, Roger Jordan, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1999

1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950
Joseph Seep (Panama flag) Mine Sunk 5/25/40 Havre roads^
James McGee (Panama) Mine Sunk 6/20/40 Nash point^
City of Rayville Mine Sunk 11/8/40 Australia

^No other information given

Edridio Mindoro Mine Sunk 11/19/41 Corregidor, P.I
Corregidor Mine Sunk 12/17/41 Corregidor, P.I.
E. H. Blum Mine Sunk 2/16/42 Chesapeake Bay
Steel Worker Mine Sunk 6/3/42 North Russia
F. W. Abrams Mine Sunk 6/11/42 Cape Hatteras
Esso Augusta Mine Damaged 6/15/42 Chesapeake Bay
Robert C. Tuttle Mine Sunk 6/15/42 Chesapeake Bay
Santore Mine Sunk 6/17/42 Chesapeake Bay
Alcoa Cadet Mine Sunk 6/21/42 North Russia
John R. Williams Mine Sunk 6/24/42 Delaware Bay
Edward Luckenbach Mine Sunk 7/2/42 Key West
Hefferon Mine Sunk 7/5/42 Iceland
Hybert Mine Sunk 7/5/42 Iceland
John Randolph Mine Sunk 7/5/42 Iceland
Massmar Mine Sunk 7/5/42 Iceland
Richard Henry Lee Mine Damaged 7/5/42 Iceland
Chilore Mine Sunk 7/15/42 Cape Hatteras
J. A. Mowinckel (Panamanian) Mine Damaged 7/15/42 Cape Hatteras
Keshena Mine Sunk 7/19/42 Cape Hatteras
Pan Gulf Mine Damaged 10/13/42 Trinidad
President Coolidge Mine Sunk 10/26/42 Espiritu Santo
Macabi (Panamanian) Mine Sunk 10/29/42 Trinidad
Charles Carroll Mine Damaged 1/1/43 Panama
Matt W. Ransom Mine Damaged 4/11/43 Casablanca
Halma (Panamanian)  Mine Sunk 6/3/43 Halifax
Santa Maria Mine Damaged 6/20/43 Dakar
Yankee Arrow Mine Damaged 8/2/43 Mediterranean
Richard Olney Mine Damaged 9/22/43 Mediterranean
Metapan Mine Sunk 10/1/43 Mediterranean
Delisle Mine Sunk 10/19/43 St Johns, Nfld.
William S. Rosecrans Mine Sunk 1/6/44 Mediterranean
George S. Wasson Mine Damaged 1/3144 England
Daniel Chester French Mine Sunk 3/6/44 Mediterranean
Virginia Dare Mine Damaged 3/6/44 Mediterranean
Clark Mills Mine Damaged 3/9/44 Mediterranean
Oriental Mine Damaged 3/19/44 Espiritu Santo
Alexander Graham Bell Mine Damaged 4/17/44 Mediterranean
James Guthrie Mine Damaged 4/17/44 Mediterranean
John Armstrong Mine Damaged 4/21/44 Mediterranean
George Popham Mine Damaged 4/22/44 England
Francis C. Harrington Mine Damaged 6/7/44 North France
Charles W. Eliot Mine Sunk 6/28/44 North France
Sea Porpoise Mine Damaged 7/5/44 North France
Exmouth Mine Sunk 7/31/44 England
Extavia Mine Damaged 8/1/44 Solomon Is.
Louis Kossuth Mine Damaged 8/23/44 North France
Yukon Mine Damaged 9/22/44 Iceland
Elihu Thomson Mine Damaged 9/26/44 Noumea, New Caledonia
Johns Hopkins Mine Damaged 10/2/44 South France
Cotton Valley Mine Damaged 10/4/44 South France
Elinor Wylie Mine Damaged 10/6/44 South France
Lee S. Overman Mine Total loss 11/11/44 North France
Theodore Parker Mine Damaged 11/16/44 North France
William D. Burnham Mine Damaged 11/23/44 North France
Arizpa Mine Damaged 12/1/44 North France
Francis Asbury Mine Sunk 12/3/44 North France
Dan Beard Mine Sunk 12/10/44 England
Boulder Victory Mine Damaged 12/20/44 Kossol
Isaac Shelby Mine Damaged 1/6/45 Italy
Marina Mine Damaged 1/16/45 North France
Nashaba Mine Sunk 2/26/45 North France
Robert L. Vann Mine Sunk 3/1/45 North France
Hadley F. Brown Mine Damaged 3/19/45 North France
Charles D. McIver Mine Sunk 3/22/45 North France
John C. Fremont Mine Damaged 3/31/45 Manila
James W. Nesmith Mine Damaged 4/7/45 North France
Morgantown Victory Mine Damaged 4/11/45 North France
Benjamin H. Briston Mine Damaged 4/22/45 North France
Sverre Helmerson Mine Damaged 4/23/45 North France
Edmund F. Dickins Mine Damaged 4/30/45 Manila
Henry L. Abbott Mine Damaged 5/1/45 Manila
Horace Binney Mine Damaged 5/8/45 North France
John Woolman Mine Damaged 5/27/45 North France
Colin P. Kelley, Jr. Mine Damaged 6/4/45 North France
New Bern Victory Mine Damaged 6/4/45 Black Sea
Attleboro Victory Mine Damaged 6/14/45 Black Sea
Pierre Gibault Mine Damaged 6/23/45 Black Sea
John H. Hammond Mine Damaged 7/17/45 Mediterranean
William J. Palmer Mine Sunk 8/4/45 Mediterranean
William D. Byron Mine Damaged 8/15/45 Mediterranean
Peter White Mine Damaged 8/30/45 Pacific
Joseph Carrigan Mine Total loss 8/31/45 Philippines
Streator Seam Mine Damaged 10/2/45 Mediterranean
Benjamin F. Coston Mine Damaged 10/27/45 Mediterranean
Abbot L. Mills Mine Damaged 11/10/45 Mediterranean
William Hume Mine Sunk 11/12/45 Mediterranean
Cedar Mills Mine Damaged 11/19/45 Mediterranean
Charles C. Glover Mine Damaged 11/19/45 Bay of Biscay
Jesse Billingsley Mine Damaged 11/19/45 Mediterranean
Hilton Mine Damaged 12/16/45 North Germany
Nathanial Bacon Mine Damaged 12/19/45 Mediterranean
Duncan L. Clinch Mine Damaged 12/23/45 North France
Nathan Hale Mine Damaged 1/5/46 Mediterranean
Antietam Mine Sunk 1/29/46 Bay of Biscay
Sea Satyr Mine Damaged 2/22/46 Macassar Strait
Oshkosh Victory Mine Damaged 3/2/46 Yangtze River
Minor C. Keith Mine Damaged 3/3/46 North Europe
Lord Delaware Mine Damaged 3/9/46 North Europe
George W. Norris Mine Damaged 3/13/46 Pacific
Jean Lykes Mine Damaged 3/24/46 North Europe
Park Victory Mine Damaged 4/13/46 Mediterranean
Thomas Heyward Mine Damaged 5/5/46 North Europe
Fitzhugh Lee Mine Damaged 7/3/46 Italy
Frontenac Victory Mine Damaged 8/27/46 England
Edmund B. Alexander Mine Damaged 9/7/46 North Europe
Neils Poulson Mine Damaged 9/14/46 Mediterranean
Signal Hills Mine Damaged 10/8/46 Mediterranean
Cassius Hudson Mine Sunk 10/16/46 Mediterranean
Sinnett Mine Damaged 10/22/46 Japan
Charles Bulfinch Mine Damaged 10/30/46 North Europe
Exanthia Mine Damaged 3/12/47 Italy
St Lawrence Victory Mine Sunk 3/26/47 Yugoslavia
New London Mine Damaged 9/22/47 North Europe
Fort Lane Mine Damaged 12/10/47 North Europe
Pioneer Cove Mine Damaged 1/5/48 North Europe
Gateway City Mine Damaged 2/12/48 Germany
Cape Georgia Mine Damaged 4/9/48 Bay of Biscay
Clifford E. Ashby Mine Damaged 5/11/48 Germany
Maiden Creek Mine Damaged 10/16/49 North Europe
American Planter Mine Damaged 8/8/50 North Europe

Men and Ships of WWII


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