On the Rocks: Shipwrecks of Nova Scotia - Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Marine Heritage Database

Martin Van Buren - 1945

Ship Type

Typical Profile

K

V

F

J


Code Flags

Tonnage

4380

Length(ft)

422.8

Breadth(ft)

57

Depth(ft)

34.8

Masts

Decks

two

Hull

Steel

Shipwreck Details

Description

MARTIN VAN BUREN was a liberty ship, one of the mass-produced standard merchant vessels built in World War Two based on a standard 10,000 ton design. She was named after the eighth president of the United States.

Story

MARTIN VAN BUREN was fourth in a single line of vessels in convoy approaching Halifax when U-1232 made contact with them. The vessel in front of MARTIN VAN BUREN, BRITISH FREEDOM, was torpedoed amidships followed by both MARTIN VAN BUREN and ATHELVIKING. MARTIN VAN BUREN sustained a large crack and lost both her propeller and rudder. Three of the naval gun crew were lost after being blown off the stern while a fourth made it to a life raft. MARTIN VAN BUREN was abandoned shortly after being hit and a tow line was affixed to the stricken vessel. After the line parted MARTIN VAN BUREN went aground. Locals 'salvaged' much of the rich cargo of goods before official efforts could begin and locals tell of nightly raids on the wreck after the naval workers went home. The wreck, and its contribution to the local economy during hard times, is still fondly remembered.

Vessel Type

Steam, General Cargo

Type of Event

Loss

Nature of Event

Abandoned

Cause of Event

Enemy action

Date of Wreck

1945-01-14

Location

Duck Reef, near Sandy Cove

Cargo

War supplies, including two locomotives,.

Lives Lost

3

Voyage from

Boston, Masachusetts , United States

Voyage to

Halifax, Nova Scotia , Canada

Remarks

Ship Construction

Built at

Baltimore, Maryland , United States

Date

1943

Official Number

244916

Registered at

Baltimore, Maryland , United States

Date

Propulsion

Steam

Rig

None

Details

Vessel fitted for oil fuel and fitted with DF and ESD water ballast.

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Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

Original Data Design by Katherine Riordan, Computers for People

This Web Site is dedicated to the memory of Terry Shaw

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