SS Manzanillo, Cuban freighter lost with all 23 souls, sunk by U-508 under Georg Staats 12 August 1942

            The Cuban steam freighter was sailing in convoy with its slightly larger cousin the

Santiago de Cuba when it, too was struck. Launched in May 1915 in La Seyne, France by the
Forges & Chantiers de la Méditerranée SA, Manzanillo, she was 1,025 tons, 66 meters long, 10.4
meters wide and 4.5 meters deep in the hold. Her service speed was 10.5 knots from an engine
which was 80 n.h.p. Prior to being owned by the Empressa Naviera de Cuba since 1924, her only
other others were the firm of Leroux & Heurzey of Rouen, France, during which time she wasnamed SS Gharb.

             Rather than beginning in Port Everlades like the Santiago de Cuba, the
Manzanillo joined the convoy in Miami, instead, and assembled with it in Key West on the 12th
of August. They had only just set out when U-508 under Staats made a mockery of the defensive
arrangements and the attackers by sinking two ships and escaping unscathed. He truly had
tweaked the nose of both his Cuban and American nemesis’.

             Sadly the entire crew of 23 souls on the Manzanillo, which was also named after a

famous Cuban city, were killed. The position of the attack and sinkings is given at 24.20N,
81.50W. Manzanillo was carrying just a general cargo. One reason for the paucity of information
on the wreck is that Staats understandably had to flee the scene immediately to avoid retaliation
from the nearby Naval Air Station on Key West, and all of the first-hand witnesses to the attack
on the ship were killed. (, Tony Allen,