SS Ruth sunk by U-153/Reichmann 29 June 1942 off Bahamas, Antigua

Ruth – ascertain exactly where sunk

NOTE: This is an analysis of where Ruth sank. For more details of her loss see chapters on U-153/Reichmann which sank her and also SS Potlatch, which was sunk by the same sub w/in days.

RUTH was actually sunk at 21.39 N / 59.33 W (DP 4796)
                U-153’s skipper – Wilfried Reichmann – reported that position
                The US Survivor Report explicitly corrects the position to “21.40 N / 59.20” per below
                The confusion arose when some of the survivors reported 21.44 N / 72.05W –
On you list this position as being in Grid DP 4769 – but the position is in the Bahamas and DP is way East of Bahamas
The ship Ruth didn’t go near the Bahamas en route from Trinidad to Baltimore
The submarine didn’t go near the Bahamas en route from France to Panama via Anegada
The sub used Anegada Passage and from the reported position on 28th June to 30th June (all in a straight line SW after sinking POTLATCH ex-NARCISSUS), it would have been simply impossible for the sub to go about 600 miles West then 600 miles East back again in 24 hours – 1,200 miles (speed would have need to be about 50 knots)
Even though the sub was sunk off Colon Panama there is a reconstructed KTB attached from Jerry Mason
If RUTH was really sunk at 21.44 N / 72.05W it would have been in very shallow water  between Turks and Caicos Islands – even yachts of 2m draft must use caution there
The men would have rowed or swum ashore in hours, not the days it took them to be found
The position the men were rescued – 22.23N / 62.53W is only consistent with them having been sunk the E or Northeast
The prevailing winds are the southeasterly trade winds which blow to the West – the men would not have “drifted” or been picked up to the East of the Bahamas if sunk there
The notes by the US authorities speak of intelligence gleaned from the Germans after the fact.
          The RUTH was apparently not on the route which she was instructed to take. I can only assume that the survivors either ‘got it wrong” from fog of war or lied to protect the skipper etc from being reprimanded for choosing his own course (the captain of I think it was the OREGON was so reprimanded for deviation though his ship survived)
I hope this helps and that you can correct / amend the RUTH sinking location
FROM JERRY MASON: there is only a reconstructed KTB (attached) for this patrol as the boat was lost on 13 July, 1942.  The position give for the RUTH sinking which no doubt had been reported to BdU by radio message is DP 4769 is 21 39’N 59 33’W

From page 27 of BdU’s KTB for 1-15 July 1942 “U 153  A wireless message was received for the last time on 30.6. in which a sinking in DP 4796 on 29.6. was reported.  The boat is to occupy the lower third of EB (off Colon) as operational area.  According to the U-boat sightings from there it must be in position already.  A more exact confirmation is not possible.  The boat has not replied to numerous signals