SV Wawaloam sunk by U-86/Schug 6 August 1942 off Bermuda


Sunk North of Bermuda but had no geographical nexus with Bahamas, only a historical one.

The sinking of the four master schooner WAWALOAM by Walter Schug in U-86, while it occurred far afield, has a direct nexus to one of the Bahamas’ most colorful expatriate schooner captains. It was a rare case, like the CHERRY VALLEY (a 10,172 ton tanker which escaped from Markworth in U-66 despite severe torpedo damage on 22 July 1942 north of San Juan), and the ATENAS which fought off U-106/Rasch near the Mississippi and DOMINO and CHILORE already discussed, where the U-Boat skipper did a clumsy job of sinking a ship. When, after several attempts, Schug finally expended two torpedoes to no avail (except to warn the unsuspecting crew, who heard it over breakfast hum harmlessly beneath, set too deep a setting below their hull. Schug ultimately sank the schooner with shellfire.

When Captain Louis “Lou” Kenedy requested that his crew of two officers, four crew, one passenger and a dog be fed and towed to shore, Schug’s colleagues muttered that he must have brass balls. As it was, the survivors successfully navigated their way in an open boat towards Canada and were rescued by the merchant ship IRISH ROSE on the 11th, and from thence transferred to HMS CAMPANULA (K 18) and taken to Newfoundland. (For a detailed story of Capt. Kenedy and his many schooners and Caribbean business ventures in them, see “The Last Schoonerman” by Joe Russell.)