A. A. Raven Sunk By U-Boat In 1918
By James Donahue
The steamship A. A. Raven was one of a long list of American freight carriers lost
in the onslaught of German U-boats during World War I.
The Raven also was one of 21 ships sunk by U-boat-55, commanded by Ralph Wenninger
in the nine months it operated off the European coast. The Raven went down with the loss of seven sailors off the Scilly Islands
on March 14, 1918, just short of a month before Wenninger’s boat struck a mine in the Strait of Dover on April 22, the
There were only six survivors out of 29 men on U-55.
The Raven and U-55 had their fatal meeting during a strange time of naval civilly,
when many German U-boat captains surfaced beside their targets and gave crews time to escape in lifeboats before sinking the
ship. As the war went on, however, the fighting grew fierce. More and more steamships carrying war materials to assist England
and the Allied nations were torpedoed without warning.
The Raven, owned by the American Steamship Co., measured a gross 26,598 tons. She
was built at Ecorse, Michigan, in 1912.