Ships 2

A. A. Raven

Ships 3

A. A. Raven

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 same year.

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.