USS Susan B Anthony (AP-72)

American troopship lost to dual underwater mines off Normandy on June 6, 1944.
by Matthew Anderson

Year Built


Year Sank



98 ft (30 m)

Difficulty Level


USS Susan B Anthony (AP-72)

Wreck Location

The USS Susan B Anthony lies off the coast of Normandy in France. She lies in 30 meters of water on her starboard side east of Cherbourg and North of Bayeux. The wreck has been mostly destroyed by not only the two mine collisions, but by the strong current of the English Channel, rust and time. The superstructure and hull have mostly collapsed and flattened. The wreck is mostly intact at the bow. A gun on the bow still hangs in position. Divers Richie Kohler and John Chatterton referred to the feature as "Bob's Gun" after the survivor who was in charge of the large defensive weapon.

~ GPS Shipwreck Location ~
Latitude:   49° 29' 24" N      Longitude:   0° 42' 47.9988" W


USS Susan B Anthony

The SS Santa Clara was built in March 1930 by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation in Camden New Jersey for the Grace Steamship Company (Grace Line), a subsidiary of W.R. Grace and Company in New York City. She was a turbine electric vessel using similar prinicples to a motorship, but the electric motors, rather than being connected to large internal combustion diesel engines, were connected to steam turbine generators fed by six boilers. In original configuration, Santa Clara had two funnels, twin masts, six kingpoles and eight lifeboats. The forward funnel was a dummy and her profile was completed with a modest superstructure. She was a passenger/cargo liner that operated between the east coast of the United States to South America. On one voyage in 1941, she carried Walt Disney back to the United States from Valparaiso, Chile.

In 1942, Santa Clara was drafted by the Wartime Shipping Administration with Grace Line continuing to manage and provide her crew. She was used as a troopship in the South Pacific operating out of San Francisco carrying Army troops and personnel. In August 1942, she was sub-leased by the Wartime Shipping Administration to the United States Navy. She was converted by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in New York to become a full U.S. Navy troopship. Her forward funnel was cut off, gunnery platforms were added across the ship, heavier duty lifeboats were added, Carley Floats were attached, a radio mast was added where the forward dummy funnel once stood and was renamed the USS Susan B. Anthony (AP-72) in honor of Susan B. Anthony, an American women suffragette who had fought for women to have the right to vote nationwide. Given the Susan B. Anthony was still owned by W.R. Grace and Company, it's likely Grace intended to rebuild her back into the Santa Clara at war's end.

In October 1942, Susan B. Anthony carried thousands of American troops from Norfolk, Virginia to Morrocco during the allied invasion of Africa, the first US participating offensive against Nazi Germany. As the campaign advanced eastward towards British Egypt, she later carried troops to Algeria.


The USS Susan B Anthony was featured on an episode of the History Channel show Deep Sea Detectives titled "D-Day Troops: Lost at Sea". Professional divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler explored the wreck, interviewed survivors and told the story of the Susan B Anthony's loss. The CGI by modern standards is archaic and used a poorly modified 3D model of the RMS Titanic in place of the Susan B Anthony. Both Chatterton and Kohler's findings on the wreck itself confirmed the theory that Susan B Anthony had sunk due to two underwater mines.

Note that this is an article still under construction. More info and detail is in the works.


10 Comments & Ratings

anonymous by delmar hawkins on 5/3/2019

my father was on this ship when it was sunk he has been talking about there was 3500 men aboard and part

of the men went across the Pinto to a landing craft and was took to the beach and had to wade in to battle

anonymous by Jason on 6/8/2019

My grandfather was on this ship when it struck the mine and sank. He told me the story nearly every time I visited. From which port did she leave on this final voyage?

anonymous by William Delaney on 12/9/2019

My father, CWO Thomas J. Delaney, was deck officer aboard the USS Pinto, the 205 ft, fleet tug boat which tied to the Anthony and participated in the rescue operation. He never mentioned it to us and I learned about it years after his death (lost st sea in civilian life) when I read the Unit Citation letter which was in his service jacket.

anonymous by Lori Joki on 3/22/2020

My father was on this ship. I often wonder if I would be here if she hadn't hit that mine.

anonymous by Jack felton on 11/7/2021

What day did the Susan B Anthony sink, my dad watched it sink he was on the HMS Ceres

anonymous by Steven Baldassari on 12/17/2021
Map was rated 5 stars by reviewer.

My Grandfather Fernando Baldassari from Boston, MA. was on the Susan B. He was on the anti-aircraft guns. Later he participated in the invasion of the Philippine Islands on the U.S.S. Estes after the Susan B. went down. He was always very proud of his service in WWII. He passed away on 1/11/2005. He raised 9 children including my father (7 boys and 2 girls). My father is a Vietnam Veteran and also my Uncle. My older Uncle is a Korean War Veteran, and another Uncle was in the National Guard for 6 years. I miss my Grandfather and his stories. God Bless you Grandpa and you too Daddio!

All of that WWII generation were heroes in my book. I only wish we had Patriotic American Warriors like them to fight against the forces of darkness ravaging our world today. Here’s to you Grandpa and you Dad for your service and to all Uncles and all other U.S. Military Veterans. Grandpa... Dad, I love you both dearly! To the future… Go with God for without Him, we are doomed already!

anonymous by Terry Farmer on 1/23/2022

My dad was on the Susan B Anthony. Lost at sea and picked up by an ali ship. Wasn't joined w his company for 33 days. MIA papers were sent home to the family.

anonymous by Roderick I Muttram on 5/7/2022

My father commanded a British naval ship which went alongside and rescued many of the brave American Soldiers on board. I believe the operation to take the troops and crew off the Susan B Anthony remains the largest maritime rescue without loss of life in history to date. It was the 7th June 1944, day two of the ‘D’ day landings.

anonymous by Matt Klous on 6/8/2022

Roderick Muttram- What was the name of the British ship your father commanded? That was likely the ship my father was rescued by as the Susan B Anthony was sinking. He was taken to Portsmouth and was given British Navy uniforms to wear until he could be returned to US Navy personnel weeks later.

anonymous by Rod Muttram on 6/15/2023

Matt I hope you see this, as it is over a year since I last looked here as I often do as we leave France on a ferry passing near the site. My Father commanded several ships, I don’t have the citation with me (he won the Croix de Guerre and the Bronze Star for the his actions around D Day). I think it was the Narborough at that time. Built in the US, he collected it from Boston.

Want to post a comment?

Join now for free to rate & comment this map.
Already have an account? Login to comment.

Wrecks:  All  #  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z 
Submit a Wreck

Recent Maps

Ask a Question

Submit your own


Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario - A Journey of Discovery Book

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is excited to announce the release of a new book titled Shipwrecks of Lake Ontario: A Journey of Discovery. This book contains stories of long lost shipwrecks and the journeys of the underwater explorers who found them, written by Jim Kennard with paintings by Roland Stevens and underwater imagery by Roger Pawlowski.

Buy Now!

Legend of the Lake - New Discovery Edition Book

The recent discovery of the wreck of the British warship Ontario, “the Holy Grail” of Great Lakes shipwrecks, solves several mysteries that have puzzled historians since the ship sank more than two centuries ago. Now, for the first time, the whole tragic story of the Ontario can finally be told.

Buy Now!