It is no surprise that many ships were torpedoed during WWII and that many soldiers passed away as the ships went down. Today, however, I came across a few photographs of groups of men who managed to survive. Thankfully, the notes on the back of the prints are detailed and told their stories:
These dapper seaman were on the English ship SS Norman Prince which was torpedoed on May 28, 1942 off St. Lucia. They were rescued by the French ship SS Angouleme, but kept as prisoners in Martinique for over four months. They were finally released in an exchange of prisoners and came aboard this ship, the SS Goethals. Uboats.net adds that all but one survivor drifted on the lifeboat for 26 hours, 40 miles before they were able to get the attention of the SS Angouleme.
Here is the crew of the SS Williams A. McKinney out of Mobile, Alabama. They were torpedoed on October 5, 1942 and one crew member was lost. The men were picked up 15 hours later by the USS Blakeley, a destroyer, which took them to Trinidad where they boarded the SS Goethals.
The poor crew of the SS West Tashaway had to endure a grueling ordeal when their ship was torpedoed on August 30, 1942 about 300 miles east of Barbados. Nineteen people on a life raft drifted for twenty days when they came upon the British destroyer Vemy. The ship mistook the raft for a submarine and fired sixteen shells before recognizing it for what it was. Afterwards, the Vemy finally rescued the survivors. They were then transferred to a Norwegian freighter and brought to Barbados where they were picked up by the SS Goethals. The people on the raft included one woman, four children, and fourteen crew members, two of whom died while adrift on the raft.