Launched as the SS Maski the steel steamship from the Duluth yard of McDougall-Duluth in 1917 was commandeered by the US Shipping Board on 4th January 1918 and named after the town of Lakemoor in Illinois. She measured 251.0′ x 43.6′ x 18.1′ and her tonnage was 1985 gross tons, 1191 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine delivering 274 net horse power.
Fitted with two deck guns she plied the ports of the US eastern seaboard for two months before joining her maiden convoy departing from Newport, Virginia in late March 1918 bound for Glasgow with a full cargo of war supplies including mine components, mainly anchors for MkVI mines for the North Sea mine barrage. She joined the large convoy HH48 at Hampton Roads which departed on 28th March. The Lakemoor was under the command of Lieutenant K J Powers with a crew of ten officers and fifty seven ratings aboard. The convoy crossed the North Atlantic passed through the North Channel on 11th April where the convoy dispersed with Lakemoor intending to turn north into the Firth of Clyde and onward to her final destination in Glasgow.
The North Channel was a favourite hunting ground of the German U-boats as most of the North Atlantic convoys passed through this narrow channel between Northern Ireland and the Mull of Kintyre as was the case with convoy HH48. That day the UBIII type mine laying submarine UB-64 under the command of Kapitanlieutnant Otto von Schrader was patrolling the area and von Schrader spotted the Lakemoor through his periscope a few miles off Corsewall Point. He successfully hit the American ship with a torpedo and she immediately began to sink. Five officers including the Lakemoor’s 2nd in command, Lieutenant Kirk Thomas, and forty two ratings were lost as the ship went down. There were twenty survivors. A detailed list is included below.
The wreck believed to be Lakemoor lies in 55° 00.319’N, 05° 13.532’W oriented 051/231 degrees. She lies in 70 metres with a least clearance of 59 metres. While there has been no absolute verification of the identity of this wreck the location, which corresponds closely to the position of the attack reported by UB-64, and the dimensions of the wreck, surveyed at 235 feet, strongly suggest this is indeed Lakemoor.