The William P. Frye, an American-owned four-masted steel barque, was transporting a shipment of wheat to England in January 1915.
On January 27, the Frye was stopped by a German cruiser in the South Atlantic off the Brazilian coast and ordered to jettison its cargo. The following day, the German captain noted that the disposal of the wheat had not been completed, so he ordered the ship's destruction.
The sinking of the Frye was the first such loss inflicted on American shipping in World War I.
See discussion of U.S. policy and German submarine warfare.
See World War I Time Table.