Ships hit by U-boats


American Steam tanker

Photo courtesy of Texaco Archives

Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage6,452 tons
Completed1919 - Texas Steamship Co, Bath ME 
OwnerThe Texas Co (Texaco), Wilmington DE 
Date of attack16 Feb 1942Nationality:      American
FateDamaged by U-156 (Werner Hartenstein)
Position12° 30'N, 70° 00'W - Grid EC 9287
Complement37 (0 dead and 37 survivors).
RouteSantos, Brazil (31 Jan) - San Nicholas, Aruba (16 Feb) 
History Completed in November 1919 as Aryan for The Texas Co (Texaco), Wilmington DE. 1940 renamed Arkansas for the same owner.

Broken up at Faslane in December 1953.

Notes on event

On 16 Feb 1942, U-156 commenced Operation Neuland with an attack on Aruba in the Caribbean. Around 08.00 hours, the U-boat attacked two tankers lying at anchor in the roads of San Nicholas harbour, hitting Pedernales and Oranjestad. At 08.11 hours, U-156 began to shell the Lago oil refinery at San Nicholas (more details can be found here).
The U-boat then continued towards Oranjestad harbour and at 09.43 hours fired a stern torpedo that hit the Arkansas lying at the pier of the Eagle Refinery, after missing with two G7e torpedoes at 09.16 and 09.30 hours.

The unarmed Arkansas (Master Karl Karlson) was struck on the starboard side between the #4 and #5 bunkers. The explosion created a large hole and smaller holes at the port side, causing extensive structural damage. The crew of eight officers and 29 crewmen remained on the vessel and later walked down to the dock. Three hours later the crew reboarded her to assess the damage. The tanker proceeded to the other end of the island, where temporary repairs were made. On 18 March, she arrived under her own power at Galveston, Texas, where she was overhauled before returning to service.

One of the G7e torpedoes, which had missed the Arkansas ran up on the beach. A demolition team of the Dutch Navy under Lt P. Joossee was sent to disarm it. Rather carelessly, they tried to tow the torpedo further up the beach, the following explosion killed Joosse and three ratings and wounded three others.

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

If you can help us with any additional information on this vessel then please contact us.

Return to Allied Ships hit by U-boats