Ships hit by U-boats

Esso Aruba

American Steam tanker

NameEsso Aruba
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage8,773 tons
Completed1931 - Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend, Sunderland 
OwnerStandard Oil Co of New Jersey, New York 
Date of attack27 Aug 1942Nationality:      American
FateDamaged by U-511 (Friedrich Steinhoff)
Position18° 09'N, 74° 38'W - Grid EC 1299
Complement60 (0 dead and 60 survivors).
RouteG├╝iria, Venezuela (23 Aug) - Trinidad - New York 
Cargo104.170 barrels of diesel fuel 
History Built as Pan Bolivar 1936 renamed Esso Aruba 
Notes on event

At 06.29 hours on 27 Aug 1942, U-511 fired a spread of four torpedoes at convoy TAW-15 about 120 miles south-southeast of Guantanamo and claimed two ships with 17000 grt sunk and another damaged. The San Fabian and Rotterdam were sunk and the Esso Aruba was damaged

The Esso Aruba (Master Frank Pharr), the ship of convoy commodore, was hit by one torpedo on the port side between the #5 and #6 tanks. The explosion tore up the deck and blew it 20 feet into the air and also destroyed pipelines but failed to damage the engines or steering gear. The tanker stopped to examine the damage and the eight officers, 33 men, 13 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in and two .50cal guns) and convoy commodore and his staff of five men prepared themselves for leaving the ship. But the chief engineer reported the machinery in good order and the damaged vessel proceeded under her own power in convoy, in danger of breaking in two.
At 22.00 hours the next day, the Esso Aruba reached Guantanamo Bay and was run aground to take the strain off the bottom plates. The remaining 60.000 barrels of fuel were offloaded into the Cities Service Missouri with the help of the American salvage tug USS Montcalm until 8 September. After temporary repairs the ship proceeded to Galveston for permanent repairs and returned to service on 13 Feb 1943.

On boardWe have details of 54 people who were on board

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