British Fleet oiler
|Completed||1940 - Blythswood Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Glasgow|
|Owner||The Admiralty (Royal Fleet Auxiliary), London|
|Date of attack||22 Oct 1941||Nationality: British|
|Fate||Sunk by U-68 (Karl-Friedrich Merten)|
|Position||15° 55'S, 5° 43'W - Grid FU 7350|
|Complement||50 (41 dead and 9 survivors).|
|Route||Durban - St. Helena|
|Cargo||3000 tons of fuel oil, 850 tons of aviation gasoline, 500 tons of diesel oil and lubricating oil|
|History||Launched as motor tanker Empire Oil for Ministry of War Transport (MoWT), completed in November 1940 as fleet oiler Darkdale for the Admiralty (Royal Fleet Auxiliary). |
|Notes on event|
At 01.42 hours on 22 October 1941 the Darkdale (Master Thomas H. Card) was torpedoed and sunk by U-68 while anchored as a storage ship in Jamestown harbour, St. Helena. The tanker caught fire after being hit by a torpedo, exploded and sank. 38 crew members and three gunners were lost. The master, five crew members and three gunners survived the sinking, but only two of the men had actually been aboard when the ship was hit and were rescued by harbour craft after jumping overboard.
|On board||We have details of 45 people who were on board.|
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