Ships hit by U-boats

Esso Boston

American Steam tanker

NameEsso Boston
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage7,699 tons
Completed1938 - Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Kearny NJ 
OwnerStandard Oil Co of New Jersey, New York 
Date of attack12 Apr 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-130 (Ernst Kals)
Position21° 42'N, 60° 00'W - Grid DP 4754
Complement37 (0 dead and 37 survivors).
RouteG├╝iria, Venezuela - Halifax 
Cargo105.400 barrels of crude oil 
History Completed in March 1938 
Notes on event

At 19.21 hours on 12 April 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Esso Boston (Master John Ludwig Johnson) was torpedoed by U-130 about 300 miles northeast of St. Martins, while en route on a zigzag course at 14 knots, just made a right turn. The torpedo struck between the #2 and #3 tanks on the starboard side, ten feet below the waterline and blew open the forward deck. The engines were stopped and the crew of eight officers and 29 men abandoned ship in three lifeboats. Five minutes after the hit, U-130 surfaced and began shelling the ship, which caught fire on the entire length of the vessel. The U-boat then came alongside one of the boats and questioned the men, offered them food and water and provided directions to the nearest convoy and land.

Early the next day, the chief engineer and a fireman reboarded the tanker and an inspection revealed that the ship could have been salvaged, but with no equipment the prospect for saving the vessel seemed slim. The tanker sank shortly thereafter. The survivors were picked up by USS Biddle (DD 151) on 13 April and landed them at San Juan, Puerto Rico.

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

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