Ships hit by U-boats


Panamanian Motor tanker

Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage7,138 tons
Completed1924 - Sir W.G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd, Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
OwnerBelgian Gulf Oil Co SA, Antwerp 
Date of attack9 May 1942Nationality:      Panamanian
FateSunk by U-564 (Reinhard Suhren)
Position26° 26'N, 80° 00'W - Grid DM 2343
Complement44 (13 dead and 31 survivors).
RouteAruba - New York 
Cargo67.000 barrels of heating oil 
History Laid down as British Scottish Highlands for Tankers Ltd, London, completed in November 1924 as Belgian Lubrafol for SA d'Armement, d'Industrie & de Commerce, Antwerp. 1933 sold to Belgian Gulf Oil Co SA, Antwerp. In November 1940 laid up at Port Arthur, Texas. On 24 Apr 1942, the Lubrafol was time-chartered to the US War Shipping Administration (WSA) at Aruba and registered in Panama. 
Notes on event

At 10.02 hours on 9 May 1942 the unescorted Lubrafol (Master E. Van Schoenberg) was torpedoed by U-564 about 3.5 miles off Hillsboro Inlet, Florida. A torpedo hit on the starboard side amidships at #5 tank, which burst into flames immediately and seconds later the #1 tank also caught fire. The explosion stopped the engines, destroyed the radio antenna and the foremast toppled on the bridge, killing two men. The survivors among the 38 crew members and six armed guards abandoned ship in three lifeboats, but one of them caught fire and the men had to jump overboard and were lost. The remaining two boats with 31 survivors, seven of them injured, were towed free from the burning tanker by two US Coast Guard boats and landed at Boynton Beach, Florida. The vessels also recovered seven bodies.

The burning Lubrafol drifted until 11 May and then sank in shallow waters in 26°41N/80°01W. The burnt out wreck was broken up in 1954.

On boardWe have details of 44 people who were on board

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