Ships hit by U-boats

Esso Augusta

American Motor tanker

NameEsso Augusta
Type:Motor tanker
Tonnage11,237 tons
Completed1940 - Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Chester PA 
OwnerStandard Oil Co of New Jersey, New York 
Date of attack15 Jun 1942Nationality:      American
FateDamaged by U-701 (Horst Degen)
Position36° 52'N, 75° 51'W - Grid CA 73
Complement57 (0 dead and 57 survivors).
RouteTexas City (4 Jun) - UK 
Cargo119.000 barrels of diesel oil 
History Completed in October 1940

1959 renamed Wang Importer for North Atlantic Marine Co. Broken up at Trieste in January 1961.

Notes on event

On 15 June 1942 convoy KN-109 came into a minefield laid on 11 June by U-701 off Virginia Beach. The A/S trawler HMS Kingston Ceylonite (FY 214) sank and the tankers Robert C. Tuttle and Esso Augusta, along with the destroyer USS Bainbridge (DD 246) were damaged.

The Esso Augusta (Master Eric Robert Blomquist) traveled in the two column convoy in the lead station of the port column. At 23.04 hours, the Robert C. Tuttle struck a mine and thinking a U-boat had torpedoed the ship, the helmsman put the wheel hard right and the master ordered full speed ahead on a zigzag course toward the safety in Chesapeake Bay. During the large circle to the right, an explosion occured about ten feet off the port quarter less than one-half mile due south of Chesapeake Bay Entrance Lighted Whistle Buoy. The blast disabled the main engines and the steering gear of the ship, blew of the rudder and stern post, burst steam and fuel lines and broke auxiliary foundations. None of the crew of eight officers, 36 men and 13 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, one 3in, four .50cal and two .30cal guns) reported serious injuries and they did not abandon ship.
A tug was requested and three hours later the Keshena arrived and took the tanker in tow. Later the tug Coyote and another tug arrived and together they towed the tanker to Norfolk, Virginia, arriving at the Esso dock the next day. Permanent repairs were made at Baltimore, Maryland and she returned to service on 7 Nov 1942.

On boardWe have details of 1 people who were on board

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