Ships hit by U-boats

William Rockefeller

American Steam tanker

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NameWilliam Rockefeller
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage14,054 tons
Completed1921 - Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Newport News VA 
OwnerStandard Oil Co of New Jersey, New York 
Date of attack28 Jun 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-701 (Horst Degen)
Position35° 07'N, 75° 07'W - Grid DC 1246
Complement50 (0 dead and 50 survivors).
RouteAruba (19 Jun) - New York 
Cargo135.000 barrels of fuel oil 
Notes on event

At 18.16 hours on 28 June 1942 the William Rockefeller (Master William R. Stewart), escorted by the US Coast Guard vessel USS CG-460, was hit on the port side amidships by one torpedo from U-701 while steaming on a nonevasive course at 9.2 knots about 16 miles east-northeast of Diamond Shoals Light Buoy. The torpedo struck at the pump room, opened a hole about 20 feet in diameter, sprayed oil over the ship and caused the flooding of the pump room and the #5 tank. As the cargo caught fire and flames engulfed the stern, the nine officers, 35 crewmen and six armed guards (the ship was armed with one 3in gun) abandoned ship in four lifeboats and were picked up after 20 minutes by the escort, which landed them at the Ocracoke Coast Guard Station the same afternoon. The U-boat was unsuccessfully attacked by the escort and a US Coast Guard aircraft and sank the drifting and burning wreck with a coup de grâce in 35°11N/75°07W at 05.25 hours on 29 June.

On boardWe have details of 3 people who were on board

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