American Steam tanker
|Completed||1921 - Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Newport News VA|
|Owner||Standard Oil Co of New Jersey, New York|
|Date of attack||28 Jun 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-701 (Horst Degen)|
|Position||35.07N, 75.07W - Grid DC 1246|
|Complement||50 (0 dead and 50 survivors).|
|Route||Aruba (19 Jun) - New York|
|Cargo||135.000 barrels of fuel oil|
|Notes on loss|
At 18.16 hours on 28 Jun, 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 grāce in 35°11N/75°07W at 05.25 hours on 29 June.
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