American Steam tanker
|Completed||1919 - Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, Alameda CA|
|Owner||National Bulk Carriers Inc, New York|
|Date of attack||19 Feb 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-128 (Ulrich Heyse)|
|Position||28° 27'N, 80° 08'W - Grid DB 9546|
|Complement||38 (20 dead and 18 survivors).|
|Route||Texas City (15 Feb) - New York|
|Cargo||104.000 barrels of refined petroleum, gasoline, kerosene and diesel oil|
|History||Ordered as British steam merchant War Cape for The Shipping Controller, London. Completed in January 1919 as Triumph for US Shipping Board (USSB). 1929 converted to motor merchant and lengthened. 1937 transferred to US Maritime Commission, New York and sold 1938 to National Bulk Carriers Inc, New York, which converted the vessel to the steam tanker Pan Massachusetts. |
|Notes on event|
At 19.45 hours on 19 Feb 1942 the unescorted and unarmed Pan Massachusetts (Master Robert E. Christy) was hit by two torpedoes from U-128 about 20 miles off Cape Canaveral, while steaming at 13.5 knots in misty and squally weather. The torpedoes struck on the starboard side amidships and ruptured the tanks and deck. The explosions sprayed the cargo over the length of the vessel and ignited it, turning the tanker into a burning inferno but the full tanks prevented the cargo to explode. Some of the nine officers and 29 crewmen on board jumped overboard and swam underneath the flames to open spots and others went forward and escaped into the water by lowering a mooring line over the side because all lifeboats became victims of the flames before they could be launched. Three officers and 17 crewmen were lost.
|On board||We have details of 21 people who were on board.|
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