American Steam tanker
|Completed||1942 - Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, Sparrow´s Point MD|
|Owner||Standard Oil Co of New Jersey, New York|
|Date of attack||7 Jul 1944||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-516 (Hans-Rutger Tillessen)|
|Position||13.26N, 72.11W - Grid EC 6741|
|Complement||72 (8 dead and 64 survivors).|
|Route||Cartagena, Colombia (5 Jul) - New York|
|Cargo||110.000 barrels of crude oil|
|Notes on event|
At 02.31 hours on 7 Jul, 1944, the unescorted Esso Harrisburg (Master Ernest Chipman Kelson) was hit by a Gnat from U-516 about 200 miles northwest of Aruba. The tanker had just stopped zigzagging at 13.5 knots, when a lookout spotted the torpedo and the helmsman put the helm over hard left. She managed to turn 90° but the acoustic torpedo followed and struck under the stern. The explosion destroyed the 4in gun on the stern and damaged the rudder and screw. The ship lost headway and began to settle slightly by the stern. Ten minutes after the hit, the eight officers, 36 men and 28 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) abandoned ship in four lifeboats and two rafts in the heavy seas. At 02.40 hours, a second torpedo struck in the cross bunkers on the starboard side, aft of the #8 tank. 15 minutes later a third torpedo struck the #6 tank on the starboard side, causing the vessel to sink within one minute.
At 06.18 hours on 8 Jul, 1944, U-516 fired a spread of three torpedoes and one Gnat on the American motor tanker Point Breeze (4756 tons) in grid EC 8263, but all torpedoes were evaded by the tanker.
|On board||We have details of 9 people who were on board.|
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