Ships hit by U-boats

USS Jacob Jones (DD 130)

American Destroyer

US Naval Historical Center Photograph #NH52165

NameUSS Jacob Jones (DD 130)
Type:Destroyer (Wickes-Tattnall)
Tonnage1,090 tons
Completed1919 - New York Shipbuilding Corp, Camden NJ 
OwnerUnited States Navy 
Date of attack28 Feb 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-578 (Ernst-August Rehwinkel)
Position38° 37'N, 74° 32'W - Grid CA 5458
Complement149 officers and men (138 dead and 11 survivors).
RouteNew York (27 Feb) - Patrol area off Cape May and Delaware Capes 

Completed in October 1919 and already decommissioned in 1922. 1930 recommissioned and mainly used in the Atlantic Fleet. From 1936 to 1939 in the Squadron 40-T, to protect American interests in the Spanish Civil War. 1940 Neutrality Patrol. Since 1941 on escort duty in the North Atlantic.

In January 1942, the destroyer attacked an unidentified U-boat while escorting the convoy SC-63 without visible results. Later escorted the convoy HX-169 and on 2 February, the destroyer attacked another U-boat contact, while escorting a Norwegian merchant, again without results, then escorted the convoy ON-59. On 22 February, the destroyer attacked a possible U-boat off Ambrose Light ship for five hours in 12 attacks, dropping all 57 depth charges, but only some oil slicks were seen on the surface.

Notes on event

On the morning of 27 February 1942 USS Jacob Jones (DD 130) (LtCdr Hugh David Black, USN) departed New York alone to patrol and search the area between Barnegat Light and Five Fathoms Bank. She then received orders to concentrate her patrol activity in waters off Cape May and the Delaware Capes. In the afternoon, the destroyer spotted the burning wreckage of the R.P. Resor which had been torpedoed by U-578. The destroyer circled the tanker for two hours, searching for survivors before resuming her southward course.

At 10.57 hours on 28 February, USS Jacob Jones was hit by two torpedoes from U-578 while proceeding completely blacked out at 15 knots. The first torpedo struck on the port side just aft of the bridge and ignited the ship´s magazine. The explosion completely destroyed the bridge, the chart room and the officer´s and petty officer´s quarters. As the ship stopped, the second torpedo struck on the port side about 40 feet forward of the fantail and carried away the after part of the ship above the keel plates and shafts and destroyed the after crew´s quarters. The ship remained afloat for 45 minutes, allowing about 30 survivors to abandon ship on four or five rafts. But as the stern sank, the unsecured depth charges exploded, killing several survivors on a nearby raft. Some hours later, an US Army observation plane sighted the life rafts and reported their position to USS PE-56 on Inshore Patrol. The patrol craft was forced to abandon her search after three hours, due to strong winds and rising seas. She had picked up twelve survivors, but one of them died en route to Cape May. The search for survivors continued for two days but was fruitless.

More infoMore on this vessel 
On boardWe have details of 149 people who were on board

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Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

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