Ships hit by U-boats

Java Arrow

American Steam tanker

US Naval Historical Center photo of Java Arrow taken off Savannah on 4 May 1942.

NameJava Arrow
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage8,327 tons
Completed1921 - Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, Quincy MA 
OwnerSocony-Vacuum Oil Co Inc, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack6 May 1942Nationality:      American
FateDamaged by U-333 (Peter-Erich Cremer)
Position27° 35'N, 80° 08'W - Grid DB 9763
Complement47 (2 dead and 45 survivors).
RouteNew York (28 Apr) - CuraƧao - Capetown 
CargoWater ballast and 1300 drums of lube oil 
History Completed in May 1921. After being torpedoed in May 1942, the Java Arrow was taken over in June by the US War Shipping Administration (WSA), repaired at Norfolk by installing the engine from the wreck of Kars and returned to service as Kerry Patch. On 17 Jan 1944, acquired by the US Navy as station tanker USS Celtic (IX 137) at Noumea, New Caledonia and assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater.

Decommissioned in February 1946 and returned to the US War Shipping Administration as Kerry Patch at Mobile AL in December 1946. In April 1948 renamed Radketch for Radocean Tanker Corp, Wilmington DE. In June 1949 renamed Gale and registered in Panama for Soc. Armadora Valenciana SA (Radmar Trading Corp), Panama. 1955 renamed Sugar for Marine Charters Inc (Radmar Trading Corp), Panama. Broken up at La Spezia in March 1959. 
Notes on event

At 05.43 hours on 6 May 1942 the unescorted Java Arrow (Master Sigvard J. Hennichen) was torpedoed twice by U-333 eight miles off Vero Beach, Florida. The first torpedo struck on the port side about 15 feet above the keel at the #5 tank, just aft of the bridge. The second struck on the port side about ten feet above the keel and demolished the engine room, killing two officers on watch below. Some of the surviving seven officers, 32 crewmen and six armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in and four .30cal guns) abandoned ship after 20 minutes in a first lifeboat, the remaining men followed ten minutes later in a second boat. The survivors were picked up by USS PC-483 and a US Coast guard craft and landed at Miami and Fort Pierce, Florida. A US Coast guard officer boarded the tanker to ascertain the damage and concluded she could be saved, so the master and four men returned to the ship and dropped the starboard anchor to prevent the ship going aground on the beach. The master went to Fort Pierce to arrange the salvage tugs and returned later with 14 men. They cut through the anchor chain with an acetylene torch and remained on board. The tugs Ontario and Bafshe towed the tanker, escorted by US Coast guard vessels, to Port Everglades, Florida arriving after 90 hours.

On boardWe have details of 12 people who were on board

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