Ships hit by U-boats

Robert C. Tuttle

American Steam tanker

NameRobert C. Tuttle
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage11,615 tons
Completed1940 - Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Chester PA 
OwnerAtlantic Refining Co, Philadelphia PA 
Date of attack15 Jun 1942Nationality:      American
FateDamaged by U-701 (Horst Degen)
Position36° 52'N, 75° 51'W - Grid CA 73
Complement47 (1 dead and 46 survivors).
RoutePort Arthur, Texas - Philadelphia 
Cargo152.000 barrels of crude oil 
History Completed in July 1940

On 9 Apr 1942, the Robert C. Tuttle sustained minor damage in a collision with the Norwegian steam merchant Benwood (3931 grt) northeast of Molasses Reef, Florida. The Norwegian ship was grounded on the Alligator Reef but slid off and sank in shallow waters on 14 April.

1963 renamed Aldina for American Bulk Carriers Inc, New York. Broken up at Onomichi in October 1968.

Notes on event

On 15 June 1942 convoy KN-109 came into a minefield laid on 11 June by U-701 off Virginia Beach. The A/S trawler HMS Kingston Ceylonite (FY 214) sank and the tankers Robert C. Tuttle and Esso Augusta, along with the destroyer USS Bainbridge (DD 246) were damaged.

The Robert C. Tuttle (Master Martin Johansen) traveled in the last position of the port column of the two-column convoy when at 23.04 hours a mine struck at the #2 tank on the starboard side about 100 feet from the stem. The explosion blew oil over the whole length and the second assistant engineer overboard, who drowned. As the engines were stopped, she swung out of the line because all forward compartments were flooded. The tanker settled by the bow, but rested on the bottom in 54 feet of water after ten minutes. The ship was awash to midships with the after section out of water. The eight officers, 33 crewmen, five armed guards and a Navy signalman abandoned ship in three lifeboats. After rowing six miles, they were taken in tow at 23.50 hours by USS PC-474 and brought to Little Creek, Virginia.

The back of the Robert C. Tuttle was broken, but the tanker was salvaged and brought into drydock in Baltimore, where she was repaired and returned to service.

On boardWe have details of 2 people who were on board

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