Ships hit by U-boats

John R. Williams

American Steam tug

NameJohn R. Williams
Type:Steam tug
Tonnage396 tons
Completed1913 - Staten Island Shipbuilding Co, Richmond NY 
OwnerMoran Towing & Transportation Co, New York 
HomeportNew York 
Date of attack24 Jun 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-373 (Paul-Karl Loeser)
Position38° 45'N, 74° 50'W - Grid CA 5447
Complement18 (14 dead and 4 survivors).
RouteDelaware Capes - Cape May, New Jersey 
History Completed in October 1913 as W.B. Keene for Hilton-Dodge Lumber Co, Wilmington, DE. 1928 renamed John R. Williams for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co, New York. 
Notes on event

At 20.05 hours on 24 June 1942 the unarmed John R. Williams (Master Leroy Herbert Allen) struck a mine laid on 11 June by U-373 off Cape May and sank. Four hours earlier the ocean tug had been ordered to proceed to Fenwick Island Shoals to tow a French ship into the Delaware River, but at 18.40 hours the ship was found heading for the river under her own power, so the tug returned to the Cape May Naval Air Station, where she was stationed for rescue and salvage. The mine struck on the port side just forward of amidships and the explosion sank the vessel instantly. Only the chief engineer, the second assistant and two deckhands survived because they were blown overboard by the explosion. The survivors were picked up after about one hour by the American patrol vessel USS YP-334 and taken to Lewes, Delaware and thence to Beebe Memorial Hospital. The remaining four officers and ten crew men were lost.

On boardWe have details of 18 people who were on board

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