Ships hit by U-boats

Patrick J. Hurley

American Steam tanker

Photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum, Newport News VA

NamePatrick J. Hurley
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage10,865 tons
Completed1941 - Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Kearny NJ 
OwnerSinclair Refining Co, New York 
Date of attack13 Sep 1942Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-512 (Wolfgang Schultze)
Position22° 59'N, 46° 15'W - Grid DQ 6417
Complement62 (17 dead and 45 survivors).
RouteAruba (7 Sep) - Belfast - Avonmouth 
Cargo75.000 barrels of high octane gasoline and 60.000 barrels of diesel oil 
History Completed in November 1941 
Notes on event

At 01.35 hours on 13 Sep 1942 the unescorted Patrick J. Hurley (Master Carl Stromgren) was attacked with all guns by U-512 about 950 miles northeast of Barbados just when a lookout spotted the U-boat about 150 yards off the starboard bow, running parallel to the ship. The U-boat had missed the tanker with a torpedo during daylight the day before and apparently had a long time to catch the tanker, which was running at 15 knots. The gunfire hit the midships cabins, destroyed the radio antenna, wrecked the lifeboats, destroyed the forward 3in gun (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in, two 50mm and two 20mm guns), damaged the engine room and holed the tanker at the waterline, starting a fire in the cargo. The tanker increased speed to about 17 knots and tried to escape by evasive maneuvres, while the armed guards fired six rounds from the stern gun and the 20mm guns, but to no avail. The U-boat fired about 30 shells, which turned the ship into a flaming inferno within ten minutes and caused her to sink shortly after dawn. The most of the ten officers, 34 crewmen and 18 armed guards on board abandoned ship in two lifeboats and two rafts when she was still under way and later redistributed into the two boats. The master, three officers, nine crewmen and four armed guards were lost.

18 crew members and four armed guards in one lifeboat were picked up seven days after the attack by the Etna in 23°21N/49°40W and landed at New York on 2 October. 13 crew members and ten armed guards in the other lifeboat were picked up on 4 October by the British steam merchant Loch Dee and landed seven days later at Charleston, South Carolina.

On boardWe have details of 19 people who were on board

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