Ships hit by U-boats

Robert E. Hopkins

American Steam tanker

Photo courtesy of SSHSA Collection, University of Baltimore Library

NameRobert E. Hopkins
Type:Steam tanker
Tonnage6,625 tons
Completed1921 - Merchant Shipbuilding Corp, Chester PA 
OwnerTide Water Associated Oil Co, New York 
Date of attack7 Feb 1943Nationality:      American
FateSunk by U-402 (Siegfried Freiherr von Forstner)
Position55° 13'N, 26° 22'W - Grid AK 6668
Complement57 (15 dead and 42 survivors).
RouteNew York (12 Jan) - Glasgow 
Cargo68.000 barrels of Admiralty fuel oil 
History Completed in October 1921 
Notes on event

At 03.52 hours on 7 Feb 1943 the Robert E. Hopkins (Master Rene Blanc) in station #115 of convoy SC-118 was hit by one stern torpedo from U-402 about 650 miles west of Malin Head. The ship had been missed with a spread of two torpedoes before being hit on the starboard side forward of the #1 tank in the dry cargo hold. The explosion buckled the forward decks and the 3in gun and stopped the tanker, which was hit on the starboard side in the engine room at 04.02 hours by a coup de grĂ¢ce. When the boilers blew up, the blast tore away large portions of the hull and caused the ship to sink within three minutes.

Most survivors among the seven officers, 31 crewmen and 19 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in, four 20mm and two .50cal guns) abandoned ship in one lifeboat because two had been destroyed by the explosions and another was earlier lost in heavy weather. Some survivors swam to a raft that floated free. One officer, 13 crewmen and one armed guard were lost. The survivors were picked up by HMS Mignonette (K 38) (Lt H.H. Brown, RNR) and landed on 10 February in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

On boardWe have details of 32 people who were on board

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