Cities Service Empire
American Steam tanker
|Name||Cities Service Empire|
|Completed||1918 - Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, Sparrow´s Point MD|
|Owner||Cities Service Oil Co, New York|
|Date of attack||22 Feb 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-128 (Ulrich Heyse)|
|Position||28° 25'N, 80° 02'W - Grid DB 9439|
|Complement||50 (14 dead and 36 survivors).|
|Route||Port Arthur, Texas - Philadelphia|
|Cargo||9400 barrels of crude oil|
|History||Built as Ampetco 1928 renamed Cities Service Empire |
|Notes on event|
At 11.51 hours on 22 Feb 1942 the unescorted Cities Service Empire (Master William Faucett Jerman, Jr.) was hit by two torpedoes from U-128 about 25 miles north of Bethel Shoals off the Florida coast. The tanker had maintained a nonevasive course at 10 knots in moderate to heavy seas and had been missed by the first four torpedoes. The torpedoes struck the vessel amidships at the after pump room deep in the ship´s bowles on the starboard side. Fire broke out immediately and within seconds the ship and the water around the tanker were ablaze. The armed guards (the ship was armed with one 5in, two .50cal and two .30cal guns) were driven away from their guns and the master gave the order to abandon ship after 10 minutes. All lifeboats had been destroyed by the fire and only two rafts could be launched. Most of the crew of eight officers, 33 men and nine armed guards jumped overboard.
|On board||We have details of 22 people who were on board.|
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