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William Rockefeller - (1921-1942)
See also : TORPEDOED TANKER AVENGED
"William Rockefeller", ready to be launched on October 5 th, 1921 at the Newport
News Shipbuilding Yard, Virginia.
She was completed in November 1921, for the Standard Oil Co., NJ.
She was lost after being torpedoed and sunk on 28.06.1942.
( Photo © The Mariners' Museum/CORBIS )
William Rockefeller, a 7157 gross ton (15,500 tons displacement) tanker, was built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1916. She was one of seven
large tankers acquired by the Navy in later months of 1917, some as early as August. Placed in commission as USS William Rockefeller (ID # 1581),
she was integrated into the Naval Overseas Transportation Service when that organization was established on 9 January 1918. At that time, she was
on a voyage from Scotland to New York, where she arrived on 12 February. After loading a cargo of oil at Philadelphia, the tanker sailed from New
York in a convoy on 28 February and arrived at Sheerness, England, on 18 March. Returning to Philadelphia for another cargo of fuel oil, she sailed
again from New York in a convoy on 29 April. Arriving with the convoy at Lamlash, Scotland, on 15 May, three days later she sailed for Rosyth with
an escort of two destroyers. On 21 May 1918 William Rockefeller was torpedoed by the German submarine UC-58 and sank in 13 minutes.
Three of her crew of 51 were lost.
An early picture of the SS "William Rockefeller" after discharging cargo.
Tanker was named after :
William Rockefeller (May 31, 1841-June_24, 1922), American financier, was a cofounder of the prominent
United States Rockefeller family. The younger brother of John D. Rockefeller, William was born in Richford, New
York. In 1853 his family moved to Strongsville, Ohio.
In 1865, he entered the oil business by starting a refinery. In 1867, his brother's company, Rockefeller & Andrews,
absorbed this refinery, and in 1870, the company became Standard Oil.
William Rockefeller served as the company's New York representative until 1911 when Standard Oil of New Jersey
was dissolved by the United States Supreme Court. He also had interests in copper, railways, and public utilities.
Married to Almira Geraldine Goodsell, he built up the National City Bank of New York, and his son William Goodsell
Rockefeller and Elsie Stillman, daughter of National City Bank president James Stillman, were the
parents of James Stillman Rockefeller.
He died in 1922 in Tarrytown, New York and was interred in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery,
Sleepy Hollow, New York.
SS "William Rockefeller" loading cargo at Harbor Island, Texas.
SS "William Rockefeller", photographed in 118, as she was the USS "William Rockefeller".
Ship Report for "WILLIAM ROCKEFELLER"
Torpedoed and sunk 35.07 N / 75.07 W, on 28.06.1942.
Sisterships is "John D. Archbold".
Additional Info by Starke & Schell Registers :
WILLIAM ROCKEFELLER - 1921 USA 2T (aft) (10¼)
14,054 GRT for Standard Oil Co. (New Jersey), New York 554.9 x 75.3
Tanker built by Newport News SB. & DD. Co., Newport News, Va. (11) #262 221675
1927 - Standard Shipping Co., Inc., Wilmington, Del.
1935 - Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey, Wilmington, Del.
Torpedoed and sunk by U 701, 28 June 1942, in 35.07N-75.07W (16 miles ENE of Diamond Shoals L.B.),
voyage Aruba - New York, heavy fuel oil
Additional information from Uboat.net :
Name: William Rockefeller
Type: Steam tanker
Tonnage: 14.054 tons
Date of attack: 28 Jun, 1942
Fate: Sunk by U-701 (Horst Degen)
Position: 35.07N, 75.07W - Grid DC 1246
- See location on a map -
Complement: 50 men (0 dead ).
Notes on loss: -