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India Arrow - (1921-1942)
See also : 12 SAVED IN TORPEDOING OFF N.J.  &  The remains of the "India Arrow"
 India Arrow - (1921-1942).
( Photo Taylor, William B. )
Type: tanker, USA Built: 1921, Quincy MA USA
Specs: ( 468 x 62 ft ) 8327 gross tons, 38 crew
Sunk: Wednesday February 4, 1942
torpedoed by U-103 - 12 survivors Depth: 190 ft

"India Arrow".

Source : Pacific Marine Review, March 1921, Volume 18
With Atlantic Builders
Fore River
Fore River plant, Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, launched the tanker India Arrow, a sister to the Japan Arrow and China Arrow, for the Standard Transportation Company, New York, on January 29.

Fate of the U-103 :
Taken out of service in March 1944.
In Jan 1945 U-103 went from Gotenhafen to Hamburg and in April 1945 from Hamburg to Kiel.
Sunk 15 April, 1945 at Kiel, by bombs. 1 dead, unknown number of survivors.

India Arrow
LOA 485 ' 2 "; Beam 62 ' 6 "; Depth 39 ' 6 "
13,325 DWT; 99,742 bbls
Quadruple expansion engine 51" stroke 3200 IHP 10.6 knots
Launched 28 January and commissioned 17 March 1921 at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts.
India Arrow began her career with a world-circling voyage from New York to the Orient via the Panama Canal, then on to the
Dutch oil fields in Sumatra for a backhaul cargo to Rotterdam via the Suez Canal. From there she sailed to New York for a
quick turnaround, a fresh start, and another world circuit in the opposite direction.
In September 1923 India Arrow found Standard Arrow in distress in the Pacific and towed her 800 miles into Yokohama, Japan.
Her globe-trotting came to an end in 1930, and domestic voyages up and down the east coast followed, with an occasional
coast-to-coast sortie. When the US entered WWII, India Arrow was caught in the German U-boat onslaught against the US
eastern seaboard.
She was torpedoed, shelled and sunk on 4 February 1942, 15 miles due east of Five Fathom Lightship, with the loss of 26 lives.
"India Arrow".
"India Arrow".

A 468' long tanker (sister ship to the Dixie Arrow, China Arrow -- also lost during WWII), the India Arrow was built at the Fore River Shipyard at Quincy MA in 1921. She was torpedoed by the U-103 and sunk on 4 February 1942 at position 38.48 N / 73.40 W. She was carrying a full load of 88.369 barrels of diesel oil to New York when the submarine ambushed the vessel late at night. While part of the Arrow immediately rested on the bottom, the ship refused to sink until the next day.
She now sits in 180' of water, intact and upside down, though canted to one side with a debris field strewn across the sand. Artifacts are abundant around the forward and stern superstructure areas. The India Arrow is an impressive wreck that has only been dove a few times recently.

The India Arrow was owned by the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company and operated out of New York. She was a 8,327 ton tanker with a draft of 38' 6". Her master on that voyage was Captain Carl Samuel Johnson. She was not armed, and had no way of defending herself from attack.

The India Arrow sailed from Corpus Christi, Texas, en route to Carteret, New Jersey. About thirty-five miles due east of Five Fathom Bank, the U-103 (Winter) intercepted the tanker. The India Arrow was steering a non-evasive course when the tor-pedo struck the starboard quarter at about the # 10 bunker. The ship caught fire and began to sink by the stem at a rapid ra-te. The radio operator sent a distress signal but not a position before the dynamo failed. Within three minutes the crew of nine officers and twenty-nine men began abandoning ship. Minutes later the U-103 started shelling the vessel from a distance of approximately 250 yards. The submarine fired seven shells at two- minute intervals, setting the after portion of the ship afire. The crew managed to launch successfully only one of the ship's four lifeboats. In a sea of blazing oil two other boats swamped, and the rapidly sinking tanker pulled the #2 boat beneath the water. Only one officer and eleven men survived, rescued by the twenty-four foot fishing skiff Gitana twelve miles off Atlantic City. Two men died as a result of the shelling, and the remaining men apparently drowned when the two boats swamped.

Additional Info by Starke & Schell Registers :

INDIA ARROW - 1921    USA   1Q (aft)     (11)
8,327 GRT for Standard Transportation Co., Inc., New York     468.3 x 62.7
Tanker build by Bethlehem SB. Corp., Quincy, Mass.    (3)     #1387    221086
1931 - Standard-Vacuum Transportation Co., Inc., New York
1935 - Socony-Vacuum Oil Co., Inc., New York
Torp. and sunk by U 103, 5 Feb 1942, in 38.48N-72.43W, 20 miles SE of Cape May, N.J., voy. Corpus Christi - New York, diesel oil.

Additional information from :

Name: India Arrow
Type: Steam tanker
Tonnage: 8.327 tons
Completed: 1921 - Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, Quincy MA
Owner: Socony-Vacuum Oil Co Inc, New York
Homeport: New York
Date of attack: 5 Feb, 1942
Nationality: American
Fate: Sunk by U-103 (Werner Winter)
Position: 38.48N, 72.43W - Grid CA 5813
- See location on a map -
Complement: 38 (26 dead and 12 survivors).
Convoy: -
Route: Corpus Christi, Texas - Carteret, New Jersey
Cargo: 88.369 barrels of diesel fuel
History: -
Notes on loss: At 01.53 hours on 5 Feb, 1942, the unescorted and unarmed India Arrow (Master Carl Samuel Johnson) was
torpedoed by U-103 about 20 miles southeast of Cape May, New Jersey, while steaming a nonevasive course at 10.5 knots. The
torpedo struck the starboard quarter at about the #10 bunker. The ship caught fire and began to sink rapidly by the stern. Only
a distress signal without position could be sent before the dynamo failed. The nine officers and 29 crewmen immediately began
to abandon ship, but were only able to launch one lifeboat. Two boats were destroyed by the explosion and a third was pulled
beneath the water by the sinking tanker, drowning 18 of the 20 occupants in it.
The U-boat then surfaced and fired seven shells from her deck gun at two minutes intervals from a distance of 250 yards into the
bow section which remained above water as the stern was sinking. Two men died as a result of the shelling. Only one officer and
eleven crewmen survived in the lifeboat, set sail and headed for shore. They were picked up on 6 February by the American 24
foot fishing skiff Gitana (Frank Marshall and John Shaw) 20 miles southeast off Atlantic City and taken to the Coast Guard station