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Mobil Tankers
Rochester - (1920-1942)
"Rochester", an old photograph.
( Photo Collection John Curdy )
 "Rochester", sinking January 30th, 1942.
( Official U.S. Navy photo )

Text with photo :
Victim of enemy submarine sinks below surface.
The Socony Vacuum Oil Company tanker "Rochester" shown here just before she settled beneath the waves after being torpedoed by an enemy submarine somwhere off the Atlentic coast on January 30.
( Official U.S. Navy photo )

Additional information Starke & Schell registers :

ROCHESTER - 1920  USA   1ST (aft) (11)
6,911 GRT for Vacuum Oil Co., Inc., New York        435.6 x 56.2
Tanker build by Bethlehem SB. Corp., Sparrow's Point, Md.     (6)     #4203      220133
1931 - Standard-Vacuum Transportation Co., Inc., New York
1935 - Socony-Vacuum Oil Co., Inc., New York
Torp., shelled and sunk by U 106, 30 Jan 1942, in 37.10N-73.58W (85 miles east of Chesapeake L.V.),
voyage New York - Corpus Christi, in ballast.

Additional information from :

Name: Rochester
Type: Steam tanker
Tonnage: 6.836 tons
Completed: 1920 - Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp, Sparrow´s Point MD
Owner: Socony-Vacuum Oil Co Inc, New York
Homeport: New York
Date of attack: 30 Jan, 1942
Nationality: American
Fate: Sunk by U-106 (Hermann Rasch)
Position: 37.10N, 73.58W - Grid CA 8241
- See location on a map -
Complement: 35 (4 dead and 31 survivors).
Convoy: -
Route: New York - Corpus Christi, Texas
Cargo: Ballast
Notes on loss: At 18.05 hours on 30 Jan, 1942, the unescorted and unarmed Rochester (Master Alden S. Clark) was hit by one stern
torpedo from U-106 while steaming on a zigzag course at 10.4 knots about 85 miles east of the Chesapeake Lightship. One torpedo
struck aft in the engine room, killed one officer and two crewmen on watch below, destroyed the engines and communications and
damaged the rudder and propeller. The survivors among the eight officers and 27 crewmen abandoned ship in two lifeboats when the
U-boat surfaced nearby. The Germans waited until both boats were clear of the tanker to finish her off with the deck gun, but it jammed
after firing eight rounds from about 500 yards. At 18.38 hours, a coup de grâce was fired that hit amidships on the starboard side. The
tanker immediately developed a list to starboard and sank after one hour.
The Samuel Q. Brown had observed the attack and sent radio messages that forced the U-boat to leave the area. The survivors
were picked up after three hours by USS Roe (DD 418) off the Virginia Capes and landed in Norfolk the next morning. They had
been spotted by an aircraft that dropped smoke bombs to lead the destroyer to them. One fireman died from burns on 14 February.