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Gettysburg / Esso Gettysburg
See also : Launch & christening "Gettysburg / Esso Gettysburg"  &  AFTER SIXTEEN VOYAGES

See also : German Records off the Attack on the SS "Esso Gettysburg (1)"    See also : Convoy-Routes Esso Gettysburg (1) in WW2

Launch & Christening of the "Gettysburg".
( All photos by A.V. Knott )



( All photos above by A.V. Knott )
"Gettysburg", build by Sun.
( Photo Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. )
"Esso Gettysburg", ex. "Gettysburg".
"Esso Gettysburg"; Torpedoed  6/10/43. Tanker Crew 37, Armed Guard personel 20.

History :
Built by Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pennsylvania.
Yardnumber 241. UMSC No. 316. Off. nr. 241409,
Keel laid 15-07-1941. Launched 02-02-1942. Completed 28-02-1942. Gr. 10198 t., Net. 6253 t., Dw. 16613 t. L.o.a. 159,57 m., Br. 20,78 m., Dr. 9,23 m. Engine: 2 steam turbines, manufactured by General Electric Company, Lynn, Massachussetts. 7240 B.h.p., 5401 kW. Speed 15 knots. 26 Tanks.
Launched as GETTYSBURG-1942
ESSO GETTYSBURG-1942 completed for Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, Wilmington, Delaware, USA.
Additional Reports:
Reported Esso Gettysburg torpedoed and sank 10 Jun. 1943 by German submarine U-66 100 miles south east of Savannah, in position 31.05 N / 79.25 W, whilst on voyage to Atreco, Philadelphia, with crude oil. 61 crew members killed. 15 saved.

Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey; 1942; Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co.; 10,173 tons; 503x68x39-3; 7,240s.h.p.; 14-6 knots; turbo-electric engines.
The tanker Esso Gettysburg, Capt. Peder A. Johnson, left Atreco, Texas, for Philadelphia on June 6th, 1943, with a cargo of 119,726 barrels of crude oil. The vessel carried a mercantile crew of 45 officers and men and one officer and 26 men of the U.S. navy as gun crews. On June 10th, at about 2 p.m., when 100 miles S.E. of Savannah, Georgia, the tanker was struck on the port side by two torpedoes. She immediately burst into flames and the men launching the lifeboats were compelled to abandon their task and jump overboard. The water
round about was soon ablaze with burning oil and a total of 15 survivors eventually succeeded in reaching a half burned lifeboat in which they were adrift for 19 hours until picked up by the s.s. George Washington, Capt. T.H. Park. All the officers of the Gettysburg were killed with the exception of Ensign John S. Arnold, U.S.N., in command of the gun crews, who kept up a hot fire on the submarine until driven from his post by the flames.
Later he was awarded the Navy Cross.
Ten of her crew were killed.
The "Esso Gettysburg" sunk on 10 June 1943.

Thursday, June 10, 1943
Torpedoed off Georgia Coast
On Thursday afternoon, June 10, 1943 the SS Esso Gettysburg, one of the first T-2 tankers, was ninety miles off the Georgia coast and bound for Philadelphia with crude oil. Just before 2 PM, the German U-66, sailing at periscope depth, fired two torpedoes, seconds apart. The first shattered two cargo tanks and the whole ship burst into flames. The second hit the engine room and left the Gettysburg dead in the water, down by the stern, and sinking rapidly. All the lifeboats were engulfed by fire. No one saw the sub before the two torpedoes, four seconds apart, set her afire and sank her. Flames prevented launching any boats those who survived jumped overboard, several without time to don life preservers.

Additional Information from :
Esso Gettysburg
Motor tanker
10.173 tons
1942 - Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Chester PA
Standard Oil Co of New Jersey, New York
Date of attack
10 Jun, 1943
Nationality: American
Sunk by U-66 (Friedrich Markworth)
31.02N, 79.17W - Grid DC 10
- See location on a map -
72 (57 dead and 15 survivors).
Port Arthur, Texas (6 Jun) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
120.120 barrels of crude oil
Launched as Gettysburg, completed as Esso Gettysburg
Notes on loss
At 20.00 hours on 10 Jun, 1943, the unescorted Esso Gettysburg (Master Peder A. Johnson, lost) was hit by two torpedoes from U-66 about 100 miles southeast of Savannah, Georgia, shortly after she re-ceived a U-boat warning, steaming on a zigzag course at 15.5 knots. One torpedo struck the port side between the #6 and #7 tanks, ripped up 25 feet of deck, blew oil 100 feet into the air and disabled the stee-ring gear. Seconds later the second struck on the port side at the engine room, causing an immediate fire as she began to settle by the stern and listed to port. Oil from the two tanks was spread into the water and was ignited by the second explosion. The flames spread 100 feet on both si-des, while smoke rose over 1000 feet in the air. The eight officers, 37 men and 27 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4 in, one 3 in and eight 20 mm guns) attempted to launch some lifeboats, but failed because of the intense flames. Only 15 men (seven armed guards, three officers and five crewmen) survived because they jumped overboard and swam away as fast as they could. The entirely submerg-ed tanker, except for a small part of the bow, was last seen about 03.00 hours on 12 June and eventually sank. The survivors found a badly burned lifeboat after swimming for three hours and extinguished the fire. All were picked up by the steam merchant George Washington the next day after they were sighted by Army patrol aircraft and landed in Charleston, South Carolina, the same day.
The armed guards ensign was awarded the Navy Cross.