||A Place Called YORKSHIP
Casualties of War and Fortune
23 Jul 2009
The ultimate fate of most ships is a quiet,
undignified encounter with the scrapper's torch. A privileged few
vessels may earn a genteel second life in a museum, their decks
trod by schoolchildren, vacationers, and veterans. The rest
belong to the sea--its depths their final port of call.
The Saratoga sinks in Bikini Atoll
Lost to Enemy Action
- General Belgrano - light
cruiser (ex-Phoenix, ex-16th of October).
A Pearl Harbor survivor, USS Phoenix was
transferred to Argentina in 1951. During the Falklands
War, the Belgrano was torpedoed and sunk by the
Royal Navy submarine Conqueror, May 2 1982. This
is the first and, so far, only documented instance of a
nuclear-powered sub sinking a surface vessel in combat.
There were 323 casualties among Belgrano's crew
- General Royal T. Frank - transport, formerly Army mine
planter. Torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-71 (later I-171) in
channel between Maui and Hawaii. Was ferrying a group of Japanese-American
(Nisei) Army recruits. Sank in "30 seconds" with 29 killed.
- Kachidoki Maru (ex-Wolverine State)
- cargo liner. Intentionally grounded off Swaiwaishan Island, China coast, while pursued by
Japanese forces in Dec 1941. Salvaged by Japanese. Sunk
in convoy from Singapore to Formosa by American submarine
SS-383 Pampanito on Sep 12, 1944.
- SS Alamance (ex-Nevadan) - freighter,
Garland Steamship Co.. Torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UB-57 when 4
miles east of Maiden's Head, Ireland, Feb 5, 1918. Six crew lost.
- SS Broad Arrow
- tanker. Struck by two torpedoes from German
submarine U-124 while in convoy TB-1 off Guyana.
She sank about two hours later, with the loss of 23 crew.
- SS Camden -
tanker. Torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-25
off Coos Bay, Oregon, October 4. 1942. Camden burned but did not
sink until 6 days later while under tow by the Kenai.
- SS Deepwater -
tanker. Torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-404
off Atlantic City, March 3, 1942. Twenty killed. Wreck
lies in 80 feet of water.
- SS Dixie Arrow
- tanker, Socony-Vacuum Oil Co. Inc.. Torpedoed three times and sunk off Diamond
Shoals by U-71 on Mar 26, 1942 while en route
from Texas City to Paulsboro NJ. Eleven of 33 crew lost.
- SS Gulfoil -
tanker, Gulf Oil Co.. Torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-506 on May 16, 1942
while 75 miles SW of the Mississippi Delta. Twenty-one of 40 aboard killed.
- SS Lemuel Burrows
(ex-Deepwater) - collier,
Mystic Steamship Co.. Torpedoed and sunk by U-404 off
Atlantic City on 3 March 1942. Casualties: 20 of 34 killed.
- SS Rawleigh Warner (ex-Rayo) -
tanker, Sabine Transportation Co.Inc. .Torpedoed 40 miles off the mouth of the Mississippi River,
June 23, 1942, with the loss of all 33 hands.
- SS Refast
tanker, Harris & Dixon Ltd.. Torpedoed by German submarine U-30 while
20 miles west of Scilly Islands, May 1, 1915, but made it to Scilly
Isles and repaired. Torpedoed and sunk by U-582 in approaches to English
Channel, Jan 26, 1942.
- SS Rockingham (ex-Nebraskan) - freighter.
Torpedoed by German submarine U-69 when 150 miles west-northwest of Ireland,
May 1, 1917. The captain and 47 crew were picked up after 24 hours in
lifeboats; 2 were killed and 13 missing.
- SS Scottsburg
- freighter, Lykes Brothers Steamship Co. Torpedoed by U-502 and sunk in Caribbean
convoy, June 14, 1942. Five of the 51 men aboard were killed.
- SS Sylvan Arrow
- tanker, Socony-Vacuum Oil Co. Inc.. Torpedoed by German submarine U-155
and sunk, southwest of Grenada, May 20, 1942. Just 1 of 44 aboard
killed. Did not sink, master and 11 crew unsuccessfully attempted salvage 3
days later. Those 12 were returning to the US aboard Crijnssen Jun 11
when it was sunk. Seven reached Yucatan by lifeboat; 5 were picked up by
Lebore, which was in turn sunk June 14. All 5 Sylvan Arrow crew
were among the survivors picked up by USS Tattnall three days later.
- SS Texan - freighter, American Hawaiian Steamship Co.
Torpedoed, shelled, and sunk by German submarine U-126 while 40 miles east
of Nuevitas, Cuba, March 12, 1942. Nine officers and crew were drowned when
suction capsized both lifeboats.
- SS Tyler -
cargo ship, Old Dominion Steamship Co.. Torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UB-48
in Mediterranean, 65 miles off French coast, 2 May 1918..Eleven crew
- USS Barry
(DD-248, APD-29) - destroyer. Struck by a kamikaze
on May 25, 1945, off Okinawa, and severely damaged. She
was decommissioned June 21, 1945 and designated for use
as a decoy, but was attacked again by kamikazes
later that day while under tow near Keramo Retto. She and
her escort, the landing ship LSM-59, were both
- USS Edward Rutledge
(AP-52) - transport (ex-liner Exeter).
Sunk after being torpedoed by German submarine U-130
off Fedala, Morocco, 12 November 1942.
- USS Indianapolis
(CA-35) - heavy cruiser. Sunk after being
torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-58 in the
Philippine Sea, 29 July 1945, with loss of 883 men. Last
U.S. warship sunk in World War II.
- USS Jacob Jones
(DD-61) - destroyer. Torpedoed and sunk by
German submarine U-53 off Isles of Sicily,
December 6, 1917, with loss of 64 men.
- USS Jacob Jones
(DD-130) - destroyer. Sunk after being torpedoed
by the German submarine U-578 off Cape May, New
Jersey, 28 February 1942. Struck by 2 torpedoes, the first detonating
ship's magazine. Only 11 of her crew of 144 survived.
- USS John Penn
(APA-23) - attack transport (ex-liner Excambion).
Sunk by Japanese Kate torpedo bombers off Guadalcanal,
Solomon Islands, 13 August 1943.
- USS Joseph Hewes
(AP-50) - transport (ex-liner Excalibur).
Sunk after being torpedoed by German submarine U-173
off Fedala, Morocco, 11 November 1942.
- USS Leary
(DD-158) - destroyer. Sunk after being torpedoed
by the German submarine U-275 in the North
Atlantic, 24 December 1943, with the loss of 97 crew.
- USS Oklahoma
(BB-37) - battleship. Capsized and sank after
being torpedoed by Japanese aircraft at Pearl Harbor,
Hawaii, 7 December 1941, with loss of 415 sailors and
- USS Porter
(DD-356) - destroyer. Sunk after being torpedoed
by Japanese submarine I-21 near Santa Cruz
Island, east of the Solomon Islands, 26 October 1942.
- USS Princeton
(CVL-23) - light carrier. Sunk by US destroyers
after being bombed by Japanese aircraft during the Battle
of Leyte Gulf, Philippine Islands, 24 October 1944, with
loss of 108 men.
- USS Reuben James
(DD-245) - destroyer. Sunk after being torpedoed
by German submarine U-552 south of Iceland, 31
October 1941. One hundred fifteen of her crew were
- USS Sonoma
(ATO-12) - fleet tug. Struck by a kamikaze
bomber at San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf, on 24 October 1944.
She sank in 18 feet of water off Dio Island after an
unsuccessful attempt to beach her. Struck from Naval
Register on 27 November 1944.
- USS Sturtevant
(DD-240) - destroyer. Struck a mine in a US-laid
minefield off Marquesas Key, Florida, and sank 26 April
194, with loss of 15 men.
- USS Susan B. Anthony
(AP-72) - transport (ex-liner Santa Clara).
Sunk by a mine off Normandy, France, 7 June 1944.
- USS Utah
(AG-16) - target auxiliary (ex-battleship).
Capsized after being torpedoed by Japanese aircraft at
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 7 December 1941, with loss of 58
- LCI(L)-1 - landing craft, infantry. Sunk
off Bizerte, Tunisia, 17 August 1943.
- LCI(L)-20 - landing craft, infantry.
Sunk off Anzio, Italy, 22 January 1944.
- LCI(L)-32 - landing craft, infantry.
Sunk off Anzio, Italy, 26 January 1944.
- LCT(5)-413 - landing craft, tank. Sunk
off northern France, June 1944.
- LCT(5)-458 - landing craft, tank. Sunk
off northern France, 7 June 1944.
- LCT(5)-459 - landing craft, tank. Sunk
off western France, 19 September 1944.
- LCT(5)-486 - landing craft, tank. Sunk
off northern France, 7 June 1944.
- LCT(5)-496 - landing craft, tank. Sunk
in the English Channel, 2 October 1943.
Lost to Nature
- WSC-128 Bedloe
- Active-class patrol boat, ex-Antietam.
- Active-class patrol boat. As the
Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 roared up from the
south, the 125-foot cutters Bedloe and Jackson
were dispatched to assist the Liberty ship George
Ade, which had been torpedoed off Cape Hatteras by a
German submarine. Both the Bedloe and the Jackson
were struck by a series of giant waves, capsized, and
sank, September 14, 1944. The George Ade made it
to Norfolk with no casualties, but 49 crew members from
the two cutters were lost before 31 survivors were
Lost to Accidents
- LV-78 Ambrose Channel
- ligthship, ex-Blunt's Reef. Struck by
freighter Green Bay and sunk on station, June
- SS Gulfland -
tanker. Collided at night with another Gulf tanker, the Gulfbelle,
near Hobe Sound FL on October 21, 1943. Both ships caught
fire, and the Gulfland sank.
- WPG-20 Tahoma
- revenue cutter. Ran aground on an uncharted reef south
of the Aleutian Islands on September 20, 1914. The crew
took to the boats and was later rescued without
casualties, but the Tahoma was a total loss.
Friendly Fire (Sunk as Test or Target)
- BB-33 Arkansas
CV-3 Saratoga -
aircraft carrier. Assigned to the Operation Crossroads
atomic bomb tests after World War II, both the Arkansas
and Saratoga survived the air-burst test (Event
Able), but were sunk in Bikini Lagoon by the 21-kiloton
underwater test (Event Baker).
- BB-47 Washington
- battleship. Contruction was cancelled under the
Washington Treaty in 1922, and the 75-percent complete
vessel was sunk in the Atlantic as a gunnery target,
November 26, 1924.
- CL-25 Salt Lake City
- light cruiser. Badly damaged in Operation Crossroads, Salt
Lake City was decommissioned and sunk as a target
off the California coast in May 25, 1948. The final blow
came from torpedoes, after a four-hour bombardment by
naval rifles and aircraft. She lies in about 2000 fathoms
- CL-103 Wilkes-Barre
- light cruiser. Used for tests of underwater
explosives, then sunk as a breakwater off the Florida
Keys, May 13, 1972.
- CL-104 Atlanta
- light cruiser. Damaged in "Sailor Hat"
explosive tests, 1965. Sunk in explosives test off San
Clemente Island, California. October 1, 1970.
- CVL-22 Independence
- light aircraft carrier. Badly damaged in Operation
Crossroads, Independence was decommissioned and
sunk as a target off the California coast, January 27,
1951. She lies a thousand fathoms below the surface.
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Yorkship memories to Michael Kube-McDowell, Class of '68