Byron D. Benson
American Steam tanker
|Name||Byron D. Benson|
|Completed||1922 - O. Daniels Shipbuilding Co, Tampa FL|
|Owner||Tide Water Associated Oil Co, New York|
|Date of attack||5 Apr 1942||Nationality: American|
|Fate||Sunk by U-552 (Erich Topp)|
|Position||36° 08'N, 75° 32'W - Grid CA 7652|
|Complement||37 (10 dead and 27 survivors).|
|Route||Port Arthur, Texas - Bayonne, New Jersey|
|Cargo||91500 barrels of crude oil|
|Notes on event|
At 04.47 hours on 5 April 1942, U-552 fired one torpedo from a distance of 1000 yards 7.5 miles off Currituck Inlet, North Carolina and hit the Byron D. Benson (Master John G. MacMillan) amidships between the #7 and #8 tanks. The explosion sent burning oil hundreds of feet in the air and all over the after part of the tanker. The crew of eight officers and 29 men in panic began abandoning ship in two lifeboats without orders, so that the engines were never secured and the vessel was still moving at six knots. Ten men in the boat of the master were seen drifting into flaming water and were not seen again. Four officers and 21 men in the other lifeboat were picked up by the USS Hamilton (DMS 18), one crewman on a raft was picked up by the trawler and another was later found by the US Coast Guard cutter USS Dione. All survivors were landed at Norfolk, Virginia. The burning tanker did not sink until three days later.
|On board||We have details of 11 people who were on board.|
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