1942 and 1943 Attack
Name: Atlantic Sun
Type: Motor tanker
Tonnage: 11.355 tons
Completed: 1941 - Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co, Chester PA 
Owner: Motor Tankship Co (Sun Oil Co), Philadelphia 
Homeport: Philadelphia 
Date of attack: 15 Feb, 1943 Nationality:      American
Fate: Sunk by U-607 (Ernst Mengersen)
Position: 51N, 41W - Grid BC 5163
Complement: 66 (65 dead and 1 survivor).
Convoy: ON-165 (straggler)
Route: Reykjavik (8 Feb) - New York 
Cargo: Water ballast 
History: On 16 Mar, 1942, the Atlantic Sun (Master Robert Linwood Montague) departed Beaumont, Texas, en route to Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania with a load of 156.840 barrels of crude oil.
On 21 March, the unescorted tanker was spotted by U-124 (Mohr) off the Beaufort Sea Buoy in 33°34N/77°25W (grid DC 1441) but could not get into a favorable firing position because of the tanker´s speed of 15 knots. As a last resort, Mohr fired a torpedo at about 4000 yards at 10.05 hours. This torpedo struck on the starboard side in the forward tank but did not severely damage the ship. The Atlantic Sun reached Beaufort, North Carolina under own power to recieve temporary repairs. None of the crew of eight officers, 32 men and five armed guards (she was armed with one 5in and four .30cal guns) reported any injuries. 
Notes on loss: The Atlantic Sun (Master William B. Longtin) had developed engine trouble and straggled from the convoy ON-165.
At 10.00 hours on 15 Feb, 1943, the tanker tried to catch up with the convoy when struck by two torpedoes from U-607 on the port side 150 miles off Cape Race. The first torpedo split the ship in half abaft the midships house and the other blew a large hole in the bow. The forward section sank in 20 minutes. The after section appeared sound enough to be taken into port under power. After the ship broke in two, 22 men led by the chief officer abandoned the after section. They returned two hours later and reboarded the after part of the ship, going below to change clothing. 30 minutes later, with the men still below, a third torpedo from U-607 struck near the stern post, causing the stern to sink 30 minutes later. After the hit a lifeboat with eight men cleared the ship half-swamped and without oars. Others went over the side into the sea just before the ship turned over keel up and sank. The ordinary seaman William Golobich was picked up by the U-boat from the water and took him to St.Nazaire. He eventually went to Milag POW camp. Those who remained behind faced moderate seas and 25° weather. None of the ten officers, 36 men, 19 armed guards (the tanker was armed with one 5in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns) and one passenger on board survived except the man that was taken prisoner. 

Copyright ©2007 by Minor W. Kates, Jr. - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED