San florentino

 

 

 San florentino

 

Official Number:                     143056

Builder:                                  Swan, Hunter & Wigham, Richardson, Wallsend

Launched:                              4 December 1918

Into Service:                           1939

Out of service:                        2 October 1941

Fate:                                     2 October 1941 torpedoed and sunk 

 

Items of historic interest involving this ship: -

 

Background Data:  One of an additional group of ships requisitioned by the Admiralty during WW2 to augment the ships of the RFA

 

Career Data:

4 December 1918 launched by Swan, Hunter & Wigham, Richardson, Wallsend as Yard Nr: 1029  named SAN FLORENTINO for Eagle Oil Transport Co Ltd, London

10 April 1919 underwent builders trials off the Tyne

April 1919 completed - described in the press at the time as the 'Worlds Largest Tanker' with a carrying capacity of 135,000 barrels of oil

23 July 1919 passed Sandy Key, Florida

27 August 1919 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing east bound

7 April 1920 radioed when she was 900 miles east of Bermuda that she had found the five masted wooden, twin screwed motor schooner Santino of San Francisco with a full cargo of sulphur. The schooner had about eight feet of water in the holds and engine room. Boarded and commenced pumping the water out of the vessel. Took the vessel in tow to Bermuda. Details from Lloyds Casualty Reports

15 April 1920 arrived at Bermuda with the Santino in tow (see above) 

7 July 1920 sailed Portland, Maine

16 November 1920 62 miles south of Loggerhead - reported in the New York Tribune 18 November 1920

21 January 1921 reported that she was 160 miles west of Cape Cruz - reported in the New York Tribune 24 January 1921

22 April 1921 125 miles off Hatteras - reported in the New York Tribune 25 April 1921

13 November 1921 reported she was 25 NE of Jupiter - - reported in the New York Tribune 15 November 1921

25 June 1922 berthed at Avonmouth from Tampico, Mexico with 10 passengers. Captain H Paterson was the Master

5 February 1923 arrived at Avonmouth from Portsmouth and entered dry dock for repairs

23 February 1923 sailed Avonmouth to Tampico, Mexico with 1 passenger

27 February 1923 stood by the steamer Blairlogie being swept with heavy seas off Lands End and making for the Bristol Channel and in danger of being swamped - from Lloyds Casualty Reports

18 May 1925 berthed at Avonmouth from Tampico, Mexico with 4 passengers

26 November 1925 berthed on the Gosport Oil Fuel Jetty - described in the Portsmouth Evening News of this day as an RFA

18 August 1928 was the first ship to use the new Salt End Oil Fuel Jetty at Hull. Discharged part of her cargo - 2,500 tons of fuel oil for Shell Mex Ltd

15 November 1929 sailed Falmouth to Puerto Mexico with 9 passengers

7 January 1930 berthed at Avonmouth from Puerto Mexico with 4 passengers

1930 owners restyled as Eagle Oil & Shipping Co Ltd, London name unchanged

24 December 1930 sailed Falmouth to Aruba

17 September 1931 sailed from Santos for Puerto Mexico

8 January 1932 berthed at Avonmouth from Tampico, Mexico with 2 passengers

29 November 1933 Fireman Joseph Maloney discharged dead from Brights Disease

7 November 1934 sailed Falmouth to Aruba with 1 passenger

30 July 1936 berthed at Avonmouth from Turpam with 10 passengers. Captain A Hulbert was the Master

31 August 1936 sailed Falmouth

18 January 1937 arrived at Southampton

13 November 1937 berthed at Liverpool from Curacao with 2 DBS passengers

19 December 1937 at Aruba

12 January 1938 at Montevideo

29 April 1939 sailed from Aruba

12 August 1939 at 48.10N 10.16W Able Seaman John Laing discharged dead presumed drowned

1939 requisitioned by the Admiralty

1 September 1939 sailed Trinidad independently to Montevideo arriving on 23 September 1939

25 September 1939 sailed Montevideo independently to Buenos Aires arriving the next day

30 September 1939 sailed Buenos Aires independently to Montevido arriving the same day

1 October 1939 sailed Montevideo independently to Trinidad arriving 19 October 1939

20 October 1939 sailed Trinidad independtly to Aruba arriving 23 October 1939

24 October 1939 sailed Aruba independently to Las Piedras arriving the next day

26 October 1939 sailed Las Piedras independently to Halifax arriving 5 November 1939

10 November 1939 sailed Halifax in convoy HX8 to Milford Haven arriving 25 November 1939

28 November 1939 at Liverpool Bosun Vernon Watson discharged dead from pneumonia

20 December 1939 sailed and joined Liverpool convoy OB57 until it dispersed on 23 December 1939 then sailed independently to Houston arriving 21 January 1940

25 January 1940 sailed Houston independently to Halifax arriving 5 February 1940

7 February 1940 sailed Halifax in convoy HX19 to Liverpool arriving 22 February 1940

1 March 1940 sailed Le Havre independently to Spithead arriving the next day

2 March 1940 sailed joining the Southend convoy OA102 bound to Liverpool

4 March 1940 while part of convoy OA102 was attacked by the German Submarine U29 but torpedo failures resulted in the ship escaping. The same submarine sunk ss Pacific Reliance also part of convoy OA102

5 March 1940 arrived Liverpool

17 April 1940 sailed Liverpool in convoy OB131 until dispersal on 21 April 1940. Then sailed independently to Curacao arriving 8 May 1940

23 April 1940 at 45.0N 21.41W Bosun William Constant discharged dead from injuries sustained from falling down the fore hold

13 May 1940 sailed Curacao independently to Halifax arriving 22 May 1940

24 May 1940 sailed Halifax in convoy HX45 to Liverpool arriving 8 June 1940

21 June 1940 sailed and joined the Southend convoy OA172 until dispersal on 25 June 1940. Then sailed independently to Curacao

10 July 1940 sailed Trinidad independently to Puerto La Cruz arriving the next day

13 July 1940 sailed Puerton La Cruz independently to Aruba arriving 15 July 1940

18 July 1940 sailed Aruba independently to Curacao arriving the next day

21 July 1940 sailed Curacao independently to Montevideo arriving 16 August 1940 and Buenos Aires arriving the next day

20 August 1940 sailed Buenos Aires independently to Puerto La Cruz arriving 8 September 1940

9 September 1940 sailed Puerto La Cruz independently to Aruba arriving 11 September 1940

15 September 1940 sailed Aruba independently to Curacao arriving the next day

17 September 1940 sailed Curacao independently to Trinidad arriving arriving 20 September 1940

20 September 1940 sailed Trinidad independently to Montevideo arriving 10 October 1940

14 October 1940 sailed Montevideo independently to Buenos Aires arriving the same day

17 October 1940 sailed Buenos Aires independently to Trinidad arriving 5 November 1940

12 November 1940 sailed Trinidad independently to Halifax arriving 23 November 1940

25 November 1940 sailed Halifax in escorted convoy HX91 to Liverpool arriving 11 December 1940 with a cargo of FFO

11 January 1941 sailed the Clyde and joined escorted convoy OB272 until dispersal on 14 January 1941 and then independently to Curacao arriving 4 March 194

16 March 1941 sailed Curacao independently to Halifax arriving 16 March 1941

21 March 1941 sailed Halifax in escorted convoy HX116 to Liverpool arriving 9 April 1941

1 June 1941 sailed Halifax in escorted convoy HX130 to Liverpool arriving 20 June 1941

1 July 1941 sailed the Clyde and joined escorted convoy OB341 until dispersal 6 July 1941 and then independently to Curacao arriving 21 July 1941. RFA ECHODALE also sailed in this convoy for Curacao

23 July 1941 sailed Curacao independently to Halifax arriving 2 August 1941

10 August 1941 sailed Halifax in escorted convoy HX144 to Liverpool arriving 30 August 1941 with one passenger. RFA OLYNTHUS also sailed in this convoy

21 September 1941 sailed the Clyde in Convoy ON19. RFA DERWENTDALE was in the same convoy

1 October 1941 torpedoed and damaged by gunfire from German submarine U-94 (Oberleutnant zur See Otto Ites) in the Atlantic SE of Cape Farewell in position 52.50N 34.40W while on passage from Glasgow to Curacao in ballast.           

2 October 1941 again torpedoed and damaged by German submarine U-94 in position 52.42 N 34.51 W and later sunk by gunfire from the Canadian corvette HMCS ALBERNI as a straggler from Convoy ON19. A total of 23 lives were lost in the attacks and 35 survivors were rescued by the Canadian corvette HMCS MAYFLOWER (A/Lt.Cdr. G.H. Stephen, RCNR) and landed at St John’s, Newfoundland. Those who were killed are remembered with pride on the Tower Hill Memorial and on the Chatham Naval Memorial

San Florentino CWGC

 Image courtesy of Brian Watson

3 March 1942 Chief Officer Stanley Miller appointed as a Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) - Civil Division, Third Engineer Officer Leonard V Grinstead appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) - Civil Division. Second Officer George Taylor awarded the George Medal, Gunner Sidney Freeman and Able Seaman Paul W Needham both awarded the British Empire Medal - Civil Division.

AB Needham BEM

The British Empire Medal (Civil Division) awarded to Able Seaman Paul W Needham
© Spink & Son

 

Third Officer George D Todd, Apprentice Henry V F Woram, Able Seaman Reginald V Carpenter and Able Seaman Thomas Clayton each awarded a Commendation. Captain Robert William Davis, Apprentice David Hamilton, First Radio Officer Thomas F Alexander, Second Radio Officer Stanley G Carpenter, Third Radio Officer George W Ward and Fireman Thomas Carters each awarded a Postumous Commendation. All for services when the ship was torpedoed and sunk and for fighting the attacking submarine for five hours. Details of the all the appointments and awards published in the London Gazette of this day. Ungazetted awards of the Lloyd's Bravery at Sea Medal were also made to Chief Officer Stanley Miller, Second Officer George Taylor, Third Engineer Officer Leonard V Grinstead, Gunner Sidney Freeman and Able Seaman Paul W Needham. Fireman Thomas Carter was postumously awarded the Lloyd's Bravery at Sea Medal

Copyright © 2008 – 2017 Christopher J White

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