12 Mar 1942

United States
  • The 11,641-ton American steam merchant ship John D. Gill was on its second voyage, travelling on route from Atreco, Texas, United States to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States with 141,981 barrels of crude oil. At 2110 hours, just off the coast of North Carolina, United States, a torpedo from German submarine U-158 struck the starboard side. The tanker did not explode or ignite until a life ring with a self-igniting carbide lamp was thrown overboard by a crew member. The ship was immediately engulfed in flames. Explosions wrecked all but No. 2 and No. 4 lifeboats. The No. 2 boat was successfully launched with 15 crew members who were later picked up by the SS Robert H. Colley and taken to Charleston, South Carolina, United States. The No. 4 boat capsized while being lowered and its occupants were dumped into the sea. Many were lost when sucked into the still turning propeller. Of the ships complement of 42 crew and 7 naval armed guard, 23 were killed. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | Kure Beach, North Carolina | HM]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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