June 15, 1942 – This Day During World War ll – convoy KN-109 sailed into a minefield sinking and damaging 4 ships

June 15, 1942 – On 15 June 1942 convoy KN-109 came into a minefield laid on 11 June by U-701 off Virginia Beach. The A/S trawler HMS Kingston Ceylonite (FY 214) sank and the tankers Robert C. Tuttle and Esso Augusta, along with the destroyer USS Bainbridge (DD 246) were damaged.
The Robert C. Tuttle (Master Martin Johansen) traveled in the last position of the port column of the two-column convoy when at 23.04 hours a mine struck at the #2 tank on the starboard side about 100 feet from the stem. The explosion blew oil over the whole length and the second assistant engineer overboard, who drowned. As the engines were stopped, she swung out of the line because all forward compartments were flooded. The tanker settled by the bow, but rested on the bottom in 54 feet of water after ten minutes. The ship was awash to midships with the after section out of water. The eight officers, 33 crewmen, five armed guards and a Navy signalman abandoned ship in three lifeboats. After rowing six miles, they were taken in tow at 23.50 hours by USS PC-474 and brought to Little Creek, Virginia.

The Robert C. Tuttle

2 thoughts on “June 15, 1942 – This Day During World War ll – convoy KN-109 sailed into a minefield sinking and damaging 4 ships

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge to us. 🏆

    1. Thanks, I got interested in passing on our rich military history after my dad passed in 2001 and in cleaning out his safety deposit box realized he gave up a promising career in Baseball when wounded during the Battle for Hill 27 during the Battle for Guadalcanal and that the history of the United States Military is all about the sacrifice men and women make for their country and the men around them.

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