Requisitioned Auxiliary – Robert E Hopkins

 Robert E Hopkins


Official Number:                      221663

Laid down:

Builder:                                  Merchant Shipbuilding Corp, Chester, PA, USA

Launched:                              6 August 1921

Into Service:                           1941

Out of service:                        7 February 1943

Fate:                                     7 February 1943 torpedoed and sunk


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –


Background Data:  

One of a group of additional American ships which served as Escort Oilers during WW2


Career Data:


6 August 1921 launched by Merchant Shipbuilding Corp, Chester, PA as Yard No: 383 named Robert E Hopkins for Tide Water Oil Co Inc., New York later Tidewater Associated Oil Co.

October 1921 completed

25 December 1941 sailed Baton Rouge

1 January 1942 sailed Hampton Roads independently to Port Arthur arriving 8 January 1942

9 January 1942 sailed Port Arthur independently to New York arriving 17 January 1942

1942 owners became US WSA

20 January 1942 sailed New York independently to Cristobal arriving 28 January 1942

28 January 1942 sailed Balboa independently to Los Angles arriving 10 February 1942

WW2  served as an Escort Oiler, name unchanged

5 September 1942 sailed Key West independently to New Orleans arriving 8 September 1942

13 September 1942 sailed Pilottown in unescorted convoy KH402 to Galveston Bar arriving 15 September 1942

24 September 1942 sailed Galveston independently

27 September 1942 sailed Corpus Christie independently to Galveston arriving 28 September 1942

2 October 1942 sailed Galveston Bar in escorted convoy HK108 to Key West arriving 6 October 1942

6 October 1942 sailed Key West in unescorted convoy KN204 to New York arriving 12 October 1942

16 October 1942 sailed New York in escorted convoy SC106 with a cargo of FFO to the River Clyde arriving on 5 November 1942

7 November 1942 sailed the River Clyde joining in escorted convoy ON144 to New York arriving 29 November 1942

6 December 1942 sailed New York in unescorted convoy NG327 to Guantanamo arriving on 13 December 1942

13 December 1942 sailed Guantanamo in escorted convoy GAT29 to Curacao arriving 17 December 1942

21 December 1942 sailed Curacao in unescorted convoy TAG30 to Guantanamo arriving 24 December 1942

24 December 1942 sailed Guantanamo in escorted convoy GN30 to New York arriving 1 January 1943

12 January 1943 sailed New York in escorted convoy SC117  with a cargo of FFO. She returned to St Johns Newfoundland after a collision arriving 23 January 1943

30 January 1943 sailed St Johns, Newfoundland joining escorted convoy SC118 from New York. During this convoy she acted as an Escort Oiler but ….

7 February 1943 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-402 in position 55.13 N 26.22 W some 650 miles W of Malin Head while on passage from New York to Glasgow in Convoy SC118 carrying a cargo of Admiralty fuel oil with the loss of 15 lives. 42 survivors were rescued by the corvette HMS MIGNONETTE and landed at Londonderry 3 days later. The tanker was struck by two torpedoes which struck seven minutes apart. The second torpedo hit the boiler room.