Requisitioned Auxiliary – San Onofre


Tanker san Onofre




Tanker san Onofre


Official Number:                     136703

Builder:                                   Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd, Low Walker

Launched:                              10 June 1914

Into Service:                           1914

Out of service:                        12 May 1917

Fate:                                       Torpedoed and sunk


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –



Background Data:  One of an additional group of ships requisitioned by the Admiralty during WW1 to augment the ships of the RFA

Career Data:


10 June 1914 launched by Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd., Low Walker as Yard Nr: 853 and named San Onofre for Eagle Oil Transport Co Ltd., London

11 June 1914 the Newcastle Journal newspaper reported …

11 6 1914 Newcastle Journal San Onofre

September 1914 completed

1914 requisitioned by the Admiralty for services as an oiler

24 September 1914 stopped by HMS VENGEANCE while the warship was on patrol in the English Channel off the Lizard

HMS Vengeance ca. 1899


26 January 1915 berthed at Port Victoria from Tampico

19 March 1915 berthed at Tuxpan

27 November 1915 HMS VINDICTIVE while on passage from Rio de Janerio to Abrolhos Rocks sighted San Onofre steaming south and exchanged messages



29 February 1916 in the North Atlantic while bound from Rosyth to Tampico in ballast has been disabled for several days due to difficulties with the heating coils for bunkers. All wood on the ship had been consumed to provide steam

1 March 1916 assistance was sought by radio and given by ss San Gregorio who towed San Onofre to Halifax, N.S. arriving 18 March 1916. (from The Times and from the Evening Public Ledger, Philadelphia)

27 December 1916 in the Bristol Channel in collision with the steamship Melanie – the collision was subject to proceedings in the Amiralty Division of the High Court – see the press report from The Scotsman newspaper below

10 March 1917 proceedings were concluded in the Admiralty Division of the High Court involving the Owners, Master and crew of the ss Ashtabula for salvage renumeration for services rendered to the San Onofre on 29 February 1916. The Court awarded a total of £36,550 – £32,000 to the owners of the Ashtabula, £1,000 to it’s Master and £3,550 to the crew

12 May 1917 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-48 in the Atlantic 64 miles NW of Skelligs Rocks, 7 miles W of Bolus Head, Co Kerry in position 52°26N 14°40W while on passage from Puerto Mexico to Queenstown with a cargo of fuel oil with the loss of one life – Fireman P J Kuylers who is proudly remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial


 San Onofre sinking
 Location of the Sinking of the San Onofre

24 June 1919 The Scotsaman Newspaper reported –


Press Cutting Scotsman 24 6 1919