Torpedoed off Georgia Coast
On Thursday afternoon, June 10, 1943 the SS Esso Gettysburg, one of the first T-2 tankers, was ninety miles off the Georgia coast and bound for Philadelphia with crude oil. Just before 2 PM, the German U-66, sailing at periscope depth, fired two torpedoes, seconds apart. The first shattered two cargo tanks and the whole ship burst into flames. The second hit the engine room and left the Gettysburg dead in the water, down by the stern, and sinking rapidly. All the lifeboats were engulfed by fire. No one saw the sub before the two torpedoes, four seconds apart, set her afire and sank her. Flames prevented launching any boats those who survived jumped overboard, several without time to don life preservers.