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SS John Randolph
Career (United States)
Name: John Randolph
Namesake: John Randolph
Owner: War Shipping Administration (WSA)
Operator: Waterman Steamship Corp.
Ordered: as type (EC2-S-C1) hull, MCE hull 19
Awarded: 14 March 1941
Builder: Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland[1]
Cost: $1,354,256[2]
Yard number: 2006
Way number: 6
Laid down: 15 July 1941
Launched: 30 December 1941
Completed: 27 February 1942
Identification:
  • Call sign: KBMZ
  • ICS Kilo.svgICS Bravo.svgICS Mike.svgICS Zulu.svg[2]
Fate: Sunk by Allied Naval mine, 5 July 1942
General characteristics [3]
Class & type:
  • Liberty ship
  • type EC2-S-C1, standard
Tonnage:
  • 10,865 LT DWT
  • 7,176 GRT
  • Displacement:
  • 3,380 long tons (3,434 t) (light)
  • 14,245 long tons (14,474 t) (max)
  • Length: 441 ft 6 in (135 m)
    Beam: 56 ft 10.75 in (17.3419 m)
    Draft: 27 ft 9.25 in (8.4646 m)
    Installed power:
    • 2 × Oil fired 450 °F (232 °C) boilers, operating at 220 psi (1,500 kPa)
    • 2,500 hp (1,900 kW)
    Propulsion:
  • 2 × oil-fired boilers
  • 1 × triple-expansion steam engine, 2,500 horsepower (1,900 kW) (manufactured by Worthington Pump & Machinery Corp, Harrison, New Jersey)
  • 1 × screw propeller
  • Speed: 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h)
    Capacity: 10,800 long tons deadweight (DWT)
    Complement: 41
    Armament:
    • Stern-mounted 4"/50 caliber (102 mm) gun for use against surfaced submarines
    • variety of anti-aircraft guns

    SS John Randolph was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after John Randolph, was a planter and a Congressman from Virginia, serving in the House of Representatives at various times between 1799 and 1833, and the Senate from 1825 to 1827. He was also Minister to Russia under President Andrew Jackson in 1830.

    Construction

    John Randolph was laid down on 15 July 1941, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MCE hull 19, by the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland; and was launched on 30 December 1941.[1][2]

    History

    She was allocated to Union Sulphur & Oil Co., Inc., on 27 February 1942.[4]

    Sinking

    John Randolph was severely damaged after striking an Allied mine on the night of 5 July 1942.[5]

    Having left Murmansk, on 27 June 1942, Convoy QP-13 encountered fog on 5 July 1942, north west of Iceland. Due to the overcast weather and poor visibility, about 1 mi (1.6 km), Commander Cubison, aboard the escort ship HMS Niger, ordered the convoy to form up in two columns, from five, to pass between Straumnes and the Northern Barrage minefield. At 20:00 Commander Cubison had estimated his location at 66°45′N 22°22′W / 66.75°N 22.367°W / 66.75; -22.367 and suggested that the convoy alter course to 222°. At 22:00 Niger mistook what was later identified as an iceberg for Iceland's North Cape, at a bearing of 150° and one mile range. Cubison ordered the convoy to change course to 270°. At 22:40 Niger exploded and sank with a heavy loss of life, this included Commander Cubison. The convoy had entered the minefield at this time and the merchant ships SS Heffron, SS Hybert, SS Massmar, and SS Rodina struck mines and were sunk, John Randolph and SS Exterminator were seriously damaged. The forepart was salved but broke tow on 1 September 1952 and was wrecked at Torrisdale Bay, Sutherland, Scotland, on 5 September.[6][7][8]

    References

    1. 1.0 1.1 Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards 2008.
    2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 MARCOM.
    3. Davies 2004, p. 23.
    4. MARAD.
    5. Uboat.
    6. "MHG23280 - John Randolph (Fore Part): Torrisdale Bay, Sutherland". https://her.highland.gov.uk/monument/MHG23280. 
    7. "Record 167 in Wreck Details". https://librarylink.highland.gov.uk/LLFiles/27954/full_27954.pdf. 
    8. Sawyer, L.A.; Mitchell, W.H.. The Liberty ships: the history of the 'Emergency' type cargo ships constructed in the United States during World War II. David & Charles. pp. 42. ISBN 0715349074. 

    Bibliography

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