FLORIDA East Coast Shipwrecks GulfAmerica Wreck Jacksonville
Historical and current Florida East Coast Shipwreck Information and images for scuba divers, fisherman and marine historians.




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The Divers Guide to Shipwrecks around the State of Florida and the Florida Keys. Includes over 240 illustrations comprised of 151 color photos, 83 black and white historical images, 8 dynamic u/w sketches.
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GULFAMERICA Jacksonville

The GulfAmerica was built in 1942 by Bethlehem Sparrows Pt. Shipyard. She was owned by Gulf Oil Corporation, was 445 feet long, had a 64 foot beam, displaced 8,081 tons and was powered by a 583 nhp turbine engine. The American tanker was struck twice in quick succession by torpedoes and sunk on April 11, 1942, by a German submarine. At the time she was on a voyage from Port Arthur, Texas, to New York, under the command of Captain Oscar Anderson with a cargo of 90,000 barrels of fuel oil. Both torpedoes had hit her engine room on the ship's starboard side. The initial explosion started a fire and toppled her after mast. The German submarine then surfaced and began to shell the badly damaged GulfAmerica with her deck guns. A radio distress call was sent as the Germans tried to destroy the antenna with machine gun fire. When the tanker finally settled stern first, the U-Boat departed. Although the tanker's stern had settled, the ship did not actually sink until April 16. A total of 17 of her crew plus two gunners were lost in the disaster out of a total complement of 41 crew and seven Naval armed guards. All 29 survivors were picked up by Coast Guard patrol boats later that evening and brought to Mayport, Florida. According to TRACK OF THE GRAY WOLF by Gary Gentile, the GulfAmerica was sunk by the U-123, while under the command of Kapitan Leutant Reinhard Hardegen. Gary goes on to say that even though the GulfAmerica was running with her lights out, "Captain Oscar Anderson surmised that she was silhouetted against the bright shore lights," and therefore became an easy target. This wreck is also known as the Jacksonville Beach Wreck.

Gulf Oil Company had a fleet of 32 tankers in service when World War II started. A total of six were lost due to German torpedoes or other military action.

The GulfAmerica now rests in 65 feet of water. According to Captain Tim O'Donnell, she is hardly recognizable.

Photo: The Gulf America sinking after being torpedoed on April tl,1942. Photo Courtesy The Mariners Museum, Newport News, Virginia.

Basic shipwreck information and images for this section of this site was taken with permission from the book Florida Shipwrecks by Daniel Berg. You are invited to submit your shipwreck related articles, images and information. As long as the text, photographs, sketches etc are of professional quality we will showcase them. Full credit will be provide and a same page link to your web site can be arranged.

Florida Shipwrecks ebook
The Divers Guide to Shipwrecks around the State of Florida and the Florida Keys,

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By Dan and Denise Berg, 180 pages. Shipwrecks are an important complement to the natural coral reefs as a sport diving attraction in Florida. From the barley discernable ballast piles of the 1733 fleet to the almost perfectly intact modern ships sunk specifically as artificial reefs throughout the state, shipwrecks inspire an aura of mystery and fascination. Florida Shipwrecks is the most comprehensive, accurate, illustrated collection of information, photographs, sketches and stories ever written about the shipwrecks around the state of Florida. This downloadable ebook contains a wealth of enlightening information that gives the readers a nostalgic glimpse into the history and present condition of over 235 shipwrecks. Florida Shipwrecks includes over 240 illustrations comprised of 151 color photos, 83 black and white historical images, 8 dynamic u/w sketches. Divers , snorkelers, marine historians, armchair sailors or anyone with a general interest in history diving or the sea will surely find this ebook fascinating, as well as indispensable.


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