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St Simons Island in Glynn County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
S.S. Oklahoma and Esso Baton Rouge
Attacked by U-123
 
S.S. <i>Oklahoma </i>and <i>Esso Baton Rouge </i> Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2008
1. S.S. Oklahoma and Esso Baton Rouge Marker
 
Inscription. After midnight on April 8, 1942, the German submarine U-123 was in position off the St. Simons Island sea buoy. Minutes later it chased and torpedoed two tankers, the Oklahoma and Esso Baton Rouge, killing twenty-two crew members. Survivors were brought here to the U.S. Coast Guard Station for debriefing. Five of those killed were buried in Brunswick`s Palmetto Cemetery as "Unknown Seamen," but were positively identified in 1998. The ships were raised, towed to Brunswick for emergency repairs and reentered into service. Both ships were sunk in the Atlantic Ocean before the end of World War II.
 
Erected 2000 by The Georgia Historical Society and The Propeller Club of the United States--Port No. 91, Brunswick, Georgia. (Marker Number 63-3.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Historical Society/Commission marker series.
 
Location. 31° 8.741′ N, 81° 22.374′ W. Marker is in St Simons Island, Georgia, in Glynn County. Marker is on First Street near Just east of Woods Ave, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. In the parking lot of the Old Coast Guard Station, Maritime Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4201 First Street, Saint Simons Island GA 31522, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
 
S.S. <i>Oklahoma </i>and <i>Esso Baton Rouge </i> Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2008
2. S.S. Oklahoma and Esso Baton Rouge Marker
 
At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Demere Road (approx. half a mile away); Battle of Bloody Marsh (approx. 0.8 miles away); A Clash Of Cultures (approx. 0.9 miles away); Fort St Simons (approx. 1.1 miles away); Delegal's Fort (approx. 1.1 miles away); Old Spanish Garden (approx. 1.3 miles away); St. Simons Park (approx. 1.4 miles away); Couper's Point (approx. 1.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in St Simons Island.
 
Regarding S.S. Oklahoma and Esso Baton Rouge . German U-boat commander: Oklahoma was "a sitting duck" (by Bill Hendrick; The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, February 14, 1999)
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Glynn County War Memorial
 
Also see . . .
1. Esso Baton Rouge. Uboat. net (Submitted on November 3, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

2. Oklahoma, excerpt from Uboat.net,. The torpedo struck the engine room and she quickly settled by the stern in 40 feet of water and the stern rested on the bottom after 45 minutes with the bow still visible over the water. Most of the eight officers and 29 men abandoned ship in three lifeboats, but the master and three men reboarded the vessel when they heard screams. They found one of the officers critically wounded, who subsequently died and they could not reach some of the 18 missing men apparently trapped below. The radio operator sent another distress message and then abandoned ship again.

In the meantime, the U-boat had torpedoed the Esso Baton Rouge at 08.44 hours, which caught fire and sank in shallow waters and then returned to finish off the Oklahoma with gunfire. Twelve rounds were fired and five hits scored on the bridge and bow after which the tanker caught fire. The survivors of both ships headed together for the Georgia coast. The next morning a US Coast Guard boat took them in tow and landed them at Brunswick. (Submitted on November 3, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
S.S. <i>Oklahoma </i>and <i>Esso Baton Rouge </i> Memorial at Glynn County Courthouse, Brunswick Ga. Photo, Click for full size
By Mike Stroud, 2008
3. S.S. Oklahoma and Esso Baton Rouge Memorial at Glynn County Courthouse, Brunswick Ga.
In Memory of
Merchant Mariners
Lost during U-Boat attack
April 8, 1942
Esso Baton Rouge
Carl Hollger James Layne William Scheich
S.S. Oklahoma
Herman Baker Joseph Boyd Alfredo Carmona Mattias Chorman Richard Dooley Arlis Edgar Joseph Geary Arthur Genter Lastie Hance William Howell Frank Kroy Stanley Majba Robert McGregor James Mott John Price James Riley Charles Rivette Osswald Ryder Charles Sistrunk

 

3. American Merchant Marine at War,. (excerpt The Atlanta-Journal Constitution http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/) This is the story of the Georgians who solved the mystery of the SS Oklahoma and its unnamed dead.
Between January and May 1942, 82 American vessels hauling badly needed war supplies were sunk by German submarines, often close to the U.S. coast -- including six off Georgia and Florida. (Submitted on November 3, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

4. Operations information for U-123. Kriegsmarine and U-Boat history. Unlike the Oklahoma and Esso Baton Rouge, the U-123 survived the war and was used by the French until 1959. (Submitted on November 3, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on November 3, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,000 times since then. Last updated on January 25, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 3, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
 
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