CITIES SERVICE EMPIRE 

STERN

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(underwater images courtesy of SeaWolf Productions)

The Cities Service Empire was a 465 foot tanker built in 1918. Originally know was the Ampetco, the ship was a member of the Cities Service Oil Company Fleet. Just after the start of World War II, the Empire was headed up the Florida coast to Philadelphia carrying a full load of volatile petroleum products, when she entered the patrol area of the German submarine U-128. The U-128 had recently sunk first allied ship off Florida, the Pan Massachusetts, in the same vicinity. The U-128 put two torpedoes into the Empire’s starboard side, which ignited her cargo and sent her to a flaming end off Port Canaveral, FL. The wreck now lays upright in 255 fsw.  Much of this damage can still be seen today. A large wreck her most notable features include a stern anti-ship gun and large clusters of oculina coral around her deck.


(l) Stern and gun of Cities Service Empire; (r) Shell plate blown free of stern from depth charges.


(l) Naval gun on stern; (r) Gun traverse.


(l) Gun barrel and recoil tube; (r) Screw with missing blade.

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