Edward Joseph Caffrey

Edward Joseph Caffrey

Death 5 Apr 1943 (aged 19)
At Sea
Burial Coton, South Cambridgeshire District, Cambridgeshire, England
Plot Memorial Wall containing the Tablets of the Missing
Memorial ID 56288302 · View Source
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Although Mr. Caffrey died on April 5, 1943, he wasn't officially declared dead until April 6, 1944
Service No: 2563993
Award: Purple Heart
Entered the Service from Washington, D.C.

In March 1943, the American tanker MS Sunoil was equipped with one 4in, one 3in and eight 20mm guns, and a 26-man gun crew that included Gunner's Mate 3rd Class EDWARD JOSEPH CAFFREY. On the 27th, Mr. Caffrey was on board as the tanker sailed out of New York with a 62-ship convoy, HX-231. Her cargo of 102,000 barrels of fuel oil was bound for Halifax and Scotland.

By Apr 5th, after leaving Halifax, the tanker had developed engine problems and was forced to fall back (straggle) from the convoy. German submarine U-563 spotted the zigzagging Sunoil and fired three torpedoes, one of which hit. The Armed Guards on board forced the U-boat to submerge, and a distress signal was heard by British ship HMS Vidette which came forward and averted another attack. Later that day, another submarine, U-530, spied the tanker and fired a spread of three torpedoes; one hit and the ship stopped. After being hit by two more torpedoes, the MS Sunoil quickly sank. A destroyer in the vicinity searched for any sign of the ship without success before returning to the convoy.

There were 43 Merchant Mariners and 26 US Navy Armed Guards on board; none survived.

"The U.S. Navy Armed Guard was a service branch of the United States Navy that was responsible for defending U.S. and Allied merchant ships from attack by enemy aircraft, submarines and surface ships during World War II.
The men of the Armed Guard served as gunners, signal men and radio operators on cargo ships, tankers, troop ships and other merchant vessels..."

Edward Caffrey's name is included in the Tablets of the Missing on the Memorial Wall, Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, Coton, Cambridgeshire, England.

See also: Arlington National Cemetery

(bio by Patricia O'Neal)


BODY LOST AT SEA. Mr. Caffrey was on MS Sunoil when the ship was torpedoed and sunk in the North Atlantic by U-530


Plan a visit to Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial?



  • Maintained by: Patricia O'Neal
  • Originally Created by: War Graves
  • Added: 6 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56288302
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Edward Joseph Caffrey (23 May 1923–5 Apr 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56288302, citing Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial, Coton, South Cambridgeshire District, Cambridgeshire, England ; Maintained by Patricia O'Neal (contributor 47113049) .