John, who resided in Clayton, Delaware, served as a Oiler on the M.S. Sunoil, U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II.
The M.S. Sunoil was part of convoy HX-231 which was a group of 61 ships being guarded by the British Navy. They were en-route from Halifax, Nova Scotia to England. There was a crew of 69 on board which included "10" officers, "33" merchant mariners, and "26" navy armed guards.
The M.S. Sunoil, which due to engine trouble, was behind the rest of the convoy and was first hit by one torpedo fired by German submarine U-563. The armed guards were able to force the U-boat to submerge and they radioed a distress signal. The British HMS Vidette (D 48) soon was on the scene and prevented another immediate attack. The M.S. Sunoil continued on ....
Six hours later they were hit by a second torpedo fired by German Submarine U-530 which ended up sinking the ship. All "69" on board were lost.
John was declared "Missing In Action" in this attack during the war.
He was awarded the Mariner's Medal and a Combat Bar with a Star.
Husband of Emma Troyer Dittman.
This record is a "Cenotaph" in his memory.
John was 1 of 3 Delawareans that perished on the M.S. Sunoil.
The other two were:
"Hunter Nickles Craddock" from Claymont, Delaware.
"George Henry Foster" from Wilmington, Delaware.
( Bio by: Russ Pickett )
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