|SHIP NOTES: (Sources: Jordan, Gentile)|
|Built: 1920 by Bethlehem Steel Building, Sparrows Point, MD; Hull #4202||Owner: Standard Transportation Company/
Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, Inc.
Home Port: New York, NY
|Size (ft.): 453-0" x 56-2" x 27-1"||Tonnage: 6,952 gross|
|Propulsion: Oil-fired steam; speed approx 10.5 kts|
|Date Sunk: 3/15/1942||Cause: Torpedoed by U-158|
|Location: Cape Lookout, NC||GPS: unknown (see Hutton)|
SS Ario (11)
|SHIP HISTORY; (Gentile, Moore)|
|The SS Ario was sailing alone and unarmed from New York, NY to Corpus Christi, TX in ballast. At 0222 EWT, 12 miles SW of the Cape Lookout Light Bouy, a torpedo struck the #9 tank on the starboard side. Before abandoning the ship, reportedly two subs started shelling the ship from the port and starboard sides. The ship was abandoned but later reboarded by the ships officers to assess the damage and potential for salvage. They determined the Ario was beyond hope and when it was last seen, the Ario was still afloat on its side 10 hours later. It is believed to have sunk just east of Cape Lookout. Eight crewmembers were killed during the attack. The remaining 28 survivors were picked up by the USS DuPont (DD-152) and taken to Charleston, SC.
Samuel L. Jeffery was a merchant seaman lost on the Ario. A liberty ship, hull #2997 built by the Todd-Houston Shipbuilding Corporation, was later launched with his name. The liberty ship was delivered on Feb. 2, 1945. It suffered major damage in a collision in the Caribbean on June 1, 1945 which resulted in the death of 4 crew members. The Samuel L. Jeffery was laid up and ultimately scrapped in Port Arthur, TX in 1947.
USS DuPont DD-152 circa August, 1942 (8)
|Diving Depths: unknown (see Hutton)|
|Current: unknown (see Hutton)|
|Visibility: unknown (see Hutton)|
|Summer Temperature:unknown (see Hutton)|
|Points of Interest: unknown (see Hutton)|
|Fish/Animal Life: unknown (see Hutton)|
The Ario is one of those wrecks that diving enthusiasts have been searching for years. No one has found it yet, so it either sunk deep or is hiding in "plain sight". The theory below contends that we may have known where it has been been all along, we just didn't know we had found it!
July 2006: The latest saga of the wreck "identity" investigation presents a scenario which blows-up a number of decades-old wreck locations and identifications. The hypothesis of this chapter is that the W.E. Hutton site is really that of the Ario. And the site of the Papoose is that of the W.E. Hutton. So where is the wreck site of the Papoose? In this hypothesis, it is the wreck site previously thought to be that of the San Delfino, well north of Hatteras over 50 miles a way. And the San Delfino? It is the located at the site locally thought to be the Mirlo, another large tanker sunk by the U-117 during World War I. The new location of the Mirlo is yet to be identified.
W.E. Hutton 453-0" x 56-0" x 27-3" Sunk: 3/18/1942
Papoose 412-0" x 53-4" x 25-8" Sunk: 3/19/1942
Ario 453-0" x 56-2" x 27-1" Sunk 3/15/1942
San Delfino 463-0" x 61-0" x 33-0" Sunk: 4/9/1942
Mirlo 425-0" x 57-0" x 33-0" Sunk: 8/16/1918
Only the recovery of a definitive, identifying artifact and further investigation will prove whether this hypothesis holds.