F.W. Abrams

The F.W. Abrams was a 467-foot long tanker, built by New York Ship Building Corporation in 1920. June of 1942 found the Abrams heading from Aruba to New York with a cargo of fuel oil. Unfortunately, the trip ended in a tragic disaster. Not a victim of marauding u-boats, the Abrams wandered off course and into an Allied minefied off Cape Hatteras. After the first mine exploded against the hull, the Abrams sent an SOS that was received by their escort, the CGC 484 which turned around in response.

Unfortunately the low hull of the cutter was mistaken for that of a u-boat and prompted the Abrams to take evasive action to avoid further attack. In an effort to avoid further attack, the Captain attempted to ground the ship but instead detonated two more mines. After five hours of rowing all 36 men landed ashore with no loss of life, though the ship was a complete loss.

The wreck lies in two large pieces that are separated by about 40 feet of soft silt that can be easily stirred and visibility can change from good to non-existent in minutes. The engine area has 20 feet of relief and forward of the engine three boilers sit abreast crossing the width of the ship; china and pantry items can be found forward of this area. Forward of the break, the wreck is smeared outwards with valves, ladders, and anchor chain everywhere, with wreckage rising 10 feet off the bottom.


Lat: 34 57.458 N

Long: 75 47.920 W

Depth of wreck

90 feet

Size of wreck

Length: 467 feet

Beam: 62