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Name: Stanley William Raynard Service: US Merchant Navy Rank: Steward Service No: Z 67623 Ship: Esso Williamsburg Date of Birth: September 18, 1895 Place of Birth: Tusket, Yarmouth Co., NS Date of Death: September 23, 1942 Age at Death: 47 Awards: Mariner’s Medal Gallant Ship Citation Bar Merchant Marine Combat Bar Atlantic War Zone Merchant Marine Bar The 95th name on the WWII list of the Yarmouth War Memorial Commemorated on page 276 of the Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on October 28 and December 31 Stanley was the son of Job Murray Raynard and Edith Samantha (Hines) Raynard of Tusket, Yarmouth Co., NS. He was a brother of Florence, Arthur, and Alton Job. He enlisted on March 1, 1917 and served in World War I [Service No. 2329890] with the Railway and Construction Battalion. He immigrated to the US in 1920 and became a naturalized US citizen. During World War II Stanley served in United States Merchant Navy. The Esso Williamsburg was an American oil tanker completed in May of 1941. The ship was from Aruba to Reykjavik in September of 1942 with a cargo of 110,043 barrels of special Navy fuel oil. The ship’s Master was John Tweed. In total the ship’s company consisted of eight officers, thirty-four men and eighteen armed guards. The Esso Williamsburg was armed with one 5 inch, one 3 inch, two .50 cal and two .30 cal guns. At 1:16 am on September 22, 1942, the German submarine U-21 fired a spread of two torpedoes at the unescorted Esso Williamsburg which was steaming at 15 knots about 500 miles south of Cape Farewell, Greenland. Two hits were heard, but the tanker continued and the contact was lost due to very poor visibility. At 12.26 am on September 23, one torpedo was fired from about 2000 yards, which struck amidships, causing a violent explosion and set the ship on fire. Ten minutes later, the stern torpedo was fired but missed. At 1:05 am another torpedo was fired, which struck on the starboard side amidships causing the entire ship to light up in flames. The tanker broke in two and U-211 left the scene with both parts of the tanker still sinking. On October 3, 1942, the German submarine U-254 came across an abandoned and burnt out tanker, which was the drifting wreck of Esso Williamsburg. The U-boat fired twice at 2:32 pm and 2:42 pm and sank the abandoned tanker. The U- 254 observed that all lifeboats had been launched except for one. A weak distress signal was received by a shore station, but an extensive air and sea search failed to locate any survivors of the 60 aboard, or the wreckage. Sources and Information: Veterans Affairs Canada
Stanley William Raynard
Tusket Cemetery
The Esso Williamsburg