The USS Murphy was a Bensen class destroyer escorting an outbound convoy
off New Jersey on the night of 1943-10-21..
They got a radar echo of a ship moving west and went out to investigate,
thinkingit might be a U-boat.
The ship moving west was the 13,080 dwt Ludwig tanker Bulkoil.
Some sources say she had had engine problems,
so we don't know whether she was loaded on ballast.
The Bulkoil was equipped with a rudimentary hydrophone
which only indicated whether the noise was port of starboard.
The destoyer was approaching on the tanker port side.
The hydrophone picked up the noise to port,
and the tanker captain assuming it was torpedo
turn to port to minimize his profile to the torpedo.
Instead he sliced into the 11 m beam Murphy just behind the bridge.
The tanker cut the Murphy in two.
The bow section sank but the stern remained afloat,
was towed to Brooklyn Naval Yard,
and the Murphy returned to service.
The Bulkoil was 13,080 dwt built in 1942.
This is smaller than a T2, so must have been
some sort of custom design.
We don't know the speed,
but likely around 14 or 15 knots.