On 15 January 1942, the tanker, carrying 64,000 barrels of lubricating oil, encountered the German submarine U-123 off the coast of Long Island. The submarine fired one torpedo, striking the tanker on the starboard,which caused an explosion and fire. After a second struck, the vessel broke up, sinking on the bottom in three sections and killing 36 crew members, including Captain John Patrick Barnard. Ten crewmen survived.

During the assessment, to take place from 19 to 27 June, boaters are requested to keep a safe distance of 500 yards from the dive operation. Capt. Kevin Reed, commander Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, said:

We have assembled a team including members of the Navy Supervisor of Salvage, the Coast Guard Academy Science Department, the Coast Guard Atlantic Strike Team, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and New York Department of Environmental Conservation to provide consultation for this assessment. This assessment will help determine any potential environmental threat the tanker poses.