The SS Thomas T. Tucker (Hull Number 269) was a Liberty ship, built by The Houston Shipbuilding Corporation for service as a troop & weapons carrier. Liberty ships were named after prominent (deceased) Americans, starting with Patrick Henry and the signers of the Declaration of Independence. She was named after Thomas Tudor Tucker, an American physician and politician from Charleston, South Carolina. He represented South Carolina in both the Continental Congress and the U.S. House. He later served as Treasurer of the United States.
The ship was laid down on June 16, 1942 then launched on August 31, 1942. She ran aground off Oliphantsbos Point, near Cape Point, on November 27, 1942 during heavy fog while on her maiden voyage from New Orleans to Suez.
German U-Boats actively patrolled the South African coast during World War II. This resulted in the Thomas T. Tucker sailing close to the coast when the sea was rough. The captain misjudged the ship’s location because of the heavy fog, assuming they were close to Robben Island. Thinking they were not far from Cape Town, her crew relaxed and later she ran aground. After an investigation it was discovered that the ship’s compass was out by 37°, although no conclusive reason was found for the incident
The wreck is located on stretch of rocks on the shoreline of Oliphantsbos Beach, within The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. It is split into three sections with a boiler higher up on the beach.