one crew while seeking another.
Answering the call of the torpedoed French
tanker Emile Miguet, the United States liner, President Harding came upon two
lifeboats of the British freighter, Heronspool, and took aboard 36 victims of
another U-boat attack. Below are the stories reprinted from The Times, related
by the captains of the two vessels concerned.
The United States liner
and President Harding, her flag at half mast for one of the crew lost overboard,
docked in New York, on 21 October
with 596 passengers, 36 survivors from the torpedo British freighter
Heronspool and a crew of 300.
Captain Roberts of the President Harding, disclosed
that it was only by chance he had been able to rescue the crew of Heronspool.
At 0730 hrs on Friday, 13 October
he received a message from the French tanker Emile Miguet that merely
said attacked by submarine. He turned his ship back toward the position given
by the tanker, which was 200 miles away. Shortly before midnight, he saw lights
flashing. Moving toward them. He came upon two British lifeboats. Captain Batson,
master of the Heronspool, hailed the President Harding, asked if she were British
or French, and then enquired, may we come aboard ? We took them aboard. Prison,
Capt Roberts said, but this was not the crew we were looking for, so we kept on
until, at daybreak we saw dense clouds of smoke on the horizon. That was the Emile
Miguet on fire, and with her decks awash. There were two British destroyers and
near by, and we asked them if they had taken an the Emile Miguet's crew, but they
said they had seen no signs of them. We circled the ship, saw no signs of life
on board and finally at 0830 hrs in the morning resumed course.
of the Heronspool, said that at 1800 hrs on Friday evening he saw the Emile Miguet
being shelled about 6 miles in the distance, so we steered away Northeastward.
About 2000 hrs, they heard an explosion and saw a column of water rise on the
starboard beam. Half an hour later, the submarine approached and signalled what
As soon as we could make him out, Captain Batstone said, we fired two
shots at him, whereupon he dived. I hauled to the westward for two hours, then
zigzagged. About 2300 hrs the submarine appeared in sight nearly aft. We quickly
fired two shots at him in succession. He disappeared, but reappeared at midnight
and fired a shot which exploded close to starboard beam. Then we sighted him on
the starboard quarter and fired at him. Then he appeared on the port quarter,
and again we fired. The submarine submerged again, but soon there was a violent
explosion forepart of the Heronspool. She had been torpedoed. Captain Batstone,
continued. We then abandoned ship in two lifeboats, and after pulling away for
some distance lay to. We saw that the forepart of the ship appeared to have been
blown away, and that she was listing to port. The submarine appeared in full view
a short distance away. 20 minutes later, but seemed not to notice us. We cited
the President Harding, at about 0530 hrs, and shortly after Heronspool disappeared.
The French tanker Emile Miguet and the British freighter, Heronspool were
both attacked and sunk by U-48
which was under the command of Herbert
Schultze Other: Articles:
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
The War Illustrated.
by Sir John Hamilton
2194 Days Of War.
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