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Jack Gordon




From the world of Roberta Walsh Gordon


All newspaper identifying information was trimmed from these articles in 1944 when they were mounted in the scrapbook. They would have been from the Times, P-I, or the Star.


7 U.S. Ships, 8 British Lost During Invasion

LONDON, July 12. -- (AP) -- Six American and British destroyers were lost in landing operations in France, the U.S. navy department announced tonight.

The former Grace liner Santa Clara, renamed the transport Susan B. Anthony, also was lost by American naval forces along with the minesweeper Tide, the destroyer Escort Rich and the fleet tug Partridge.

The American Destroyers were the Corry and Glennon, built in the 1940-41 program, and the Meredith. President Roosevelt announced soon after the landings that two destroyers had been lost. He did not name them.

Three British destroyers announced lost by the admiralty were the Bodicea, Swift and Svenner. The British also announced the loss of the frigates Mourne, Blackwood and Lawford, the trawler Lord Austin and the auxiliary Minister.

Total naval losses announced were 15 vessels, seven American and eight British. Several thousand ships were involved in the landings.

The Susan B. Anthony (Santa Clara) was a $4,187,500 liner of 8,183 gross tons, built in 1930. She was 483 feet long.

The Susan B. Anthony sank in the channel while carrying troops to France without the loss of a soldier. Some 50 or more of the 400 naval personnel aboard still are unreported, but most are believed safe.

Total of 169 U. S. Naval Craft Lost

WASHINGTON, July 13. -- (AP) -- Loss of seven U.,S. naval vessels in the European Invasion, announced in London today, brought to 169 the number of American naval craft lost since the war started.

The invasion losses involved three destroyers, a destroyer escort, a minesweeper, transport and fleet tug.

The navy listed these ships and their commanding officers as follows:

Destroyer Corry, commanding officer Lt. Commander George Dewey Hoffman, Chelan, Wash. He is a survivor of the action.

Destroyer Glennon, commanding officer Commander Clifford A. Johnson, Baltimore. He survived.

Destroyer Escort Rich, commanding officer Lt. Commander Edward Andrew Michel, Jr., Jamesport N.Y., who was wounded.



Three Explosions Wrecked U. S. S. Rich in Invasion

(Editor's note: Announcement of the Allied naval losses in the invasion of France permitted Tobert Miller, United Press war correspondent to reveal in the following dispatch how one of them went down.)

* * *


United Press War Correspondent

ABOARD AN AMERICAN PT-BOAT, Off France -- (Delayed)-- (UP)--Only a few hours ago, the U.S.S. Rich was a proud American destroyer-escort loaded with hundreds of men.

She had removed some casualties from a damaged sister ship and had started slowly away, when an explosion rocked her.

We were about a quarter of a mile away and Lt. Cmdr. John D. Bulkeley, Long Island City, N.Y., of "expendable" fame ordered the PT-boat to the Rich's assistance.

As we pulled alongside, Bulkeley offered aid, but the Rich's bridge replied that none was needed. The crew crowding the rails seemed more interested in the PT-boat than its own narrow escape.

Then came a muffled roar as another explosion ripped the ship, shooting into the sky a fountain of salt water mixed with oil, bodies and pieces of steel. We were only 50 yards away and the blast hurled the frail PT-boat from the water, as if slapped by a mighty hand.

Third Explosion

As the green wall of water fell back like a giant theatrical curtain, it revealed the Rich torn in half behind the stack. The stern was drifting away. Oil gushed from her broken seams. Dead and dying were spread everywhere. A rising chorus of moans swelled from the injured, floundering in the oil and screaming for help.

The PT-boat had not moved ahead 50 feet when the third blast ripped what was left of the sinking hull. It was on the side opposite from us and we escaped the full force.

The third explosion toppled the foremast, with the heavy shaft and all the rigging crashing down upon the men huddled on the forecastle bridge. One figure was draped motionless over the side like a rag doll.

From every section of the ship came cries and moans--even the ship herself gave off a weird sigh as steam from her boilers escaped. The faces of those still alive stared with incredible eyes at broken limbs and moaned with excruciating pain.

Another PT-boat removed what survivors there were from the drifting stern. The skipper of the other boat, Lt. (j.g.) Calvin Whorton, former Los Angeles Times sports writer, dived into the oil film and rescued two men thrown clear by the explosion.

We came by alongside the main part of the ship and began taking survivors aboard. They mostly were mangled messes of men, but some miraculously escaped and were able to carry their mates onto our blood-soaked decks.

After depositing the wounded on a hospital ship, our PT returned to its station. There was nothing there but a huge oil spot and pieces of debris--all that was left of the U. S. S. Rich.

The letter inside this "V-Mail" envelope was written by Roy Hickox to Roberta Walsh on May 22, 1944, and canceled by the Postal Service on June 5, 1944, the day after his death.

Roy Hickox, Gunner's Mate, Missing in Action

Roy Earl Hickox, gunner's mate, second [sic] class, is missing in action, the Navy Department notified his sister, Mrs. T. E. Williams, 5332 32nd Ave S., yesterday.

Hickox, a former Franklin High School pupil, has been in active service at sea for the past two years. He left the United States aboard a destroyer escort after completing his boot training at Farragut, Idaho.

No details were furnished by the Navy Department to Mrs. Williams or to Hickox's parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Hickox of Seattle.



Gunner's Mate 3/C Roy Earl Hickox, U.S.N.R., son of Mrs. Jessie E. Hickox, 5332 32d Ave. S., and Jesse Hickox, 519 5th Ave. N., both of Seattle. Was previously reported missing July 24.

* * * * *

As a result of one status change, Roy Earl Hickox of Seattle, gunner's mate, third class, in the Naval Reserve, was listed as dead, after having been reported as missing since July 24.

Hickox, a former Franklin High School pupil had been at sea two years after completing his boot camp training at Farragut, Idaho. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse E. Hickox of Seattle, and by a sister, Mrs. T.E. Williams, 5332 32nd Ave S.




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