A memorial event marking the 75th Anniversary of a WW2 naval engagement is taking place tomorrow ( 11th August ) at 2pm
Video of Memorial area:
On 9th august 1944, the US Navy Squadron Patrol Torpedo 34, intercepted a German Convoy that was transporting the first of two long range field gun shipments from Guernsey in the early hours of the morning, initially off La Corbiere and then along the south coast to Noirmont Point. During the fierce engagement which followed, the PT-509, the “Sassy Sue” was lost.
The PT-503 and PT-507 were damaged and 16 US naval personnel succumbed to German gunfire. This ceremony will outline the fateful events of that day, will have the names of those who were lost read out, then the laying of wreaths, followed by a prayer given by the Reverend Mark Bond, the Rector of St Brelade, followed by a minute’s silence.
The ceremony will be held at the PT-509 and PT-503 memorial stone just off the path leading east from the car park at Noirmont Point.
This is part of an amazing story with little known connections to the island. The wooden torpedo boats were built at the ELCO Naval Division of the Electric Boat Company in Bayonne, New Jersey.
The skipper of the PT-509, Lt Harry Crist, was a New Jerseyman. He is sitting second from right in the front row of the picture.
Alex Fearn has kindly shared this information with Jersey Peeps saying
The full story I have been researching as a member of the Channel Islands Occupation Society for the last 5 years and has led to Sunday’s ceremony, with the support and knowledge of some of the families and relatives of the men who saw action that day.
The men of PT509 who lost their lives
Lieutenant Harry M. Crist
Lieutenant Junior Grade James M Mathes
Lieutenant Junior Grade John K. Paylis
William S Ausley Gunner’s Mate, 3rd Class
Alfred A Ricci Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class
Walter P. Wypick Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class
Richard E. Horsfield Motor Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class
Marvin W. Lossin Motor Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class
Kenneth R. Line Ship’s Cook, 3rd Class
Edward C. Thale Quartermaster, 2nd Class
Charles A Kornak Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class
Darrel A Bricker Radarman, 3rd Class
Rudolf W. Schaffroth Torpedoman’s Mate, 2nd Class
Tony S. Reynolds Radarman, 3rd Class
The men of PT503 who lost their lives
Elmer F. Albright Motor Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class
Boyd W. Brumm Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class