ST. LAWRENCE, NL – This past Sunday, Feb. 18, marked the 76th anniversary of one of the worst naval disasters in the history of the United States.
It was on that date in 1942 that a convoy of three American ships ran aground off the Burin Peninsula during a winter storm while on their way to Argentia with war supplies for the U.S. base located there.
Destroyers USS Truxtun and USS Wilkes were escorting the supply ship USS Pollux.
The Truxtun and the Pollux were battered to pieces by the storm’s winds and high waves. The Wilkes, however, managed to get free and survived the ordeal.
There was much life lost due to the tragedy – 203 American officers and crew of the Truxtun and Pollux perished, while 186 men survived thanks to the efforts of the people of St. Lawrence and Lawn.
A memorial service was held at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in St. Lawrence on St. Lawrence to mark the anniversary on Sunday.
Rev. James Spencer of St. Matthew’s and Rev. Fr. Nelson Boren of St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Parish led the memorial service.
Laurella Stacey announced a special donation to the St. Lawrence Historical Advisory Committee during the ceremony from Lorraine Anderson, 92, in memory of her father, Edward, Vincent Jabkowsky, who was lost aboard the Pollux.
A plaque will be placed on a bench at Chamber Cove, where the two U.S. ships were lost, in his memory.
A reception was held after the service in the foyer of the U.S. Memorial Health Centre in St. Lawrence.