Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Diary of Commander Joseph K. Taussig, Commander, Destroyer Division Eight

[Excerpt]

Monday

June 6

Queenstown

     This morning, the Vice Admiral1 told me that the British merchant steamer “Manchester Miller” was torpedoed while being escorted by the McDougal. She did not sink right away and sloop Camellia had her in tow for several hours. She finally went down.2 While submarines do not often get ships that are being escorted, it happens once in a while. It shows that the submarines have the advantage all on their side as except in the most favorable conditions it is almost impossible to see a periscope only a couple of feet out of water. And the conditions have seldom been favorable for seeing periscopes. I am anxious to hear from Fairfield3 whether or not his lookout saw anything, and just what happened.      

Source Note: D, RNW, Joseph K. Taussig Papers, Mss. Coll. 97, Naval Historical Collection. The diary is written on ruled paper with a vertical line one inch in along the left margin. The date is written in that space.

Footnote 1: VAdm. Sir Lewis Bayly, Commander, Southern Ireland.

Footnote 2: The German submarine U-66 torpedoed Manchester Miller at about 8:45 p.m. on 5 June. Eight men were killed in the initial explosion, but the rest of the crew reached McDougal safely. Despite Camellia’s efforts, the ship went down less than an hour after being struck.

Footnote 3: Cmdr. Arthur P. Fairfield, commanding officer of McDougal.

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