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Report on the Sinking of Florence Creadick


[Extract]                                       [15 July 1917]

Report of Captain Alexander McCRAE on the destruction of the American Schooner “FLORENCE CREADICK”.

     I, Alexander McCRAE, do hereby declare under oath that I am an American citizen being born in Brooklyn, New York, on the 9th day of January, 1879.

     I am employed by Messrs. JONATHAN MAY & SONS of 500-502 South Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa., and was master of American schooner “FLORENCE CREADICK” of 657 tons net Register.

     The schooner “FLORENCE CREADICK” was of American register, having been registered at Philadelphia, Pa.; she was bound from Philadelphia to Havre, France, with a cargo of 3,826 barrels of lubrificating oil and was following a route given by the naval officer at Philadelphia.

     We left Delaware Breakwater on June 14th, 1917, at 8 a.m.

     On July 15th, twenty miles north of Roscoff,1 being approximately by LAT.N.49-3 and LONG.3-59.W. at 5:30 a.m., a submarine was sighted on port bow distance about 5 miles. It began firing shots a few minutes later which took effect on the said schooner “FLORENCE CREADICK”.

     The ship’s helm was put hard down on first shot and all sails taken in. At 5:50 a.m. the boat was lowered and all the crew went into the boat. After being in the boat, three shots were fired at it.

     After we were one quarter mile from the ship, at 6:50 a.m., the submarine boarded the ship and the last that was seen from the ship was smoke. We therefor presume that the boat was destroyed by the crew of the submarine after having placed bombs in the hatches.

     We made course with our motor boat in a southerly direction and myself and the crew got ashore at ROSCOFF, Finistere, France, at 1:00 p.m. on July 15th.

     We were kindly received in this little fishing port by the local authorities. We were provided with lodging and food, and the next day proceeded to Brest by rail where we arrived at 1:00 p.m. on July 16th. . .

     The “FLORENCE CREADICK” was not armed and was carrying a crew of eight including myself.

                              Master           (L.S.) A.McCrae.

Subscribed to and sworn before me, ALFRED PITEL, American Consular Agent at Brest, Finistere, France this seventeenth day of July, 1917.

                    (L.S.)  Alfred Pitel.

American Consular Agent.

Source Note: D, DNA, RG45, Entry 517B. A slip of paper at the bottom of the page identifies the date for this document as July 15, although Pitel notes in the last line that he did not take McCrae’s testimony until the 17th. The other omitted portion is a list of the crew.

Footnote 1: A commune in northwestern France.

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