Слике страница
PDF
ePub

immediately. Cabling American Consul Plymouth to-day for detailed report.

BRYAN.

Consul Stephens to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram.]

AMERICAN CONSULATE,

Plymouth, (Received) May 3, 1915. Gulflight towed into Crow Sound, Scilly, by British patrols. German torpedo struck bluff bow vessel down by head free board forward about two feet fore hold full cargo apparently undamaged. Blowing gale southeast.

STEPHENS.

Consul General Skinner to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram.]

AMERICAN CONSULATE GENERAL,

London, May 4, 1915. Gulflight. Boness, second mate, reports thirty-three survivors now in Penzance, first mate and engineer remaining St. Marys to care for ship now anchored east side island. Seaman Chapenta and Wireless Operator Short drowned. Captain Gunter dead; shock. Submarine sighted twenty-five minutes before Gulflight struck.

SKINNER.

Ambassador W. H. Page to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram.]

No. 2042.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

London, May 4, 1915. British Admiralty has charge of steamer Gulflight now at Scilly Islands, but are on the point of turning it over to the salvage

company. Officers and crew are at Penzance. I am sending Lieutenant Towers and Naval Constructor McBride to Scilly to-day to make investigation and have instructed Consul at Plymouth to mail me depositions of ship's officers and crew.

PAGE.

The Secretary of State to Ambassador W. H. Page.

[Telegram.]

No. 1514.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, May 6, 1915. Gulf Refining Company informs Department that Gulflight was torpedoed without warning while “following British patrol boats to Bishop." Please ascertain immediately from ship's officers and crew or other persons whether Gulflight was under convoy or protection of patrol boats, and, if not, what communication passed between them, and why the Gulflight was following patrol boats.

BRYAN.

Ambassador W. H. Page to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

London, May 7, 1915. Towers and McBride have visited Gulflight, examined ship, and taken sworn depositions of Smith, former chief officer, now master, Boness, second officer, Butterwurth, chief engineer, and Crist, assistant engineer. Full report follows by mail. Established facts are as follows: At 11 a. m. May 1, when 25 miles west of Bishops Rock Light, Gulflight was picked up by British naval patrol boats Iago and Filey, and was directed to follow them toward Light, Iago taking position on starboard quarter and Filey on port bow. About 12.20 p. m. submarine in awash condition without visible flag or distinguishing marks was sighted by officer of watch bearing about five degrees on port bow distant about two miles. After five minutes and when bearing dead

ahead submarine disappeared and no further sign of her was seen. At this time American flag size ten feet by six feet was flying to breeze on after flagstaff. About 12.50 p. m. heavy explosion occurred starboard side forward. Wireless Operator Short and Seaman Chapenta jumped overboard and were drowned. Remainder crew and officers immediately left ship in lifeboats, were picked up by Iago, and were taken to St. Marys, Scilly Islands, following morning. Captain Gunter died on Iago during night, coroner's inquest determines cause of death as heart failure. Damage to ship consists in large hole starboard side between frames three and seven ; extreme dimensions thirtytwo feet longitudinally by twenty-five feet vertically, also eight small holes in port side opposite, largest being four feet by three feet. Forepeak chain locker pump room, forehold, and forward bunker oil tank flooded; damage to cargo confined to five hundred barrels lubricating oil in forehold. Not possible yet to search forehold for fragments. Forehold has therefore been sealed to prevent tampering with view to examination as soon as accessible. Master and chief engineer now with ship. Underwriters representative, on scene, advises temporary measures to correct time and strengthen number eight bulkhead to permit vessel to safely continue voyage to Rouen. Master is acting on his advice.

Towers and McBride express qualified opinion that injury is probably due to torpedo explosion. In conversation they express a moral though not technical certainty that ship was torpedoed.

Consul at Plymouth should be instructed to permit vessel to proceed under Captain Smith with alien officers and crew if other persist in refusal to return to ship.

PAGE.

Ambassador Gerard to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

Berlin, May 7, 1915. German Admiralty has as yet no news as to Gulflight. Will report as soon as information obtained.

GERARD

Ambassador W. H. Page to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram-Paraphrase.] No. 2068.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

London, May 10, 1915. Mr. Page reports that it appears that Captain of Gulflight complied, without raising any question, with the signals of British patrol boats to proceed under their convoy. Further inquiries are being made of British Admiralty.

Ambassador W. H. Page to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram-Paraphrase.]

No. 2095.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

London, May 13, 1915. Mr. Page amplifying his report on the vessel Gulflight states that he is informed by the British Government that no mines anywhere in the vicinity of the Scilly Islands have been laid by the British authorities.

Ambassador W. H. Page to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram-Paraphrase.]

No. 2105.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

London, May 17, 1915. Mr. Page reports that it is stated by Captain Smith of the vessel Gulflight that the conversation between the commander of the British patrol boat Filey and the late Captain Gunter of the Gulflight was to the effect that Captain Gunter in stating that the Gulflight was bound for Rouen inquired when a French pilot could be secured. The patrol boat replied that a French pilot could not be secured there and the Gulflight was directed to follow the patrols to the Bishop Rock.

In reply to Mr. Page's inquiry the British Admiralty states that the convoying ships are now at sea out of communication but as soon as they return the details will be obtained.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Ambassador W. H. Page to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram.] No. 2166.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

London, (Received) May 26, 1915. 2166. Urgent.

Urgent. Report at midnight last night to British Admiralty from Landsend state that American steamer Nebraskan torpedoed 40 miles south by west of Southcliffe, crew taking to boats.

British trawler standing by now reports Nebraskan still afloat and making for Liverpool with four holds full of water. No lives reported lost.

PAGE.

Ambassador W. H. Page to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram.] No. 2172.]

AMERICAN EMBASSY,

London, May 26, 1915. British Admiralty have report from Queenstown that Nebraskan is now on her way to Liverpool under her own steam and is being escorted. I am sending naval attaché to Liverpool to examine the ship, which it now appears was outward bound from Liverpool for Delaware Breakwater at the time she was torpedoed.

PAGE.

Consul General Skinner to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram.]

AMERICAN CONSULATE GENERAL,

London, May 27, 1915. Greene, master of American steamer Nebraskan, in wireless addressed to me via Landsend, reports:

Nebraskan passed Fastnet Rock Tuesday 4.33 p. m. from Liverpool bound to Delaware Breakwater in ballast at 8.24 p. m. When steamer

* For additional correspondence concerning the Nebraskan, see Special Supplement, 1916, p. 162.

« ПретходнаНастави »