Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sunk Twice and Still Going-- Part 1

From Nov. 10, 2011, Charleston (WV) Gazette by Paul J. Nyden.

This is further information from my July 19, 2014, blog entry.

One torpedo got Farris H. Burton, 86, into World War II, two others almost got him out of it.

One of his best friends, Bud Woody, died after a German torpedo sank the destroyer USS Reuben James on October 31, 1941, a month before Pearl Harbor.  As a result, Burton and several of his friends enlisted in the Navy for a little payback.

He was on the SS Firethorn, carrying nine Sherman tanks and other war supplies from New York City to the Suez Canal.  Seven German U-boats were operating in the Indian Ocean waiting for him.  And one of them,  the U-172, fired torpedoes at his ship and sank it in just ninety seconds.

Burton spent two days at sea before being rescued by the HMS Rockrose.  He and other survivors were taken to Cape Town, South Africa where they stayed at the Union Jack Club for 12 days.


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