Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sunk Twice and Still Going-- Part 2

Farris Burton and the others boarded the SS Zaandam on October 21, 1942, and steamed for the United States.    On November 2nd, it entered Brazillian waters and was sunk by the U-174.  It went down in ten minutes.  Burton and the others floated for days, getting by on just two ounces of water a day until reaching an island where the natives took care of them.

Once authorities were made aware of their presence, they were flown out twenty at a time to a Brazillian Army Camp, where they boarded a C-47 cargo plane and flown to a base in Puerto Rico and then to a Navy base in Miami, Florida.  You can only imagine what he was thinking about on the last leg of his journey.  Would the plane be shot down?

In the meantime, the Navy sent a Western Union telegram to his family telling them he was missing.  he still has that telegram, dated Nov.18, 1942, saying, "The Navy Department deeply regrets that your son, Farris Horton Burton...is missing following action in the performance of his duty and in the service of his country.  The Department appreciates your great anxiety."

--GreGen

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