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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Military / World War II
  • Language:English
  • Pages:94
  • eBook ISBN:9781483559834

Menominee: The Steam Tug and Her Lost Lights!

The Sinking of the Unarmed Tug Off Virginia in W W II.

by Susan Anthony-Tolbert and Dorian A. Tolbert

Book Image Not Available
Overview
The tug, Menominee, and its tow of three barges left Norfolk/Hampton Roads, Virginia to deliver lumber and coal to Connecticut on March 31, 1941. It crossed the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and headed north up the coast of Virginia’s Eastern shore. However, the Menominee and her barges would never arrive. The German submarine, U-754, was waiting in the waters along the Atlantic seacoast off the Eastern Shore of Virginia as the tug traveled north. The relentless attack by Captain Oestermann’s U-754 on an unarmed tug and its tow and the aftermath of that attack are the subjects of this story. Though Captain Leslie F. Haynie of Reedville, Virginia tried valiantly to outwit and to outrun the sub, the tug was no match. Sixteen Merchant Mariners on the Menominee died as a result. Historical documents, eyewitness accounts, and court proceedings were researched in order to tell this story. Interviews with family members of those on the Menominee were also conducted. The book contains interesting segments about life on the tugs and barges of the WW II era. The dangers faced by Merchant Mariners on coastwise vessels as well as ocean going vessels or “blue water” vessels were not overlooked. The proximity to the Virginia coast and the number of German subs in the Atlantic seaboard especially in the early part of WW II certainly frame this account. The secrecy about the threat as well as the extent of the German presence on the coastline imposed by the government of the United States due to wartime demands are highlighted
Description
The tug, Menominee, and its tow of three barges left Norfolk/Hampton Roads, Virginia to deliver lumber and coal to Connecticut on March 31, 1941. It crossed the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and headed north up the coast of Virginia’s Eastern shore. The Menominee and her barges would never arrive. The German submarine, U-754, was waiting in the waters along the Atlantic seacoast off the Eastern Shore of Virginia as the tug traveled north. The relentless attack of the sub, U-754, orchestrated by Captain Oestermann on an unarmed tug and its tow and the aftermath are the subjects of this story. Though Captain Leslie F. Haynie of Reedville, Virginia tried valiantly to outwit and to outrun the sub, the tug was no match. Sixteen Merchant Mariners in the crew of the Menominee died in that attack. The account of the sinking of the tug and two of its barges are based on historical information from government documents, World War II books, Merchant Marine websites, U-boat websites and research from local newspapers and historical societies. There were also interviews with relatives of men who lost their lives when the Menominee was sunk. Court papers from law suits against the owners of the Menominee were used to present eyewitness testimony as to what happened on the night of March 31, 1941.The proximity to the Virginia coast and the number of German subs in the Atlantic seaboard frame this account. The Chesapeake Bay during WW II is emphasized. There are discussions of the German U-boat program to harass U.S. shipping as well as Allied shipping especially during 1942 and 1943. Captain Oestermann presents as rather ruthless in his attacks on unarmed vessels such as the Menominee and later on a fishing vessel, The Ebb. He certainly seems to have followed the motto of “Take No Survivors!” Historians have wondered if he would have been tried as a war criminal had his sub not been sunk with all hands lost. In addition the story of the Menominee contains a wonderful interview account of life on the tugs and the barges of that period in American history. This is a segment of life that should not be forgotten. Thanks to the memory of the brother of one of the Merchant Marines, who died when the Menominee went down, the book gives an interesting account of that life during WW II. Contributions from the Merchant Mariners are also presented. No story of the German subs in the Atlantic and specifically off the Virginia coast and their attacks on U.S. shipping and Allied shipping would be complete without a discussion of the “secrecy” maintained by the government. This secrecy about the threat as well as the extent of the German U-boat presence on the coastline imposed by the government of the United States due to wartime demands are highlighted
About the author
Susan Anthony-Tolbert, a native of Scranton, Pa., received her doctorate in Social Psychology from Temple University and served as a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Undergraduate Psychology Program during a tenure of thirty years at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. She has numerous publications in psychology journals as well as having authored textbooks in personality, social psychology, cross-cultural psychology and observational methods. Music has always played an important part in her life. Currently, she is a free-lance harpist and marimbaist with CDs selling both locally and nationally. As a lifelong equine enthusiast, Susan continues to pursue equestrian activities on her two horses: News Flash and Harmony. Susan and her husband, Dorian, have found a new passion in history. This book is the third that they have co-authored together. Their first joint project was “A Quiet Glory: The Life and Times of Dr. James Skelton Gilliam of Northumberland and Lancaster Counties, Virginia.” The second book is, “The Home Front: Northumberland County, Virginia in World War II.” Susan has written several articles for the Bulletin of the Northumberland County Historical Society and serves on the Board of that Society. She has also written “The Mare with Mysteries, Robert E. Lee’s Other Warhorse, The Story of Lucy Long for Young Adults.” This has been written for youth and for easy reading. Susan’s other more inclusive volume, “Lucy Long, Robert E. Lee’s Other Warhorse: The Mare with Mysteries” contains more complete and detailed historical information and more biographical accounts of the important persons in the mare’s life. Other books written by S. A. Tolbert from Singing Cat and Mule Publishing that the reader might enjoy include: Ranger: Tales of the Yellow Tavern Cat; Snow Prince: The Magical Christmas Pony of Heathsville, Virginia; Keeokee: The Beautiful Swimmer; Fanny-Grace: Herself the Harp; And The Purple Pig Played Piccolo; The Adventures of McCue, My Wonder Horse; Paula: The Perfectly Pleasing Pigeon; and Merlin: The Magic Marimba. Her novel, “When the Red Jacket Sings,” is a mystery involving musicians and missing persons as well as a Basset hound, named Sophie, and two cats, Brahms and Bartok. This story is set in Lake Wallenpaupack, Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A second novel, “Harmonic,” explores a love story also set in the world of classical music. These two novels as well as her latest, "A Modern American Christmas," are available on line as eBooks for such e Readers as: Nook, Kindle, iPad, Kobo, and Copia. Susan's musical CDs are available from CD Baby on line: Basically Baroque, Music Enjoyed by the Colonists; Miskimon Double Concerto for Harp and Cello; Chesapeake Bay Christmas: Bells, Stars and a Little Harp; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Harp; Chesapeake Bay Suite, Songs of the Chesapeake, With Every Beat of My Harp; Chesapeake Lighthouse Sketches, Life Songs from the Depths of My Harp; Chesapeake Bay: Wind in My Strings; Women Composers Across the Centuries (Piano Music); Marimba Moments, A Musical Mosaic (featuring Ribbon of Steel composed to celebrate breast cancer warriors); When Wood Sings(Christmas Music on the Marimba); and Ye Olde Sweet Songs of Christmas Past: From My Heart and Harp (featuring both harp and marimba). These CDs are available from CDBABY.com Books and CDs can also be ordered from SANT1425@aol.com. Please see website at www.singingcatandmule.com.
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