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Surviving a Torpedo Attack

Heroes Remember

Surviving a Torpedo Attack

When we were torpedoed we had the two... Interviewer: Are you still talking about the Bowater (sp)? Oh yes. Yeah that boat; we had two thousand tons of coal on board when we were torpedoed, and well she got it in the stern. Fortunately I was on the forward end of the boat, and our life boats were aft, and actually they were blown away from the ship. And when we picked it up, actually there was four men in it, and there was some in the water. But we actually got away on the dory, which the captain carried two all times, to save our lives he said, in case of an emergency. It certainly did happen, because we had a dory on the hatch, one of the hatches, and the four of us floated off the deck, off the hatch. The stern of the vessel went down and we just floated off into the water. Easy as pie. Interviewer: Where did this take place, Mr Blackmore? Well we were torpedoed about seventy miles south east of St. Pierre, which is in southern Newfoundland, yeah. Interviewer: Where was the ship going? Well, I think, we were on a trip from Canada to Newfoundland to Argentia I think, from American. We had a lot of American cargo on board. Interviewer: When you say you were coming from Canada, what port in Canada? Well, I think we were from the port in Boston. We left Boston yeah, and came up the coast, and came across from Scatarie. That's about the nearest point. Interviewer: So you were destined for Argentia? Argentia Interviewer: What cargo were you carrying again? Well we had two thousand tons of coal, and some general cargo for the American base there. Interviewer: Do you remember what date, and what year this was? Oh, November the 3rd, 1941.

Mr. Blackmore describes surviving his ship going down and how he escaped in a life boat. He was a victim of a torpedo attack while freighting coal from Canada to Newfoundland on November 2, 1941.

Wilfred K. Blackmore

Wilfred Blackmore was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland on November 21, 1920. His father was a seaman who freighted cargo between Newfoundland and Labrador. Mr. Blackmore left St. John's at the age of 21 for Corner Brook where he began sailing for Bowaters transporting pulp. As the eldest son, he was now the bread winner for his family. His ship, the SS Livingston, a British registered merchant ship and converted lake boat, was torpedoed on November 2, 1941, while transporting 2000 tons of coal and other cargo from Boston to the American forces base in Argentia, Newfoundland. One of 14 survivors to reach St. John’s, Mr. Blackmore continued to serve in the Merchant Navy until the war ended. Following the war, he taught seamanship at the navigational school in St. John’s.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Wilfred K. Blackmore
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Atlantic Ocean
Battle of the Atlantic
Merchant Navy
First Mate

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