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Description of the Livingston

Heroes Remember

Description of the Livingston

The ship I was on was a Canadian lake boat, so we had quarters for officers forward on the stem, over the stem, you know. And the engineers had quarters on the stern. So when the torpedoes struck, I was standing quite near the bow, and the torpedo hit the stern, and it blew a hole there of course, and blew up our life boat like that. Interviewer: And you knew right away what had happened? Oh indeed, yes. Interviewer: After the torpedo hit what do you remember happening? Well we carried dories, our skipper said we'll carry dories to save our life, in case we have an emergency, and we carried them on the hatches generally. So I was standing on one of the hatches, and I think four of us were in the dory and we just floated off, because the stern went down and water gradually came up the deck line, and floated off the dory. Interviewer: So you were still on the bow of the vessel when the water was coming on the deck? Well at the beginning. Interviewer: Yes Yeah. Interviewer: So you floated off the vessel, you were aboard the dory... Aboard the dory, and the stern of the vessel went down, and gradually, the last part of the vessel that went underneath the water was the bow, or stem head, stem of the bow, just parallel with the water. She went down ninety degrees underneath me, yes. Interviewer: How many men got out of the vessel, that you could see? Well, we lost fourteen out of twenty-eight.

Mr. Blackmore describes the Livingston, the ship on which he was torpedoed. He details the impact of the torpedo as well as her sinking.

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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