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Lifeboat and Rescue

Heroes Remember

Interviewer: How long were you in the lifeboat? Well we were there until about, I think about noon. Eleven or twelve o'clock in the day. Peculiar that the boat came along at that time. You know, we were crossed the path of the boat coming to St. John's. So I often wonder about that really. Interviewer: Because it was so lucky? Well that we were in the position, you know, crossing the paths. Both of us crossing the same path. You never know. Interviewer: When you were in the lifeboat, from early morning till noon, was there a time that you thought maybe no one was going to come by to take you men out of the lifeboat? Well, I never had much time to think about that I guess. Cause we had fourteen men and we had to keep the lifeboat on the move. We started to row in towards St. Pierre. We were going to row, in you know, the best we could. Interviewer: Seventy miles? You were going to row into St. Pierre? That's a long way to go. Well any old port in the storm. Interviewer: Can you describe the conditions of the sea that morning? Well there was a little swell, you know, in from the south-east. Quite harmless. But not much wind. Interviewer: So there was no doubt in your mind that you were going to be safe. You were confident that you were going to be rescued? Oh I think so yeah. We could have rowed to St. Pierre, seventy miles. Yeah. Interviewer: When the vessel came by, the boat that was on its way to St. John's, what happened then? Well we all scrambled up the net, up the side of the ship. I had a hot coffee or something like that. Yes.

Mr. Blackmore describes being on the lifeboat, the conditions of the sea and his subsequent rescue. The boat that found them stumbled across them on a voyage. They had begun rowing back to Newfoundland when they were rescued.

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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