Monday, October 31, 2011

Have you heard of a ship…

Some history from Ed Darrell...
October 31 is also the anniversary of the sinking of the World War I era Clemson-class, four-stack destroyer, U.S.S. Reuben James, by a German U-boat. Woody Guthrie memorialized the sad event in the song, Reuben James, recorded by the Almanac Singers with Pete Seeger (see also here, and here), and later a hit for the Kingston Trio. The Reuben James was sunk on October 31, 1941 — over a month before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
…and a bit on why it matters now…
One of the internet hoax letters complaining about Barack Obama claims that the U.S. entered World War II against Germany although the Germans had not fired a single round against the U.S. The 115 dead from the crew of 160 aboard the James testify to the inaccuracy of that claim, wholly apart from the treaty of mutual defense Germany and Japan were parties to...
More at Millard Fillmore's Bathtub.

(Woody's original answered the refrain "What were their names..." with the complete list of 115. I'm glad he fixed it, otherwise I suspect we wouldn't be singing it any more.)

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