Passenger aboard the Athenia when it was torpedoed
I am a novice at browsing and while experimenting came across your e mail address.
I was fascinated too, for the first time, to come across information on the ATHENIA.
My wife, age 11 at the time, in the company of her governess, was a passenger aboard the Athenia when it was torpedoed. She and her governess spent many hours in a lifeboat and eventually rescued by a British destroyer, HMS ESCORT. After a period sub-chasing, she was taken to Greenock, Scotland. She fondly remembers the kindness shown by the crew when she needed assistance getting in and of her hammock.
The HMS Escort was subsequently sunk by an Italian sub in the Mediterranean.
Thank you for your E-mail, we are always pleased to be able to add to our Athenia Pages on AHOY.
The only survivor's list I have not been able to track down is those who were rescued by the Royal Navy Destroyers, could you please let me have your wife's maiden name and that of her governess so we might add them to our page?
Here is some detail about the sinking of Escort in the Mediterranean:
I spent 17 post war years in Germany. At the major war crimes trial, Admiral Doenitz was defended by Otto Krantzbuhler, a Captain, Judge Advocate,German Navy ( concededly the best of the German defense attorneys) Doenitz to some extent held responsible for the sinking of the Athenia .He received a 10 year sentence.
Joan was ultimitely returned to the US in the company of another survivor, Florance Hargraves. Jeanie, the stoic Scot, returned later on a British ship.
Do you have any idea of how many survivors are still alive?
Thanks again for your public service.
Thank you for that, was Florance Hargraves also picked up by the Escort?
I guess I have have found about seven survivors from the sinking of Athenia who are still alive.
I still think that Doenitz was rather unlucky to draw a 10 year sentence at Nurenberg, when WW2 started in September 1938, Admiral Raeder was the boss of the Kreigsmarine, with Doenitz responsible for the U-Boat arm.
Julius Lemp as CO of U-30 disregarded orders when he sank Athenia, he was supposed to be operating within the restrictions of Naval Prize Law, which meant he should give a warning before attacking Athenia.
Really how may Doenitz cop the blame for Lemp's actions?
Your kind comments are appreciated.
Joan does not recall name of ship that picked up Florance Hargrave.She was a school principal from Eau Claire Wisconsin whom the American Embassy requested to accompany Joan on the voyage back to the U.S, the Scot. governess not well enough to make the trip until later. Incidentally, she remained in the family for 46 years, raising our children.
Doenitz was charged with 3 counts at the Nurenberg trial:
1--The common plan or conspiracy
He was found not guilty of count 1. guilty of counts 2 and 3.