Memorial services recall tragedy, heroism

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The Town of St. Lawrence is marking the 72nd anniversary Tuesday of the wartime tragedy of the U.S. Navy destroyers ‘USS Truxtun’ and ‘USS Pollux’.

A similar memorial service is being held in Lawn, sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 59, starting at 1 p.m. at the RC Parish Church.

The two ships ran aground at Chambers Cove and Lawn Point during a fierce winter storm Feb. 18, 1942.

Of the 156 men aboard the ‘USS Truxtun’, only 46 survived, while a further 93 sailors from the ‘USS Pollux’ also perished.

A third supply ship, ‘USS Wilkes’, managed to refloat after grounding and escaped the storm without any loss of life.

The tragedy could have been much worse if not for the heroics of the area’s residents, who coordinated a rescue effort and managed to save the lives of some 182 men.

An ecumenical memorial service is scheduled this afternoon at 4 p.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church followed by a social sponsored by the St. Lawrence Town Council in the lobby at the U.S. Memorial Health Care Centre.

The service will be presided over by Parish Priest Father J. J. Bustalino, assisted by St. Matthew’s Anglican Church Rector Rev. Terry Caines.

Organizations: Royal Canadian Legion Branch, RC Parish Church, St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church Lawrence Town Council Anglican Church

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