On Feb. 18, 1942

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

More than 200 peo­ple lost their lives in the icy wa­ter off the south coast of New­found­land dur­ing a win­ter storm on Feb.18, 1942.

The Amer­i­can naval ships USS Trux­tun and USS Pol­lux, along with the USS Wilkes, were trav­el­ling to a mil­i­tary base in Ar­gen­tia when they ran aground on jagged rocks of the coast.

The Trux­tun, which was car­ry­ing 156 men, was trapped in Cham­bers Cove in St. Lawrence, and the Pol­lux, with 233 on board, was about a mile and a half away west of Lawn Point.

Both ves­sels were de­stroyed in the pound­ing waves.

Res­i­dents from the towns of St. Lawrence and Lawn spent hours pulling men from the icy wa­ters. They res­cued 186 sailors. One of those res­cued was Lanier Phillips.

In the years af­ter the res­cue Phillips, who has since died, made sev­eral trips to the town.

His last visit was in Fe­bru­ary, 2011, just one month be­fore he passed away. He was 88 years old.


Lanier Phillips

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