|Death: ||May 31, 1918|
BERNARD BROWN was a mess attendant, first class, United States Navy and was one of the 26 men who died aboard the USS President Lincoln when it was sunk by the German Submarine U-90 on May 31, 1918.
He enlisted at Philadelphia, Pa., on September 18, 1917.
His next of kin: was his Wife, Minnie Brown, 1519 Dickinson Street, Philadelphia, Pa.
From "OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY WHO LOST THEIR LIVES DURING THE WORLD WAR, FROM APRIL 6, 1917 TO NOVEMBER 11, 1918"
The following is a description of the sinking:
USS President Lincoln (1917-1918) --
Sinking, 31 May 1918
On the morning of 31 May 1918 the 32,500 ton (displacement) transport USS President Lincoln was steaming about 600 miles from Brest, France, bound for the United States after delivering a load of American military personnel earlier that month.
715 persons were on board, mainly ship's crew but with about 30 Army officers and men, some of whom were sick and two totally paralyzed. She was accompanied by three other
Navy transports, Antigone, Rijndam and Susquehanna, steering a zig-zag course in line-abreast formation. They had left Brest two days earlier, convoyed by destroyers, but were now proceeding unescorted since the zone of most serious submarine threat had been left behind.
Just before 9 A.M. the German submarine U-90, which had been tracking the convoy for several hours, hit President Lincoln's port side near the bridge with two torpedoes, immediately killing seven men working below decks. Shortly afterwards a third torpedo struck further aft. The ship was now rapidly settling, and her Commanding Officer ordered her abandoned by all but the crews of her four six-inch guns. These remained on board, and kept firing, until President Lincoln was close to sinking, in the hope that the submarine might surface and present a target. All but those killed by the torpedo explosions had gone into the water by the time she sank at about 9:30, but three officers and sixteen crewmen were unable to get clear and were drowned.
President Lincoln's 689 survivors, including the two paralyzed Soldiers, were now adrift in her boats and life rafts. The other three transports, in accordance with standard procedure in such cases, had continued on their way, though a radio message had been transmitted reporting the sinking. About an hour after the initial torpedoing, U-90 emerged and approached the boats and rafts, searching for a senior officer who might provide intelligence. Despite an effort to remain unrecognized, Lieutenant Edouard V.M. Isaacs was discovered and made a prisoner. His heroic conduct during the subsequent five months was later recognized by the award of the Medal of Honor.
Once the submarine had left the vicinity, President Lincoln's boats and rafts were collected and lashed together in order to minimize the chances of further loss of life. During the night the destroyers Warrington and Smith arrived and took everyone on board, a considerable crowd on two ships of such modest size. While en route back to France, they encountered U-90, attacking her with depth charges, but causing no damage. The survivors of USS President Lincoln arrived back at Brest on 2 June 1918. Their ship was the largest U.S. Naval vessel to be lost in the First World War.
From DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER On-line Library
Body lost at sea
Specifically: Aboard USS President Lincoln
Maintained by: Billy Walker
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 05, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 55952353