|Death: ||Dec. 2, 1942, At Sea|
Parents: Thane Edwin Hess and Margie Parks Hess Grant
Entered the service from Michigan
Gunner's Mate 3rd Class BYRON R. HESS was a US Navy Armed Guard assigned to the American steam passenger ship Coamo. On Dec 1, 1942, Coamo was part of Convoy MKF-3 and was enroute from Gibraltar to New York. As they approached the coast of Ireland, Coamo and another ship, Mariposa, were ordered to leave convoy and continue to New York via a different route. On the 2nd, German submarine U-604 sighted Coamo and followed her for 10 hours before firing a single torpedo from a distance of about 800 meters. Coamo was hit under the bridge and immediately began to sink. The U-604 log entry describes Coamo in detail, and indicates that there were at least 3 life raft crews. They were never seen again. A gale raked the area between Dec 3rd and the 6th, making survival in the North Atlantic virtually impossible.
There were 186 people on Coamo: 133 Merchant Mariners, 37 US Navy Armed Guards, and 16 British Army passengers. None survived. Of the many US Flag merchant ships that were torpedoed and sunk, this was the largest merchant crew to be lost during World War II.
Byron R. Hess' name is included in the Tablets of the Missing on the Memorial Wall, Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
NOTE: This Memorial lists Dec 11 1943 as the date of Mr. Hess' death. Since the ship was "lost," this was the date used to officially declare him dead.
bio by Patricia O'Neal
Thayne Edwin Hess (1896 - 1957)
Note: Thanks to "Cathie S" for additional information
Note: BODY LOST AT SEA. Mr. Hess was on Coamo when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-604
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
South Cambridgeshire District
Plot: Tablets of the Missing. (Body lost at sea)
Maintained by: Laura Plummer Ranville
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56290659
Rest peacefully, you're with family now.|
Added: Apr. 7, 2014
"Their graves are marked only by the waves of the ocean. We miss them, we respect them and we shall never forget them"|
Added: May. 24, 2013
Added: Sep. 2, 2010