SMN Preston Oliphant Hastings

SMN Preston Oliphant Hastings

Maryland, USA
Death 18 Jan 1942 (aged 29–30)
At Sea
Burial Salisbury, Wicomico County, Maryland, USA
Memorial ID 58242498 · View Source
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Age 29

Preston, who resided in Seaford, Delaware, served as an Able-Bodied Seaman, S.S. Allan Jackson, U.S. Merchant Marines, during World War II.

The duties of the Able-Bodied Seaman was to perform any deck duties aside from the actual navigation of the vessel. In general his duties included the ability to splice wire or fibre line, to work aloft and over the side of the ship, to operate the deck machinery such as the windlass or winches, to paint and mix paint, to know the principles of cargo stowage, to be a good wheelsman and competent lookout, to overhaul and install any running or standing rigging on the ship, and to be able to sew, repair and mend canvas.

The unescorted and unarmed S.S. Allan Jackson, while enroute from Cartagena, Colombia to New York City, was hit by "two" torpedos fired by German U-boat # U-66 about 60 miles east-northeast of Diamond Shoals, North Carolina.

The first torpedo hit the starboard side forward of the bridge in the forward tank and the second hit the starboard side aft of the deckhouse between #2 and #3 tanks and broke the ship in two about 25 feet forward of the midship house. This caused both parts of the burning tanker to sink within 10 minutes with a loss of "22" of her complement of "35".

Preston was declared "Missing In Action" in this sinking during the war.

He had served in the Merchant Marines for one month at the time of his death. He was decorated with the Merchant Seaman's Mariners Medal with a combat star.

His stone here is a Cenotaph.

Son of Walter E. Hastings and Katie Oliphant Hastings.

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The Allen Jackson has the distinction of being the first tanker to be sunk off the North Carolina Coast in an area that would become known in World War II as "Torpedo Alley". By the war's end, more than 70 boats were sunk by German U-boats in these waters.

( Bio by: Russ Pickett )


Salisbury Times
Salisbury, Maryland
Wed. Nov. 11, 1942
Pg. 4

Memory of Sharptown
Seaman Is Honored

Sharptown, Nov. 1--Mrs. Elsie Hastings of near here saw the name of her husband, Preston Hastings, merchant seaman, placed on the Book of Memories at Seaman's Church Institute in Philadelphia where she attended services on Sunday.

A gold star service flag also was dedicated and unveiled and he was among the merchant marine men whose memories were commemorated. Flowers were placed there for him also.

Hastings was lost at sea last January when the Allan Jackson, oil tanker, was torpedoed.

( Above article submitted by: Veterans Researcher )


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  • Created by: Russ Pickett
  • Added: 5 Sep 2010
  • Find a Grave Memorial 58242498
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for SMN Preston Oliphant Hastings (1912–18 Jan 1942), Find a Grave Memorial no. 58242498, citing Parsons Cemetery, Salisbury, Wicomico County, Maryland, USA ; Maintained by Russ Pickett (contributor 46575736) .