“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Point Judith in Narragansett in Washington County, Rhode Island — The American Northeast (New England)

The S.S. Black Point

The S.S. Black Point Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Sandra Hughes, July 19, 2014
1. The S.S. Black Point Marker
Inscription.  The S.S. Black Point was built in 1918 at Camden, New Jersey as a coal collier. She was owned by Sprague Steamship Co. of Boston, Mass. And was 369’ long 55’ at the beam and was carrying 7500 tons of coal. Captain Charles Prior was master with a complement of 41 merchant seamen and 5 U.S. Navy Armed Guard gun crew. Eleven Merchant Seamen and one Armed Guard were killed when a torpedo struck the aft magazine, and tore away 40 feet of the stern section at 1740 hrs, and sank the S.S. Black Point at 1755 hrs. The S.S. Kamen, which was in the area, sent an S.O.S., and the signal was picked up at 1742 hrs by the frigate USS Moberly (PF-83), and was joined in the search for the enemy by the USS Atherton (DE-169) and USS Amick (DE-168). At 1930 hrs their sonar pinpointed the submarine. The S.S. Kamen and U.S. Coast Guard vessels in the area rescued the 34 survivors.

She was torpedoed at by the German submarine U-853, in 95 feet of water at Lat/Lon position: 41-19.30 N/71-25.45W Loran C position: 14456.2/43938.5; 3.2 nautical miles from this site. The U-853 was sunk in a water depth of 127 feet, 8.7 nautical miles from this site at Lat/Lon position: 41-13.31

Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online
N/71-24.85 W. Loran position: 14472.9/43894.8, as she tried to escape into open sea, but 2029 hrs, 13 magnetic depth charges were dropped on her by the USS Atherton (DE-169), and at 2324 hrs, she dropped a pattern of hedgehogs, and the USS Moberly (PF-63) dropped hedgehogs at 0200 hrs. At 0605 hrs, the ZNP blimps K-58 and K-16 from Lakehurst, New Jersey arrived and dropped a sonobouy into the oil slick. They heard a hammering sound on metal. About 10 minutes later, “A long, shrill, shriek” sound was heard, hammering stopped, and all was silent.

Later, an attack was made from one of the blimps with 7.2’ rocket bombs and at 1045 hrs the U-853 was officially declared sunk with no survivors. A diver from the U.S.S. Penguin (ASR-12), who followed a bouy line down to the sub to verify the names, reported bodies were strewn about inside. The sub’s hull was split from the depth charges and hedgehogs; a terrible price to pay for aggression.

The German High Command had issued orders on May 4, 1945 to cease hostilities at once. Whether the U-853 had received the orders is unknown.

To the men who lost their lives, to their families and loved ones, to the men of the ships that sank the U-853, to the men who rescued the survivors; we, the crews of the U.S. Navy Armed Guard and U.S. Merchant Marine Veterans of WWI and WWII, and the Sprague Steamship Co., dedicate this

The S.S. Black Point Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Sandra Hughes, July 19, 2014
2. The S.S. Black Point Marker
plaque so others in the future may know the facts.

In Honor of :
The 144, 970 U.S.N Armed Guard and 250,652 Merchant Seamen of World War II who served on tankers, cargo, troopships, and various types of vessels, carrying vital war material, men and women to ports throughout the world and back to the place whence they came.

In memory of:
The S.S. Black Point and crew. The last ship sunk in the Atlantic Theatre of War, on May 5, 1945 (1740 EWT). Killed were:
Merchant Seamen:
William Antilley Z-560607 Abiline, Texas
Geo. P. Balser Z-491747 Queens Village, NY
Leo H. Beck Z-340191 St. Louis, MO
Milton Matthews Z-340191 St. Louis, MO
Laurel F. Clark Z-660554 Brinkman, Oklahoma
Cleo Hand Z-586169 Hazelhurst, GA
Robert L. Korb Z-623302 Newport News, VA
Ansey L. Morgan Z-622706 Virginia
Marvin A. Mertinek Z Z-532427 Warda, Texas
Richard C. Shepson Z-621600 So. Boundbrook, NJ

May all these men rest in peace forever

Armed Guard:
Alcester R. Colella S1/C Maudin, MA
Stephen Svetz S1/C
Harry T. Berryhill S1/C
Gustav A. Vogelbacher SM1/C New York City
Merchant Seamen
Clair V. Berry Chief Mate Cape Elizabeth, ME
L.P. Pelleti Z-107825 Portland, ME
Homer P. Small Z-288805 East Machias, ME

Date Sunk: May 5, 1945 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Sandra Hughes, July 19, 2014
3. Date Sunk: May 5, 1945
As you look straight out to sea, you are looking at the location (3.2 miles from shore) where the S.S, Black Point was sunk, ending the battle of the Atlantic.
Baumgartner Z-284367 Baltimore, MD
Glennen W. Ryan Z-614659 Portae Des Souix, MO
Rufus K. Nash Z-622674 New Port News, VA
Marcus L. Rowe Z-424396 Portsmouth, VA
John N. Smithe Z-105332 Messick, VA
Gordon Nelson Z-533784 Oryramo, MN
Thomas P. Mello Z-317558 W. Concord, MA
Earl Campbell Z-500932 St. Hyde, VA
Joseph J. Tharl Z-339336 Franklin, VA
Patrick N. Leary Z-564196 S. Dorchester, VA
Lawrence Drayton Z-82886 S. Dorchester, VA
Joseph W. Kelly Z-358910 McKinley, Maine
Francis R. Curran Z-443906 Waltham, MA
Joseph R. Desourdy Z-439007 So. Bridge, MA
Francis L. Kelly Z-191950 Chelsea, MA
James N. Lane Z-415485 W. Concord, MA
John E. Shoaff, Jr Z-619579 Beaver Falls, PA
James Davis Z-98707 Gloucester, VA
Steward M. Whitehouse Z-424396 Arlington, MA
James C. Fowlkes Z-660554 Milton, NC
Howard A. Locke Z-616576 Reynolds, GA
Rivard Nehls Z-619710 Watertown, WI
Sanfred Navma Z-425382 Finland
Joseph S. Pires Z-82881 So Dartsmouth, MA
Abel Gomez Z-202652 Providence, RI
Argvris P Economou Z-438354 Bronx, NY

Erected 1990 by U.S. Navy Armed Guard and the U.S. Merchant Marine WWI and WWII Veterans and Sprague Steamship Co.
Topics and series. This memorial is listed in these topic lists: War, World II
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the US Navy Armed Guard series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1915.
Location. 41° 21.681′ N, 71° 28.856′ W. Marker is in Narragansett, Rhode Island, in Washington County. It is in Point Judith. Memorial is on Ocean Road. Marker is in front of Coast Guard House under flags. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1470 Ocean Rd, Narragansett RI 02882, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Point Judith Light House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Narragansett Pier (approx. 5 miles away); Honor Roll Town of Narragansett World War (approx. 5.1 miles away); Griffin's Hollow (approx. 5.4 miles away); Carter Jackson Monument (approx. 6 miles away); Foundation of the Original Beavertail Lighthouse (approx. 7.4 miles away); The 1749 Foundation (approx. 7.4 miles away); The Assistant Keeper's House (approx. 7.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Narragansett.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 27, 2023. It was originally submitted on August 5, 2014, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 783 times since then and 124 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 5, 2014, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
Paid Advertisements

Sep. 29, 2023