We also have a detailed page on the American destroyer USS Reuben James (DD 245).. It also includes photos of DE-153 and Guided Missile Frigate Reuben James FFG-57. On October 31, 1941, the USS Reuben James became one of America’s first casualties of war—even before war was declared. During Gone in an instant,” recalled electrician’s mate Thomas Turnbull. The Reuben James carried only two lifeboats and they were now useless. This is a listing of people associated with this ship. USS Reuben James (DD-245)—- a post-World War I, four-funnel Clemson-class destroyer—- was the first United States Navy ship named for Boatswain's Mate Reuben James (c. 1776 –1838), who distinguished himself fighting in the First Barbary War, and the first sunk by hostile action in the European theater of World War II. Although the United States was still offi- cially neutral, Congress had enacted the Lend-Lease Act in March 1941 to help Great Britain survive. There have been countless thousands of published works devoted to all or of it. the news of the sinking reached America, many concerned people wrote letters D C G Did you have a friend on that good Reuben James Verse 3 G G D G It was there in the dark of that uncertain night G D G That we watched for the U-boats and waited for the fight. The USS Reuben James DD-245 was sunk by a German U-Boat five full weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor. World events soon pushed the Reuben James to the side. After the news of the sinking reached America, many concerned people wrote letters to the Navy to find out the fate of friends or loved ones. Word of the Reuben James sinking quickly reached the United States, but details were few. including all officers. Those who survived the blast jumped into the frigid water. I know you will though….” Before she could mail her letter, however, she learned that her husband would not return. Reuben The Kearny, a modern ship commissioned in 1940, survived the attack and reached port, but 11 sailors were killed and 22 more were injured. “It’s not going down with me,” he told his wife. In the annals of military history magazines, this is one of those moments. It appears it was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Country Music. Have you heard of the ship, called the good Reuben James Run by hard fighting men, both of honor and fame She flew the stars and stripes for The Sinking Of The Reuben James Lyrics The Sinking Of The Reuben James is found on the album This Land Is Your Land: The Asch Recordings, Vol. This page has photos and a slideshow of the USS Reuben James DD-245 and German U-552 that sunk her. “The water was so cold it would kill you in no time. Reuben James (FFG-57), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate There are two songs with the title Reuben James: 1. U.S. Navy ships helped escort the convoys bringing Lend-Lease goods to England. Germany and Great Britain had been at war for two years. The sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 contributed to U.S. war sentiment, and America entered the war in early 1917, almost two years later. After There are moments in military history that forever alter the flow of human events. of friends or loved ones. My analysis was of the song “The Sinking of the Reuben James” by Woody Guthrie. In Boston harbor, the Navy held a memorial service on the deck of the USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides”), a ship well known to sailor Reuben James, as the families of the lost seamen looked on with “tear-stained, tight-lipped faces.” Six women, led by Almeda Edwards, “tossed flowers on the ebbing tide and even as they did the sun broke through the thick clouds and bathed the wreaths in its pale light,” the Associated Press reported. Writing ‘The Sinking of the Reuben James’ “When the U.S.S. Rescuers heard “cursing, praying, and hoarse shouts for help” from sailors struggling to stay alive. “The incident stirred up emotions in our hometown. Have you heard of a ship called the good Reuben James Manned by hard fighting men both of honor and fame? Sadly, most of the country ignored the sinking. "shooting war.". Acting with “cold precision,” the ships and their crews rescued the few survivors. A New York Times editorial said that the sinking “brushes away the last possible doubt that the United States and Germany are now at open war in the Atlantic.” “Worse than piracy,” proclaimed Navy Secretary Frank Knox, and Senator Alben Barkley of Kentucky accused the Germans of trying “to drive us off the seas, and I don’t believe the American people are ready to be driven off.” Senator George Aiken of Vermont, however, said that Roosevelt was “personally responsible for whatever lives may have been lost” because he had ordered convoy duty. song immediately after the incident: Tell me, what were their names? Roosevelt’s logic was simple: “If you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he has struck before you crush him.”. “Some were knocked unconscious. Some did rally to the flag, however. Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James?”. “With a terrific roar a column of orange flame towers high into the night as her magazines go up,” recalled Griffith Baily Coale, a naval artist sailing with the convoy. Reuben James (DE-153), a Buckley-class destroyer escort 3. Tell me, what were their names? I knew I had read the backstory somewhere not too long ago. The U.S. Navy picked the convoys up there, escorted them out into the Atlantic, and handed them over to the British Royal Navy at a mid-ocean meeting point. The Reuben James’ last day was October 31, 1941. This subterfuge was necessary because of isolationist sentiment in Congress, but it fooled few, least of all the German Navy. the latter part of 1941, U.S. Navy ships provided escorts for convoys Edwards, wrote to her husband, “It has been two days and still no one has told me that you are coming back to me. “I know I got picked up pretty quick,” said William Bergstresser, a chief machinist’s mate. (The Reuben James was the first U.S. naval ship sunk by German U-boats in World War II.) The pretext was that the Navy was helping to supply American troops stationed in Iceland. While on leave, boatswain’s mate Frederick Post had a drink with a friend and predicted it would be the last drink they would ever have together. It seemed like a long time.”. She was 314 feet long, 30 feet in the beam, and capable of speeds of up to 33 knots. AUTHOR: Words: Woody Guthrie & Pete Seeger w. the Almanac Singers EARLIEST DATE: November, 1941 Kingston Trio - Sinking of the Reuben James Lyrics. Found on more albums: G C G Then a whine and a rock and a great explosion roared G D G And they laid the Reuben James … For The presence of the escort destroyers may have saved the crew of the Reuben James from even greater casualties. I love that song! But there’s NEVER been anything like THIS before. Among the sailors lost were Alton Cousins, who never reclaimed his gold watch, Frederick Post, who never had another drink with his friend, and Walter Sorensen, who never got his wished-for last visit home. When Neda Boyd, wife of machinist’s mate Solon Boyd, heard the news on the radio, she “froze in the chair.” She felt a sense of doom because, when last home, her husband had told her, “I’m afraid we won’t be back this time.” Their six-year-old daughter heard the name of her dad’s ship on the radio and wept inconsolably. Woody Guthrie was staying at the Almanac House in Greenwich Village when he wrote this song. Roosevelt did not break off diplomatic relations with Germany, and he stayed away from the bellicose rhetoric he had used after the Greer and Kearny attacks. As the survivors struggled to stay afloat, unsecured depth charges from the Reuben James hit the water as the ship sank. The Navy performed these duties while the United States maintained its official neutrality. Survivors on the Reuben James saw the instantaneous damage. On the Reuben James, torpedoman Robert Howard recalled, “All you had was a pair of binoculars and a rubber ear to press against the skin of the ship to listen for [submarine] screw noises.”. While news of the sinking arrived quickly, word on the fate of the crew took several days longer. Now the USS Reuben James became the first United States warship to be sunk as a result of hostile action in World War II. Nearby ships rushed in to save the survivors. The Sinking of the Reuben James is a folk song written by Woody Guthrie about the ship Reuben James (DD-245) and her sinking while on convoy duty shortly before the U.S. entered World Wa… U-boats had already torpedoed several merchant ships in this convoy and a burning ship had silhouetted the Kearny, making her an easy target. She was armed with four 4-inch guns in her main battery, torpedo tubes, depth charges, and numerous antiaircraft weapons. Patrick Reuben James (* um 1776 in Sleaford; 3. "The Sinking of the Reuben James" is a song by Woody Guthrie about the sinking of the U. S. convoy escort USS Reuben James, which was the first U. S. naval ship sunk by German U-boats in World War II. Tell me what were their names. Of the ship’s crew, only 45 were saved; 99 sailors perished, including all seven of the ship’s officers. "The Sinking Of The Reuben James" Have you heard of a ship called the good Reuben James Manned by hard fighting men both of honor and fame? My two Uncles died on board when the ship was sunk. The aft part of the ship remained afloat for about five minutes. The act permitted President Franklin D. Roosevelt to sell, lend, or lease munitions, aircraft, weapons, and military supplies to “the government of any country whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of the United States.” Great Britain was one of those countries. On October 23, 1941, U.S. Navy destroyer USS Reuben James left Newfoundland to escort a convoy bound for Britain. Reuben James DESCRIPTION: Describes the sinking of the destroyer "Reuben James" by submarines off the coast of Iceland, the loss of 100 men [and the rescue of 44]. When the destroyer USS Reuben James (DD-245) was assigned to convoy duty in the North Atlantic in the autumn of 1941, its crew had a sense of foreboding and feared the worst. One had been demolished by the torpedo; the other could not be lowered into the water because of the steep angle of the sinking ship. Deadly German U-boats were prowling the North Atlantic and feasting on Allied shipping. John Ryan, 43, joined the Navy after his son, John Jr., died on the Reuben James. Convoy duty was hazardous and becoming more so by the day. Merchant ships of other nations, such as Great Britain, were free to tag along, and these “hitchhikers” got U.S. Navy protection. “The whole front of the ship lifted up and it was gone. On October 23, 1941, the Reuben James left Argentia, Newfoundland, to escort convoy HX-156. She was armed with four 4-inch guns in her main battery, torpedo tubes, depth charges, and numerous antiaircraft weapons. The Reuben James was one of five destroyers escorting the convoy’s more than 50 merchant ships, many of which flew the Union Jack. As a result, several of us local boys enlisted in the Navy,” said Farris Burton, one of those who joined up. “If it hadn’t been for those depth charges, we probably would have had another 40 or 50 survivors,” recalled Fireman Second Class George Giehrl. "The Sinking of the Reuben James" is a song by Woody Guthrie about the sinking of the U.S. convoy escort USS Reuben James, which was the first U.S. naval ship sunk by German U-boats in World War II. Terrified sailors heard the depth charges arm themselves, and then the charges exploded, hurling debris and men into the air. It changed the world more than any other single event in history. In Portland, Maine, where about half the crew lived, the wives of 40 crew members—“red-eyed and listless, after hours of vigil with little sleep”— awaited news of their husbands. The Reuben James appeared in The Hunt For Red October, and the Reuben James was the first ship to find Soviet Submarine Captain Marko Raimius and his crew of defectors. To her crew, she was affectionately known as “Ol’ Rube.”. “Choking on oil and water, they are like small animals caught in molasses,” artist Coale wrote. In connection with the list of the survivors and the list of those lost on the Reuben James, which was recently forwarded, all survivors of the Reuben James disaster have reported to this Receiving Ship with the exception of THOMPSON, James C., Sea.2c., USN, 300-43-32, and TURNBULL, Thomas P., E.M.2c., USN, 223-53-96, both of whom were seriously injured. Three warships of the Navy have been named Reuben James in his honor: But there’s NEVER been anything like THIS before. On September 4, 1941, a German U- boat attacked the destroyer USS Greer (DD-145) as she steamed alone toward Iceland. On April 2, 1942, the same U-boat—U-552— sank the SS David H. Atwater, an unescorted collier, off the coast of Virginia. 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