Saturday, January 12, 2008

US Cops who saved a young seaman's life

Getting thrown in jail was the best thing that could have happened to Samuel Nutt. As a 20-year-old stoker with the Royal Navy Patrol Service in 1942, he was supposed to rejoin HM Trawler Bedfordshire after a day's shore leave in Moorhead City,North Carolina.

But as he was leaving a bar, two policemen arrested him and locked him up for a day. As soon as he was let out, he joined another British trawler hoping to meet his crew to patrol the American coast against submarines, but the. Bedfordshire was not to be found. A few days later, the news filtered through that the trawler had been torpedoed by a German U-boat and all 34 crew lost. To this day, Mr Nutt, who has lived in Lowestoft since the end of the war, does not know why he was arrested.

"I would like to see the charge sheet. I had not done any harm," he said. "I have had good luck all my life and I often wonder whether things would have been different if I had made it on to the boat. "They were a good crew. For the little time I knew them, they were all good boys to be with." His-chance escape was not the only good fortune the 74-year-old had during the war.

"I had good luck throughout the war. One time when I was firewatching, I said to the others we have got to get out of the building.

"A few seconds after we got out, down came a bomb. I have always had a little bit of foresight I think," he said. And after the Bedfordshire incident, another trawler on which Mr Nutt was serving was sunk;

This time he was aboard but even though he could not swim, he and the rest of the crew managed to survive.

In memory of my dear friend Sam Nutt who crossed the bar 31st December 2007. - article published in the Lowestoft Journal 1996

See also:
Short film about the loss of HMS Bedfordshire

WW2 Drawings

Another fine link provided by Ron. This is an example of the quality of these detailed drawings:

Click to enlarge

A Sherman MV of the 2nd Armoured Irish Guards, Guards Armoured Division, Normandy, July 1944, a side view from from this page.