Grandfather Was on Torpedoed Ship

My grandfather was on board the Tuscania, a troop ship on its way to France in World War I, when it was sunk by a German U-boat on February 5, 1918. Many of the survivors, including my grandfather, were rescued by the people of the island of Islay in Scotland. On the 100th anniversary of the sinking, the people of Islay held a memorial for those lost when the Tuscania sank.

I found out about the Tuscania and my grandfather’s experience through Marilyn Gahm, who has written a book about the sinking because so many men from her home of Spooner, Wisconsin, were on board when it sank. She had posted a remembrance on line for my grandfather, who is buried in Arlington Cemetery. She has written a book about the Tuscania, which is available at There is a short history of the event here.

A Scottish record of the sinking is located here. A posting on the island of Islay’s website is here.

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The memorial service on Islay
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The memorial service on Islay
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The Tuscania

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