Bonnabel, Henry ‘44
Bonnabel served on board Liberty SS James Longstreet when ship went aground on 26 October 1943 in a gale and was declared a total loss.
Comments made by ‘Bonnie’ Bonnabel on 9/11/2014
I thumbed through your gift book … and happened to notice a picture of the SS Harry Luckenbach which caught my eye (page 480). I recall that a Luckenbach vessel was in the same convoy that my vessel was in and my vessel was also bound for Liverpool (as we learned after arrival at that port). Also so many things described in the paragraph relating to that vessel and ex Kings Pointer LeRoy Kernan leads me to believe that I was in the same convoy. Several days out, my ship broke down, the convoy deserted us, our chief engineer made a temporary repair and within a day, we were able to catch up with our convoy and a number of other ships from another convoy. All vessels crews were extremely surprised of how little cover we had for such a numerous convoy and how, if anything happened, there was little hope of help. The few cover vessels would have never been able to assist any vessel or crew without exposing 100 ships. The cover vessels appeared to be small Canadian destroyers whose main job was to keep the German subs at the greatest possible distance with depth charges so they could not target individual convoy vessels, but many headed torpedoes into the convoy from unusual distances. I never learned how many vessels were lost out of that convoy but we saw a number of fires and black smoke emanating from the ocean surface for several days as we steamed along.