Helgesen, Captain Henry N. USCG, 1945
My brother in law E.V. Friend did a great story of the sinking of the Coamo with the greatest of details. He researched the German Archives and the log book of the German U-604; and interviews of the surviving crew members of the sub. It is called: “SS Coamo Last Voyage”; Written in 1987. He had never met my father Captain Nels Helgesen. He read Capt. Moore’s “A Careless Word…A Needless Sinking”, which sparked his idea of finding out more about how and when.
My father commanded most or all of the NY and Porto Rico Line ships. His life was at sea. Of course much of this is background and found in Friend’s book. My father resides in the Maritime Hall of Fame at the Museum at Kings Point.
But Friend created the day of 2 December 1942 of the sinking and the sub tracking the Coamo until able to fire away a torpedo that evening and sinking when the sub got within range; the story was created from the U-604’s log book and Friend’s research. It was a stormy day and the Coamo was zig zaging. On a leg heading into heavier seas the Coamo was slowed down at times. This enabled the sub to close in for the kill. This was how the Cadet-Midshipmen Joseph Giovinco and Henry Levett perished with all hands.