On December 24, 1944, Lt. Gerhard Meyer, German submarine commander of the U 486 fired a torpedo that sank the S.S. Leopoldville as it transported 2,000 American soldiers to reinforce the Battle of the Bulge. Of these men, mostly between the ages of 18 and 21, 763 were killed. Forty-seven of the then forty-eight states were represented among the dead.
On April 12, 1945 (the day President Franklin D. Roosevelt died), the U486 was torpedoed by a British submarineno survivors.
The S.S. Leopoldville DisasterDecember 24, 1944 recounts the incident through the stories of the survivors. It also tells the emotional stories of the families and loved ones back home through the letters sent to and from those killed. Some of the most emotional and poignant letters are reproduced in the book.
The vulnerability of the S.S. Leopoldville and the lack of emergency preparation, which caused so many soldiers to die, was an embarrassment to the various Allied governments involved, resulting in what might be considered a cover-up, even long after the incident was declassified in 1959. It was only through the authors research, 50 years after the event, that some siblings, wives, and children of the men lost discovered what really happened.
The author, Allan Andrade, a retired NYC police lieutenant and a trained investigator, has done exhaustive work, well beyond the writing of this book, by bringing public attention to this event. His enthusiasm and drive have resulted in several state and local governments issuing proclamations commemorating the incident, as well as a national monument in Fort Benning, Georgia. For many families it brought closure to a horrible time in their lives.
The Appendix contains both a by-state list of the men killed, and a list of survivors by rank, Company, and Division (all were members of the 66th Panther Division).
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. . . On behalf of the residents of New York City I express my appreciation to Allan Andrade for making this exhibition possible and for researching and writing a book on this tragedy. -- NYC Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani
. . . This story should hold a special place in every states history. Simply put, the 802  soldiers that lost their lives deserve the proper respect and rememberance for their sacrifice, and those that survived need to be recognized for their valor. -- New York Congressman Gary L. Ackerman
Allan Andrade . . . has conducted his own investigation of the Leopoldville incident. . . . The American, British and Belgian governments engaged in a cover-up, filed the papers away as secret . . . -- Dennis Hevesi, The New York Times
I, George E. Pataki, Governor of the State of New York, do hereby recognize December 24, 1996, as S.S. LEOPOLDVILLE DISASTER REMEMBRANCE DAY . . .
From a proclamation that was made as a result of information provided by Allan Andrade -- George E. Pataki, Governor of the State of New York
Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.
Description du livre Tern Book Company, 1997. Paperback. État : New. Never used!. N° de réf. du libraire P111890309540