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definition - SS_Leopoldville

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SS Leopoldville

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The Belgian transport ship SS Leopoldville, an 11,500 long tons (11,700 t) passenger liner converted for use as a troopship in the Second World War was struck by a torpedo in the English Channel approximately five miles from the coast of Cherbourg, France on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1944 less than five months before the end of the war in Europe. Prior to the attack, the Leopoldville had made 24 cross-Channel crossings, transporting more than 120,000 troops. The Leopoldville was in a diamond formation with four escort destroyers and another troopship the SS Cheshire embarking from Southampton, England that evening. These ships were involved in the crossing: [1]

On the day of the attack, the Leopoldville was carrying reinforcements from the 262nd and 264th Regiments, 66th Infantry Division of the United States Army towards the Battle of the Bulge. Of the 2,235 American servicemen on board, approximately 515 are presumed to have gone down with the ship. Another 248 died from injuries, drowning, or hypothermia. Also captain Charles Limbor and one of his Belgian and three of his Congolese crewmembers went down with the ship. An unknown number of British died.

In July of 1984, Clive Cussler of NUMA discovered the wreck.

Documents about the attack remained classified until 1996.

In 1997, the 66th Infantry Division Monument was dedicated in Ft. Benning, Georgia in memory of the soldiers who died aboard the Leopoldville and also to those who survived the attack on the Leopoldville but were later killed in action.

In 2005, a memorial was erected in Veterans Memorial Park in Titusville, Florida.

Clive Cussler dedicated his 1986 book "Cyclops" to the disaster, it reads

To the eight hundred American men who were lost with the Leopoldville, Christmas Eve 1944 near Cherbourg, France. Forgotten by many, remembered by few.

In 2009, the National Geographic Channel aired a special that recreated the events sinking and had divers investigating the wreck.[1]

References

  1. ^ National Geographic Accessed February 10, 2009.

External links

 

All translations of SS_Leopoldville


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