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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services


Jacob Jones

Ship Designation: 
Date Lost: 
Saturday, February 28, 1942
U-Boat Attack off New Jersey Coast
At the first light of dawn 28 February 1942, undetected German submarine U-578 fired a spread of torpedoes at the unsuspecting destroyer. The deadly fish sped unsighted and two or possibly three struck the destroyer's port side in rapid succession. ... According to her survivors, the first torpedo struck just aft of the bridge and caused almost unbelievable damage. Apparently, it exploded the ship's magazine; the resulting blast sheered off everything forward of the point of impact, destroying completel y the bridge, the chart room, and the officers' and petty officers' quarters. As she stopped dead in the water, unable to signal a distress message, a second torpedo struck about 40 feet forward of the fantail and carried away the after part of the ship a bove the keel plates and shafts and destroyed the after crew's quarters. Only the midships section was left intact. ... All but 25 or 30 officers and men, including Lt. Comdr. Black, were killed by the explosions. The survivors, including a badly wounded, practically incoherent signal officer, went for the lifeboats. Oily decks, fouled lines and rigging, and the clutter of the ship's strewn twisted wreckage hampered their efforts to launch the boats. Jacob Jones remained afloat for about 45 minutes, allowing her survivors to clear the stricken ship in four or five rafts. Within an hour of the initial explos ion Jacob Jones plunged bow first into the cold Atlantic, as her shattered stern disappeared, her depth charges exploded, killing several survivors on a nearby raft.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 121

Namesort descending Service Branch
MM 2c Samuel Collier USN
RM 3c Raymond Cordes USN
SM 3c Melvin Cowart USN
MM 2c James Cruzan USN
EM 3c Robert Curlin USN
Sea 2c Pinkney Curry USN
OC 2c Chester Davis USN
MM 1c Lawrence Dobbins USN
F 1c James Duffy USN
GM 3c Thomas Edwards USN
CCS Harry Edwards USN
SK 2c George Embreus USN
Matt 3c Alfred Evans USN
GM 3c Ira Fields USN
TM 3c Elmo Fontenot USN
Sea 2c Willie Gautney USN
SF 3c James Goddard USN
Sea 1c Edgar Greene USN
FC 3c Arnold Greenwood USN
Sea 2c Charles Gregoric USN


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships