Struck Mine near LeHarve France
Miantonomah sailed early in the afternoon of September 25th. Because of the danger of enemy mines, her skipper, Comdr. Austin E. Rowe, ordered the highest state of watertight integrity to be set and all personnel not actually on watch below to be on topside and wear lifejackets--measures which undoubtedly saved many lives. With a French harbor pilot at the conn, she skillfully navigated the inner and outer harbors and cleared the block ships, thence made course for the entrance to the marked channel. As she steamed about 2,000 yards out from the block ships, she was rocked at 1415 by a tremendous underwater explosion under the engineroom. This blast, possibly followed by a second one, dazed or injured practically the entire crew. Immediately, the stricken ship began to sink rapidly by the stern and to starboard. Damage control efforts proved useless, and as Coast Guard vessels, British motor launches, and a French fishing craft stood by to rescue survivors, her injured skipper ordered Miantonomah to be abandoned. She sank about 20 minutes after the explosion with a loss of some 58 officers and men.