Foundered near Newfoundland
On December 14, USS Bluebird and USS Nanok and USS Nartsek started out for a return trip to Boston. On December 17, snow began to fall and Belle Isle Light became obscured. The commanding officers of the Nanok and Natsek conferred by hailing back and forth and decided to proceed during darkness through Belle Isle Strait as long as their positions were known. Both vessels were by now accumulating ice. The commanding officers agreed that the Natsek was to lead and keep the Nanok informed of the water's depth, as the fathometer on the Nanok was inoperative. Because of heavy snowfall, the two vessels soon lost visual contact with each other. ... The last contact the Nanok had with the Natsek was a little later that morning when the Nanok sounded two blasts on her fog horn, which was answered by a flash of white light from from the Natsek. ... Regardless of the cause of her loss, however, her official Coast Guard epitaph reads: the entire crew of 23 men and one commissioned officer are considered to have met death in the line of duty on or after 17 December 1942, as a result of drowning.