File No. 763.72/2067
The Ambassador in Great Britain (Page) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 27, 8 a. m.]
2703. Consul at Liverpool sends me an affidavit made by an American sailor Herbert Young, 19 years old, second steward on the Leyland Line steamer Nicosian, which arrived at Avonmouth August 20. Young swears that on the afternoon of August 19 about seventy miles from Queenstown off the coast of Ireland the Nicosian was shot at by a submarine and the crew were ordered into the [boats]. At about that time a tramp steamer appeared, possibly in answer to the Nicosian’s S.O.S. call. The tramp flew the American flag until within one hundred yards of Nicosian. She then fired on the submarine and sank her. The submarine crew were killed and the Nicosian was towed in by the supposed tramp, which of course was a naval auxiliary ship manned by reserves.1 Young was taken aboard this auxiliary boat for about fifteen minutes before he was returned to the Nicosian.
The Consul writes me that there has for several days been a rumor that the submarine which sunk the Arabic had been destroyed. I have asked him to secure confirmation and copy of Young’s story. Young gives as his American address Rugless, Kentucky. His affidavit will be sent by the next pouch.