File No. 857.857/112

The Ambassador in France ( Sharp) to the Secretary of State


1959. American consular agent, Brest, reports sinking on 15th instant at 8 p.m., of Norwegian steamer Wilfred, from Newport, England, to Gibraltar with coal. He obtained signed statement of two Americans, Bill Southwood, born November 5, 1895, Wayne County, Ky., coal trimmer (bearer of seaman’s identification certificate), and John Palmer, born June 28, 1892, Panama (sailor’s papers lost, signed on as American), who state that Wilfred did not carry troops and was not armed. German submarine was seen; it allowed crew to take to boats. Wilfred displayed Norwegian flag and regular marks on both sides. Sank 20 miles from Ushant, no vessel in sight. No other Americans on board. Crew reached shore next morning, no casualties. Consular agent states sea was rough and weather cold; his report and the signed statement follow by mail. He has been requested to obtain additional information.