Memorandum by the Acting Liaison Officer (Notter)
At 4:05 p.m. today a report was received from Commander Struble34 that the Columbus was being scuttled. She had encountered a British destroyer, the Hyperion. The Tuscaloosa, the United States heavy cruiser engaged in observation of the Columbus, was supposed to have been released from such duty at 1 o’clock today, but at the time of the action, approximately 3:30 p.m., the Tuscaloosa was present, and the Captain at once reported that he was standing by to pick up the survivors. He was ordered, after having completed that task, to put into the nearest United States port, which in this case would be Boston.
In a subsequent telephone call at 4:25 p.m. Commander Struble informed me that by moving northward the Columbus had actually approached nearer to our shores, so that the action occurring at 3:30 p.m. took place only 300 miles, approximately, from our shore. Also, the Commander stated that the White House was informed and desired no release whatever of information until the White House released it.
- Comdr. Arthur D. Struble, Department of the Navy, meeting with the Under Secretary in the Liaison Committee. See Department of State, Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation, 1939–1945 (Washington, 1949), pp. 16–17.↩