Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-boats
“Vividly drawn and emotionally gripping.”
—Daniel James Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat
One of the last unheralded heroic stories of World War II: the U-boat assault off the American coast against the men of the U.S. Merchant Marine who were supplying the European war, and one community’s monumental contribution to that effort.
AMMV President, Captain Chris Edyvean, reported the following thoughts of The Mathews Men:
As I continued to read “The Mathews Men“, I was in for a big treat. There are 8 pages – including pictures – of the story of the sinking of the SS City of New York. This was duel cargo/passenger ship, in which a pregnant woman who was fleeing an Axis occupied territory gave birth in a lifeboat following the sinking. In all the books I have read on the WWII MM, this is the first time I have found anything on this story.
In this year’s Memory Book, my local Shipmaster’s group placed a full page ad which honored two WWII vets who are/were part of our group. One of these featured vets is William Carlson, who was a member of the Navy Armed Guard on the SS City of New York when she was sunk. Bill had told me the story, but I could never find additional information. Now I have the details! Bill was in a different lifeboat, and he explained that he never knew if the baby survived or not. Turns out that the “lifeboat baby” was a well-known story at the time, and the press deemed this child as “the baby Hitler couldn’t get”. The book contains not only photos but names, which makes searching the internet easy in terms of finding later information on this family.
However, the main focus of the book is the war that the German U-boats waged right off our own shores, and how unprepared our country was for these attacks. “Mathews” is a county in Virginia which saw an unusually high number of Merchant Mariners in this struggle. I won’t reveal any more details; go get the book for yourself!
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