WWII News Clippings 11
Cliffside Sailor 18 Days in Lifeboat
Rutherford County News – Jan 28, 1943
Cliffside, Jan. 25 – Seaman Lee Poteat, who is spending an 18-day furlough at the home of his mother, Mrs. Mattie Poteat at Cliffside, was rescued at sea after spending 18 days in a lifeboat.
Young Poteat, with one year’s experience in the navy behind him, was on a ship in the South Atlantic on a date not specified, when about 5 o’clock in the morning the vessel was torpedoed by a submarine and went down almost immediately.
The ship was equipped with four lifeboats but the crew was unable to launch two of them.
Seaman Poteat was one of many who crowded into one of the lifeboats. After the ship sank the submarine crew shelled the lifeboats and the men in the water. After 18 days spent on the wide expanse of the South Atlantic in the lifeboat, the men were found and landed on the Brazilian coast. Then they were brought to the United States.
During the time they were in the lifeboat, the scant supply of water was rationed, each man being allowed four ounces of water daily, Seaman Poteat said.
Researched and prepared by Don Bailey.