Daily Event for October 24, 2013

In late October of 1921 the U.S. Gulf coast was hit by a terrific hurricane, the storm caused extensive damage on land and of course also at sea. Two of the ships lost were owned by the same company, J. W. Somerville Company of Gulfport, Mississippi. It is not known exactly when these ships were wrecked, but official sources list the date as October 24, 1921. One of the schooners, J. W. Somerville, namesake of the owner John Wilson Somerville, was built in 1919 in Maryland. The other schooner, Gertrude A. Somerville was built in Gulfport, Mississippi in 1917, both were built for the lumber trade. Both ships were described as fine sailing vessels, perhaps the best on the seas.

The storm however was more than the ships would handle. There is no way of knowing what happened aboard either ship as none of the fifteen crewmen survived, but the ships were. J. W. Somerville was found capsized and dismasted about 40 miles off Dry Tortugas, Florida by a Coast Guard Cutter and towed into Key West. Gertrude A. Somerville grounded on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Both wrecks were later sold.
© 2013 Michael W. Pocock
MaritimeQuest.com




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