Daily Event for November 6, 2008

On Oct. 27, 1943 convoy KMF-25A left Liverpool bound for Alexandria, Egypt, included in the convoy were
26 merchant ships and over a dozen escorts. At least eight of these ships were troopships carrying over
28,000 U.S., British and Canadian troops. After passing Gibraltar the ships were also under air cover provided
by the RAF, however these aircraft could only go so far with the ships and had to rotate due to shortages of
machines and pilots. It was during one of these changes on November 6, 1943 that the Germans took the opportunity to attack.

About 35 aircraft from KG-26 attacked the convoy and despite a massive anti-aircraft barrage, managed to
score at least four hits. The most seriously damaged ship was the USS Beatty DD-640, she was hit in the
engine room and was dead in the water. Her keel was broken and with no power for the pumps the crew could do nothing but wait for the inevitable. It took several hours, but the order was finally given to abandon her and the destroyers USS Laub DD-613 and USS Parker DD-604 came alongside and removed the survivors. At a little after 23:00 Beatty broke in half and sank, sadly twelve of her crew were lost and one man was missing, although this was not known at the time.

Radioman 3rd Class Samuel Poland had been blown overboard by the explosion of the torpedo, along with him a depth charge went over the side, luckily for him it failed to explode, but he was badly injured by the explosion receiving a double compound fracture of his left leg. After Laub and Parker left the area USS Boyle DD-600 did a final search of the area and found Poland in the water.

While the Beatty was fighting for her life three other ships were also damaged, USAT Santa Elena and the Dutch ships Marnix van Sint Aldegonde and Ruys. Santa Elena had over 2,000 people on board including 1,848 Canadian troops and 101 nurses, while Marnix van Sint Aldegonde 2,924 troops in her hull, neither ships was seriously damaged, but neither would survive. Ruys was the only ship to make it to port.

It was not until the following day when all the troops and most of the crew had been removed was it decided to tow the two ships to port. However while under tow Marnix van Sint Aldegonde collided with the Santa Elena and the damage caused both ships to be lost, four crewmen and four U.S. Navy Armed Guards were lost during the event. One man who was in sick bay on the Marnix van Sint Aldegonde was also lost. Because of the size of the two troopships and the small amount of damage received both ships sank slowly, thankfully a major disaster was averted.
© 2008 Michael W. Pocock

USS Beatty DD-640, dtae and location unknown.

Roll of Honor
In memory of those who lost their lives in
USS Beatty DD-640 and USAT Santa Elena
"As long as we embrace them in our memory, their spirit will always be with us"

Azcuy, Fidelio
Galleyman (Merchant Marine)
USAT Santa Elena
Bruce, Cecil M.
Fireman 1st Class (USNR)
USS Beatty DD-640
Castro, Antonio
Cook (Merchant Marine)
USAT Santa Elena
Croke, Robert J.
Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (USN)
USS Beatty DD-640
Diaz, Alberto M.
Able Seaman (Merchant Marine)
USAT Santa Elena
Floyd, James V.
Machinist's Mate 1st Class (USN)
USS Beatty DD-640
Huffman Jr., Clive S.
Lieutenant (j.g.) (USN)
USAT Santa Elena
Isbell, Charles E.
Machinist's Mate 3rd Class (USNR)
USS Beatty DD-640
Joyce, John M.
Machinist's Mate 3rd Class (USNR)
USS Beatty DD-640
Lees, Jr., Joseph W.
Radioman 3rd Class (USNR)
USS Beatty DD-640
Lemire, Joseph V.
Machinist's Mate 3rd Class (USNR)
USS Beatty DD-640
Marcella, Joseph X.
Seaman 1st Class (USN)
USAT Santa Elena
Moore, Ernest K.
Chief Machinist's Mate (USNR)
USS Beatty DD-640
Nall, Edgar E.
Seaman 2nd Class (USN)
USAT Santa Elena
Patino, Frank
Baker (Merchant Marine)
USAT Santa Elena
Pachl, Charles H.
Motor Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (USN)
USS Beatty DD-640
Pellegrino, Jr., Vincent J.
Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (USNR)
USS Beatty DD-640
Redden, Norris H.
Electrician's Mate 2nd Class (USN)
USS Beatty DD-640
Sample, Carl A.
Gunner's Mate 3rd Class (USN)
USAT Santa Elena
Sanderson, Norfleet
Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (USNR)
USS Beatty DD-640
Died of wounds Nov. 7. Buried at sea.

Mar. 6, 2013

My Brother in law was a member of the crew on the Beatty DD-640 and passed away in January 2013 at 91 years old and he always talked about the Beatty, his name is Allan M. Poplin from North Carolina. His Daughter Linda Lester still lives in South Carolina. I retired a Navy Seabee with 25 years.

Olin Broome
Ladys Island, South Carolina

Aug. 18, 2014

Thank you for writing about the Beatty!  My dad was Samuel Poland, the man so seriously injured the day they were bombed and sunk. He was hospitalized for over a year but still lost his leg to those serious injuries!  He always had health problems due to this, but it did not stop him from talking about the experience in more of a positive outlook than one would think. He died at the age of 52 due to complications of of his ill health. He never once bad mouthed his experience and he met my mom while in the hospital trying to save his leg. He was very happy about that as she was visiting him for a friend and they fell in love ...:)

Thanks for your interest and time,|
Nancy Poland Oyen

2005 Daily Event
2006 Daily Event
2007 Daily Event