Harrison County, Ohio

Coxwain William Francis Dutton

Serving onboard the Patrol Plane Service Tug Gannet that was being used for anti-submarine work and also was the communication center for all aircraft operations in the area around Bermuda when it was torpedoed and lost on June 7 th 1942.

Departing Bermuda 2 June, Gannet joined British ship HMS Sumar the next day in an unsuccessful search for the torpedoed merchantman SS Westmoreland. Ordered back to base the afternoon of 6 June, the two warships became separated during the night. Before dawn 7 June, northwest of Bermuda, Gannet was hit by submarine torpedoes from U-653. She went down so rapidly that her decks were awash within 4 minutes, and she carried 14 of her crew down with her. Twenty-two men were rescued by two planes of Patrol Squadron 74 which made the daring landing in heavy seas. USS Hamilton DMS-18, led to the scene by one of the same planes, rescued 40 others

Coxwain William Francis Dutton is Memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at the East Coast Memorial, located within Battery Park in New York City.

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