NORMAN C. SMITH, ENS, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Norman Smith '42

Date of birth: 1919

Date of death: February 28, 1942

Age: ~22

Lucky Bag

From the 1942 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Norman was lost when USS Jacob Jones (DD 130) was sunk by a German submarine on February 28, 1942.

From U-Boat Attack Logs: A Complete Record of Warship Sinkings:

The only officer recorded as having survived the explosions, Assistant Engineer Ensign Norman C. Smith, was so badly wounded that "he was practically incoherent at all times until his death."

From the March 3, 1942 Naval communique reprinted in the April, 1942 issue of Shipmates:

The USS JACOB JONES, a World War destroyer, was sunk by an enemy submarine off Cape May, New Jersey, just before dawn on February 28, 1942.

There were only eleven survivors consisting of nine engine room ratings and two apprentice seamen. Factual information in regard to the circumstances that led to the sinking is sparse because of the lack of deck ratings among the survivors. It has been established, however, that prior to receiving the first torpedo hit, the enemy submarine was not sighted nor was the torpedo.

The first torpedo blew up the bow and apparently killed all the personnel on the bridge as well as the men sleeping in the forward living compartments. The second torpedo, which was fired after the submarine circled ahead of the JACOB JONES, blew up the stern and all the depth charges.

The only survivors, except one man from the after engine room, were in the amidship section when the stern was blown up.

He has a memory marker in Vermont.

Related Articles

Hugh D. Black '26, Burton R. Hanson '40, and Thomas W. Marshall, Jr. '30 were also lost when the Jacob Jones was torpedoed.


Class of 1942

Norman is one of 82 members of the Class of 1942 on Virtual Memorial Hall.