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SS President Coolidge

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  • Paul Harvey Mansfield (1918 - 2006)
    Was on the SS President Coolidge when it sank during World War II. It was a converted cruise liner. Paul was a member of the US Army (43rd Infantry), and one of the survivors of that incident. Many l...
  • Capt. Henry Nelson (1879 - 1952)
  • Capt. Elwood Joseph Euart (1914 - 1942)
    Captain Elwood Euart, 103rd Field Artillery, died while rescuing some of his troops. For his bravery Captain Euart was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest medal for...

This Project involves the sinking of the SS President Coolidge during World War II.

SS President Coolidge was a converted cruise liner used to transport most of the 43rd Infantry of the US Army.

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(From Wiki):

"A large military base and harbor had been established on Espiritu Santo and the harbor was heavily protected by mines. Information about safe entry into the harbor had been accidentally omitted from the Coolidge‍ '​s sailing orders, and on her approach to Santo on 26 October, Coolidge, fearing Japanese submarines and unaware of the mine fields, tried to enter the harbor through the largest and most obvious channel. A mine struck the ship in the engine room, and moments later a second mine hit her near her stern.

Captain Henry Nelson, knowing that he was going to lose the ship, ran her aground and ordered troops to abandon ship. Not believing the ship would sink, troops were told to leave all of their belongings behind under the impression that they would conduct salvage operations over the next few days.

Over the next 90 minutes, 5,340 men from the ship got safely ashore. There was no panic as they disembarked; many even walked ashore. However, the captain's attempts to beach the ship were thwarted by a coral reef. Coolidge listed heavily on her side, sank, and slid down the slope into the channel.

There were only two casualties in the sinking.[18] The first was Fireman Robert Reid, who was working in the engine room and was killed by the first mine blast. The second, Captain Elwood Joseph Euart, US Army Field Artillery, had safely got off Coolidge when he heard that there were still men in the infirmary who could not get out. He returned through one of the sea doors, successfully rescued the men but was then unable to escape himself and went down with the ship. A memorial to Captain Euart is on the shore near the access points[citation needed] for the Coolidge.

The loss of critical equipment being carried in Coolidge, forcing redistribution of scarce local stores, combined with loss of the ship when shipping was critically short, delaying deployment of the 25th Division from Hawaii to the theater, complicated logistics during the crisis at Guadalcanal."

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Eventually to be included here should be:

- Known list of personnel aboard when she sank;

- List of known survivors;

- Location of her Sinking;

- Current and past photos and documents relating to her final resting place;

- As well as other related information.

Profiles shall include any persons who can be shown to have served upon the SS President Coolidge.

Web sites:

Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_President_Coolidge

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SSPresidentCoolidge

other sites: http://www.xray-mag.com/pdfs/articles/Feature_President_Coolidge_15.pdf http://www.pacificwrecks.com/ships/usn/president_coolidge.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/43rd_Infantry_Division_(United_States)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/172nd_Infantry_Regiment_(United_States)