The Hutton/ Papoose


This story is a real odyssey of twists and turns but as you read, 

you will begin to wonder what happened and how can this be 

solved? The facts are basic and inclusive which gives the reader

the chance to decide for themselves. Don't read it alone, on a 

dark and stormy night....



S. S. Papoose

The S.S. Papoose
Official numbers- 226583
Official letters- WNBS 2 decks.
Machinery aft, longitudinal framing, steel and web frames.
Built in 1921 by S. Western Shipbuilding Company- San Pedro, CA
Original name- Silvanus
Owner at time of loss- American Republics Corp.
Homeport at time of loss- Wilmington, Delaware.
Engine- Triple expansion- 27 3/16 " x 45 " x 74 ", stroke- 48 "
Engine builder- Hooven, Ownes, Retschler Co., Hamilton, Ohio.
Sunk- 03/ 20/ 1942, unknown. Torpedoed at 2231, 2nd torpedo at 2244.
Torpedoed- 15 miles SW of Cape Lookout
Theoretical position- 27074.0 39431.1 (loran)
Course and speed at time of first torpedo- 236 degrees true, 11.4 knots


Account of the attack on the Papoose, taken from U.S. Navy memorandum:

"The Papoose was torpedoed without warning at approximately 2230 EWT on March 18, 1942 about 15 miles southwest of Cape Lookout while en route from Providence RI via New York for Corpus Christi, Texas.

The ship in ballast was sailing a course 236 true, speed 11.4 knots, not zigzagging, completely blacked out. Radio had not been used since sailing from New York. The weather was clear, sea moderately rough, a fresh northwest breeze, and visibility good.

The third mate and a quartermaster were on the bridge, one lookout on the forecastle head and another on the bridge.

The first torpedo struck the port side at break of poop and entered the fuel compartment. The engine room and fire room were flooded with oil and water to height of top of cylinder heads stopping the engines immediately.

The wheel was put hard to right following the first hit but headway was lost after the ship headed two points to starboard.

An SOS was repeated three times and acknowledged by WSC. The first lifeboat got away five minutes after the first hit.

A second torpedo fifteen minutes after the first barely missed the lifeboat and struck the Papoose on the starboard side stated by some to be directly opposite the first hit and by some slightly aft of amidships.

This hit tore a hole near the waterline which showed eight feet above the waterline. Wooden awnings over the midship's deckhouse and the radio shack were demolished causing some to believe a shell had struck simultaneously.

A second lifeboat got away five minutes after the second hit. A weak yellow or amber light was seen some distance astern of the ship and was believed to be the submarine.

Survivors were picked up at 0730 EMT on March 19, 1942 by the USS "Stringham" and taken to Norfolk.

The Papoose was still afloat at the time of rescue. All codes were turned over to the C.O. of the USS "Stringham". Thirty-two of the crew of 34 were rescued.

The comment has been made that an alert watch from the stern, now seldom in effect, might reveal the presence of the submarine since many of the attacks have occurred from astern."

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