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  Home > History > Operation Shingle > The minesweepers > USS Swerve > The facts > The dive > References
 


The witness

A big help, in the reconstruction of the events which involved the minesweeper before the sinking, come from the finding of a Swerve survivor, Harry Sonner, 3rd class signalmen.
At the time of the sinking, Harry was no more a boy but today, veteran of 77 years old, he stillremember very well the tragic events that cost the life to thousands of boys that participated in the Landingship of Anzio during the II World War.

“... I had just finished taking down a signal to our sister ship, USS Seer, to recover gear and proceed back to port, when the explosion occurred under our propellers. I saw all kinds of things flying into the air above me and I thought it has to come down so I headed for the pilothouse to avoid being struck.
It was a good thing I did because right where I was standing a ½ inch steel cable wrapped itself around a speed hoist above my head.
I jumped off the signal bridge. When I hit the water and came up I looked up and saw the mast coming down on top of us.
I start swimming to get away from it. It was all over in seven minutes from the blast until it disappeared below the surface of the water. “Our ship was gone” …”     Forward

 
Harry C. Sonner in 1944 Harry C. Sonner, today Swerve crew in army clothes at Napoli after the sinking Exploring the wreck Bow cleats