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” …”