Ship sunk off French coast in 1918 - Ships Nostalgia

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Ship sunk off French coast in 1918

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Old 11th September 2011, 11:50
Powertrain Powertrain is offline  
Organisation: Other Merchant Fleets
Department: Engineering
Active: 1962 - 1992
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 23
Ship sunk off French coast in 1918

Where do I start looking for lists of cargo ships sunk by enemy action in 1918?
My great uncle (an army officer and lawyer) was billeted for near 2 years in a village in Normandy(?) in 1919-20 to monitor and report on activities around the wreck of a ship (US flagged?) carrying copper ingots bound for an English port. Since the wreck lay in French waters there was a prolonged legal dispute about ownership and salvage rights and, according to family history, my uncle had to patrol the beach and account for ingots washed up as well as those (illegally) salvaged.
Apparently this was a dream posting for a single man after the horrors of representing shell-shocked deserters at courts martial.
If I could find note of the ship it would confirm most of the anecdotal history
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Old 11th September 2011, 16:20
wightspirit wightspirit is offline  
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Consult 'Lloyd's War Losses, The First World War, Casualties to Shipping Through Enemy Causes.' ISBN 1-85044-314-9. It's a specialist volume but a good reference library should be able to locate a copy for you.

A possibility for your wreck, though it doesn't meet your description entirely accurately, is the French steamer Jeanne Marie, 2971 tons, sunk 14 March 1918 off Sark. She was on voyage New York for Brest, and then Le Havre when she was reported sunk by mine. She had a cargo which included copper ingots. I believe an Italian company was engaged in salvage around the time you're asking about. Their salvage tug capsized and sank nearby, possibly due to the amount of copper she had salvaged.

Dave W
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