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The Hughes Family History

Entries: 8991    Updated: 2013-08-25 22:41:04 UTC (Sun)    Contact: Vince Hughes    Home Page: The HUGHES Family Tree  Note: You will leave RootsWeb

  • ID: I95
  • Name: Edgar Anguish McKinnon
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 14 NOV 1906 in Rutherford, Gibson Co, TN
  • Death: 13 MAY 1942 in Gulf of Mexico (28:29 N by 89:12W)
  • Burial: Body was never recovered.
  • Event: 18 SEP 1946 Awarded the Mariner's Medal, Posthumously
  • _MILI: WWII, U.S. Merchant Marine Service 1942
  • Reference Number:

    • Note:
      Edgar McKinnon served in the US Merchant Marines in 1942. This
      was the time that the Germans had unleashed their U Boats into
      the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Edgar was assigned to the
      tanker, S.S. Gulfpenn as a Fireman/Watertender. This ship had its first encounter
      with the U Boats on 28 FEB 1942 when they received word that an
      unarmed oil tanker, the SS Oregon had been attacked by U-156
      about 150 miles northeast of Mona Passage in the Atlantic (20
      degrees, 44 minutes N by 67 degrees, 52 minutes W).

      At 11:17 hours on 28 Feb, 1942, the unescorted and unarmed Oregon (Master Ingvald C. Nilsen) was
      attacked by U-156 about 150 miles northeast of Mona Passage while steaming completely blacked out on a zigzag course at
      10 knots. Twenty six of the survivors reached Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and the SS Gulfpenn
      rescued a group of four, five and a half days after the attack.

      Several months later the Gulfpenn was to encounter another U Boat event.
      This time, however, they were the target. On 13 May 1942 the unarmed
      U.S. tanker Gulfprince was attacked by German submarine
      U-506 approximately six miles south of the Ship Shoals (Louisiana)
      Sea Buoy, 28:32'N, 91:00'W, but Gulfprince was skillfully handled and
      evaded the first two torpedoes.
      The second pair only struck a glancing blow and Gulfprince escaped
      to reach New Orleans without further incident.
      Later, the U-506 torpedoes and sinks the unarmed tanker Gulfpenn
      at 28:29'N, 89:12'W; 12 men die in the initial explosion or perish
      with the ship. Edgar McKinnon was below deck
      in the engine room at 2:50 P.M. when the attack occurred. He was
      killed immediately. Of the 26 survivors, one later dies of his injuries. A Coast
      Guard plane directed the Honduran freighter "Telde" toward the position
      of the survivors, and the merchantman rescued them.
      Still later, the U-506 torpedoes the U.S. freighter David McKelvy approximately
      35 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi, 28:30'N, 89:55'W;
      explosion ignites the ship's cargo of 81,000 barrels of crude oil
      and forces the crew to abandon ship. U-506 retires without expending
      further torpedoes, apparently thinking the freighter doomed. The Coast Guard cutter
      Boutwell (WPC-130) rescues survivors.
      The U-506, under the command of Kptlt. Eric Wurdeman, finally meet its fate
      on 12 JUL 1943 at 3:50 P.M. in the North Atlantic, west of Vigro, Spain
      (42:30' N 16:30' W) when a US B-24 Liberator aircraft (USAAF A/S Squad 1) dropped
      7 depth charges. The U-506 was broken in two. The attacking pilot
      dropped a lifeboat and smoke flares to assist the 15 men that were seen on
      the surface. A British destroyer picked up six men on 15 JUL. Capt
      Wurdeman and 47 of the crew were killed and the German submarine sank
      to the bottom.

      Prior to his service in the U.S. Merchant Marines, Edgar was employed with the
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. An interesting story was recently uncovered when Edgar's
      nephew, Kent Ingram, had lunch with one of Edgar's old USACOE buddies. It seems
      "Jimmy" (Edgar's buddy) was given an assignment to deliver some supplies
      to a Corps work site and ask Edgar to go along with him to help out. They drove
      a rickety old truck for many miles over very rough roads to make the delivery.
      Once on the job site, Edgar ask Jimmy what they were delivering. Jimmy told
      him it was a load of Dynamite. Egdar nearly had a heart attack when he thought about the
      pounding the cargo must have taken over those old back roads. It's ironic to think that his
      fear of an explosion would come to reality in his final minutes of life.

      UPDATE 05 AUG 2004:
      This editor has just been notified that an under sea research project has just found the remains of the
      Tanker Gulfpenn in 1,820 feet of water. For further information, see their web site at: ..

      A quote from the PAST Foundation's web site after exploring the wreck with their
      Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle:
      "Massive torpedo damage is obvious on the aft starboard side, with the
      hull plates and decking deformed, buckled and uplifted. The survey of the wreck
      showed no armaments on the stern of the ship. This fact, in combination with other
      distinguishing features, have allowed the archeologists to be sure that this is the
      wreck of the Gulfpenn, hidden underwater for 62 years."

      Father: Edgar Alonzo McKinnon b: 29 NOV 1874 in Montezuma (Chester Co), Tn
      Mother: Maggie Dell Tyson b: 13 JUN 1884 in Gibson Co., Tn