Chelsea Clock Ship’s Bell Rescued from 1942 Torpedoed Tanker

Chelsea Clock Ship’s Bell Rescued from 1942 Torpedoed Tanker

Each on occasion we obtain heartfelt letters from readers whose lives have been touched by a Chelsea Clock. It’s each an honor and some extent of delight that so usually our hand-crafted clocks develop into household heirlooms, handed from one era to the following, in time taking over a lifetime of their very own — retaining their very own historical past all through a number of lifetimes. We’re delighted to share one such letter from a reader in New York, whose father rescued a Chelsea Clock from a sinking ship throughout WWII. (Word: This letter was transcribed from a handwritten notice we obtained within the mail with the writer’s permission.)

Pricey Chelsea Clock,

I wish to let you know the story of my clock. My Dad, Mathew John Gutherz, grew up in Newark, New Jersey and as a young person joined the Service provider Marines. Throughout WWII, he was the chief engineer on an oil tanker, the M. S. Good. In November 1942, they had been in a convoy headed to Europe when the Good was hit by a torpedo from a German submarine. After placing out the fireplace, the Good limped again to St. John’s, Newfoundland, for repairs. Dad mentioned these repairs wouldn’t maintain up within the storms of the January North Atlantic, however he was advised once more to take the ship to New York. Lo and behold they bumped into “the worst storm” Dad “ever noticed” and the ship cut up in half. My dad was on the facet with the engines. He mentioned they might maintain the engines going and so keep afloat longer. They drifted for a couple of days till they had been noticed by one other ship. Dad took this clock off the wall in his cabin and put it, his engineering books, and a fur coat for my mom in his seabag, and mentioned, “I’ve acquired espresso, tea, and sugar on this bag!” The lads yelled, “Throw it down! Throw it on!”

So that you see how a lot this clock means to me and my household! One of many males took footage [of the rescue]. I believed you’d take pleasure in seeing them. 


Patricia Evans

Together with picture copies of the wreck and rescue, Ms. Evans despatched alongside a replica of a newspaper characteristic story for which the headline reads: “Thrilling Story of Rescue From Torpedoed Ship Instructed by East Brunswick Sailor: Matthew [sic] Gutherz of Service provider Marine Aboard Oil Tanker Which Caught Fireplace and Broke in Two After Enemy Assault.” The piece, dated Could 30, 1943, describes Gutherz’s profession main as much as the assault and the sinking and rescue. Beneath is an edited excerpt from the information story:

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It was shortly earlier than daybreak one morning late in 1942 that Gutherz, asleep in his quarters, was woke up by a noise so loud that for a quick sleepy immediate, as he put it, “I believed one of many younger sailors had slammed the heavy deck door subsequent to my ear.” However immediately, the vibrations and shuddering of the ship made him understand that they had been hit.

“Afraid? After all! Anybody who says he isn’t, is mendacity!” However he sprang from his bunk and in lower than a second had his sneakers and life belt on.

Naturally the lads on board had all the time been on the alert for simply such an emergency, and every man knew the issues to be completed. The prepare dinner, who was up and making ready breakfast when the ship was struck, reached the grasp valve first. When he turned this off, the ship’s engines routinely stopped. The ship was enveloped in flames, so the very first thing Chief Engineer Gutherz did was to activate the steam-smothering line which throws a blanket of steam over the cargo holds. Then he rushed beneath and began the gyro-compass and checked the telegraph from the bridge to the engine room.

Sadly in a convoy, in case your ship is struck or runs into some problem, you’re by yourself as the opposite boats should go on.

“For awhile,” relates Gutherz, “it regarded dangerous. The oil had spurted on the mast and deck and every thing in sight gave the impression to be burning furiously. Simply think about burning oil, leaping and spraying like 1,000,000 Fourth of July rockets. You needed to carry on the leap each minute dodging balls of fireplace.”

At this level, with the ship a flaming goal silhouetted towards the grey morning, the captain determined the scenario was hopeless and he, together with the primary, second, and third mates, left the ship in a lifeboat. However the remainder of the crew labored feverishly to place out the flames.

“I didn’t care what the ‘Previous Man’ did,” says Gutherz. “My motto is ‘By no means go away a ship till the water is as much as your hips.’ And also you see, I used to be proper.”

Following instructions wired by a Navy ship… they wandered round, shedding the course at one time however lastly encountered a fishing smack which led them to a port. It was only a small fishing village and hope of repairing the tanker quickly pale. The one cheerful notice was that regardless of a 60-foot gap at one finish of the boat, not less than two-thirds of the precious cargo had been saved.

They determined to strive for house however this try failed, for the ocean was too stormy. “After being out about 30 hours we bumped into the worst storm I’ve ever encountered in all my years at sea,” relates Gutherz. “Sleet, fog, and mist had been so thick throughout that you just really couldn’t see past a couple of ft. The ship was getting thrown round like a sheet of paper within the wind and it appeared as if mountains of water had been pouring down on us.”

Immediately the weakened bulkheads gave method below the terrific pounding and the boat broke in two, amidships. The ahead finish disappeared nearly instantly. One of many 9 males ahead shouted one thing above the din of the ocean and that was the final seen or heard of them.

[The tail end] drifted round for 3 days and Gutherz was nervous. On the third day the propeller was greater than half out of the water they usually had been frequently pumping water out of the ship. The one lifeboat that wasn’t frozen quick was smashed to bits after they tried to launch it. Every little thing was closely coated with ice.

Close to the tip of the third day they had been sighted by an Military bomber which directed a corvette to their rescue. Since launching the lifeboat was not possible, the corvette flung a internet to the boat for use as a ladder. Each one of many 35 males made it, however they suffered significantly from driving wind and chilly.

Again now in East Brunswick, Chief Engineer Gutherz is nearly fully recovered. It will be good to remain house infinitely, however each hour the ship’s clock, which hangs within the kitchen of his house, calls the watches. He is aware of he should quickly be on his method. No seaman can resist the decision. He can be leaving shortly for one more journey on the tankers.

Patricia’s clock is a 6-inch brass ship’s bell. Does your clock have a narrative to inform? Drop us a line at