JUNE 15, 1942
(From the Naval War records)
During another trip on “The Triangle Run”, the enemy attacked again, this time in the evening at
approximately 21:30 June 15. Two ships in the convoy were torpedoed. One was the “PORT NICHOLSON”,
a freighter, and the other was the U.S. troop ship “CHEROKEE”. There were eighty-three survivors from
PORT NICHOLSON and twelve from CHEROKEE. NANAIMO picked up seventy-nine of the eighty-three
survivors from PORT NICHOLSON. As she did not sink immediately, NANAIMO remained with the ship
throughout the night.
The next day a sea boat was sent from the NANAIMO with two of the freighter’s officers and five
crewmen from NANAIMO, one officer and four ratings. These men were Lieutenant Wakely, Leading
Seaman; Aubrey Pickles, Signalman; Jack Tedford, Able Seaman; Lorne (Buzz) Horne and an A.S.D.I.C.
operator named Pat Ginevin. They went to see if the ship could be salvaged.
The sea boat made its way to PORT NICHOLSON and tied up near her bow. The boat’s crew and
the two officers from PORT NICHOLSON had to climb about fifteen feet to gain the deck. After the
boarding party was aboard the PORT NICHOLSON the boat’s party went below decks near the bow of the
ship leaving only Jack Tedford above decks. Jack was standing at the ship’s side where the sea boat had
been secured. NANAIMO signaled, by light, that the ship was sinking by the stern. Jack commented that
he had not noticed it as she was going down very gradually. Jack then ran to the hatch and yelled to the
others. He commented that some of them got up and some of them did not. The after bulkhead gaveway
and the ship went down by her stern very quickly.
First of all let’s look at the position of the PN when we found it. There were 5 escort ships surrounding the
small convoy when they were attacked. One of the escorts had fired on a U-boat and was behind the
convoy as another U-boat attacked the convoy, U87. Now, one would think that of the five military ships
in the convoy that they would know where they were attacked and where the two lost ships were when
they sunk. The position they gave was wrong. We found the PN over 9 miles from where they reported it
Next. The artifacts they seized are as follows.
Inventory of all Recovered Items Including, Description, Provenience, and Present Location:
On 08/10/2012 at 13:30, a partial binnacle shroud was located and retrieved from sector D2, quadrant
02/10. When it was brought on board, the glass lens was not attached but was resting inside the brass
cover. It is technically two artifacts since they are separated but are two pieces of the same artifact. The
artifact is about 70% complete. Some small pieces of degraded copper/brass and slivers of glass chips
were filtered from the attached sediment with a fine mesh screen and kept with the artifact. The items
were set in a salt water filled container.
On 08/13/2012 at 15:55, a collapsed gallon+ size metal container was retrieved from sector B2, quadrant
02/09. This object appeared to have undergone some collapse under pressure. The exterior showed
corrosion and had biological growth on it. There were no obvious markings or labels. There was a small
hole in the corner where clean shiny metal was obvious in the interior edge but the original contents of the container were not able to be determined with a visual inspection. When it was put in the storage
container filled with salt water, there was not any obvious oil leakage, discharge, or discoloration in the
water. On 08/15/2012 at 20:00, a brick like object was recovered from sector E2, quadrant 3/5. This artifact was black, almost rectangular, and consisted of crushed stone (broken on multiple sides) and held together with a tar like substance. It was similar to asphalt except for any sand like component. The artifact was 2.5″ thick, 1′ wide, and length varied between about 5-6″. It appeared to be a piece broken from the interior of one of the numerous objects that we have been describing as hard cover book like objects. These objects vary in size from 1’x2′ and increasing in length to possibly 6′ but maintaining roughly 1′ width and 3″ thickness. The weight of the piece we recovered was roughly 12# suggesting that a 1’x2′ section weighs about 50#. The intact book like objects that we have encountered have a thin metal sheathing attached to only the large 1’x2’+ surfaces. The long sides appeared to be somewhat smooth with little to no deterioration, minimal growth, and appeared to be like a hard resin visually. The shorter sides seem to have a rougher texture. The artifact had a few loose pieces of stone/tar which when heated, produced a bubbly tar like substance which when burned off, left crushed stone, some that had glistening properties. These small stones were kept with the other artifacts.
All items were turned over to the US Marshals Service. Value? UNK, historical.
The book like object was left on the ocean floor. Could be ships log, cargo log?
Aggrieved? That’s a mild word for all of this. After risking our lives and all the work we went through to
get these items, not to speak of the cost, why should they get these? Check out my view on this at
shiprex.net . You will also find other material there.
Let’s look at the documents my researcher “forged”. The project started in 2006 when a researcher from
Australia came to Maine to meet me and my partner, John Hardy Sr. (since deceased) He had with him a
hand written ledger that he got from a retired archivist of the bank of England. This ledger had all WWI
and WWII bullion wrecks listed. The man had kept this file when he retired.
This link will bring you to Terry Kellys post about coming to Maine and making a deal with us.
We started the project with his information as well as other info from other researchers, besides Ed
Michaud. Here is one of his first emails to me regarding the subject:
It would seem that the president of the Bank of England itself was the source for German intelligence of
the bullion-ships and routes, and undoubtedly the specific reason why the loss ratio of bullion-ships
during the war was so high! Following quote from a biography about Montagu Norman, president of the
Bank of England for 1917-1944:
” Now, in 1931, the virtual dictator of world finance, Bank of England Governor Montagu Collet
Norman, was a former Brown Brothers partner, whose grandfather had been boss of Brown
Brothers during the U.S. Civil War. Montagu Norman was known as the most avid of Hitler’s
supporters within British ruling circles, and Norman’s intimacy with this firm was essential to his
management of the Hitler project.”
It seems that Norman prior to the war directed as much reserve-gold as possible to German
accounts in the form of loans prior to the war, and once the war began, informed German
intelligence of bullion-routes and ships, enabling U-boats to interdict said vessels. Norman was
forced into resignation in 1944, undoubtedly due to this specific reason. Due to national
embarrassment Norman was not prosecuted by the Brits, and this is a direct reason why so
many loss records are hard to find within any archive collection…. because most of those losses
are directly traceable back to Norman’s ‘fifth-column’ activity, and this would reflect badly on
present Bank of England history and methodology.
This was May 2007. In 2012 Ed sent me the “forged” documents. A week before he sent them
he was trying to sell part of his share of the project and said that they wanted more concrete
evidence about the cargo. Interesting huh?
Also let’s bring up Godfrey Bradman, one of your fellow Brits. Google him. Anyway, we were
working on a deal and he had sent Lord Taylor to work out the details with the British
government. He had some kind of deal in the works with the government and then he wanted to
change the deal we had together. I refused and he kept going, and to this day he is trying to get
the state of Maine to cause me issues…..why? Long story but you get the picture.
The UK has never litigated a freighter ever!! Except the PN. Why? Do I believe that there is
something aboard the PN? 100% I do! The UK has over litigated this case for the last 5 years,
spending how much I do not know but a lot. Well over 1 Million dollars. Again why? Why not just let us waste our money to see what’s in her if they say there’s nothing? Look on shiprex.net and you can read the DFT’s deposition. To this day they have not proven that they paid any insurance or have ownership ofthe PN. We finelly beat them in court!! Now comes the US government, now I have 2 governments fighting me. The legal bills were killing us……..
You ask if this puts me off salvaging……NO! I have put everything into this project, spent every
penny I have, fought 2 governments, risked my life and my crews more than once, and so much
more. Will I give up? NO.
I hope this helps and you see it as the truth because it is. Give up the ship? NEVER!