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Radioman Harold E. French, Jr.
U.S. Navy





Sources:
- American Legion Post 146, Winthrop, Mass.
- Wikipedia: USS Truxtun (DD-229)
- Memorial University of Newfoundland: Dead Reckoning: The Pollux-Truxtun Disaster
- Canada's Historic Places: USS Truxtun and USS Pollux Historic Wreck Sites
- YouTube: Shipwrecks USS Pollux USS Truxtun


Harold E. French, Jr. - U.S. Navy, WWII - was the first Winthrop serviceman to lose his life in WWII. He was a radioman in the U.S. Navy Reserve for four years. When war broke out he asked for sea duty, but was turned down because of a slight disability. He made a personal appeal to the War Department to overlook the disability. They agreed, but he had to take a demotion from radio operator to ordinary seaman. He was assigned to the USS Truxton, a destroyer.

The Truxtun was put on convoy and along with two other ships was sent to Agencia, Newfoundland to join up with a large convoy bound for Europe. On February 18, 1941, nearing Agencia, a fierce northeast gale arose, combined with a navigational error by the lead ship, drove the Truxtun and another ship on coastal rocks and cliffs. Many lives were lost including RM French despite attempts by local residents. He was lost a sea and his body was never recovered. He is memorialized on the Tablets of the Missing at East Coast Memorial, New York City.

Winthrop High School Class of 1938

Memorial location: French Square

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