The following STORY IS FROM THE SCRAPBOOK OF Elwin Linton
who traveled on the S.S. Uruguay when she was a Troopship
Story Written by Jerry Klein in December 1954
On a stormy night to Bermuda in February
12, 1943, a wartime convoy
zigzagged across the North Atlantic. All day the ships had dodged prowling U-boats. Seasick from the pitching vessel, Army Sergeant Cecil Davis had struggled to the sick bay of the troopship Uruguay and climbed into
a bunk. Suddenly there was thunderous roar, the lights went out, and Davis was aware of being lifted into the air. Then he lost consciousness.
When he awoke, he was cold, his pajamas were wet. A heavy board lay across his chest. Blood trickled down his neck. He knew he was on deck, but had
no idea how he got there. Dazed, he lifted the board and struggled to his feet. Perhaps the ship had been bombed and he had been blown onto deck, but he could not hear the sound of planes. A sailor passed him.
"Where's the sick bay?" Davis called. "Follow me," the sailor said. Davis went below decks and into to the brightly lit infirmary where a doctor treated the cuts on his face. Surprise burst on the
doctor's face when he noticed Davis' dog-tags. "What are you doing on this ship, soldier?" "What do you mean?" Davis asked." I came aboard in the states with 5000 other GIs." "There are no GI's on this
ship," the doctor said. "This is the Salomonie, a Navy tanker."
"It's miraculous!" the doctor said. Then he explained ... at 1 am orders came to the convoy. "Full speed ahead." The ships ceased their zigzag
course and nosed straight ahead into the black night. Suddenly the air was filled with the roar of crushing steel and the shouts of men. The Salomonie's steering gear had jammed and she plowed into the nearby
Only the troopship's concrete ballast kept the tanker from slicing her in half. Quickly the Salomonie withdrew, leaving a gaping hole in the
Uruguay's side and the bodies of 13 dead men on her deck Sgt. Davis might have been one of those killed, but his life was saved by a fantastic event. Hurled from his bunk, Davis had dropped through the demolished sick-bay
floor onto the tanker's deck.
Thus, when the Salomonie backed off, she bore a unique passenger who, by the strange hand of fate, had not only foiled the plans of Death, but had actually
changed ships, while unconscious, in the middle of the Atlantic!