April 14, 1912- RMS Titanic Strikes An Iceberg.

At 11:40 ship’s time, to be precise. The following morning at 2:20 a. m., she was gone.

Second Officer (later Commander) Lightoller

One of the heroes of that night was Second Officer Charles Herbert Lightoller, in charge of the lifeboats on the port side, and the senior surviving officer.

There has occasionally been some criticism of Lightoller’s strictness in loading primarily women and children into the boats, but there are two points about that to consider. First, it was a different time with different mores and second, his critics weren’t standing on a dark, freezing deck several stories above the sea, doing their best to do their duty while facing imminent death. He was, he did, and he went down with the ship, only to be saved at the last possible moment. He then took charge of a group of thirty men on an upturned boat and helped them survive until the Carpathia arrived. If it weren’t for him being in charge on the ship and then on the lifeboat, more would have died than did. Most sea-faring nations adopted his recommendations after the sinking on how to avoid similar disasters.

The Sundowner

But it wasn’t just the Titanic. His life reads like an adventure novel. In WWI he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for engaging Zeppelin L31 in battle and later awarded a bar to his DSC for ramming and sinking a German sub. In WWII he sailed his own small (58 ft.) motor pinnace, the Sundowner, to Dunkirk to rescue 130 trapped British soldiers. A dockhand, watching a seemingly endless line of soldiers disembark, said to Lightoller “God’s truth, mate. Where did you put ’em all?”

Go here to hear Lightoller’s full account of the sinking of the Titanic in his own words.

This entry was posted in History, Ships and the Sea and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to April 14, 1912- RMS Titanic Strikes An Iceberg.

  1. After reading Titanic and Other Ships, I can see why the man asked “Where did you put ‘em all?”

  2. alexis says:

    what was the point of making a titanic 2

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