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Dan Beard (Aft Section)

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Map ReferenceSM74NE
Grid ReferenceSM7619346783
Unitary (Local) AuthorityMaritime
Old CountyMaritime
Type Of SiteWRECK

Archaeological remains of the aft section of the DAN BEARD are not confirmed as present at this location, but may be in the vicinity.

The wreck of the aft part of the DAN BEARD was originally associated with UKHO 12165. Research by Dr Innes McCartney (2022: 229) for the Echoes from the Deep project, following a detailed survey by Bangor University of UKHO 12165 in June 2019, concluded that the UKHO 12165 was dimensionally inconsistent with the loss of the DAN BEARD. As such, the aft section of the DAN BEARD is considered as a documented loss with no confirmed position on the seabed. It has been assigned a location based on the recorded sinking position.

The remains of the vessel may be protected under the Sunken Military Craft Act (Pub.L. 108-375, Div. A, Title XIV, Sections 1401 to 1408, Oct. 28, 2004, 118 Stat. 2094) which protects the sovereign status of U.S. sunken military wrecks in that no person may engage in or attempt to engage in any activity directed at a sunken military craft that disturbs, removes, or injures any sunken military craft. The Maritime Administration, US Department of Transportation, should be contacted for further information.

Event and Historical Information:
The DAN BEARD was a Liberty Ship built by Permanente Metals Corp, No 2, Richmond, California, in 1943. Technical and configuration specifications are given as 422ft in length x 57ft 7in breadth x 37ft 3in depth; screw propulsion powered by two oil-fired steam boilers linked to a triple expansion engine producing 2500hp. Liberty ships were cargo ships built in the United States during World War II. They were British in conception but were adapted by the USA and came to symbolize US wartime industrial output. Based on vessels ordered by Britain to replace ships torpedoed by German U-boats, they were purchased for the U.S. fleet and for lend-lease provision to Britain. Eighteen American shipyards built 2,751 Liberties between 1941 and 1945. The Permanente Metals Richmond, California Yard £2, produced three hundred and fifty-one EC2-S-C1 Type vessels between 1941-45. The DAN BEARD was given the Maritime Hull Commission Number 0464 and operated by United States Army Transportation Service. The ship was named after Daniel Carter Beard (1850 - 1941) or Dan Beard, who was a painter, illustrator, and founder of "The Society of the Sons of Daniel Boone" which developed into "The Boy Pioneers" in 1905, which then became the Boy Scouts of America.

At the time of loss, the vessel was owned by Stockard Steamship Co, New York, and had been used by the United States Army Transportation Service during the 6 June 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy. The ship was on passage from Barry to Londonderry in ballast on 10 December 1944, when it was torpedoed by the German submarine U-1202 (master Thomsen) seven miles off the Strumble Head. The torpedo struck the port side of this Liberty Ship level with No 3 hold, causing her to break in two immediately. The survivors abandoned ship in two lifeboats and one life raft, a third lifeboat capsizing whilst being launched, and a fourth being swamped. Wave heights at the time were 20-30 feet. The last to leave the vessel were the Master and armed guard commander who was responsible for the ship's guns and defence. Both men jumped overboard and were picked up by the No 2 lifeboat. Distress flares sighted by the Strumble Head Coastguards saw the Fishguard lifeboat launched at 6 p.m., but on reaching the wreck found it surrounded by oil and abandoned. One of the ship's lifeboats with 23 survivors reached the shore safely, whilst a life raft with 13 men on board was picked up by the Fishguard lifeboat, one of the survivors who was seriously injured died before they reached the lifeboat station. The reported loss location was 51 56N 05 29W. The bow section of the wreck drifted ashore 2.5 miles south of Strumble Head (see NPRN 273246).

Sources include:
BSAC Wreck Register 1988 Addendum No 1 to Volume G, 53 (336)

Bunker, J, 1973, Liberty Ship: The Ugly Ducklings of World War II

Elphick, P, 2006, Liberty: The Ships that Won the War

Goddard, T, 1983, Pembrokeshire Shipwrecks, pg125-6

Lane, F C, 2001, Ships for Victory: A History of Shipbuilding under the U.S. Maritime Commission in World War II.

Larn and Larn Shipwreck Database 2002

McCartney, I., 2022. Echoes from the Deep. Leiden: Sidestone Press.

Sawyer, L A and Mitchell, W H, 1985, The Liberty Ships: The history of the "emergency" type cargo ships constructed in the United States during World War II.

J. Whitewright, RCAHMW, May 2023