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DAN BEARD (AFT SECTION)

Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 240675

Map Reference SM53SW

Grid Reference SM5436330195

Unitary (Local) Authority Maritime

Old County Maritime

Community Maritime

Type of Site WRECK

Broad Class MARITIME

Period Modern

Site Description This wreck, which may be the aft section of the DAN BEARD, is reported to have a length of 33m and beam of 6m and to lie with the keel orientated 130/310 degrees.

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 length x 57ft 7in breadth x 37ft 3in depth; screw propulsion powered by two oil-fired steam boilers linked to 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 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 foot. 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 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
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.
UK Hydrographic Office Wrecks and Obstructions Database. © Crown Copyright and database rights. Reproduced by permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and the UK Hydrographic Office (www.ukho.gov.uk).

Maritime Officer, RCAHMW, October 2008.