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The Ill-Fated Vineyard Lightship


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This historic photo of the ill-fated Vineyard Lightship was taken by Harold W. Flagg, one of surviving crewmen of the vessel, just a few months before the ship sank in a hurricane on September 14, 1944 with the loss of twelve lives. (Five of the crewmen were on shore leave.) In later years, Flagg and Bill Collette, along with others, created and founded the Lightship Sailors Memorial that now stands on the waterfront in New Bedford, Massachusetts. At that time Harold Flagg was the only surviving crewman of the ill-fated lightship. Harold Flagg passed away on June 2, 2004. Barely visible in this photo, standing by the aft davit, is one of the crewmen, Chief Love. Lightship duty was considered the most dangerous assignment in the U.S. Lighthouse Service and the early Coast Guard. Thank you for subscribing to Lighthouse Digest and encouraging others to subscribe. Only with your help can Lighthouse Digest continue to save and archive historic photos and stories so that they can be told in the pages of Lighthouse Digest and be saved for future generations.

This story appeared in the May/Jun 2013 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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