Submitted by:  Steve M. Schwartz

Tuscania, an American History


Irvin Sims - Alto, Cherokee Co., Texas:  Link to:  Casualty Card

Army Rank: Private (1918).

Assigned Unit: 6th Bn., 20th Engineers, Co. F

 360 Infantry Co. E   9/21/1917 12/15/1917

 20th Engineers Co. D    12/16/1917 1/30/1918

 20th Engineers Co. F    1/31/1918 - KIA

Army Serial Number:

Inducted: Sept. 21, 1917 Crockett, Texas 

Army Discharge: Eternal Watch

Remarks:  Overseas Jan. 24, 1918 KIA

   Torpedoed on the Transport Tuscania Feb. 5, 1918

   Address: Montgomery County, Texas (1900)

   Address: Alto, Cherokee Co., Texas (1910)

   Address: Ratcliff, Houston Co., Texas (1917)

Fathers Name: William Bascom Sims

   (b. Dec. 15, 1859 Longstreet, Montgomery Co., TX)

   (d. Aug. 19, 1919 Alto, Cherokee Co., Texas)

   Next of kin address: Rusk, Cherokee Co. TX (1918)

Mothers Name: Nannie Sims

   (b. Aug. 12, 1859)  (d. May 16, 1911  Alto, Cherokee Co., Texas)

Brother: Bennie Gibson Sims

Sister: Aubra Estelle Sims-Goff

Civilian Occupation: Lumber Industry

Born: Nov. 9, 1896 Huntsville, Walker Co., Texas

Died: Feb. 5, 1918 KIA Coast of Scotland

  Buried in Kilnaughton, Islay Feb. 9, 1918

  Body exhumed and relocated to Brookwood: 1920 or thereafter.

Cemetery: Brookwood American Cemetery, Brookwood, England

Plot: Plot A,  Row 4,  Grave 2

S.S. Tuscania - An American History 


"The men of the Tuscania perished February 5, 1918. The cause of death in most cases is drowning, mainly due to Lifeboat mishaps, some were killed instantly when they were dashed against the rocks of Islay, Island. The bodies washed up for weeks on the shores of Islay, many were mutilated beyond recognition. Many of these men had to be identified by fingerprints. Burials were carried out in various areas on the Island of Islay.

The men Killed from the actual torpedo that struck the Tuscania, may never be known for sure, the number estimated by a few survivors was probably about six. Of the Men who tried to escape by lifeboats, there were few survivors.

 The United States lost 200 American Soldiers, it was the first time since the American Civil War, that the United States had suffered the loss of mass casualties on a single day. The news of the loss was published nationally in the states; the reaction was a mixture of surprise and shock.  

The United Kingdom had been engaged in the World War Conflict for several years before the Americans entered. They had endured the loss of many men and many ships to u-boat activities. The exact total number of Mercantile Marines of the Tuscania that perished may remain unknown. "