Hawaiian boys casualties of WWI, 1917.


Washington, April 3—There are five Hawaiian boys thought to have been killed along with 16 Americans when the American steamer the Aztec was sunk. This ship was sunk outside of the seas of France by the German submarine without being given prior time for the captain and his sailors to prepare themselves on the previous Sabbath. Amongst the Americans  who are thought to have died are some sailors of the navy which the government placed aboard the ship when it left Newtown of Brest, the place of the shipwrecks of past [?? New York for Brest]. These are the first sailors of the navy to become victims of the Prussians as they attacked without giving time for them to distance themselves from the calamity of the sea placed upon them, and it is believed that Germany is at fault for breaking the pact with America by Germany starting its massacre with its submarines. This is the Brests where some of the shipwrecked of some of the skiffs landed [??] here below are the names of the Hawaiian boys:

Julian R. Masomber [Julian R. Macomber], Honolulu.

Charles Pinapolo, Honolulu.

Ekila Kaohi [Ekila Kaoki], Hawaii.

Tota Davisfi [Tato Davis], Hawaii.

H. K. Price, Hawaii.

One of the Lieutenants, William Fuller Greshman [William Fuller Gresham], there were 12 men aboard second lifeboat which left the ship that was torpedoed; this is what was reported by the French navy which was received by the French Ambassador residing here, but 11 of them who were ordered to board another lifeboat were not heard from, and it is believed that they were drowned. These people were on the lifeboat which left the ship first; the lifeboat flipped over after it left the ship, and not one of them were recovered.

The third lifeboat with the second mate and 18 men; there was nothing heard of them and it is believed that they drowned. From the first news received about the sinking of this American ship, the Aztec, was from the American Consul.

The news stated that the ship was torpedoed without time to let out the lifeboats to save themselves, and it was said that after this tragedy, the submarine didn’t give a look back, but disappeared into the dark.

When Macomber, the father of Julian Macomber, one of the Hawaiian boys whose bones were left at sea, heard the news, the father said:

“My dear son as an American sailor, and a Hawaiian sailor, died a desirable death [??] and I am happy. My son returned the other month in July of last year, and I told him that if he returned to the Atlantic coast, his life would be in danger, but he said that he was an American sailor so he was not frightened to go someplace, because he will only die once, and that he will die sometime. He was not going to be scared by Germany; I am a Hawaiian and an American sailor.”

This father repeated that he was happy to hear this news, but not over the death of his son.

[This information was most likely drawn from an Associated Press release which is also printed in the Hawaiian Gazette of 4/3/1917.  There seems to be a lot of typesetting errors in this article, perhaps because it was done rapidly to get the news out quickly to the Hawaiian people.]

(Aloha Aina, 4/6/1917, p. 1)

Elima Keiki Hawaii i Make

Ke Aloha Aina, Buke XXII, Helu 14, Aoao 1. Aperila 6, 1917.

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