CHIEF WATER TENDER ARTHUR CARL ROSCOE was born in 1892. He had served in the United States Navy during WWI, and was Chief Water Tender aboard the ill fated USS Reuben James during that conflict. After leaving the Navy he worked in the electrical department of the Public Service utility in Camden for 20 years. Chief Roscoe returned to active duty in July of 1942, and served aboard the Patrol Frigate USS Ashville PF-1, before transferring to the St. Augustine.
The USS Saint Augustine, a 1720-ton gunboat, was built at Newport News, Virginia, in 1929 as the yacht Viking. The Viking was first owned by George S. Baker, the millionaire New York banker. Later it was sold to the Woolworth family, and Barbara Hutton, Woolworth heiress, used it to take her well-heeled friends on party cruises. During this period it was renamed Noparo, until she was purchased by the Navy in December 1940 and converted to a warship at Boston, Massachusetts. Following commissioning in January 1941, St. Augustine performed patrol duties out of Boston. In 1942 she was assigned to convoy escort service between New York City and the Caribbean area. She was instrumental in the sinking of the U-701, even though she didn't sink it directly.
In January of
1944, while escorting a convoy of just a single ship off Delaware (along
with two other coast guard escort vessels) to Key West in a gale, the
blacked-out, Trinidad-bound tanker SS Camas Meadows (not part of
the convoy) struck the St. Augustine
on the starboard side. The St. Augustine sank in 250 feet
of frigid, rough seas within four minutes of the collision, killing 115
of her 145-man crew, off Cape May NJ on January
6, 1944. Arthur
Roscoe was one of those who died when the St. Augustine sank
after collision with SS Camas Meadows.
Carl Roscoe lived in this home at 1331 Argus
Road in Camden NJ
Photograph December 24, 2002
|USS ST. AUGUSTINE PG-54|
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