My Uncle Billy was 19 years old. Our family never received an official explanation of Billy’s death or recovered his remains. Until the end of her life in 1968, Vivian Caviness, my grandmother and Billy’s mother, never gave up hope for his return. She had herself convinced that he was alive somewhere with amnesia.
My Uncle Henry Nigbor was with your Uncle Billy. They perished together as members of Company F. We also never received an official explanation of Henry’s death. His mother Belle never gave up hope he would return. She watched the TV programs with WW II vets who had amnesia, hoping Henry would be there. Growing up my father knew his brother was on the Leopoldville. I do not know how he found that out. Maybe because he was already in France with the First Army.
At the time of 50th Anniversary of WW II, I talked to a survivor who told me that Company F was in the hold where the torpedo struck the ship. Later in 2006, I talked to SGT Walter Brown at the Arlington National Cemetery commemoration ceremony. Walter was in Company F and survived because he went to the head a minute before the explosion. He believed that the men in the hold could not survive the explosion.
I created this website with the help of my son Peter and Allan Andrade because the lost soldiers and their families deserved better treatment. We believe there are hundreds of families that still never got the true story about their lost soldier. We hope they find this website.