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TIME Magazine Monday, Mar.

16, 1942 World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC: Jakie to Davy An hour and a half before sunrise Seaman Richard Dors looked at a thermometer scale in the forward engine room and read off the temperature of the choppy Atlantic outside. It was 38. Before the first crack of day Seaman Dors was in that cold water and glad to be still alive. Destroyers are built to hand out punishment, not to take it. If a lurking submarine gets in the first punch, they have not much chance, especially old four-pipers like the Jacob Jones. The "Jakie," as her crew called her, was off Cape May, N.J. when the first torpedo crumpled her bow, probably killing every officer and man on the bridge and most of the men in the forward sleeping quarters. Less than a minute later, a second torpedo blew in the stern, exploding some of the destroyer's own depth charges. Four men tried to launch a lifeboat, but it was no use: the explosions had wrecked the davits. Realizing that they would have to drop life rafts and jump after them into the numbing black water, the four sailors went to the galley and gulped hot coffee from soup ladles. From the store room they got heavy underwear and put on three suits apiece under their life jackets. Then they went overside. The bow and stern of the Jacob Jones broke off and sank, leaving the center section afloat. Dozens of men were in the water, some of them looking for rafts and calling for help. Seaman Dors left his raft, swam back to the hulk, tried to cut more rafts loose. He failed. When the water reached his ankles he shoved off again, found another raft. The rest of the "Jakie" went down with a mighty explosion that tossed nearby swimmers into the air like popcorn. The sun was high in the sky when a rescue boat found the survivors: Dors and ten other enlisted men. Normal complement of the destroyer: 122 officers and men.

First U.S. warship ever torpedoed in her own coastal waters, the Jacob Jones was the second U.S. destroyer named for the Commodore Jacob Jones who captured the British brig Frolic in the War of 1812. Her predecessor was the only U.S. destroyer lost to enemy action in World War I: in the winter of 1917 she was torpedoed 400 miles out of Brest by U-boat Commander Hans Rose, who hit her at 3,000 yards, the longest successful torpedo shot on record. The Navy, which does not believe in ill omens, will no doubt soon launch a sleek, new Jacob Jones III, and before the shakedown cruise is over the crew will call her "Jakie."