16 April 2008

RIP: Barbara McDermott

Barbara McDermott
15 Jun 1912 - 12 Apr 2008

ZUI this article from the New Haven (CT) Register:
Barbara Anderson was just 2 years, 10 months, 21 days old when a torpedo smashed into the RMS Lusitania while she was eating lunch.

She remembered it vividly until her death Saturday, almost 93 years later. She was the last American survivor of the German submarine attack on the British luxury liner.

Barbara McDermott (her married name) liked to talk about her experience, said her daughter, Elizabeth DeLucia of Wallingford.


On May 7, 1915, the U-boat fired a torpedo at the Cunard liner off Ireland’s south coast. The ship sank within 18 minutes; 1,198 people lost their lives, according to Lusitania.net.

Barbara and her mother survived, along with 747 others, according to Michael Poirier of Pawtucket, R.I., a trustee of the Titanic International Society, who met McDermott several times. But more difficulties lay ahead. Her brother, born in England, died in infancy, and her mother, who had tuberculosis, died less than a year after that.

She returned to Connecticut Christmas Day 1919 aboard the Lusitania’s sister ship, the Mauretania, according to information Poirier compiled. She was raised by her father and stepmother. She settled in East Haven with her husband, Milton McDermott, now deceased, and had two children.


Besides DeLucia, McDermott leaves a son, George McDermott of Connellsville, Pa., five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

ZUI also this article dated 21 Jul 2002.

Mrs McDermott's death leaves 93-year-old Audrey Lawson-Johnston, 93, of Bedfordshire, England, as the last living survivor of the Lusitania.

RMS Lusitania

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping to remember Barbara.

Mike Poirier