WASHINGTON, Dec. 19—(AP)—The luxury liner Columbus, once the pride of Germany's merchant marine, was a smoldering, sinking wreck at sea tonight—apparently scuttled at the approach of a British warship by her own crew, two of whom were lost.
An American naval cruiser on neutrality patrol rescued the survivors at nightfall, reported their number at 579 and said all aboard had been saved. A few hours later, the seamen were mustered on the cruiser's deck, however, and it was found that two firemen were missing.
The 32,381-ton liner, third largest in the Nazi merchant marine, had slipped out of Vera Crus, Mexico, last Thursday in a desperate attempt to elude the British fleet and possibly reach Europe—but her gamble failed.
First word of her grim end came from the U. S. cruiser Tuscaloosa. which flashed that she was being scuttled about 400 miles east of Cape Henry, Va. A British destroyer was in the vicinity, the Tuscaloosa.
While dusk gathered over the ocean, the Tuscaloosa hastened to 'pick up the German seamen who. it was indicated by word received here, had pulled" away from their craft in small boats. Terse, matter-of-fact messages told how the Tuscaloosa, commanded by Capt. H. A. Badt, saved the Germans, including nine women who were presumed to be stewardesses.
The Tuscaloosa then headed for New York, to land the German crew at Ellis Island.
Behind her the sky was lit with flames, for the Columbus was afire from stem to stern and was slowly settling to her doom.
Reds LoseSeven Of
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HELSINKI, Dec. 19—(UP) A Russian air armada wept along the southern coast of Finland in a bright blue sky today, bombing a half dozen cities and towns and setting fire to portions of the medieval seaport of Aabo (Turku) before aircraft guns drove the raiders off.
Between seven and 10 Russian bombers were shot down in the raids which spread along the entire Gulf of Finland coast from Viipuri (Viborg)westward to Helsinki and Aabo, the Finns said.
Nazi VesselTakes Refuge
In U.S. Port
B r i t i s h Warship
Fort Lauderdale, Florida Dec. 19----(AP)---Defying a warning shot a German freighter outran a British Cruiser along Florida’s coast today and found refuge in peaceful Everglades Harbor.The chase, first of its kind hard by U. S. shores in this war, ended in view of the ocean front and nit far from scores of pleasure fishing boats
Cruiser Waits Outside
The cruiser believed to be the Orion—dropped anchor outside the three-mile limit of
t e r r i t o r i a l waters after the fleeing merchantman churned across the line and on into the harbor where she may remain indefinitely without fear of internment if she establishes herself as a harmless trader..
LONDON, Dec. 19—(AP) —Aerial torpedoes made their appearance today in a hammering German offensive against British shipping which sent two fishing trawlers and four other ships—including three neutrals— to the bottom.
Bombing and machine-gun attacks on six other fishing trawlers by German planes brought a new problem for Britain's naval strategists because England supplements her meat imports with seafood.
Ships reported sunk today were:The 4,373-ton British steamer City of Kobe in the North sea, believed torpedoed, 18 survivors landed at an east coast port, 50 reported missing a l t h o u g h hopes were held for their reaching land later.
The 1,877-ton Danish steamer Jytte in the North sea, cause not disclosed, survivors landed in northeast coast port.
The 1,568-ton N o r w e g i a n steamer Glitref jell, b e l i e v e d torpedoed, captain and four seamen killed, 13 survivors picked up by Greek steamer.