Two Fingers of Blame

Published April 16, 2012

Several years ago the legend of the Titanic gained two new insights with the disclosure from an ancestor of ocean liner’s second officer that the ship had been doomed by a steering error by the helmsman. The panicked mistake was overruled by the first officer according to his fellow officer too late to avoid the fatal collision, however even more damning was that the chairman of the White Star Line had argued for the ship to remain under steam, causing the Titanic to sink faster.

A college mate of my grandfather, Frank Arthur Smith, had perished in the tragedy. Richard Frazer White had been returning to America after touring Europe with his family. They had traveled first-class from Southampton. My grandfather had recovered his battered body in New Brunswick and transported the body to Massachusetts for burial. His father and brother had surrendered to the sea on that fateful April evening. Their bodies were never found.

Richard Frazer White was mourned the students and teachers of Bowdoin College.


A 100 years ago.

Gone but never forgotten.

I toasted the victims at dinner this weekend in Montauk.

Several tables joined our raised glasses.

“The Titanic.”

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