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Thomas Troy

Coal Passer aboard the USS MAINE, writes homes less than a month before the ship is lost

(courtesy of Michael DeLeo)

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Thomas Troy, from Waterbury Connecticut, was a coal passer aboard the USS MAINE. He was listed among the missing following the explosion of the vessel on February 15, 1898, less than a month after he wrote the following letter, dated January 23, 1898. On the following day, January 24, the vessel was ordered on its ill-fated trip to Havana.

The Letter:

"We are going to stay down south here, I think a good while. The whole fleet of ships is manoeuvering and drilling at sea. I don't believe we will have any trouble down here with Spain. We are within about 80 miles of Havana. There was a rumor aboard one of the ships a couple of weks ago that we were to proceed to Havana, but the order was postponed. I was thinking of making out a will when I heard that.We are watching for filibusters here in Key West since we came here-I mean ships that were smuggling arms and ammunition down to Cuba"


(As a service to our readers, clicking on title in red will take you to that book on

DeLeo, Michael

Weems, John Edward. The Fate of the Maine. Reprint, (College Station: Texas A&M University Press,1992). (info. on Troy himself)

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