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During World War II, HAROLD McCORMICK was a 1st Lieutenant in the US Navy's "Armed Guard" and was assigned as Gunnery Officer aboard the SS WILLIAM F. GASTON, a cargo ship headed northwards along the east coast of South America.  On a stormy night, his ship was spotted by JÜRGEN OESTEN (1681-1990) in command of U-861.  The GASTON was sunk and the survivors, including HAL McCORMICK, spent long hours tossing about on an angry sea until they were rescued.

HAL continued his naval career and ultimately retired as a Lt. Commander in the US Navy.  Then he decided to find out who had sunk his ship.  After much research, he located JÜRGEN OESTEN in Germany and contacted him.  The two men corresponded, then HAL and his wife made the journey across the Atlantic to meet this man who had shot his ship out from under him.  The two men became fast friends, corresponding regularly and visiting each other in their homes on several occasions.

Their last meeting was on our Sharkhunters "Patrol" in the Windy City (Chicago) in the early 1990's when both men were with us.  Shortly thereafter, HAL was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he passed away.

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