National Geographic : 1926 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE I'i, _ Photograph from Lieut. Commander F. A. Zeusler SERVICES FOR THE "TITANIC" DEAD On April 14 each year memorial exercises are held on board the Ice Patrol vessel for the 1,513 souls who lost their lives on the giant liner destroyed by an iceberg in 1912. "The berg is boarded with some diffi culty, since the shelf has rounded edges. Without spiked shoes it would be next to impossible to climb on. Once aboard, steps are cut in the ice. "The four explosions enable us to sink the last charge in a hole 15 feet deep and 20 feet across. Ice is tamped in over the charge, but the explosion only serves to paint a black smudge 1oo feet wide, the whole height of the ice cliff" (see p. 20). "The black banner serves as a handy identification mark. It is difficult to ap preciate how resistant this ice is. "Only one-half the length of a six pounder projectile will penetrate into the ice when the shot is fired at 150 yards. "June io.-It is raining to-day and beautiful bridal-veil falls whisk off the cliffs of No. 14. "June 12.-There is a heavy fall of about 20.000 tons of ice from the higher cliff. Perhaps this is a result of our blasting. No. 14 is now about 180 feet high and 450 feet long. "June r4 to 16.-The berg teeters on the 'cold wall.' Finally it veers northeast into colder water. If it had crossed the 'line' it would have disappeared in about eight days. No. 14 saves itself from go ing directly into the steamer lane, which is very close here. "We stand by all night playing our searchlight on the berg, because vessels are passing very close-some within half a mile. "June p9.-No. 14 is having the fight of her life to-day. A strong southerly gale hits her. Heavy seas bombard the berg, throwing spray more than Ioo feet in the air. We can hear the roar three quarters of a mile away. "June 2o.-The storm has done far more damage than man's mines. No. 14 has lost both ends and much of her super structure. She is now 250 feet long and 90 feet high. "June 24. - The grave is opening for No. 14. One whole wall falls off. Her glorious cliffs are now gone, indeed, for the remaining side is tilted and awash. The water is 52 degrees. The Gulf Stream is getting in its work. "June ?o.-No. 14 shows up a lump the size of two office desks. "July I.-Six o'clock. No. 14 has gone where all good icebergs go. The Gulf Stream has avenged the Titanic."