Events & Author Appearances

The Sunken Gold
Joseph A. Williams
SUNY Maritime College Library, 6 Pennyfield Avenue, Bronx, NY 10465 (map it)
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 4:00pm

Join author Joseph A. Williams for a discussion about his book, The Sunken Gold. The event will be held at the SUNY Maritime College Library in Bronx, NY at 4pm.

Event description:

Join acclaimed author (and former Maritime faculty member) Joe Williams as a he talks about his new book, The Sunken Gold. Critics call it "a wild and wooly take of pressurized goats, black arts, and maritime gold, all beautifully told." Books will be available for purchase and signing. Refreshments will be served.

Visit the SUNY Maritime College Library's website here for more information. 

related book
The Sunken Gold
The Sunken Gold ›
By Joseph A. Williams
Price 26.99


Published Sep 2017

On January 25, 1917, the HMS Laurentic struck German mines off the coast of Ireland and sank. Its shipment was critical: Britain at that time was facing escalated submarine warfare, which had been sinking millions of tons of cargo and threatening the country with starvation. The Laurentic was carrying 44 tons of gold bullion to the still-neutral United States via Canada in order to finance the war effort for Britain and its allies. The salvage mission was confidential, since the British government dared not alert the Germans to the presence of the sunken treasure. Lieutenant Commander Guybon C. C. Damant was the most qualified officer to head the mission—he personally set a deep sea diving record in 1906 and had worked to establish safer deep sea diving procedures.Though Damant's salvage team was successful at first, and recovered a significant amount of gold, wild gales battered the wreck into the shape of an accordion, turning the operation into a multiyear struggle of man versus nature. Damant was called off the salvage when his skill became needed to lead a team of covert divers to investigate and search through the contents of recently sunk U-boats for ciphers, minefield schematics, and other secret documents. The information they obtained, once in the hands of British intelligence, proved critical toward Allied efforts to defeat the U-boats and win the war.At the conclusion of the war, Damant had become obsessed with completing his long-deferred mission. His team struggled for five more years as it became apparent that the work could only be accomplished by muscle, grit, and persistence. In the end, Damant and his team recovered 99 percent of the gold with no significant injuries to the men. His deed became one of the most notable exploits in the annals of undersea diving and naval operations, and the Laurentic became a model for later salvages. More than an incredible story about undersea diving adventure, The Sunken Gold is a story of human persistence, bravery, and patriotism.