Connors, Aubrey George

Aubrey George Connors
Born: November 6, 1922
Hometown: Lincolnville, ME
Class: 1944
Service: Merchant Marine
Position / Rank: Deck Cadet
Date / Place of death: April 23, 1943/ North Atlantic,
57-30’N, 43-00’W
Date / Place of burial: April 23, 1943/ North Atlantic,
57-30’N, 43-00’W / Lost at Sea
Age: 20

Aubrey G. Connors signed on aboard the Liberty Ship SS Robert Gray as Deck Cadet on April 3, 1943 at the port of Baltimore, NY. His classmate Stephen Siviglia signed on the same day as Engine Cadet. A week later, on April 12, 1943 the ship sailed from
New York with a number of other ships in Convoy HX 234 bound for Liverpool, England,
apparently loaded with a cargo that included ammunition or explosives. For unknown
reasons the Robert Gray fell back from the convoy on the night of 13/14 April. Although
ordered to return to Halifax, the ship apparently attempted to follow or re-join the
convoy, but was never heard from again.

After the war, German Navy records told the rest of the story. The ship was spotted by
U-108 at a little before 3am on April 19th while the submarine was running on the
surface about 125 miles south of Cape Farrell, Greenland. The submarine fired four
torpedoes and heard two explosions. However, the ship did not sink immediately and
its gun crews began firing at the surfaced submarine, forcing it to dive. While
submerged U-108 fired two more torpedoes, with the final torpedo hitting the Robert
Gray a little after 5am local time. This caused an fire and explosion in the ship’s cargo,
sinking the ship quickly by the stern. There were no survivors among the crew of 39 and
the 23 Naval Armed Guard. On June 14, 1943 the Navy Department determined that
since the Robert Gray had not been heard from since April 13/14 it must be presumed
lost.

Cadet-Midshipman Aubrey G. Connors was posthumously awarded the Mariners
Medal, Combat Bar, Atlantic War Zone Bar, the Victory Medal, and the Presidential
Testimonial Letter.

Aubrey G. Connors, the second of three children of Wilbur S. and Ellen J. Connors, was
born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. In 1927, the Connors family left their farm in Nova
Scotia and moved to Brooklyn, New York, where Aubrey started grade school in 1928
at P.S. 132. The family moved again in 1934 to a farm near Lincolnville, Maine.
Aubrey, his older brother Ernest and younger sister Lucille attended elementary school
there through eighth grade and then moved on to the High School in nearby Camden
where Aubrey graduated in 1939. In addition to being an avid sportsman, Aubrey was
also a talented bass horn player in the Camden and Lincolnville bands.

In 1941 Aubrey accepted a job at Sperry Gyroscope Company and moved to Brooklyn.
He was able to continue playing music with the Sperry Gyroscope Band. While he was
employed at Sperry, Aubrey’s older brother Ernest entered Kings Point and graduated
in 1943. Aubrey followed his brother to Kings Point, entering in 1942. While the
Connors boys were at Kings Point their sister Lucille was attending Columbia
University.
Bottom of page to have Connors photo at1939 High School graduation and a photo of him with siblings, From left to right; Aubrey (4), Lucy (2) & Ernest (6 ½).

3 thoughts on “Connors, Aubrey George

      • My former husband’s brother Married Lucille, his sister married Ernest. Their mother Ellen Connors considered me as a daughter-in-law and I spend many hours with the family over decades. This is a small town and as I grew up I heard people speaking frequently about Aubrey and what a wonderful man he was. My grandson is named for him. How did you come to post this picture and story which I knew from Ellen. Lucille woke up gasping for air the night he died. They were a very close family.

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