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|Barbara Winifred Anderson McDermott|
Derby, Connecticut, U.S.A.
April 12, 2008 (aged 95)|
Wallingford, Connecticut, U.S.A.
Barbara McDermott (maiden name: Barbara Winifred Anderson) (June 15, 1912 – April 12, 2008) was the last American survivor of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania on May 7, 1915, and one of the last two survivors.
Barbara McDermott was born Barbara Winifred Anderson in Connecticut on June 15, 1912, to Roland Anderson and Emily [Pybus] Anderson. Her father worked as a draftsman for an ammunitions factory in southwestern Connecticut.
Barbara Anderson and her mother boarded the Template:RMS at Pier 54 in New York City, New York on May 1, 1915, en route to Queenstown, Ireland (now Cobh). Barbara's mother was five months pregnant as she boarded the ship. Her father was unable to accompany his wife and daughter as World War I had created high demands for ammunition manufacturing at the factory where he worked.
On May 7, the Lusitania was just eight miles away from Old Head of Kinsale, a headland near Kinsale County Cork, Ireland, when it was hit by a torpedo fired by Template:SMU, a German submarine. McDermott recalled being in the ship's dining room eating dessert when the torpedo hit. She remembered holding onto her spoon as she saw fellow passengers running about the badly damaged ship. In the midst of chaos, McDermott was separated from her mother and loaded into Lifeboat No. 15. She later found out that her mother had fallen into the ocean, but was rescued and placed into the same lifeboat as her daughter. Neither was seriously injured. The Lusitania sank in just 18 minutes, taking with her 1,198 of the 1,959 people aboard.
After their rescue, McDermott and her mother traveled to Darlington, England to live with her maternal grandmother. Her mother gave birth there to a son, Frank Roland Anderson, on September 30, 1915. Frank Roland lived just five months before dying on March 16, 1916. Her mother lived just one more year before she died on March 22, 1917 at the age of 28. Two years after her mother died, Barbara left England and traveled back to the United States aboard the Mauretania and arrived in New York City on December 26, 1919.
- Barbara Winifred Anderson McDermott: Visit on a Sunday Afternoon, July 21, 2002 Template:Webarchive Journeys in Time website
- Barbara McDermott - Liverpool Daily Post.co.uk
- Stannard, Ed (2008-04-15). "Wallingford woman, 95, often spoke of attack on Lusitania". New Haven Register. http://www.nhregister.com/WebApp/appmanager/JRC/BigDaily?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pg_article&r21.content=%2FMAIN_REP%2FArticle%2F2008%2F04%2F15%2F1894047. Retrieved 2008-04-16. Template:Dead link