Did Lightoller fire his gun


Kari Holmgren

Member
Mar 6, 2006
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Chicago IL
When Lightoller was at the Senate Inquiry he told them that he didn't fire his gun but he told Col.Gracie he did. Lightoller even wrote in Titanic and Other Ships that he didn't fire his gun. So which is true, did he or didn't he? If he did, which boat was it at?

Best regards,
Kari

[Moderator's Note: This message, originally posted under a different topic, has been moved to this newly-created subtopic collecting threads from about half a dozen different topics on the subject of gunshots on board. MAB]
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
I don't know. It looks like one of those "He-Said-She-Said" sort of situations to me. Unless there's an independant source to corroberate one story over the other, you might as well form your opinion by flipping a coin. Whichever way it goes, it's even odds on the answer being the correct one.

Perhaps either Bill Wormstedt or Tad Fitch might have something to offer on this. In matters of the "Gunfight at the RMS Titanic Corral," they've done more research on this then anyone I know.
 

Tad G. Fitch

Member
Dec 31, 2005
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Hi Kari, how are you? As Michael said, this is a sort of "he-said-she-said" situation. Even the specific versions offered by the same eyewitnesses do not really match each other.

Colonel Gracie claimed in the Senate Inquiry that Lightoller told him he had fired his revolver in the air to stop a rush, but by the time he wrote "The Truth About the Titanic," he had modified his story, saying that Lightoller only brandished his revolver.

Lightoller himself claimed in "Titanic and Other Ships" that he had brandished his "unloaded" revolver at Lifeboat #2 to force men, who he identified as Italians, out of the emergency boat.

This scene may have been witnessed by Mrs. Mennell, who was saved in Lifeboat #2. She said that an officer, perhaps Lightoller, came along and shouted "get out, you damned cowards; I'd like to see everyone of you overboard," to a group of men who had gotten into #2. She did not mention any shots fired, nor seeing a gun brandished, so it is not certain it is the same incident, but if it is, it is further indication that Lightoller did not fire his revolver at this time, and that Gracie was initially mistaken at the inquiry.

For what it's worth, there is really no credible or substantial evidence at all that I am aware of, other than Gracie's mention in the inquiries, that indicates Lightoller fired his gun, although it is certainly possible that he could have.

I hope this helps. Hope you guys have a great day tomorrow.

Kind regards,
Tad