Issues Forum: “The Leopoldville Tragedy” By Allan Andrade

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The next George Bush Presidential Library and Museum Issues Forum will feature Allan Andrade, a retired NYPD lieutenant, author and historian, as he discusses his book, “The Leopoldville Tragedy,” at 7pm on September 22 in the Bush Library’s Orientation Theater.

Andrade tells the story of how the Belgium troopship Leopoldville was sunk by German submarine U-486 on Christmas Eve, 1944.

Never heard of the Leopoldville? There is a growing group of people whose mission is to change that. Andrade says the Leopoldville troopship disaster was shrouded in secrecy for half a century and there are still many families who do not know the true circumstances of the disaster that took their loved ones’ lives. Even today, there is no mention of the catastrophe in almost all major World War II history books.

The ship left the pier at Southampton, England, with more than 2,000 American soldiers and crossed the English Channel to France. Just 5 and a half miles from its destination, Cherbourg, the Leopoldville went down with 763 American soldiers killed and the bodies of an additional 493 were never recovered.

Andrade has done extensive research on the ship, the disaster, the soldiers who were lost, and the emotions faced by their families in the aftermath. He has worked tirelessly to investigate and compile the facts and poignant individual stories of the Leopoldville disaster.

Library officials say Andrade’s presentation will give a glimpse into this largely unknown tragedy. A reception with a book sale and signing will follow the talk.

The program is free but seating is limited, and reservations are highly encouraged by calling (979) 691-4068, email reservations.bush@nara.gov or go to bush41.org.