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Civilian Passengers


Edward Thomas Fitzgerald 

Abner E. Larned 

I've enjoyed reading your Tuscania site. I was wondering if you have any information on Abner Larned and Edward FitzGerald, the two civilian passengers on the ship. They were both members of the Detroit Athletic Club, which I currently work for. We have a magazine, the DAC News, which has been printed since 1916. In an article in the March 1918 issue, it is briefly mentioned.

" Then there was the fortunate escape of two of our members from the Tuscania. Both mean a great deal in the life of our city - Abner Larned, citizen, manufacturer, salesman without peer, and Edward FitzGerald, "Efficiency Fitz." One of them - fitz will be the first to say which it is -- is an asset of great value to the nation, a patriot before he is anything else, and a patriot with the ability to make himself count. Both of them are on a mission which is of first importance to the war power of the country. May they have big luck on the return trip! And when they get back, they are dated up to serve as the centerpiece of the rousingest D.A.C. dinner the house can afford. At this writing there is a dearth of details as to the manner of escape from the sinking Tuscania by Messrs. Larned and FitzGerald. However, it is known that they left the doomed ship precipitately, without letters of credit, their passports, or credentials. In as much as Mr. Larned was really a sick man when they sailed, considerable worry was caused his family and friends on account of the disaster to their craft. But word has been received that both men are all right. they had planned to spend some times in England before crossing to the continent. (the Liberty Loan Committee wishes they were home right now.)"

We are doing a special issue of the DAC News commemorating members who served in times of War. Although Mr. Larned and Mr. FitzGerald were not in the service, their story is very interesting. I was wondering if you have any more information on them and why exactly they were on the ship. Thank you in advance for your time.

Tim Wieland
May 01, 2002