S1c Andrew Como is listed as missing in action on the American Battle Monuments Commission site as of January 14, 1945.
Como was an armed guard who was one of four gunners on the after 5 inch gun on the Liberty ship SS Martin Van Buren. A torpedo fired by U-1232 hit the aft end of the ship and destroyed the rudder and prop. U-1232 was a new Type 9 U Boat. An escort rammed the sub and it sustained serious damage that caused it to return to Europe for repairs. The four after gunners were blown overboard and only 1 was picked up. The other 2 gunners killed were S1c Philip F. Giaquinto and S2c Peter S. Percival. There were no other casualties on the ship. The survivors, including 8 officers, 33 crewmen and 27 armed guards and one passenger, took to lifeboats 30 minutes after the torpedo hit, and were picked up within two hours by the HMCS Comox and HMCS Fundy. The Van Buren, however, was later lost while under tow.
A Binghamton Press newspaper article dated February 14, 1945 states that the 19 year old was serving with the convoy forces since February of 1944. It states that Andrew was missing in action. An article on July 19, 1945 in the same paper states that he was now declared dead and had been a convoy gunner when his ship was attacked.
S1c Como's group includes his officially engraved Type 2 posthumous Purple Heart with its short titled presentation case in its original registered mailing box, plus his Victory medal and European Campaign medals and their issue envelopes. Note that the medal is an early Type 2, but the engraving is late war.
SOLD to a collector 04-2021