The morning of December 30, 1941, the convoy vessel ALEXANDER HAMILTON pulled away from Norfolk Harbor to escort ships from Newfoundland to Europe. As early as 1939, German U-boats were actively patrolling the North Atlantic, targeting merchant ships. By 1942, an estimated 360 vessels had been attacked, leading to the formation of a convoy system. ALEXANDER HAMILTON, crewed by several Carteret County residents, arrived in Newfoundland on January 12, 1942. Joining a convoy of 35 cargo vessels and 6 destroyers, the vessel proceeded into the North Atlantic and soon received reports of nearby submarine activity. On January 29, 1942, torpedoes from the U-132 struck HAMILTON on the starboard side, killing twenty crew members including Livingston Brooks, the first Carteret County native killed in World War II.