Jeff Lee Byrd was born in 1923, Tennessee to Jeff Lee Byrd Sr. and Belvia Hall. His brother Walter Douglas Byrd died in June, 1944 while serving in the line of duty.

Member of the naval armed guard assigned to the freighter Robin Goodfellow. KIA 25 Jul 1944.

The SS Robin Goodfellow was an American merchant ship owned by Seas Shipping Co. Inc, New York. The ship was armed with one 4in, one 3in and five 20mm guns, and a US Navy Armed Guard crew of 27 men who had been trained to operate them. Seaman First Class JEFF L. BYRD Jr was a member of the Armed Guard crew on July 16, 1944 and was on board as the steamer, sailing alone, left Capetown, South Africa. With a cargo of 8620 tons of chrome ore, they were bound for Bahia, Brazil and then New York.

On the 25th, around 2:30 p.m., German submarine U-862 spotted the ship in the South Atlantic and torpedoed it, causing the Robin Goodfellow to sink. Although a distress signal was picked up by the Priam, a British merchant ship, nothing was found of the ship or the men.

There were 41 Merchant Mariners and 27 U.S. Navy Armed Guards on board; none survived.

Remembered on the Tablets of the Missing, North African American Cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia.


  • Rank: Seaman First Class
  • Date of death: 25 July 1944
  • County: Morgan
  • Service Branch: Navy
  • Theater: North Africa, Europe
  • Conflict: World War II
  • Awards: Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: North Africa American Cemetery, Carthage, Tunisia
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XVI, Middle Panel
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