Mr. Dwight Carlton Harris

Dwight C. Harris (1884 - 1969), 31, was a United States national from New York City, New York. He was traveling aboard Lusitania to be married that summer. Harris survived the Lusitania sinking on 7 May 1915 and married Aileen Cavendish Foster that July.

Early life

Dwight Harris was born on 6 January 1884. Harris' family was prominent in New York City at the time. His father was a first cousin of George J. Gould. His mother was Miss Ada L. Fanning before her marriage. Her parents were Mr. and Mrs. George W. Fanning of 37 Fifth Avenue, New York City. Up to the time of Dwight's father's death, the family had an estate in Lakewood, New Jersey. From 1905 - 1915, Dwight had lived abroad instead of in New York.


On the last voyage of the Lusitania, Dwight's ticket was 46141 and he stayed in cabin A-9. During the voyage, Harris played games with Charles Paynter and his daughter Irene in the ship's lounge. After the Lusitania was torpedoed and was sinking, Harris put on his Wanamakers’ lifejacket and most of his valuables in his pockets. He went forward and climbed down the front of the superstructure, and jumped from Lusitania’s starboard side just before the water covered the well deck. The water carried aft him aft, giving him a panoramic view of the unfolding tragedy. By the time the ship sank, Harris was astern of the liner. He saw a large wave, filled with debris, surge outward from where the ship had once been. That wave swept Percy Richards from his father to Harris. Together, they climbed on top of an overturned boat. The Richards family lost their infant daughter, but the rest of them were saved. Harris also survived the sinking of the Lusitania.

After Lusitania

On 2 July 1915, Harris married Aileen Cavendish Foster, the eldest of four daughters of Colonel Sir William and Lady Foster, at Holy Trinity Church, Bracknell, London, England. Aileen's sister Frances May Foster was married to Hugh A. Stanton of the Royal Scots Regiment. Her brother, Lieutenant William Foster of the South Staffordshire Regiment, died in November 1914 from wounds sustained while fighting at Ypres. Harris died 7 December 1969. Contributors Jim Kalafus Zachary Schwarz References New York Times, 3 July 1915.

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