RMS Titanic Sixth Officer, James P. Moody

James Paul Moody, Sixth Officer on the RMS Titanic circa 1910. Mr. Moody Did Not Survive the Tragedy.

James Paul Moody, Sixth Officer on the RMS Titanic circa 1910. Mr. Moody Did Not Survive the Tragedy and Was Only 24 at the Time of His Death. GGA Image ID # 17046f0308

Fast Facts

Full Name: James Paul Moody
Date of birth: 
21 August 1887
Place of birth: Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England
Marital status: Single
Crew position: Titanic's Sixth Officer
Date of death: 15 April 1912
Cause of death: Unconfirmed; body never recovered

Excerpt from WRECK OF THE TITANIC – p. 45-46

Not only was the Titanic tearing through the April night to its doom with every ounce of steam crowded on, but it was under orders from the general officers of the line to make all the speed of which she was capable.

This was the statement made by J. P. Moody, a quartermaster of the vessel and helmsman on the night of the disaster. He said the ship was making twenty one knots an hour, and the officers were striving to live up to the orders to smash the record.

“It was close to midnight,” said Moody, “and I was on the bridge with the second officer, who was in command. Suddenly he shouted, ‘Port your helm!' I did so, but it was too late. We struck the submerged portion of the berg.”

As nearly as most of the passengers could remember, the Titanic, sliding through the water at no more speed than had been consistently maintained during all of the trip, gracefully slid a few feet out of the water with just the slightest tremble. It rolled slightly; then it pitched.

The shock, scarcely noticeable to those on board, drew a few loungers over to the railings. Officers and petty officers were hurrying about. There was no destruction within the ship, at least not in the sight of the passengers.

There was no panic. Everything that could be seen tended to alleviate what little fear had crept into the minds of the passengers, who were more apprehensive than the regular travelers who cross the ocean at this season of the year and who were more used to experiencing those small quivers.

Not one person aboard the Titanic, unless possibly it was the men of the crew, who were working far below, knew the extent of the injuries it had sustained. Many of the passengers had taken time to dress, so sure were they that there was no danger.

They came on deck, looked the situation over and were unable to see the slightest sign that the Titanic had been torn open beneath the water line. When the passengers' fear had been partly calmed and most of them had returned to their staterooms or to the card games in which they were engaged before the quiver was felt, there came surging through the first cabin quarters a report, that seemed to have drifted in from nowhere, that the ship was sinking.

How this word crept in from outside no one seems now to know. Immediately the crew began to man the boats. Then came the shudder of the riven hulk of the once magnificent steamship as it receded from the shelving ice upon which it had driven, and its bow settled deeply into the water.

James Paul Moody Shown Wearing the Junior Officer's Uniform of the White Star Line circa 1911.

James Paul Moody Shown Wearing the Junior Officer's Uniform of the White Star Line circa 1911. GGA Image ID # 170478f17d

Excerpt from LOSS OF THE STEAMSHIP " TITANIC.", p.88-89

The foregoing evidence establishes quite clearly that Capt. Smith, the master; Mr. Murdoch, the first officer; Mr. Lightoller, the second officer; and Mr. Moody, the sixth officer, all knew on the Sunday evening that the vessel was entering a region where ice might be expected; and this being so, it seems to me to be of little importance to consider whether the master had by design or otherwise succeeded in avoiding the particular ice indicated in the three messages received by him.

At 6 p. m. Mr. Lightoller came on the bridge again to take over the ship from Mr. Wilde. the chief officer (dead). He does not remember being told anything about the Baltic message, which had been received at 1.42 p. m. Mr. Lightoller then requested Mr. Moody, the sixth officer (dead), to let him know "at what time we should reach the vicinity of ice," and says that he thinks Mr. Moody reported "about 11 o'clock."

Mr. Lightoller says that 11 o'clock did not agree with a mental calculation he himself had made and which showed 9.30 as the time. This mental calculation he at first said he had made before Mr. Moody gave him 11 o'clock as the time, but later on he corrected this, and said his mental calculation was made between 7 and 8 o'clock, and alter Mr. Moody had mentioned 11.

He did not point out the difference to him and thought that perhaps Mr. Moody had made his calculations on the basis of some "other" message. Mr. Lightoller excuses himself for not pointing out the difference by saying that Mr. Moody was busy at the time, probably with stellar observations.

It is, however. an odd circumstance that Mr. Lightoller. who believed that the vicinity of ice would be reached before his watch ended at 10 p. m., should not have mentioned the fact to Mr. Moody, and it is also odd that if he thought that Mr. Moody was working on the basis of some "other" message, he did not ask what the other message was or where it came from.

The point, however. of Mr. Lightoller's evidence is that they both thought that the vicinity of ice would be reached before midnight. When he was examined as to whether he did not fear that on entering the indicated ice region he might run afoul of a growler (a low-lying berg) lie answers: "No, I judged I should see it with "sufficient distinct ness" and at a distance of a "mile and a half, more probably 2 miles."

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