May 22, 1946
Syracuse Herald Journal (Syracuse, New York)
Fourth Ship Baby Dies
NEW YORK (INS) – Another of the 19 babies stricken by a mysterious malady which swept the brideship Zebulon Vance died today, bringing the death toll to four, while Army doctors fought to save the lives of 15 others.
Autopsies were being performed on the dead infants, whose identities have been withheld. Food, water, mild, infants’ formulae and other supplies aboard the vessel were being tested.
The Zebulon Vance brought 431 war brides and children from Le Havre. The outbreak was said to have occurred during the last few days at sea.
The surviving sick babies were taken to the Fort Hamilton Army Hospital in Brooklyn.
A father of one of the infants, Dr. John Battenfield of Norman, Okla., Veteran of overseas service and director of health at the University of Oklahoma, said an epidemic of diarrhea struck the babies. He laid the couse to “poor sanitation” aboard the vessel.