One of the most well known and tragic attacks during World War I was the sinking of the Lusitana in 1915. Torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Cork, it sank quickly and claimed over one thousand lives with about seven hundred people surviving. One of those survivors, Michael G. Byrne, gave many details about the sinking in a letter to his wife. Extracts from the letter were published in the New York Times on 25 May 1915. The article outlines that after Mr. Byrne was rescued he eventually made his way to Paulstown, where he stayed with relatives.
Michael Byrne was born in the late 1860s in Ireland. He came to New York around 1887 and married a German woman named Herminie in the 1890s. The newspaper article notes that he was living at 444 West 50th St in Manhattan and it is at this address that the 1910 and 1920 US censuses show him living with his wife.  By 1920 they had been married 26 years and did not have any children.
 Author Unknown, Submarine man observed wreck New York man writes. New York Times, 25 May 1915, p.4
 1910 US Census, New York County, New York, population schedule, part of 22nd Ward, p.13b (stamped); dwelling 444, family 287, Michael G. Byrne; digital image, Ancesty.com, http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 December 2010; NARA microfilm T624 roll 1027