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Re: Armed Guard veteran recalls 46 days lost at sea
I came across this article while researching for information on what ship my late father-in-law, John Celentano, then of Johnston, RI, might have been on when it was torpedoed and he then spent over forty days adrift in a lifeboat before being rescued. He did not talk very much about this incident, but he did tell my wife about it. He did not mention the name of the ship involved. At the time of the incident, he was in the Navy Armed Guard on the convoys. Early in the war, he was in the Merchant Marine and managed to survive 3 Murmansk runs. The only two ships I know that he served on were the Bowie (James Bowie, perhaps?), and late in the war, the tanker Missionary Ridge. I remember him telling me that the Missionary Ridge was a relatively fast ship, and often ran independently of convoys. The linked article about the survivors of the City of Flint being 46 six days adrift seems to jive with what little details that we know of his ordeal, especially since there were several members of a NAG gun crew in the lifeboat. Does anyone know if John was in fact one of the City of Flint NAG GUN crew survivors? He received a Purple Heart, which I suspect was associated with the sinking of his ship and the subsequent time adrift. John was one of four brothers who served in WWII, three of them were in the Navy, and one (Peter Celentano) was in the Army. All three of the brothers in the Navy survived the war. Peter was lost on Christmas Eve, 1944 when his unit was being sent from England to support the Battle of the Bulge on the Belgian troop ship SS Leopoldville, and the ship was torpedoed by a U-boat off Cherborg, France.