Re: Important information source for finding AG and merchant marine crews
Posted by Ron Carlson on April 10, 2017, 2:08 pm, in reply to "Re: Important information source for finding AG and merchant marine crews"
Edited by board administrator April 10, 2017, 2:22 pm
While researching other information, I came across this long-ago series of e-mails between you and me nearly nine years ago. If it is still of interest, I have a much better answer for you.
First of all, the initials BM2C mean your father was a boatswain’s (pronounced BO-sun) mate 2nd class. That made him a petty officer (non-commissioned officer) so think of him as a sergeant in his Armed Guard crew.
On April 12, 1945, the U.S. freighter MANGORE collided with Canadian tanker SILVER STAR PARK in Buzzards Bay off Westport, Massachusetts. According to a newspaper report that I found (The Sandusky Register, Sandusky, Ohio, August 10, 1950) the former first mate of SILVER STAR PARK, J. R. Anderson, reminiscing about his seagoing career, recalled this event. His ship, enroute from South America to Portland, Maine, was swept by flames. The entire crew was forced to leap into the sea for their lives. Anderson was in the flaming, oil-covered water for four hours and was taken to a Bedford, Massachusetts hospital. He recalled that 16 men of the crew aboard his ship burned to death as a result of the collision and he was the only one of the injured to survive.
I have found no description about damage, injuries or deaths suffered by MANGORE or her crew. Clearly there was at least one injured sailor, your father, probably others, and certainly damage.
I found a record of the same incident in a book, The Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II by Robert Cressman. There are these entries for April 12 and April 13, 1945:
April 12. “ATLANTIC. U.S. freighter MANGORE collides with British tanker SILVER STAR PARK in dense fog near Hen and Chickens Lightship, Buzzards Bay; fire breaks out on the latter and her crew abandons ship. Rescue tugs are dispatched to the scene of the collision, ATR 89 from Newport, Rhode Island, and ATR 14 from Boston, Massachusetts.”
April 13. “ATLANTIC. Rescue tug ATR 14 extinguishes fire on board British tanker SILVER STAR PARK, which had been involved in a collision with U.S. freighter MANGORE the previous day in Buzzards Bay. ATR 14, together with ATR 89 and harbor tug YTB 179, assists the damaged tanker to Newport, Rhode Island, arriving the following day.”
Buzzards Bay is located south of Bedford, Massachusetts, and northwest of Martha’s Vineyard. It is located some 250 nautical miles by sea from Boston.
MANGORE was constructed by the Bethlehem Steel Company in Baltimore, Maryland, and completed in June 1918. She survived the war, was sold and renamed once, and was scrapped in 1951. See http://www.shipbuildinghistory.com/shipyards/large/bethsparrowspoint.htm and scroll to hull number 168.
SILVER STAR PARK was constructed by West Coast Shipbuilders Ltd, Vancouver, British Columbia, and completed in December 1943. After the collision she was repaired and placed back in service. She survived World War II, was sold and renamed several times, and went aground and was damaged beyond repair off Brazil in 1962. See http://fortships.tripod.com/Tankers.htm and scroll to the name of the ship.
Your father was a brave man; they all were.
I hope you find this useful.
Ron Carlson, Webmaster
Armed Guard / Merchant Marine website