Re: S. S. Thomas W. Bickett
Posted by Ron Carlson on January 3, 2017, 10:08 am, in reply to "S. S. Thomas W. Bickett"
The location was probably Bizerte, a seacoast city in Tunisia and the northern-most city in Africa. The Germans held Bizerte until early May 1943, after which Bizerte became an important destination for ships carrying war supplies for the invasion of nearby Sicily in July-August 1943. Shipment of supplies to Bizerte also supported the Italian campaign beginning in September 1943 and continuing until May 1945.
From the ConvoyWeb website (http://convoyweb.org.uk/hague/index.html) I see that THOMAS W. BICKETT made a number of voyages to the Mediterranean Sea, including June-August 1943, September-December 1943, January-March 1944, April-June 1944, November 1944-February 1945, and February-April 1945. The photograph you have may have been taken on any of those voyages.
In her voyage from the Mediterranean to the U.S. in November/December 1943, there is a specific note that THOMAS W. BICKETT began the return voyage in Bizerte, so it may have been during that period from which the photograph dates. In this case, THOMAS W. BICKETT sailed from Hampton Roads (i.e., Norfolk area) to the Mediterranean in convoy UGS-17, departing Hampton Roads on September 6 and reaching Bizerte on an unspecified date. The ship departed Bizerte sometime in mid-November 1943 (the date is uncertain from the record because she joined convoy GUS-21 already moving westward through the Mediterranean), and reached Hampton Roads on December 5, 1943.
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Armed Guard / Merchant Marine website