I have found what may be useful information but none of it aligns with the information you have provided.
The only ship I have been able to find named PIONEER WAVE was constructed in 1945. She was built by Moore Dry Dock Company, Oakland, CA, with the original name of CARRIER PIGEON, sold and renamed PIONEER WAVE in 1946, renamed AMERICAN FORESTER in 1957, scrapped 1970. See http://shipbuildinghistory.com/shipyards/large/moore.htm and scroll to hull number 304.
I have found that a Joseph Daraskevius (born 22 July 1921, died 6 October 1978) was indeed a merchant mariner who sailed in PIONEER WAVE on several voyages … but in 1950-1951, not 1931. (In 1931 he would have been ten years old.) On those occasions the ship sailed from New York to destinations in Asia including Manila, Hong Kong, Kobe, and Yokohama, Japan, via the Panama Canal, eventually returning to New York, the last such voyage ending on 10 March 1951. On these voyages Joseph Daraskevius served as an able seaman, and the records shows that he had ten years of sea experience. He was described as 5’10” and 175 lbs. His next of kin was listed as his mother, Lucy, living at 40 West Street, Gardner, MA. Of possible interest to you, his merchant marine identification number was Z442258; more about that later.
I found Joseph Daraskevius sailing aboard many ships, beginning as early as March 1944 and as late as the March 1951 voyage mentioned above. There may have been yet additional ships and voyages, records for which I did not find. I can supply the names of the other ships and the applicable voyage dates if you wish.
Per the 1930 and 1940 U.S. Censuses, I note that Joseph Daraskevius’ father was also named Joseph (born 1890, died 1955). This suggests the elder Joseph could possibly have been a merchant mariner in 1931 (but not aboard PIONEER WAVE), but I can find no indication that he was a mariner. His occupation in both censuses is listed as a sprayer in a paint shop or chair shop.
The information discussed in the preceding three paragraphs comes from searches of the subscription website Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com), which is typically used for genealogical research. In addition to birth, death, marriage, and other similar records, the site also includes databases of the names of crew members and passengers aboard merchant ships arriving in certain U.S. ports of entry over a period of many decades. Information about ships arriving in New York is particularly extensive.
You may wish to research the younger Joseph Daraskevius’ merchant marine career. You should be able to obtain his merchant marine service record through the U.S. Coast Guard. See this web page from the website I manage: http://armed-guard.com/searchmil.html. In particular see section A.2. Records of Individuals – Merchant Marine. You will have to contact the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The Coast Guard was and is responsible for issuing certain documents (“seaman’s papers”) and officers’ licenses to U.S. merchant mariners, so they should have information about Joseph. His record would likely include information on training, the ships to which he was assigned, any serious injuries or illnesses, applicable dates, etc. You will need to provide as much identifying information as possible about him. The merchant marine identification number noted above will be particularly important. There will be a fee for this service but the Coast Guard will not begin work without informing you of any charges.
For your information, a photograph of the ship, under its original name of CARRIER PIGEON, is apparently available for purchase through the John H. Marsh Maritime Research Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa; see http://rapidttp.co.za/museum/jmmrc.html.
I hope this information is useful.
Ron Carlson, Webmaster
Armed Guard / Merchant Marine website