SS BUSHRANGER Home Port: Panama, Republic of Panama Company: Alcoa Steamship Co. Master: Martin Strandley (Lost), U.S. citizen Built: Sunderland, England, 1922 Gross Tons: 4536 Dimensions: 377' x 53' x 24' Former Names: (a) STAKESBY (b) STARCK (c) MARISA THORDEN The coal-burning freighter SS BUSHRANGER was seized by the U.S. while under the Finnish flag on June 6, 1941, under the Acquisition of Domestic or Foreign Merchant Vessels Act. BUSHRANGER had left New York on April 6, 1942, with a full load of general cargo for South American ports. She departed St. Thomas on May 26. BUSHRANGER was torpedoed by the German U-107 (Harald Gelhaus) in position 18-15 N/81-25 W at 0354 on June 1, 1942, while en route from Dutch Guiana to Key West via St. Thomas, with a full cargo of bauxite. The periscope of the sub was first sighted at 1400 on May 31 but it disappeared. At 2055 the tracks of two torpedoes were seen crossing the starboard bow close to the ship. At this time the master commenced zigzagging and sent out three SSS warnings but received no answer. The ship was unescorted although there was a U.S. Naval Armed Guard unit aboard. On board was a complement of 43 men, 37 merchant crew and 6 U.S. Navy Armed Guard sailors. Seventeen (17) merchant crew were lost, 11 of whom were U.S. citizens. No Navy men were lost. No boats were launched due to the rapid sinking of the ship but four rafts were cut loose. Crew members jumped overboard and got aboard the four rafts. Six of them clung to a floating vegetable bin which had floated free. These six eventually climbed on a raft on which was the chief mate. The four rafts stayed together for three days but on the fourth day, the raft in charge of the chief mate disappeared. This raft was picked up on June 7 by a U.S. Navy Catalina aircraft and the survivors taken to Kingston, Jamaica. The other three rafts containing 19 survivors were picked up by USCG NIKE on June 12 in position 21-00 N/83-30 W and taken to Key West. Survivors on these three rafts reported that on June 5 at 0200 EWT during good visibility, a large plane circled three times, dropped a flare and then disappeared to the west. U-107 (Fritz) was sunk on August 18, 1944, by depth charges from a British Sunderland aircraft (RAF Squadron 201/W), west of La Rochelle, France, at position 46-46 N/03-49 W. There were no survivors. U.S. MERCHANT SEAMEN LOST CODY, William Fireman CONNON, John Thomas A.B. Chicago, IL DYKSTRA, Henry O.S. Bronx, NY HOOPER, Fred Bosun Hawthorne, CA KACHULIS, Peter Coal Passer Brooklyn, NY MAXWELL, John A. Chief Eng. Brooklyn, NY MENDEZ, Francisco Messman PRESTO, Geacome A.B. STRANDLEY, Martin Master TIERNEY, Martin Oiler Keyser, WV VERNON, Robert Louis Chief Steward Buffalo, NY FOREIGN SEAMEN LOST COLTON, S.H. 3rd Mate British de ROSELA, Manuel Fireman Portuguese GUSTIN, Rene 1st Eng. Belgian FRENCH, R. Oiler Canadian MITHUS, Einar Oiler Norwegian SCOTT, James 2nd Mate British U.S. MERCHANT SEAMEN SURVIVORS CERKO, Anthony Messman CIERPIESS, Anthony W. O.S. COSTELLO, Eugene Coal Passer COVELL, Daniel J. A.B. ERICSON, Harry Fireman MILLER, Vincent F. Messman POKORNY, Joseph 2nd Cook SCHEUERMAN, J. Dean A.B. TILLBERG, Joseph T. Coal Passer U.S. NAVAL ARMED GUARD SURVIVORS McKEON, William F. A.S. MONARD, Philip F. A.S. SMITH, Euzema, Jr. A.S. STANTON, Oliver A.S. TYNDALL, Edward A.S. WILDER, Arthur B. Cox. Unfortunately, the crew list does not show the addresses of all those listed. The crew list for this ship was of poor quality, making it very difficult to decipher the names. This was common with many Panamanian- flagged ships during World War II.