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.