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  #11  
Old 2nd July 2020, 12:52
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Re: Convoy PQ18 v He111s I./KG26 mystery

I digged a bit deeper. SS Copeland was the only proper rescue ship of the PQ 18 but in Richard Woodman's Arctic Convoys (paperback edition 1995) p. 262 added '...three motor minesweepers of American origin transferring to the Red Navy and under orders to operate as rescue ships...'. So far so good but the classification motor minesweepers of American origin indicates YMS/Yard class motor minesweepers but the first of those were handed over to the Soviet Navy not until the spring of 1945 (according to Peter Elliott's Allied Minesweeping in World War 2 (1979)) and anyway none of them is shown on the convoy disposition diagram of the PQ 18 in Woodman's book. But amongst the escorts were 3 Halcyon-class RN fleet minesweepers and a flotilla of Halcyons operated in Archangel area in 1942 - 44 helping Soviets in mine sweeping and acting as local eacorts.

The diagram in Woodman's book shows that the position of SS Copeland was behind the leftmost line of the merchant ships when 'Mary Luckenbach' was in the 2nd line from the right. But behind merchanmen were also 2 of the Halcyons, nearest to 'Mary Luckenbach' was HMS Sharpshooter, maybe its logbook, if survived, is worth of looking.


Juha
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  #12  
Old 2nd July 2020, 19:23
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Convoy PQ18 v He111s I./KG26 mystery

A member of the Armed Guard on the "SS Nathanael Greene" was Norman E Hyams. Search for Hyams here: http://www.armed-guard.com/allnames.html

(Note that the ship name is given incorrectly as "Nathaniel Green". This is a common error when searching on the ship name.) Here is a short newspaper article about Hyams.

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/5458...dayton-herald/


I ran across something interesting and I am not sure what it might mean. On this link:
https://www.wrecksite.eu/peopleView.aspx?239253

is mentioned a casualty, David H Galley, Cook on the Nathanael Greene.

This link: https://www.abmc.gov/decedent-search/galley%3Ddavid

shows a David H Galley, US Merchant Marine, died September 27, 1942 and was buried in Cambridge American Cemetery.

Was David H Galley picked up (or transferred to) one of the British Escorts and then he died later?


The uboat.net website has David H Galley in the crew of the Nathanael Greene on 25 February, 1943, when it was torpedoed in the Med, which is probably not correct.

https://www.uboat.net/allies/merchan.../ship2694.html

Last edited by RSwank; 3rd July 2020 at 22:46.
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  #13  
Old 3rd July 2020, 22:38
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Convoy PQ18 v He111s I./KG26 mystery

I found some more information on David H Galley. He was the Chief Cook on the Nathanael Greene and he died on November 27 while on the Hospital Ship HMHS Amarapoora which was then based at Scapa Flow. He had a “Fractured Spine with Paraphlegia”. I assume he got to Scapa Flow on one of the escort ships that took on casualties from PQ18.
http://clydeserver.com/shipping/viewtopic.php?t=36934
He was first buried at Lyness Imperial War Graves Cemetery Scapa Flow). Ancestry as about 30 pages of documents that relate to his death. They come from a file called “Reports of Deaths of American Citizens Abroad”. For those with Ancestry access here is a link to one of the pages in the file:
https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer...DsuccessSource
You can move forward and back from that page.

The file also has, for example, deaths of Americans who served in the RCAF or RAF, so it might be of future use.

Last edited by RSwank; 4th July 2020 at 16:34.
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  #14  
Old 4th July 2020, 09:45
BrianC BrianC is offline
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Re: Convoy PQ18 v He111s I./KG26 mystery

Hi Rolland

I'm ever amazed by your wealth of knowledge and diligence in uncovering detail! Many thanks once again.

Our man is described as a short, fat American negro - does David H. Galley fit the description, do you know?

Stay safe
Brian
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  #15  
Old 4th July 2020, 13:28
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Convoy PQ18 v He111s I./KG26 mystery

I don't know about short and fat but he was a negro. According to the 1940 census (where his occupation is listed as cook on a steam ship and his race as Negro) he was 37 years old and was born in Virginia. He lived with his wife, Ernestine (age 32) and three daughters (ages 4. 3 and 1) at "2230 Seventh Ave", New York City, NY.

When the State Department was trying to notify his wife after his death, they first sent a letter to "2228 South Ave" which was returned undelivered. Looking at Google Maps, it appears that 2228 Seventh Ave is a large multi-story apartment house.

Many of the pages in his file relate to the calculation of the wages he had earned on the voyage, a list of his personal effects, etc. I appears that his personal effects may have remained on the Nathanael Greene until it returned to Great Britain. At that point they may have been brought ashore and it is unclear who was responsible for getting the effects back to the family, the State Department?, the Steamship company? Among the effects is listed "Seaman's Identification", which would be his Z-card. Too bad they didn't make some sort of photostat of it, as it had a lot of info on it. Here is an example of Z-card:

https://selfdefinition.org/rose/rich...-card-1947.htm



I'll see what else I can find.

Last edited by RSwank; 4th July 2020 at 17:00.
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  #16  
Old 4th July 2020, 13:46
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Re: Convoy PQ18 v He111s I./KG26 mystery

On HMS Sharpshooter, during its participation to PQ 18 escort duties its also seconded as a rescue ship. See: http://www.halcyon-class.co.uk/Sharp...ooter_1942.htm


On its PQ 18 rescue ops:

' Survivors
During action from September 13th 1942 to September 15th HMS SHARPSHOOTER acted as rescue ship to the Russian bound convoy. One hundred and one survivors were picked up about twenty of which had been in the sea. One negro who had been in the water about 20 minutes was in a very poor condition, but it was remarkable how he and all the other shocked cases responded to warmth and morphia... '
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  #17  
Old 4th July 2020, 14:14
BrianC BrianC is offline
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Re: Convoy PQ18 v He111s I./KG26 mystery

Many thanks for the additional information, Rolland and Juha.

The links are very interesting, also.

Cheers
Stay safe
Brian
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  #18  
Old 4th July 2020, 16:15
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Convoy PQ18 v He111s I./KG26 mystery

A little further down in the link Juha gave is an account from Signalman Hendry, who was on the Sharpshooter (or Scylla? , it is not quite clear which).

"Being one of the tail-end Charlies we were ordered to search for any survivors. We had cruised around for quite a time in a sea covered with pieces of wreckage and an oily scum when we spotted a man on the edge of it all and got him on board, remarkably uninjured apart from shock. He was a coloured American cook from a Liberty ship, who told us he had been manning the ship's after gun when a sudden explosion blew him into the sea - apparently the only survivor.
"Yessir, I sure am a lucky guy!" he repeated over and over again"

‘The surprise came later when we found that his ship was still safely afloat.; it was actually the ship abeam of her which had been hit and gone down, the blast from the explosion having travelled across and hurled him into the water. But he certainly was a "Lucky guy", considering how small a man looked in the sea."


Curious, that if this cook is David H Galley (Galley was the chief cook on the Nathanael Greene) he "appears" to be uninjured. I wonder if there were some internal injuries that become evident later. I do think one could make a good argument that the missing "Messman" that started this thread was David H Galley.

Last edited by RSwank; 4th July 2020 at 17:02.
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  #19  
Old 4th July 2020, 17:00
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Re: Convoy PQ18 v He111s I./KG26 mystery

Hello Rolland
a nice catch.
I pretty sure that the singnalman served on Sharpshooter, AA/light cruisers are much more valuable ships than minesweepers, even fleet minesweepers, and rescue ships were there just to pick up survivors and allow escorts to concentrate their proper duties. Minesweepers were also better suited for the job, very manouevrable and had lower rear deck. And Scylla was also the flagship, it had other duties than play a sitting duck in an area where enemy torpedo and bomber a/c were active and were there might be U-boats lurking around.
And that the man belived that he was the only survivor was clearly the source of the story that he was the only survivor of Mary L. I really did not buy the story that a man could survive a blast so powerful that it threw him a half a mile. Too big forces in work there.
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  #20  
Old 7th July 2020, 20:21
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Re: Convoy PQ18 v He111s I./KG26 mystery

A story on Lt (jg) Roy M Billings who was in charge of the Armed Guard on the Nathanael Greene.

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/5489...acramento-bee/


On pdf page 59 (book page 57) is the citation for Billings' Silver Star.

https://www.navy.mil/ah_online/archpdf/ah194305.pdf
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