Long lost brother John

25th November 2009, 18:36
Within one day of joining I received a reply with information about my brother John who, at age 14, was lost on the Pennington Court in 1942. To further my tracing his last year or two, and finding out what ship he was on for the first hit, I have three questions:

1) John wrote from Halifax August 30, 1942, saying he was safe, so how long would a ship take in August 1942, from England, getting hit, then rescued, then transported to Nova Scotia. Tall order, I know, but best estimates would help.
2) I found a list of the ships that were hit in August 1942. Is there a way of telling which ones were sunk - all hands lost? This would eliminate some of the 28 ships I found listed as hit.
3) Is there a source somewhere that would tell me of ships hit in August 1942 with crew rescued?

Any suggestions for my search would be so appreciated.


Eddie Wallace
25th November 2009, 18:48
If you contact Billy mcGee ,I think he is billyboy on this site he will be able to give you a lot of help.

Hugh MacLean
25th November 2009, 19:21
If you contact Billy mcGee ,I think he is billyboy on this site he will be able to give you a lot of help.

Eddie you have the wrong Billy.

Regards (Thumb)

Hugh MacLean
25th November 2009, 19:34
Any suggestions for my search would be so appreciated.


Hello Rena,
If your brother was serving in the British Merchant Navy then I suggest the best way to find out which ships he served on prior to PENNINGTON COURT, including the one he was previously torpedoed on, would be to apply for his CRS 10 from the UK national archives. This assumes the ship lost was after Jan 1941.

Correction to the above, If he was 14 he probably lied about his age and may not have a CRS 10.

I note the CWGC has your brother's age as 16: http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2797663


26th November 2009, 17:04
I received this extract from Billy McGee regards your researchand may be of interest to others
The US bound convoys went under the prefix ON (Outward North) and the crossing usually took two and half to three weeks. In August 1942 there were nine ON convoys starting from ON-118 to ON-128. Convoy ON-115 had departed Liverpool in late July 1942 and lost three ships in the August. The only other convoy to suffer losses was ON-122.

Convoy ON-115

Lochkatrine sunk 3rd August 56 crew landed at Halifax, NS.
Belgian Soldier sunk 3rd August. 32 survivors.
Arletta sunk 5th August. 5 survivors rescued after 15 days landed at Boston, Mass.

Convoy ON-122

Empire Breeze sunk but all survivors landed at Dumore Ireland.
Trolla (Norwegian) 16 survivors. The names of all the survivors are known except one.
Sheaf Mount sunk 25th August. 27 survivors rescued and landed at Halifax, NS
Katvaldis sunk 28th August. 40 survivors rescued and landed at Halifax, NS.

Regarding his CRS-10 file. The fact is if he ran away to sea he probably never had one. I'm having trouble getting hold of the Pennington Courts Crew Agreements at the moment but will forward on anything I find.


ed glover
26th November 2009, 18:32
There is a MN memorial near the tower of London that lists ships and names of lost mariners.if you are ever in the area it is worth a visit.
Ed Glover
Controlled drifting

7th December 2009, 17:59
I have posted this on behalf of Billy McGee
Just to let you know I have found John's previous ship to the Pennington Court as I have copies of the Crew Agreements from both these ships purchased from The National Archives to verify this. The Pennington Court agreements state his previous ship as the Empire Ocean and this was confirmed by a copy of the Empire Ocean's agreements recording when he joined the ship. The Empire Ocean was not actually torpedoed, though four of the ships in the convoy were.

Empire Ocean, 6,765grt, loaded with a cargo of coal joined up with the 43 ship Convoy ON-115 which left Liverpool on the 24th July 1942 bound for Boston, Mass. On the 3rd August East of Cape Race the convoy is attacked and over three days three ships are sunk and another damaged. On the 4th August 1942 the Empire Ocean which is believed, while attempting to evade the U-boats came ashore off Long Point, Cape Race. The ships bow was seriously damaged and as the tug "Foundation Franklin" was assessing the damage the ship floated off the rocks on her own and the order to abandon ship was given, while a number of the ships crew remained on board to attach a tow line to the tug. While an attempt to ground the ship in shallow waters failed it was decided to tow the ship further up the coast to the Port of Ferryland. Once the ship had reached deeper water it became clear the ship was taking on to much water and she was going to sink. The remaining crew went over the side in to a lifeboat and the ship plunged into the depths in position 47' 01N 52' 50W, unfortunately taking two naval gunners with her.

Rgds Billy McGee