Wanting info PLEASE

20th July 2008, 23:20
Hi Everyone,
I am after some info on the SS Samark which I believe was part of the Merchant Navy Fleet during WWII. My Uncle died on the 26th December 1944but I think from the little I have been able to gain that it couldn't have been sunk as it was used for further civillian voyages in 1946. Can anyone enlighten me as to what may have ahppened on that fateful day?
Many thanks,


K urgess
20th July 2008, 23:35
Welcome aboard from East Yorkshire, John.
I'm sure someone in the crew will be able to help and if not they'll point you in the right direction.
Find your way around the ship and enjoy the voyage.

Bruce Carson
21st July 2008, 00:23
John, from Michigan, a warm welcome to Ships Nostalgia.
I don't know what happened on that fateful day, but the 'Samark' did not sink as she was not scrapped until 1959.

A Liberty ship, launched as the 'John G. North' in 1943 by the Permanente Metals Corporation No. 1 Yard, Richmond, CA.
Lend lease to the UK as the 'Samark', managed by Ellerman's Wilson Line., Hull.
Laid up in the James River, 1947 as the 'John G. North'.
Scrapped at Philadelphia in 1959.
7219GT, 442' x 57', 3exp, single screw, 11 knots.


21st July 2008, 00:29
Welcome aboard from the Philippines John. Enjoy all this great site has to offer. as you can see this site is full of knowledgeable people

21st July 2008, 00:45
Welcome onboard to SN and enjoy the voyage

21st July 2008, 18:25
Hi Bruce,
Many thanks for this info. Haev you any idea as to where I might find out what happened on the 26th Dec 1944 on board the Samark? It may well have been an accident which resulted in my Uncles' death.
Thanks again for your help,

21st July 2008, 18:34
Greetings John and welcome to SN. Bon voyage.

ian d.cameron
21st July 2008, 18:56
Hi John maybe you could try the National Archives
Click Request this, then Digital Express, then Jpeg Go
Ask for documents relating to the death of ? on board the SAMARK. Official Number 169688 on the 26th December 1944. Choose Gold Service.
It should be on a no find no pay basis.
Good luck.

Bruce Carson
21st July 2008, 18:56
John, I could not find anything online concerning the 'Samark' on that date.
Unfortunately, during wartime, not every death receives publicity.
I'm not familiar with the various UK wartime record archives, but perhaps another member could point you in the right direction as far as Government records are concerned.
Wishing you the best on your search.

Hugh MacLean
21st July 2008, 19:34
Hello John,

You can verify that your uncle was onboard SAMARK by obtaining the Crew Agreement and Official Logbook for 1944 held at the National Archives in piece BT 381/3157. The log, if it has survived, should mention any deaths onboard. The link is here: Official Log and Crew Agreement 1944 (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=8235515&CATLN=6&Highlight=%2C169688&accessmethod=0)

Ask for the "crew list and Narrative of the ship's log for December 1944 for SAMARK official number 169688"

If the ship didn't arrive back to a UK port until 1945 then you should ask the same questions but obtain from piece BT 318/3696 at this link here: Official Log and Crew Agreement 1945 (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=8252262&CATLN=6&Highlight=%2C169688&accessmethod=0)

It is very important that you stress the requirement for the Narrative of the log. If you don't you may end up with other parts of the log that mean nothing to you.


21st July 2008, 19:40
Hello John, a look at this website:


gives some info about movements of the Samark in December 1944. She seems to have been involved in convoys to and fro between Southend and Antwerp. However, as you can see there is a gap which is shown as 'not reported' between 22/12/44 and and 28/12/44 when she once again left for Antwerp. Hope this helps to shed some light on her movements. She certainly seems to have been very busy before and after her spell on the Channel runs with voyages all over the world.

Regards, Joyce

21st July 2008, 19:44
John, sorry, clicking on the above link takes you not to the Samark page direct as I thought, but to the vessel search page. Just type in the name however, and all will be revealed!

Keith Adams
25th July 2008, 16:35
Hello Joyce, Thank you so much for posting the convoy website address - terrific detailed information found regarding all trips/voyages made during WWII by our historic ship "Jeremiah O'Brien" moored at Pier 45, San Francisco. She had her 65th Birthday this past June 19, 2008 and made her latest, 'Tall Ships', cruise this past Wednesday, July 23rd. It is our understanding she was the only D-Day merchant ship veteran to make it back to Normandy for the 50th Anniversary of D-Day. If anyone has a copy of a liberty ship Cargo Plan for any of the Normandy Landings, we would be most grateful - a typical Hatch Cargo List would be excellent also , as I can
make up my own General Cargo Plan from such item. Kind Regards to all .

25th July 2008, 20:10
Keith, so glad you found the convoy website helpful. I was not aware of its existence myself until the other day.

Best Wishes, Joyce

27th July 2008, 15:46
Welcome from Lancashire.

I hope you will enjoy the site.



28th July 2008, 19:35
The ship supposedly left Antwerp on the 22nd November 1944 and was next recorded as being in Convoy TAM-32, which left Southend on the 28th December 1944. It is possible he was killed in an attack by aircraft and his body landed ashore as he is recorded with the CWGC.

CRAFT, Ordinary Seaman, ARTHUR HENRY, S.S. Samark (London). Merchant Navy. 26th December 1944. Age 19. Junr. Son of Frederick John and Evelyn Craft, of Hull. Buried Hull Eastern Cemetery Plot 275. Grave 52.

The details concerning his death will be recorded in the ships Log Book and can be applied for by following Hugh MacLean's suggestion and link.

31st July 2008, 11:24
Thanks Billy for this info. I will try and get the log book transcript.

1st August 2008, 20:11
I'm not able to get the info from the Ships Log book, the info required is NOT stated. Anyone have any other ideas Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese?

stan mayes
1st August 2008, 21:27
Hello John - Coincidence!
I was in a tanker Empire Unity and in convoys with Samark.
The first was TAM 8 -Southend for Antwerp on 4th Dec 1944.
Then TAM 32 mentioned by Billy -Southend for Antwerp 28th Dec 1944
We returned together in ATM 26 Antwerp for Southend on !st Jan 1945.
The mystery is that the date of death is given as 26th December and that to me puts the ship in London or Tilbury Docks.
Samark was involved with transporting Army tanks and vehicles - a 24 to 30 hours job loading .. Then she has to sail down to Southend where a convoy would assemble - all this takes time.
Billy mentions air attack on the ships..There were some attacks but I dont remember any ships being hit...that came later for me.

There is a possibility that he had been injured previously and died some time later in a hospital.
Would Hull cemetery office have records of 'Cause of death' ? Stan

2nd August 2008, 10:39
Many thanks for this Stan, I believe you could well be right. I have just requested the Death Cert. so hopefully that will shed some light.
Many thanks for your help,

bert thompson
6th August 2008, 17:24
Welcome John
Enjoy all on offer on this great site
best wishes

17th August 2008, 20:22
I would like to say a massive thankyou to everyone that has tried to help me in my search for the search for what happened to my uncle on the SS Samark on boxing day 1944. I have found out that he died at home of TB and not on board the Samark. I don't really understnd why he is on the Commonwealth Memorial Graves as I thought it was just for people killed whilst in action.
Thanks to all again,