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Discussion Starter #1
I found some of my grandfathers MN discharge papers from WW1 - I have found all of his ships bar 1, I cannot find any info on this one anywhere, can anyone shed any light upon it?

SS KANKAKEE, ID: 139117, Port reg:London. 2417 Tons. 318 HP,
Master:W.M Pepperell, Mate: H. Downie. 2/O: F. Gibson

He did 3 voyages in her, Coasting as 3rd Eng between 1916 and 1917

Also on the discharge paper there is a 'CT43' after her name, not sure what this signifies? I'm sure it will mean something to someone?

I am hoping to post some of his papers on the site - the period covers 1903-1936.

Thanks in advance,

Tom
 

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I am afraid I couldn't find anything on the net either. With a name like Kankakee I presume she was a US ship but could find no reference to a US ship in Jane's Fighting Ships of WW1. Unfortunately that book has no index of ship names and I didn't have time to check through the whole thing.

Hopefully someone else will have a book with some information about her. It would be very useful to know which country she came from.

Looking at the tonnage she was maybe some kind of supply or repair ship - though there are other possibilities that I am sure my learned colleagues on this site will be able to point us to.

Good luck with your search.

Regards,

Brian
 

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Well done Banni - this must be the one:http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz/...ame=kankakee&search_op=OR&number=139117&IDNo=

This site show she had a Norwegian flag. Nothing for her in Janes for Norway either though. Also strange that Norway was neutral in WW1 so there is a lot more digging required. Maybe there is no WW1 connection at all.

I have also now found a reference on a site about a book entitled "Shipwrecks off Suffolk" here: http://www.ship-wrecks.co.uk/SUFFOLKWRECKS.html


Regards,

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Gentlemen,

Thanks you all so much - veritable mines of information.

Any Idea's on the 'CT43' alonside her Name on the discharge papers? There is the same annotation on all 3 chits issued (3 separate voyages) It would make sense if she was a trawler - Castletown - IOM?).

I will be happy to upload these images if anyone is interested in seeing my grandfathers discharge papers and diary transcripts for the period 1904-1936 (this includes one sinking - although not the Kankakee).

Once again...Thank you.
 

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Neville,

I found that page too but it won't load for some reason so I have no idea what it says! If you can load it can you post the content or a summary of it on this thread please.

Brian
Brian I am getting same problem now but Ron has sorted it out(Thumb)
 

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I managed to load the page today and extracted the following information from it:

Nationality: british
Description: merchant ship
Propulsion: steamer
Weight (tons): 3718
LengthxWidth (m):
Reason sinking: torpedo
Date sunk: 14/06/1917
Position:
System/Div:
Max | Min Depth: ? | ?
Kankakee was a 3.718grt defensively armed Britsih Merchant steamship.

On the 14th June 1917 when 2 miles NE from Sunk Light Vessel she was torpedoed without warning by a seaplane. 3 lives lost.


I pondered the meaning of Sunk light vessel for some time and did some digging. There is a place called Sunk Sands off Harwich and there is a light vessel on it call the Sunk Light Vessel. So Sunk refers to the name of the place rather than to a sunken light vessel if you see what I mean. No doubt half of the members of the site know this anyway but I had never heard of it.

When I get home I will try to remember to look her up in Janes for the UK - it seems a very strange name for a UK ship though.

Regards,

Brian
 

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The Kankakee is mentioned in The Times in relation to legal wrangling that began in the Prize Court in 1917 and ended up going to the Privy Council on appeal in 1920.

During WW1, despite flying the American flag at the time, three of eleven ships owned by the American Transatlantic Company, the Kankakee, Hocking and Genesee, were deemed by British Naval authorities to be German ships and confiscated as war prizes. Kankakee was seized on 31 October, 1915.

In the ensuing litigation, it was revealed that, though the ships appeared to have been owned by the ATC, a firm controlled by R. G. Wagner, an American resident (his father was born in Germany and settled in American), the ships were actually financed by the well-known Hugo Stinnes, the Westphalian millionaire and so-called "coal king" (he appeared on the cover of Time magazine in Mar 1923), and that the elaborate deception had been conceived to evade the British blockade.

Ironically, do***ents sent from New York in 1917 by the those denying the allegations and seeking to reclaim the ships were aboard the Laconia and, after it was sunk by U-50 near Fastnet, languished at the bottom of the sea. The appeal to the Privy Council in 1920 was dismissed.

If the Kankakee was torpedoed and sunk in 1917, as suggested, then I guess that was the final twist in the tale. If anyone is interested in reading any of the articles (more about the people involved in the case than the ships themselves), let me know and I'll post them somewhere.

Regards,
Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Excellent stuff, and fascinating, I am absolutely over the moon as I have learned a whole lot more than I expected when I first found thoses papers, Thanks to the excellent information posted by you all. Thank you again.
It's quite Lucky that my Grandad got off the Kankakee when he did - His last trip (discharge paper attached) shows that he left her 2 months previous to her being torpedoed, I may have not been here now - what a stroke of luck! I suppose he was a lucky bloke, in 1915 he was 3rd Eng in SS Tergestea when She was mined and sunk.
Would anyone be interested in seeing the remainder of his discharge Certs from 1915 and his diary 1904-1936 as an Engineer both at sea and in the Shipyards of the Tyne?
I have attached a photo of him in about 1910 just after he had come out of his time in Palmers Engine Works in Jarrow. Like his Grandson a good looking Geordie lad! (Modest too!)
 

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Tomvart,

Go for it! We might as well have the whole story.

Martin,

Any chance you could scan that article and post it in this thread?

Regards,

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Brian,
It looks like I will have to post into the Gallery as most of the scans are too big to be attached to the posts - unless you know of another way?

Tom
 

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Martin,

Any chance you could scan that article and post it in this thread?

Regards,

Brian
Brian.

Wasn't sure about the appropriateness of uploading articles from The Times to the gallery (just in case the copyright police are watching ;) ), so have uploaded them to a website temporarily.

There are 5 articles. The 4th is in PDF format (the biggest, 986 KB) - the article starts in the bottom left corner and then continue to the next column. I've included one on Hugo Stinnes, following his death. Seems to have been an interesting character.

01_TheTimes_An_Overt_Act_Kankakee.png
02_TheTimes_06Mar1917_The_Prize_Court_Kankakee.png
03_TheTimes_07Mar1917_The_Prize_Court_Alleged_German_Scheme.png
04_TheTimes_24Jul1920_Privy_Council_Ruling_Kankakee.pdf
05_TheTimes_11Apr1924_Hugo_Stinnes_Dominant_German_Figure.png


regards,
Martin
 

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Martin,

you are OK uploading the images to the Gallery as long as you quote the source when you do so.

You should be able to make smaller images in your scanning software when you save them - most scanning software provides options to define the scan definition (usually shown in dpi) and also you usually decide the size of the file if you save it in .jpg format. Don't save it in .bmp or similar format or you end up with huge files

Brian
 

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Hi My Great Grandfather was one of the three men that lost there lives when the Kankakee was sunk. His name was Thomas Wright. I be grateful if you have any more information about the Ship and it's crew sheets as I am researching my family history.

Regards

Chris
 

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Hi My Great Grandfather was one of the three men that lost there lives when the Kankakee was sunk. His name was Thomas Wright. I be grateful if you have any more information about the Ship and it's crew sheets as I am researching my family history.

Regards

Chris
Hi Chris,
My Great Uncle Harold Fletcher was also lost on the Kankakee. I was suprised to hear only 3 members of crew were lost.
I would be pleased to hear any information you have regarding this.

I look forward to hearing from you,
Regards,

Martin
 
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