S S Harpagon

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Alan Jones, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones Member

    Hello ,
    Does anyone have any info on this ship please, I noticed a name on board this ship who died 19/4/42 who may be a relative of a friend.
    Regards
    Alan
     
  2. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hello Alan,

    ss HARPAGON official number 164488 built in 1935 by Lithgows in Port Glasgow for Gowland S.S.Co Ltd (J.& C.Harrison), London.

    20.4.42. Torpedoed and sunk by U-109 (Bleichrodt) in the Atlantic 150 miles NNW of Bermuda in position 34.35N 65.50W while sailing independently on a voyage from New York 17.4.42 to Bombay via Cape Town with 8017 tons of general cargo including explosives, aircraft and tanks. The Master, Capt Robert William Edward Laycock, 34 crew and 6 gunners were lost. 8 crew were rescued by Argentinian ship RIO DIAMANTE 5159/18 and landed at Buenos Aires.

    uboat.net - Allied Ships hit by U-boats - Harpagon (Steam merchant)

    If you wish to post the name of your relative, I may be able to point you to his records.

    Regards
    Hugh
     
  3. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones Member

    Hello Hugh,
    Thank you very much for this info , very interesting .The man in question is William Crossan , Able Seaman , Royal Navy , C/JX 266703. He may or may not be a relation of my friend but his family were certainly from Greenock .
    Regards
    Alan
     
  4. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hello Alan,

    William Crossan was a DEMS gunner attached to ss HARPAGON. DEMS gunners are quite difficult to trace as it depends how their military records were written up. It is usual to see just the accounting base mentioned instead of ships' names. In this case his accounting base was HMS PRESIDENT III.

    This is what I would advise his relatives to do if you wish to take this further.

    All military DEMS signed on ship's Articles as members of the crew under the authority of the ship's master; they were usually shown on the Crew Agreement as Deck Hands. On the Agreement, it should show when and where he joined the ship and his address and next of kin. It should also show the name of his previous ship and this is a good way of tracking back DEMS gunners on Merchant Navy ships if his military records do not show any ships' names.

    The last Crew Agreement for HARPAGON is held at the National Archives, Kew under the ship's official number 164488 at this link here: HARPAGON


    If you are interested in getting a copy of the file it can be downloaded for £8.50. If you are unsure make a further posting. It is important that you ask for the "last Crew Agreement for HAPRAGON official number 164488"

    His military records would need to be requested by NoK at this link here: Service records - Royal Navy Like I said they may or may not show actual ships' names you wont know until you look.

    I hope that helps.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
  5. Alan Jones

    Alan Jones Member

    Hello Hugh ,
    Thank you very much , I will pass this on to my friend and he can decide how far he wants to go .
    Regards
    Alan
     
  6. John Crawford

    John Crawford Junior Member

    My Mother's Brother - John (Jack) Moralee, aged 28, a Merchant Seaman, of Chester-le-Street, County Durham was lost in the sinking of this ship.
     
  7. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    His military records would need to be requested by NoK at this link here: Service records - Royal Navy Like I said they may or may not show actual ships' names you wont know until you look.
    Hugh

    Hugh,

    I have seen my veteran friends RN record and it lists evey ship including the Land establishments by ships name.
    Date of transfers on and off.


    Regards
    Tom
     
  8. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hello Tom,

    The context of my message referred to merchant ship's names and not RN ships. It is unusual for a RN DEMS gunner's merchant navy ships to be mentioned on his service records. Usually only the accounting base is mentioned such as HMS PRESIDENT. Was your veteran friend a DEMS gunner?

    Regards
    Hugh
     
  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Hugh,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Sydney my friend was a Torpedo and electronics expert, but also an excellent shot.

    He shot for the Welsh team and was an Olympic contender at one time.

    He mentioned to me that whilst on one of the landings in Italy he shot down a German plane.
    He was on the LST 162 for the Italian landings and Normandy landings.

    Before that he served on several Aircraft carriers and was injured on HMS Eagle when she was torpedoed and sunk.

    A super man and very modest, but with a chestful of medals.

    I posted his photo and medals if you search " A nice set of Medals"

    He will take part on the forum in the near future as he had problems with his computer and has also just changed his provider.

    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/war-sea/19405-nice-set-medals.html

    Regards
    Tom
     
  10. cally

    cally Picture Prince.

    Alan and Smudger after a lengthy search of my database I have managed to uncover a picture of SS Harpagon.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Cally,

    Well done, you must have a great archive database.:D

    Regards
    Tom
     
  12. tnsmttg

    tnsmttg Junior Member

    Wrong picture. This is the later liberty ship built as Samderry and then called Harpagon.
     
  13. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

  14. Carmel Kirby

    Carmel Kirby New Member

    My great uncle, Andrew Joseph Howard, also died at the age of 20. I hope the link below helps. SS Harpagon sunk by U-109/Bleichrodt 150 miles from Bermuda, 8 survivors spent 34 days on a raft - Eric Wiberg
     
  15. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, Merchant Seamen Deaths, 1939 -1953

    Name: Andrew Joseph Howard
    Age: 20
    Birth Date: abt 1922
    Birth Place: Liverpool, England
    Death Date: 19 Apr 1942
    Death Place: At Sea
    45947_0011-00335.jpg

    TD
     
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  16. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Sad to note that his brother James was lost almost a year later on OPORTO.
    Regards
    Hugh
     
    Carmel Kirby and Tricky Dicky like this.
  17. Carmel Kirby

    Carmel Kirby New Member

    And their uncle Patrick Kavanagh on the SS Monmouth Coast just days before the end of the war. Andy and Jim are my father's brothers. Patrick, his mum's baby brother, only 38. Andy and Jim would have been my uncles (not great uncle but I don't know how to edit!).
     
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    For Carmel

    Name: James Howard
    Age: 23
    Birth Date: abt 1920
    Birth Place: Liverpool, England
    Death Date: 13 Mar 1943
    Death Place: At Sea
    Mother: Galia
    45947_0011-00361.jpg

    Name: Catrick Kavanagh
    [Patrick Kavanagh ]
    Age: 38
    Birth Date: abt 1907
    Birth Place: Liverpool, England
    Death Date: 24 Apr 1945
    Death Place: At Sea
    Spouse: Rose
    45947_0012-01590.jpg

    I note there was also a Daniel Kavanagh killed 24 Apr 1945 on the same ship as Patrick - is he a relation?

    TD
     
  19. Carmel Kirby

    Carmel Kirby New Member

    No relation. Jim's and Andy's mother was Julia, Dad was also James. He was a veteran of ww1 trenches.The war to end all wars. Jim, Andy and Albert Jr , all served as merchant seamen. My father, now 90 was too young to serve during the war, but he's probably the last person alive who knew them well.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Carmel Kirby

    Carmel Kirby New Member

    Tricky Dicky I'm so grateful. I'm not sure if it's allowed on this site but would it be possible for you to email these directly so that my father in particular might have a printed copy?
     

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