S.S. California 11th July 1943

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Steve49, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    S.S. California was part of Convoy Faith and lost after being attacked by Fw200's in the Atlantic. Lloyd's says 46 crew and 26 passengers (3 RN and 23 civilians) lost. CWGC lists 46 crew.

    It's not clear who the RN losses were, but CWGC does lists these three sailors on the Plymouth Memorial as being lost on the 11th, so they could be them.

    KENDRICK, Bernard C, Act/Leading Stoker, D/KX 100383 (HMS Drake IV), MPK
    POOLE, William C G, Act/Regulating Petty Officer, D/MX 103217 (HMS Drake IV), MPK
    SIM, Robert J, Ordinary Seaman, D/JX 346788 (HMS Drake IV), MPK

    Additionally despite the other passenger casualties being noted as civilians, the Brookwood Memorial records the loss of two soldiers associated with the sinking of California.

    PHILLIPS, Jacob, Lieutenant, 260690, Royal Army Medical Corps
    MORTON, Ernest, L, Private, 7521772, Royal Army Medical Corps

    Also on the same date, the memorial records the following soldiers with no details of where they were lost, so they may have been lost with the California.

    HOLLAND, Henry T, Private,14508032, Royal Army Medical Corps
    JONES, Robert H,Staff Serjeant, S/103299, Royal Army Service Corps
    SMART, Howard N, Warrant Officer Class I, 881453 Royal Armoured Corps
    NIGHTINGALE, Frederick W, Warrant Officer Class II, 311894 Royal Armoured Corps

    Any ideas?


  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Panel from Tower Hill memorial from my collection

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  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
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  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Frederick William Nightingale (1886–1943), Warrant Officer Class II (311894) in the Royal Armoured Corps, died at sea on 11 July 1943 aged 57, while on active service. He had served previously in India and subsequently throughout the First World War. His death is commemorated on Panel 1, column 2 of Brookwood Memorial, England as well as on this family grave. His younger brother Harry Nightingale was killed on active service in the First World War.
    Frederick William Nightingale - Mill Road Cemetery

    Elizabeth Nightingale; Ellen Louisa Nightingale; Frederick William Nightingale; George Nightingale; Harry Nightingale - Mill Road Cemetery
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  5. Billy McGee

    Billy McGee Senior Member

    One crewmember died six days later in hospital at Casablanca from injuries received and was buried in the Ben M’Sik European Cemetery.

    , Able Seaman, ALBERT HENRY, S.S. California (Glasgow). Merchant Navy. 14th July 1943. Age 58. Son of Charles John and Ellen French; husband of Emily Rosena French, of Eastney, Hampshire.
  6. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Doesn't look as if he is on the Tower Hill plaque either?
  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Roy do you mean the below his body was found so has a grave.

    Smn Albert Henry French (1885-1943) - Find A Grave...

    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Merchant Navy

    S.S. California (Glasgow).

    Date of Death
    Died 14 July 1943

    Age 58 years old

    Buried or commemorated at

    Plot 59A. Row 1. Grave 9.
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  8. Steve49

    Steve49 Well-Known Member

    Yes forty five crew were lost in the sinking on the 11th, most are recorded on the Tower Hill Memorial, but two are on the Halifax Memorial.

    Waiter William C. McMAHON
    Able Seaman Murdock NICOLSON

    As you say, the final casualty AB French died on the 14th. He's doesn't appear on the Tower Hill Memorial, because he has a burial plot in Morocco.


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