sinking of ss Ocean Voyager

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by roche, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. roche

    roche Member

    Im researching the sinking of ss ocean voyager sunk 19/3/43 by ju88 dropping motobomba fff torpedos. I also know a george cross was awarded and two lloyds medals were awarded.
    In particular im researching one of the sailors who was killed in the attack. Percy (Percival) Appleton chief steward aged 49 and commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial.
    Any info on ss ocean voyager or percy would be great. Im researching on Behalf of Percys grand daughter, who until last week didnt know anything other then he died in the war. So would be nice to give her as much info as possible. Thanks
     
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  2. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    The Oceans
    Ocean Voyager

    Delivery date:

    April 1942

    Shipbuilders:

    Permanente Metals Corp., Richmond, California

    Nom. Managers for MOWT: H. Hogarth & Sons, Ardrossan (Baron Line)
    Fate:

    19 March 1943: In an air attack on Tripoli harbour, Ocean Voyager was set on fire and blew up the following day.

    Notes Bombed during a raid by 12 Junker 88s, Ocean Voyager caught fire whilst discharging Petrol drums. The ship was also carrying live ammunition. With the master lying dead on the bridge, Chief Officer George Preston Stonach, who was still recovering after being knocked unconscious, assumed responsibility. He dragged survivors to safety and threw men overboard to rafts which he had released. As a result of his leadership, several officers and crew members survived. Stronach along with the 2nd engineer and boatswain were awarded Lloyds War Medals.


    TD
     
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  4. CL1

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

    [​IMG]
    APPLETON, PERCY
    Rank:
    Chief Steward
    Date of Death:
    19/03/1943
    Age:
    49
    Regiment/Service:
    Merchant Navy
    S.S. Ocean Voyager (Liverpool)
    Panel Reference:
    Panel 76.
    Memorial:
    TOWER HILL MEMORIAL


    SMYTH, SAMUEL SYDNEY JAMES

    Rank:
    First Radio Officer
    Date of Death:
    19/03/1943
    Age:
    20
    Regiment/Service:
    Merchant Navy
    S.S. Ocean Voyager (Liverpool)
    Panel Reference:
    Panel 76.
    Memorial:
    TOWER HILL MEMORIAL

    MACKELLAR, DUNCAN
    Rank:
    Master
    Date of Death:
    19/03/1943
    Age:
    40
    Regiment/Service:
    Merchant Navy
    S.S. Ocean Voyager (Liverpool)
    Panel Reference:
    Panel 76.
    Memorial:
    TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
    Additional Information:
    Husband of Margaret N. A. Mackellar, of Paisley, Renfrewshire.

    WRIGHT, NORMAN COLIN
    Rank:
    Third Officer
    Date of Death:
    19/03/1943
    Regiment/Service:
    Merchant Navy
    S.S. Ocean Voyager (Liverpool)
    Panel Reference:
    Panel 76.
    Memorial:
    TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
    Additional Information:
    Son of Alexander Gordon Wright and Margaret Martin Wright, of Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.



    Tower Hill WW2 Memorial Ocean Might to Oilpioneer
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
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  5. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hi roche,

    Was he born in Bootle 22 Oct 1893?

    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  6. roche

    roche Member

    Hi Hugh

    I dont know his date of birth only that he was born 1893. He was from Liverpool and bootle fits as its near the docks.
    Regards
    Richard
     
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Medal Card of Appleton, Percy Place of Birth: Bootle Date of Birth: 1893 | The National Archives
    Reference: BT 351/1/3938
    Description:
    Medal Card of Appleton, Percy
    Place of Birth: Bootle
    Date of Birth: 1893
    Date: [1914-1925]
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Language: English
    Creator: Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen, 1872-1992
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    Percy Appleton in the UK, Apprentices Indentured in Merchant Navy, 1824-1910
    Name: Percy Appleton
    Age: 16
    Birth Year: abt 1893
    Registration or Indenture Date: 9 Dec 1909
    Port of Registry: Boston
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Percy Appleton in the UK, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960
    Name: Percy Appleton
    Birth Date: abt 1894
    Age: 19
    Port of Departure: Callao, Peru
    Arrival Date: 15 Apr 1913
    Port of Arrival: Liverpool, England
    Ports of Voyage: Lisbon
    Ship Name: Orissa
    Search Ship Database: Search for the Orissa in the 'Passenger Ships and Images' database
    Shipping line: Pacific Steam Navigation Co
    Official Number: 102192
    30807_A000550-00021.jpg

    Percy Appleton in the UK, Merchant Seamen Deaths, 1939 -1953
    Name: Percy Appleton
    Age: 49
    Birth Date: abt 1894
    Birth Place: Liverpool, England
    Death Date: 19 Mar 1943
    Death Place: Tripolitania
    Spouse: Margaret
    45947_0002-01143.jpg
     
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  9. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Attached Files:

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  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Percy Appleton in the 1901 England Census
    Name: Percy Appleton
    Age: 7
    Estimated birth year: abt 1894
    Relation to Head: Son
    Gender: Male
    Mother: Contasel Appleton
    Birth Place: Bootle
    Civil Parish: Bootle cum Linacre
    Search Photos: Search for 'Bootle cum Linacre' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collection
    Ecclesiastical parish: Christchurch
    County/Island: Lancashire
    Country: England
    Street address:

    Occupation:

    Condition as to marriage:

    Education:

    Employment status:

    View image
    Registration district: West Derby
    Sub-registration district: Bootle
    ED, institution, or vessel: 02
    Neighbors: View others on page
    Piece: 3458
    Folio: 39
    Page Number: 10
    Household schedule number: 50
    Household Members:
    Name Age
    Contasel Appleton 35
    Percy Appleton 7
    Harry Appleton 5
    Sarah Bers 15
    Dorothy Appleton 11/12
    LANRG13_3458_3460-0087.jpg

    Percy Appleton in the 1911 England Census
    Name: Percy Appleton
    Age in 1911: 17
    Estimated birth year: abt 1894
    Relation to Head: Boarder
    Gender: Male
    Birth Place: Bootle, Lancashire, England
    Civil Parish: Bootle cum Linacre
    Search Photos: Search for 'Bootle cum Linacre' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collection
    County/Island: Lancashire
    Country: England
    Street address: 35 Hertford Road Bootle
    Marital Status: Single
    Occupation: Schoolboy
    Registration district: West Derby
    Registration District Number: 455
    Sub-registration district: Bootle
    ED, institution, or vessel: 7
    Piece: 22413
    Household Members:
    Name Age
    William Neale 73
    Elizabeth Neale 68
    Ada Webster 43
    Vera Webster 17
    Malcolm Webster 7
    William J Neale 36
    George S Neale 29
    Amy Neale 27
    Percy Appleton 17

    Have tried to upload the 1911 census image 4 times now following resizing - have given up

    TD
     
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  11. roche

    roche Member

    Im forwarding on all the info to his grandaughter. All she knew growing up was he died in the war and was commemorated on a memorial in London until last week. I couldnt have found alot of this info myself, im from a Army family so naval history isnt my strong point. Thank you very much
     
  12. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    The Ocean Liberty, the first ship of the class
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    About the Italian torpedoes, from Wiki
    The Motobomba, more properly the Motobomba FFF (Freri Fiore Filpa), was an Italian pattern-running torpedo used by Italian and German air forces during World War II. The designation FFF was derived from the last names the three men involved with its original design: Lieutenant-Colonel Prospero Freri, Captain-Disegnatore Filpa, and Colonel Amedeo Fiore.

    The FFF was a 500 millimetres diameter electric torpedo which was dropped on a parachute and was designed to steer concentric spirals of between 500 and 4,000 metres until it found a target. It weighed 350 kilograms, and contained a 120 kilograms warhead. Its speed was 40 knots and it had an endurance of 15–30 minutes. It was acknowledged by the Germans as superior to anything they had and US intelligence was eager to get its hands on it after the Armistice with Italy in September 1943

    On the night of August 20, a Major Lucchini conducted a successful mission against Gibraltar and this was followed by attacks on targets in Albanian, Libyan, and Egyptian waters. Aircraft of 32 Stormo attacked Gibraltar once more in June 1941 and in that same month Lieutenant Torelli (based at Rhodes) attacked Alexandria harbour on the night of June 13.

    The largest use of the weapon was against the PEDESTAL convoy to Malta on August 12, 1942 when ten Savoia-Marchetti SM.84s of 38 Gruppe's 32 Stormo launched them against the convoy south of Cape Spartivento, Sardinia. This made the ships of the convoy alter course, which allowed conventional attacks to penetrate the convoy's defences.

    The Luftwaffe made their first mass attack using the weapon on March 19, 1943 when Junkers Ju 88 torpedo bomber's launched 72 of them against shipping at Tripoli, sinking two supply ships, including Ocean Voyager, and damaging the destroyer HMS Derwent. Derwent was subsequently beached with her engine room flooded and although salvaged and returned to England, was never repaired.

    The FFF was subsequently used in attacks against invasion shipping at Bône in Algeria on April 16, 1943 and at Syracuse during the Allied invasion of Sicily later that year. On December 2 a force of 105 German Ju 88s attacked Bari harbour with FFFs, destroying 16 Allied ships including the John Harvey, which had been carrying mustard gas
    .

    Intriguingly, this article seems to indicate that at least one Ju88 was lost
    SS Samuel Parker – MARAD
    SS Samuel Parker was a Liberty ship built by Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation at Portland, Oregon. Delivered on November 17, 1942, the War Shipping Administration immediately placed the vessel under a general agency agreement with American Mail Line.
    For six months, beginning in February 1943, SS SAMUEL PARKER was in continuous service in the Mediterranean transporting troops and material which contributed immeasurably to the successes of the North African campaign and the invasion of Sicily. Throughout this period she was subjected to numerous enemy attacks and, though badly battered, in every case she emerged victorious.
    The stark courage of her gallant crew – in battle and in heroic rescues – caused her name to be perpetuated as a Gallant Ship.
    On March 19, 1943, while moored in Tripoli, a crashing bomber nearly struck Samuel Parker‘s mast before slamming into SS Ocean Voyager, a British cargo vessel berthed nearby and loaded with fuel and ammunition. As Ocean Voyager burned and other nearby vessels fled, five crew members from Samuel Parker used a motorboat to rescue six British merchant mariners who had jumped overboard. A short time later, the vessel exploded.
    At the end of its mission in the Mediterranean, the U.S. Maritime Commission reported that Samuel Parker‘s hull and superstructure bore more than 140 holes.
     
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  14. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hi roche,

    Here is a record of service from the Fourth Register of Seamen for Percy Appleton born Bootle 1893. It is not 100% complete.

    TERRENCE - 20.1.1915 (Previous ship same but no dates)
    HOLBEIN - 6.8.1915
    STRABO - 25.9.1919
    SHERIDAN - 3.7.1920
    EMPRESS OF BRITAIN - 25.5.1921
    BELIA - 13.9.1922
    BALZAC - 16.10.1923
    BALZAC - 1.7.1928
    MEISSONIER - 18.3.1929
    BALFE - 17.5.1930
    STRABO - 4.10.1930
    BELIA - 15.10.1931
    NASMYTH - 24.2.1932
    LASSELL - 15.4.1933
    PHIDIAS - 21.10.1933
    MARCONI - 3.5.1934
    KATHLEEN - 2.1.1935
    DELAMBRE - 8.5.1937
    LAPLACE - 19.3.1938
    (UNKNOWN) - 2.1.1941
    LALANDE - 8.2.1941
    DEFOE - 6.1.1942

    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  15. roche

    roche Member

    Thank you. I was researching another merchant navy sailor some time ago called James Woodfine born from Runcorn who served during the war but was only able to see his seamans purse from 1941 onwards at Kew. where do you find ships prior to 1941. Are seamans purses available from before 1941

    Thanks
     
  16. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Sorry to be pedantic but the correct term is a seaman's pouch not a purse.
    The pouch is not his service record, only a holding place for documents - some have a great deal of information others virtually nothing. If he served prior to 1941 then usually there is a CR2 card in with the pouch which will list his ships prior to this date, I say usually, but not always. Is the person you are researching J.A. Woodfine b.1924?

    Records prior to 1941, the originals are held at Southampton City Archives with copies at The National Archives, Kew and on the FMP paysite.

    What you really want is his record of service from Jan, 1941 which is his CRS 10 held at Kew in piece BT 382/1995.

    Regards
    Hugh
     
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  17. roche

    roche Member

    Hugh,
    Thank you for all your help. The forums in a matter of days have solved two mysteries regarding the merchant naval history of a friends family.
    Regards
    Richard
     
  18. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Going back to ss OCEAN VOYAGER, attached is one of the survivor's reports from the second engineer H. Hotham.

    You can read it properly if you download it rather than open from the site.

    Regards
    Hugh
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. Norman Martin

    Norman Martin New Member

    Hugh, that's fascinating. What an amazing, horrible story, redeemed by courage.
    Are there any other survivor reports available, Chief Officer Stronach's perhaps?
    3rd Officer Norman Wright was my mother's little brother. His family would be very interested to know more about his death.
    We understand that he was trapped and told the mate to leave him.
    My cousin Sandy Wright, also a nephew, was at Tower Hill today and posted a photo of the memorial plaque.
    I met George Stronach once but it wasn't a suitable occasion to ask him about this.
    Yours aye
    Norman

     
  20. CL1

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

    panel from Tower Hill Memorial

    upload_2018-1-12_15-54-20.png

    upload_2018-1-12_16-7-46.png
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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