In 1942 marine fireman William Swinchin of Dingle Mount in Liverpool, England engaged in an incredible act of endurance when he survived 75 days alone, adrift on a raft after his vessel was sunk by a U-boat.
The Fort Stikine was one of 26 identical company freighters. The fleet of ocean-going vessels included the Fort Stikine that weighed-in at 7,142 gross tons voyaged at up to eleven knots with its 7,000-ton cargo.
Helen Duncan was a Scottish medium who held spiritual séances during World War Two. During one of her November 1941 séances, she spoke to a sailor’s spirit.
FIRST HAND ACCOUNT: As a serving British seaman in the Merchant Marine, neither I nor my shipmates were flippant of ghosts on ships and ghostly vessels or strange supernatural happenings.
The sinking of the Titanic was a disaster of such massive proportions that it tends to eclipse the tales of two other luxury liners: its sister ships. When the Titanic was built, it was one three massive, celebrated passenger ships, all of which met disaster on the high seas.
The war in the Far East (December 1941-September 1945) was ferocious and being captured by the Japanese was no guarantee of outliving the war. Amazingly, as many Allied servicemen and women were killed by their own forces as lost their lives during Japanese captivity.
The Great War (1914-1918) was, in retrospect, a new era conflict that progressed on emerging technology leaving everyone fighting by the seat of their khaki or fought with every kind of contemporary weapon including dashing grey pants.
As an eleven-year old schoolboy I often travelled on the Overhead Railway (the Dockers Umbrella). From the windows of the rickety train’s carriages windows one (or in our case several schoolboys) enjoyed an unfolding panorama of docks and ships loading and loading in the many docks.
On April 27, 1865, the United States experiences its worst maritime disaster in history. Mere weeks after the Civil War came to an end, the steamboat; Sultana exploded and sank in the Mississippi River, killing an estimated 1,200 to 1,800 Union prisoner of war soldiers who were released and on their way home.
75 years ago, on January 30, 1945, in the Danzig Gulf of the Baltic Sea, the Soviet submarine S-13 under the command of Captain 3rd Rank Alexander Marinesko sank the German transport Wilhelm Gustloff.