Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Discussion about wrecks and losses as well as historic sites in the Pacific.

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Dena Fanshawe
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Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by Dena Fanshawe » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:47 am

My uncle, Joseph Bullas is found onboard the ship 'The Westpoint' when it arrived in New York July 2nd 1942.
He is on the alien passenger list
The West Point had travelled from Australia.
Joseph Bullas who was in the USA/ Canadian Merchant Navy and was along with many others seen as being shipwrecked - 'torpedoed . then it says GUCO- 36 175.45W
Can anyone help please?
I assume the 145.45 W is a map reference? Might be near Tonga?
I am trying to find out more about the ship Joe was on and that was torpedoed .
I have been in tried the West Point reunion association but they could not help me.

RSwank
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Re: Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by RSwank » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:44 am

Dena,

A thought about this. This link has the log of the ship.
http://www.usswestpoint.com/newsletters ... ipslog.pdf

The voyage from Australia went through the Panama Canal on about June 27, then the trip up to New York, arriving on July 2. I think another possibly is that they took stranded seamen from Cristobal, Canal Zone up to New York. There were many ships being torpedoed in the Caribbean Sea at this time, and many rescued sailors would have been taken into the Canal Zone.

You may want to also be looking at ships lost in the Caribbean Sea in a May to June 1942 time frame along with losses in the Pacific.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sh ... n_May_1942
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sh ... _June_1942

RSwank
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Re: Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by RSwank » Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:34 pm

As to your other question, Tonga is located at 21.15S, 175.22W.

Dena Fanshawe
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Re: Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by Dena Fanshawe » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:51 am

Thank you very much for your information which I am now trawling steadily through (Can't believe just how many ships went down in May 1942)
I see you also understand the map reference. I don't know where to look. Have you any idea where my map reference is?
I think it can't be far away from Tonga by what you have sent me?
There are so many little islands too, could GOCA or GUCA perhaps be and island I wonder?

Your link to the West Point Log was also very helpful.
From that journey I have the List page which is number 13. This is where I find my uncle, he is included with the shipwrecked seaman. There are 30 names on this page. I am thinking if I can get the next pages I might be able to pin point how many where picked up and then I would know through the log where he boarded.
However across the top of page 13 it states that it is LIST OR MANIFEST OF ALIEN PASSENGERS FOR THE UNITED....
Passengers sailing from Australia. The word Melbourne is written upright and through the word Australia. The date also at the top is the 9th of June 1942.

RSwank
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Re: Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by RSwank » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:11 pm

Dena,
Interesting, it does sound like they boarded the ship in Melbourne. Is there a way you could post those pages online. Sometimes other eyes can pick out something.

The links I gave to the ship losses can be "rolled back" to early months just by change the month in the link
Here for example is March.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sh ... March_1942

Since we a dealing with wikipedia here, we must also take these listings with care, but at least it is a place to start.
Did you try a google search on some of the other names on the list. A way I often do this, using your uncle as an example is:
Enter the following in Google search, including the quotes and the | which could also be entered as the word OR.

"Joseph Bullas"|"Bullas, Joseph" seaman

This search leads to your other posting about your uncle.

Maybe you can get some hits which will lead to a ship.

RSwank
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Re: Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by RSwank » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:26 pm

Here is a link which describes activity around Australia and include the names of some ships sunk.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_naval ... ian_waters

The link also as a map showing how the shipping lanes came close to Tonga.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SoPacStratSit.gif

Dena Fanshawe
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Re: Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by Dena Fanshawe » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:00 am

Again thank you for the links.
I have tried to attach page 13 but it says it the file is to big. 476KB. I have reduced it but think it won't be easy to make out detail.
The more I look at it I am convinced that he definitely boarded in Melbourne.
I am going to try and see if I can find others on the list, as you suggested.

I think part of the map reference is missing. The wording reads:
shipwrecked sailors, (torpedoed) GUCA 36 - 175.45W other possibilities: GUC1 or GUC4
regards Dena

Dena Fanshawe
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Re: Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by Dena Fanshawe » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:42 am

I think the GUC4 /GUCA or GUC1

Might be the convoy number?

Dena Fanshawe
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WW2 Convoy numbers

Post by Dena Fanshawe » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:49 am

For anyone else. I checked this out but did not find the one I wanted but a useful link I think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wo ... ic_Convoys

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Re: Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by RSwank » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:36 am

Dena,

Looking for US or Canadian or British merchant ships that are torpedoed in this area of the Pacific about this time, one ship I found was the Liberty ship "John Adams". It was torpedoed on 5 May 1942 by the Japanese submarine I-21. The ship has just been built in March and had taken a cargo of aviation fuel from the West Coast bound for Australia. This link has two entries related to that ship, one on 5 May 1942 and a second on 10 May 1942.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/USN ... -1942.html

5 May
"U.S. freighter John Adams is torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-21 85 miles from Amadee lighthouse, Nouméa, New Caledonia, 23°11'S, 165°08'E; five of the 11-man Armed Guard drown when the ship is abandoned (see 10 May)."
10 May
"Survivors (39-man crew and six of the 11-man Armed Guard) of U.S. freighter John Adams, torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I-21 on 5 May, are rescued. One boat with survivors is recovered at sea; two boats reach Nouméa, New Caledonia.

So 45 people have been rescued by 10 May. What happens to them, particularly the 39 man civilian crew. I think a possiblity is that they would try to get them back to the US. Perhaps they sent them on the Australia where they could catch a returning ship, such as the West Point. Just a thought.........

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Re: Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by RSwank » Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:52 pm

Dena when I look through the list of names of the group that started in Melbourne, the majority are English seamen, then fewer Norwegians with one seaman from Sweden and one from Yugoslavia. The numbers, I think refer to a code/law under which these men are allowed to travel on a US ship or enter the US without the "proper" passports/visas, etc. I don't think they are a reference to a location. These seamen would most likely not be from a US ship but rather (perhaps) an English or Commonwealth ship.

The second group of seamen, that was picked up in the Canal Zone seem to be similar, mostly English with some other nationalities included.

None of the men listed on these lists are US seamen, so I don't think any came from the "John Adams", so I think we do need to concentrate on non US sinkings.

Dena Fanshawe
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Re: Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by Dena Fanshawe » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:59 pm

Thank you once more.
Page 13 has Joseph on it, and is the one that appears to have left Melbourne on the 9th of June. On there there is a mixture of nationalities, but on the other page where they appear to have been picked up at Christobel CZ are English I had noticed that later today, so I think they are definitely from a different ship.

All the other ships I have found my Uncle on have been America/Canadian and Tankers mainly. Seen as Oiler / Fireman etc
He became a resident of Vancouver and on page 13 states Canada as his last place of residence.
Dec 1941
I have him leaving the Regionalite in New York 28th of Dec 1941 and then signing onto a ship that is called the 'Oropus' Dec 29th 1941 also New Yor. I cannot find any other records for the Oropus or a crew list either. I think this may be a misspelling.

I think I am going to have a look to see if there is a pattern of men he may have moved from one ship to another with.
That way might bring something up looking for someone else!

Back to basics again I think. :) You have been really kind in helping me. Regards Dena

RSwank
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Re: Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by RSwank » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:27 pm

Dena,

Check the names on this link compared to your P-13 list (attached).

http://www.warsailors.com/singleships/bennestvet.html
Attachments
P13 West Point.jpg
P13 West Point.jpg (109.73 KiB) Viewed 6302 times

RSwank
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Re: Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by RSwank » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:14 pm

Dena,

The Bennestvet was sunk near Cristobal on June 15, 1942. (see link in previous post). I find 9 names on the P-13 list that were apparently on the Bennestvet. They would have boarded the West Point at Cristobal, not in Australia.... so we cannot assume all the names on the P-13 came from Melbourne, certainly "some" of the men were from ships sunk in the Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico.

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Re: Looking for a ship wrecked in 1942 map ref: 175.45 W

Post by RSwank » Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:08 am

Dena, The Oropos (note spelling) was a Greek ship that was sunk in December 1942. When it was sunk the crew was mostly British, so I suspect that was your Uncle's ship in 1941. Too bad we can't easily find where it was during the first half of 1942.

http://www.uboat.net/allies/merchants/c ... p2524.html

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