Daily Event for March 19, 2010

Built in Maine in 1943 the Liberty ship John A. Poor hit two or three mines on July 26, 1943, the damage was serious, but the ship was towed into port and repaired. She returned to service in November of the same year. Four months later on March 19, 1944 she again came to grief.

The ship was en route to Aden sailing alone (she had detached from her convoy on Mar. 18). At 1745 (GCT) she was hit on the starboard side by a torpedo fired by Oberleutnant zur See Alfred Eick from U-510. Seconds later a second torpedo exploded, two minutes after this the ship went under. Thirty-four men went with her.

Due to the rapid sinking there was no time for lifeboats to be launched or for a distress signal to be sent. Thankfully five rafts floated free from the ship as she went down, but two of them were too badly damaged to be of any use. Food and water from the two damaged rafts was collected and the thirty-nine survivors organized themselves on the remaining three rafts.

No assistance was offered by the U-boat as Eick did not surface. The men in the three rafts were on their own in the Indian Ocean about 300 miles west of the Indian coast. Having little control of the rafts they drifted with the current, directly away from India and toward the middle of the Indian Ocean, fortunately they were found and picked up at 0600 on Mar. 22 by SS Fort Walsh, all thirty-nine men were landed at Ceylon on the 26th.
© 2010 Michael W. Pocock
MaritimeQuest.com



Roll of Honor
In memory of those who lost their lives in
SS John A. Poor
"As long as we embrace them in our memory, their spirit will always be with us"

Name
Rate
Notes
Bergeron, Joseph E.
Gunner's Mate 3rd Class
USNR
Bernard, George
Deck Engineer
Merchant Marine
Bragg, John
Chief Engineer
Merchant Marine
Chief Cook
Merchant Marine
Buckson, Jr., James S.
Able Seaman
Merchant Marine
Caccamise, Louis
Seaman 1st Class
USNR
Capizzi, Santo
2nd Mate
Merchant Marine
Carlson, Raymond L.
Seaman 1st Class
USN
Dance, William M.
Utility
Merchant Marine
DuLac, Francis W.
Master
Merchant Marine
Ekberg, Sture E.
Fireman/Watertender
Merchant Marine
Enlow, Raymond W.
Fireman/Watertender
Merchant Marine
Finch, Henry P.
1st Engineer
Merchant Marine
Glascow, Herbert J.
Radioman 2nd Class
USN
Gornecki, Charles J.
3rd Mate
Merchant Marine
Haber, Frank
Coxswain
USNR
Hinkle, Alburn J.
Steward
Merchant Marine
Jeffers, Harry A.
Seaman 1st Class
USNR
Kopicka, Frank
Oiler
Merchant Marine
Leonardo, Alfred A.
Seaman 1st Class
USNR
McGaha, John W.
Able Seaman
Merchant Marine
Noble, Kenneth E.
Seaman 1st Class
USNR
Oakley, Jr., William E.
2nd Engineer
Merchant Marine
Perry, Jr., William J.
Radio Officer
Merchant Marine
Price, Abraham
Ordinary Seaman
Merchant Marine
Radziwiller, Bernard
Able Seaman
Merchant Marine
Rios, Tomas
Oiler
Merchant Marine
Seppey, James J.
Junior Engineer
Merchant Marine
Spears, Howard R.
3rd Engineer
Merchant Marine
 
Turgeon, Joseph E. R.
Utility
Merchant Marine
Vallianos, Nicolas
Fireman/Watertender
Merchant Marine
Van Artsdalen, Spencer T.
Ordinary Seaman
Merchant Marine
Wauters, Rene F. G.
Steward
Merchant Marine
Willard, Calvin C.
Seaman 1st Class
USNR


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MaritimeQuest received the following message June 5, 2010

My mother's brother Charles J. Gornecki (3rd Mate, Merchant Marine) was on the John A. Poor when it went down on March 19th, 1944. My siblings and I have several articles and awards that were given to my Grandparents upon his death. I have also been to the war memorial in my mother's home town in Pennsylvania where his name is on a wall. My mother has passed away now and we have very few pictures of Uncle Charles and even fewer stories of what he was like. Is there a way to network with survivors of the John A. Poor? I would love the opportunity to talk or communicate with some of the men he served with. Whatever advise or guidance you have would be most appreciated.

Thank you,
Mary Ellen Forman
Huntington Beach, California



Sept. 13, 2010
My Grandfather was John Bragg, Chief Engineer on the Liberty ship 'John A Poor' killed 19th March 1944 when his ship was hit by torpedo.  He was born Liverpool England 1st July 1883 and lived most of his life in New York. It would be very interesting to hear from anyone regarding members of the crew and my Grandfather.

Yours sincerely,
Hilda Ratcliffe 'Blowick'
Patterdale, England

Chief Engineer John Bragg



Jan. 5, 2013

Grandfather William Richard Brown, Chief Cook was lost at sea on the John A. Poor on 3/19/44.  I have all the original letters from the Coast Guard, War Shipping Administration, International Freighting Corp, numerous letters from shipmate's family members along with the original medals and ribbons sent to my Grandmother and Great Grandmother.  I do have some pictures that my grandfather sent home of himself with other crew members but no names listed on them.  I have a lot of postcards from various ports of call. My Grandfather was born in Morrisville, PA and after he was married they lived in Trenton, NJ.
(View the papers and letters here)

Terri Brown-Young


Feb. 11, 2013

While researching the Merchant Marine Liberty ship, John A Poor, the ship my Grandfather, Alburn Jefferson Hinkle, went down with, I came across some very interesting material on your site. There was a post from a woman named Terri Brown-Young that was made on January 5th, 2013. She goes on to say that her Grandfather, William Richard Brown, was the Chief Cook aboard the John A. Poor and shares some papers and letters. One is a menu of the Christmas dinner served on board in 1943. The menu was signed by William Brown, Chief Cook, and Alburn J. Hinkle, Chief Steward.

I too am in possession of the sad letter sent home from the War Administration to the wives and mothers of those lost at sea. My Grandfather also received the Mariners Medal for service, but that has been lost over the many years, probably having been given to his oldest son, whom has also passed on.

Sincerely,
Kerri Wolcott



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