Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In Honor of Veteran's Day: Allen Edward Danchak




Growing up all I knew was that Allen had died at sea.  Here's the rest of the sory....

Allen was the youngest child of John & Lydia Danchak; he was born in Lyons, Burleson Co., Texas on February 16, 1911.  He was my grandmother's youngest brother.  He's also the reason she had her ashes scattered at sea.

Allen was in the Merchant Marines.  He served aboard the Steadfast as per the 1930 Census of Merchant Seamen.  I've found several passenger and crew lists on Ancestry.com that show him serving aboard the Standard (1934), the Warwick (1940) and the Utacarbon (1941).  The picture above is Allen on the Utacarbon.  During World War II Allen served as chief mate on the Gurney E. Newlin. 

The Gurney E. Newlin was a steam tanker carrying gasoline and kerosene from New York to Manchester, England.  On October 27, 1942 it was struck by one torpedo in the engine room on the port side and immediately began to settle by the stern. The crew abondoned ship and only three lives were lost.  The master and eleven others were picked up by the HMCS Alberni and the rest (31 crew members which included Allen and 13 armed guards) were picked up by the Bic Island.  The Bic Island was torpeedoed and sunk with all hands on October 29, 1942.1

1 From U-boat.net - Allied Ships Hit by U-boats


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