Daily Event for April 19, 2013

Built at Oregon Shipbuilding Corp. in Portland, Oregon the Liberty ship John Straub was launched on Nov. 27, 1943 and delivered to Alaska Steamship Company on Dec. 11, 1943. Her real owner, the War Shipping Administration, allocated her to the U.S. Army as a transport, only four months after delivery she was sunk.

Her last voyage took her from Seattle, Washington to the Aleutians with 25,000 barrels of diesel, 9,000 barrels of high octane aviation fuel and other supplies. She was bound for Attu Island and finally Shemya Island (where a new U.S.A.A.F. base had been built), but when she was 100 miles east of Dutch Harbor, Alaska a little after midnight on April 19, 1944 the ship exploded, broke in two and sank. Actually only the forward section sank (this within two minutes) while the stern stayed afloat for about 14 hours before going under.

The crew was reported to have numbered forty-one, the ship was also defensively armed and had a contingent of twenty-seven U.S. Navy Armed Guard making the total number on board sixty-eight. The explosion, fires and rapid sinking of the forward section took most of those on board to their death, only fifteen survivors (2 merchant crew and 13 Navy) were picked up in a lifeboat 9 hours later by FP-41 and landed at Cold Harbor, Alaska.

Initial reports indicated that the John Straub suffered an internal explosion, but later research showed that the ship had been the victim of a Japanese submarine, I-180 and Lt. Cdr. Hidenori Fujita. This was the only ship known to have been sunk by Fujita. There was no post war interview with him as I-180 was sunk a week later on on Apr. 26, 1944 by USS Gilmore DE-18, Fujita and all his men perished.
© 2013 Michael W. Pocock

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

Ahrens, Earl P.
Angvik, Carl O.
2nd Mate
Barnstrom, Arthur A.
Boyd, James B.
Burke, Robert L.
Seaman 1st Class (USN)
Clark, Archibald M.
Able Seaman
Coleman, Isaac H.
Condit, Lon E.
Seaman 1st Class (USNR)
Cosman, Robert L.
Able Seaman
Easley, Robert V.
Ehrig, Peter W.
Elmgren, John T
Able Seaman
Esper, Lewis V.
Seaman 1st Class (USNR)
Fishinghawk, Jesse C.
Seaman 1st Class (USNR)
Fredericks, Lester A.
Chief Mate
Gifford, Chester A.
Grund, Hyman O.
Hansen, Arnold A.
Seaman 1st Class (USNR)
Hardy, Andrew J.
2nd Cook
Hawes, Richard P.
Seaman 1st Class (USN)
Hayes, William C.
Seaman 1st Class (USNR)
Hines, Edwin C.
Holmquist, Axel W.
Chief Engineer
Huntington, Eugene W.
Isakson, Anton E. H.
Seaman 1st Class (USNR)
Jackson, Charles A.
Chief Cook
Jenkins Jr., Joseph E.
Seaman 1st Class (USNR)
Kehl, Joseph R.
Ordinary Seaman
Keiser, Howard F.
Kline, Gerald L.
Seaman 1st Class (USNR)
Leggett, Eugene W.
Ordinary Seaman
Lund, John A.
Marsh, John P.
Radio Officer
Martin, Clarence W.
Mayer, John
Seaman 1st Class (USNR)
Meyer, Jean F.
McDowell, Arnold
Able Seaman
Miller, Otis O.
Nagy, Frank T.
Gunner's Mate 3rd Class (USNR)
Napier, Edgar
Seaman 1st Class (USNR)
Niemi, Frank
Able Seaman
Prather, Melvin P.
Seaman 1st Class (USNR)
Rauen, John F.
2nd Engineer
Read, Harry E.
Saks, Robert E.
Chief Steward
Scanlon, John L.
Deck Engineer
Schenck, Alexander C.
Able Seaman
Secunda, William J.
3rd Engineer
Sheriden, William P.
Teter, Harold W.
1st Assistant Engineer
Wakefield, Donald W.
Waldon, Robert R.
Westerholm, A. W.

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