Anniversary

Six years ago today, I did a web search to see if any news articles had been posted anywhere about the 70th anniversary of the USS YF-415 disaster and the subsequent rescue by the crew of the USS Zircon (PY-16). (I think I typed in “USS Zircon” + “YF-415” + “John Power” for my query.) I thought that since the incident occurred near Boston, perhaps the Globe or other local papers might have something. I found no news articles.

As I have mentioned before, my dad never really talked about the events of 11 May 1944, despite that it probably was his defining moment as a sailor during the war. Until six years ago, I knew little more than the two ships’ names and the date and place the disaster occurred.

What I discovered was a link to the North Atlantic Dive Expeditions‘ (NADE) newsletter, The Lookout, in which my dad’s name (albeit misspelled as Powers) was mentioned by Teddy Bertone, another Zircon sailor, who had come across NADE’s website which originally discussed the discovery of the YF-415 on the ocean floor by Bob Foster in 2003. Teddy wanted to provide a first-hand account of that day.

I immediately contacted NADE’s Heather Knowles and David Caldwell to let them know of my connection, and asked for a better copy of one of the group photos that included my dad, one I’d never seen before. I also asked to get in touch with Teddy, and Heather provided his daughter Lisa’s contact information. I emailed his daughter the next day, but because I was suffering from a major back problem at the time, limiting my computer time, our communications stalled a bit. Also, because I am a weird blend of introvert/extrovert, I didn’t immediately follow up with contacting another sailor who was on the ship that day, Tony Susinno, and by the time I did get around to contacting Teddy directly, Tony had died.

In October of 2017, I met Teddy while I was out east for work, and it was at that time that it occurred to me that there might be other Zircon sailors out there who were on board that day in 1944. So, I went about downloading all the Zircon’s muster rolls via Fold3.com (an Ancestry site for military records) and creating a spreadsheet of all the sailors who’d served on the ship, and then narrowing it down to those who were aboard on that specific day.

Using Newspapers.com and NewspaperArchives.com, Google, and Ancestry, and other sources, I began tracking sailors’ names (via wedding announcements, obituaries, news items, etc.) to see who might still be around and able/willing to talk about the incident. I found only two, Richard Hamilton Garrison and Clarence Livingstone. When I called Richard, he told me how glad he was to hear from me, and he recalled that day quite vividly. Clarence, on the other hand, didn’t recall even being on the Zircon, much less the YF-415 disaster. (He later served in the Pacific Theater, where he lost numerous friends, and he told me “I’m not right” after that experience.) His godson told me that he didn’t like talking about his time in the Navy.

A lot of the details are somewhat muddy with me now, but at some point in the process, I also gathered what few photos I have of my dad in uniform and added them to my brother’s Ancestry account. One of those photos, which included my dad’s best man, John Gigarjian, was discovered at Ancestry by his daughter Jill (if memory serves), and she contacted my brother to ask about it.

It then occurred to me that many of the families of the sailors I was looking for might have accounts on Facebook, so, in November of 2017, I created a group, and while my original intent was to find only about a hundred sailors, I expanded my search to include all 450 or so sailors that served aboard the ship during its five-year commission. It hadn’t occurred to me at the time that there might be many photos of the ship and crew available. But as more people joined the group, more and more photos were uncovered, my favourite being the one that adorns the header of this blog.

While my work on this project has slowed for various reasons over the course of the last several months, I continue to try to locate the families of sailors who served on the Zircon. I regularly refer to my spreadsheet and if someone I’ve sent a card or email to hasn’t responded, I try again. In lieu of getting results in that manner, I can only hope that those who, like me, are researching their fathers’ naval history, type their fathers’ names into a search engine along with “USS Zircon” and their searches lead them here.

So, in order to perhaps increase the odds of that happening, here is the complete list of enlisted sailors and officers I’ve been able to establish as having served on the Zircon at one point or another during its five-year commission as a Navy ship. There are one or two whose names might not belong on the list; many served in a capacity which I’ve yet to understand, and who therefore might not have actually served on the ship, but their names are on muster rolls, so I’ve included them. Those whose families I’ve located are in bold.

If your father’s or grandfather’s name is on the list (or if you are in some way related to a sailor on the list), and the name is not in bold, please contact me via the form on this site.

Ignacio Acack
Hartwig Achenbach
Arthur Merrill Adams
Edgar Calvin Alverson
Louis Augusto Alves
Gilbert Atwood Anderson
Kenneth Alvin Anderson
Ellis William Anderson
Charles John Andres
Samuel James Andrews
Ralph Patrick Annunziata
Fausto Plaganas Apostol
Emery Joseph Arsenault
Edward Richard Ausfeldt
Edward F Babish
James Harold Bacha
Fred Gilbert Baker
Joseph Francis Baldassare
Elmer Edward (Edison?) Banner
Alvin Edward Barber
William Eugene Barnett
Stanley Baron
Charles Robert Barton
John Wesley Bassett, Jr.
Raymond John Battistelli
Paul Buford Beach
Napoleon Beamon
Charles Clifton Beaury
John Shissler? Beck
Harold Beck
Richard Roy Beckwith
Robert Anthony Begandy
Frederick Joseph Beloin
Allen/Allan? Terhune Benjamin
John Stuart Bennethum
Jesse Gilbert Bennett, Jr.
Joseph Cornelius Benson, Jr.
Sidney Berkowitz
Frank Walter Bernard
Frank Whittelsey Berrien
Isidore Teddy Bertone
John Leonard Betts
Frank Paul Bielskis
John Erwin Bills
Douglas Cato Bird
Marvin Gordon Black
William Alfred Blair
Harry Reno Blankenship
Charles Andrew Blocher
Richard Harold Blust
Warren (also William in error) Albert Boebert
Otto Martin Boerner
Robert Mervin Bogart
Samual/Samuel Booker
John Paul Boyd
Daniel Frederick Brach
Thomas Brader
James McKnight Bradford, Jr.
Redding A Braxton, Jr.
William Armond Brehm, Jr.
Earle Robinson Brown
George Brownlee, Jr.
James Rudolph Burton
Raymond Butler
Berton Johnson Byers
James Alfred Campbell
Raymond Francis Carpenter
Wallace Richard Carper
Page Herman Carter
Thomas Joseph Casa
Raphael Cervera, Jr.
John Chencharik
Sanford Lee Childers
Robert George Clark
William Brougham Clark
James Cleveland
Harold Eugene Clift
Howard Cochrane
Richard Kendall Cockey
William John Collins
Salvatore Joseph Collusi
Francis Michael Conlon
Garrett Joseph Connolly
James Loren Cook, Jr.
Chester Guy Cooke, Jr.
Burl J Cooley
Carl Robert Cooper
Donald Gilbert Countryman
Aaron Cousin
Olin Roy Cousino
Edward Lee Crain
Sylvester Craven
Dalton Burtum Creaser
James Joseph Creevay
Edward Anthony Cronauer, Jr.
Herman Harold Crouser
Robert Preston? Peter? Crowder
Henry Robert Crum
Charles LaVern Damon
Clarence Weed Davis
Charles Brant Deer
Arthur R DeFields
Meir Hershtenkorn Degani
Frank Nicholas DeRupo
Ernest Leonel Descheneaux
Parker R Despain
Max Earl Dey
Albert Joseph DiPastina
Charles A(ddison) Dodge
A W Doherty
William Louis Dommerich
Charles James Dorrian
Richard Frederic Douglas
Arthur Fleming Drant, Jr.
Robert Milton Drew
Thomas Stephen Dunstan
Michael Duzmati
Jack Joseph Edwards
John Robert Edwards
Edward William Edwards
Arlo Eugene Ellis
William Elmer Ellis
Donald Charles Elmore
Andrew Jackson Ely, Jr.
Albert Craft Emmett, Jr.
Spencer Joseph Emery Ettman
Harry Wesley Eumont, Jr.
Burton Sandiford Evans
George Joseph Fager
Pete Richard Federoff
Lester M Ferguson
Thomas Frank Fiorini
Martin Joseph Fotusky
Victor John Fox
Steven Knowlton Fox, Jr.
Richard Llewellyn Francis
William Joseph Franey
Frank Stevall Frazier
Robert Lee Frederick
Emanuel Friedman
Michael Joseph Gaglio
Amadeo Galli, Jr.
Julius Emanuel Garber
James L Garnes
Richard Hamilton Garrison
Ira Elmer Garver, Jr.
John G Gay
Benjamin Johnson Gibbs
John Gigarjian
William Francis Gilligan
John David Gillis
Thomas Edward Gilmore
John Thomas Gleeson
John Richard Glenn
Philip Sheldon Godfrey
Walter Edward Gray
William Arthur Green
William Albert Greffin
Clifford Thomas Grein
Buford Aubry Griggs
Henry George Grossman
Nicholas Gulich
Harry Roland Gustafson
Anthony George Gutsch
George Seaman Hallman
Floyd Philip Hallstrom
Francis Charles Hanggi
Richard Stanton Harbster
George Emery Harmon
Louis Monroe Harper, Jr.
Bernard Lee Harvey
Alfred Maxwell Haseltine
James Adelbert Hauser
Charles Frederick Havemeyer
Earthy Lee Hawkins, Jr.
Eugene Hayden
John J Hayes
Harold Berton Hendershot
Odis Henderson
Robert John Hendricks
Percy Eugene Henneman
Howard E Henry
Rolla Harold Hoffmeister
Robert Richard Holmquist
Stephen G(arret?) Holster
Albert Edward Homewood, Jr.
Harold Victor Horn
George Thomas Horrigan
Joseph Henry Hoser, Jr.
Kenneth Melvin Howarth
John Joseph Howes
Edward Davis Howland
Joseph Ovila Huard
Walter Hudgins
Bernard Joseph Hughes
George Waldo Humphrey
Daniel Frederick Hurley
Sumner Kinney Hushing
Harold Wayne Hushour
Rinaldo Biagio Iannettone
Nealon Lewis Johnson
Homer Dowell Johnson
Lonnie Johnson
Daniel Johnson
Gordon Ronald Johnson
Joseph Johnson, Jr.
Burris Beaty Jones
Charles Jordan
Julian Paul Kaczynski
George Richard Kaufmann
James William Keating, Jr.
Randall Manuel Keator, Jr.
Francis Woods Keefe
George Donald Kelly
Herbert Fairfax Kendall III
George Vincent Killoran
William Leroy Kirchhoff
Gordon Denslow Kissam
Alvin Leanda Knox
Alexander Joseph Kotarba
Henry Francis Kroupa
George Albert Krueger
Paul Francis Kruyer
Martin John Kuck
Bernard Richard Kuprewicz
George La Roy
Arthur Donot LaBrecque
Clifford Everett Lamplough
Ned Landis Lamprecht
John Joseph Lane
Edward Lawrence Larsen
Auther Claud Lawler
Charles A(ubrey) Lea
James Francis Ledwith
Louis/Lewis E Lee
Paul Lenchuk
Abraham Levy
Kenneth Jenners Libby
Clarence Livingstone
John William Lomas
Harold Reynolds Love
George Love
Alexander Lulic
Stephen Lupco
William Frederick Luthmann
Francis James Lynch
John Bistis Lyon
James Stoughton MacBride
Francis Lawrence MacDonald
Donald M Mackie
Charles Wight MacQuoid
Michael William Magenheimer
Paul Magera
Angelo Maiorano
Harold Wallace Manner
Olden Manning
Thurlow Winsfield Manzie
Albert Frederick Manzke
James Marvin Marcus
George Ernest Marra
Bruce Harold Martin
Donald Edward McAllister
Francis Homer McCoy
Francis McDiarmid
Ulysses McFadden
Gilbert McGhee
John McGhie
James Francis McGovern, Jr
William H McInnis
James Stanley McKee
John Charles McNicol
Richard Elmo McPhail
Richard Edward Mercer
Theodore Charles Metzing
Irwin Earle Meyer
Henry John Meyer, Jr.
Louis Ludwig Milano
Carl Lester Miller
Dwight Robert Miller
John Mirgo, Jr.
Earle McK Mitchell
Wilson Broaddus Moberly
James Eli Monte
Charles Waymon Moody
Doris Clinton Mooney
John Earl Morgan
Charles Milne Morris
Joseph John Muller
Ben Ashenhurst Muse
Tolbert William Nash, Jr.
Edgar Vernon Neer
Frank White Nesbitt
William Mortimer Newman
Orla Ezra Nichols, Jr.
Stanley Thomas Niciejewski (Stanley Thomas Nichols)
Alfred Lester Nickles
Henry John Niemczyk
Anthony Nigro
Joseph Francis Nolan
Edwin Lathrope Oakley
Robert Davidson O’Brien
Edward Daniel O’Connell
Eugene Martin O’Connell
William Henry Oesterle
James Thomas O’Hagan
Erhard Linus Olson
Thomas Augustine O’Neil
Theodore Louis Ormsby
Eugene Patrick O’Shea
Henry John O’Toole
Julio Sabila Pacalioga
Michael Angelo Paladino
Will P Parker
Walter Leo Parks
Tilford E Patterson
John Herbert Peach
Richard Burton Peacock
Russell Ralph Peck
Nicholas Pegan
William Ganeric Petrushonis
Ardrey Vernon Peyton
John Louie Pineault, Jr.
Meredith Pippens
William Edward Pitt
James William Plant, Jr.
Rebo Pope
William Bibbins Post
Milton Powell
John Bell Power
Thomas Francis Powers
Mark Foster Preston
Lawrence Augustus Pyle, Jr.
Edward Walter Ranski
William Luke Reedy
Louis Rene Richards
James Michael Riley
Braulio Riqueza
William James Robb
James Walter Robertson
William Gaston Robinson
William Rogers
John Francis Ronkovitz
Max Wilburn Rood
Arthur Tracy Row, Jr.
Irwin Rubin
Angel Louis Ruiz
Tommie Rush, Jr.
Eugene Vapor Sagaral
Joseph Lawrence Sakmar
William Richard Salomons, Jr.
Mario Pat Saponaro
Servillano Sayaman
Charles Owen Schauss
Peter Anthony Schmanski
Henry Raymond Schneider
Robert Forest Segar
James Joseph Senft
Albert Severino
William Sexton
George Preston Seybolt
William Patrick Shea, Jr.
Francis Lynde Sherwood
Thomas Charles Shubert, Jr.
Jules George Sills
Michael Joseph Silvasie
Solomon Silverman
Stanley David Simon
Edward Simon
Joseph Edward Sims
James Howard Singleton
George W Sizemore
Quay Henderson Smith
Isiah Smith
Lasal Smith
Theodore Soltys
Carl Gottlob Sommer
John Leon Sorota
Christopher Sottile
Joseph Emerson Spence, Jr.
Floyd Everett Spencer
Henry Eller Staley
Robert James Stanslow
Albert Thomas Stephens
William Dixon Stevens
Ray N? Stewart
Harrison Stone
Carl Stone
Richard Harry Stortz
Iliff Ira Strahan
James Ralph Strain
Frank Joseph Strakosch
Francis Joseph Suchowiecki
Earl Eugene Sullivan
Cornelius Martin Sullivan
Anthony Charles Susinno
Ernest Herbert Swaggart
Andrew Mertens Swarthout
Charles Julian Symington, Jr.
Herman Joseph Taroli
Ernest Rudolph Tashea
Edwin Garth Taylor
George Eugene Tessier
Leonard Francis Therrien
Henry Francis Thomas
Willie Melvin Thompson
Kenneth Edward Thompson
Roy M Thompson
Edwin Thorne
P J Tiffany
James Edward Tiner
Joseph Michael Torres
Richard Prescott True
Frank Truhn, Jr.
Stornes Tucker, Jr.
Elster Johannessen Tufte
Ernest William Turnbull
William Walter Turney
Louis George Uljon
Draper Jack Underwood
Benjamin Vencheski
Anthony Joseph Viviano
Joseph Benedict Volente
Oscar Truman Walker
James Eugene Walker
Franklin Leroy Walter
Robie Leslie Waugh
Stanley Jerome Wazbinski
Ralph Leland Weber
John Dickson Webster
Louis Mario Weinman
Richard Lewis Weis
Leroy Matthew Weiss
George James Welsh
James Taylor Wenman
Carl J Westbrook
Daniel Wheeler
Wellesley Plant Wheeler
Harrison Gates White
David Quentin White
William E Whitney
Julius Peter Wilkowski
Leroy Allen Williams
Edelbert Eugene Williams
John Franklin Wilson, Jr.
Arthur Thomas Wincek
Lester Burton Wood
Lloyd Elmer Woodworth
Marvin Glenn Wright
Lowell Eugene Wright
Carl Young
Ira LaFlorrid Zeek, Jr.
Vincent Joseph Zemalkowski