Fireman on the passenger ship Ceramic.
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Author:  rbrewr [ 13 Nov 2016 04:19 ]
Post subject:  Fireman on the passenger ship Ceramic.

Joseph GASCIULLI, died 7th December 1942. A Fireman on the passenger ship Ceramic. Launched at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast in 1913 this ship was in regular use between England and Australia before WWII. He was on board when it left Liverpool on 26th November bound for Australia via South Africa. There was a total of 657 persons on board. During the night of the 6th/7th December they were off the Azores in the Central Atlantic when the ship was hit by a torpedo fired by a German U-boat. A couple of minutes later two more torpedoes struck the ship. Even though it was dark several lifeboats were launched. The ship remained afloat until three hours later when it was again torpedoed and sank. The weather was very bad, causing a very rough sea. The U-boat surfaced around noon. There were many dead bodies and emply lifebelts floating in the sea. Sapper Eric Munday of the Royal Engineers was pulled from the sea by crewmen of the submarine. The strong winds and high waves forced the German Captain to submerge again. Sapper Munday was the only survivor and was landed in Europe to be placed in a Prisoner-of-War camp. Of the 656 persons who died that night there were 264 members of the crew, 244 military personnel mainly nurses from the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, and 133 fare-paying passengers

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