Military History/SS Coamo - Operation Torch
Hi Richard, I see you are an expert on US ships in Operation Torch. I am trying to locate a late uncle of mine who was a merchant ship's engineer and according to family history lost at sea during WW2. His name was Eric Mitchell Morgan. I believe he may have been serving on the SS Coamo when it was lost.I am trying to track crew lists and the movements of Coamo between September and December 1942. I live in New Zealand and no one in my family can tell me what, where, and how he was lost. I think the Coamo left Algiers around Nov 23 which suggests to that she was part of Operation Torch. I know he sailed from Liverpool to New York in late August 1942 on a Norwegian ship but have no records for later sailings. His probate record says lost around Dec 5 1942 which seems to align with the Coamo's sinking but do not know where to check crew lists for American ships or even how he would have signed on when being part of the British merchant register. The only British record has the annotation DEAD so I am clutching a little at straws. Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated. Kind Regards,
Thank you for your question. As to your comment about my being "an expert on US ships in Operation Torch" you are most kind.
In your question you typed "the movements of the Coamo between September and December 1942." Departing the island of Trinidad, the SS Coamo arrived at Baltimore, Maryland September 18, 1942. Departing Baltimore on September 20, 1942, the SS Coamo sailed to the New York Port of Embarkation where she was scheduled for a month of repairs.
Departing the New York P of E on October 26, 1942, the SS Coamo arrived at Liverpool, England on November 6, 1942. Sailing north to Gourock, Scotland, the SS Coamo took on troops & supplies, then departed Gourock November 14, 1942. Via the Straits of Gibraltar, the SS Coamo arrived at Algiers, Algeria, North Africa November 23, 1942. Since Operation TORCH was November 8-11, 1942, the SS Coamo was technically in the follow-up convoy in support of Operation TORCH.
Unloading quickly, the SS Coamo departed Algiers November 23, 1942. Via the Straits of Gibraltar (November 26, 1942) the SS Coamo was ordered by the Admiralty on December 1, 1942 to leave the convoy & sail independently to Great Britain. The following day the SS Coamo was sunk.
As to other locations to request FACTS from, the only two suggestions I have are:
US Army Heritage & Education Center
Carlisle Barracks PA 17013-5050
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Department of the Navy
Naval Historical Center
805 Kidder Breese S.E.
Washington Navy Yard
Washington DC 20374-5060
I sincerely wish you the best of luck with your quest. I am sure that Mr. E.M. Morgan looks upon your efforts with pride that his ultimate sacrifice to the Allied war effort has NOT been forgotten.
Richard V. Horrell
WW 2 Connections
211 Union St. #611
Nashville TN 37201-1502