S.S. Joseph Wheeler

Merchant Marine Flag

U.S. Merchant Ship
World War II
   
All lettering shown in " BLUE " on this website are links
   
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S.S. Joseph Wheeler
( Photo ~ after the attack )


" Special Thanks go to the Remarkable Website ":

American Merchant Marine

" usmm.org "

Please visit this great websites for more by
clicking above !

 
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WW II
 

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Progress

This page last updated:

December 7, 2019


Destroyed on December 2, 1943 the " S.S. Joseph Wheeler " reportedly lost " 41 " men !

( " 26 " Merchant Mariners and " 15 " Navy Armed Guard are listed below )

Still researching for possibly " 1 " other !

     On December 2, 1943 the " S.S. Joseph Wheeler " was in the Bari, Italy Port waiting to either " load " or " unload " cargo.   Also in port that day was the " S.S. John Harvey " that was loaded with a secret cargo: 2,000 M47A1 mustard gas bombs, each of which held 60-70 lbs of sulfur mustard.   The Port was attacked by 105 German Junkers Ju 88 bombers of Luftflotte 2.   The bombers achieved surprise and bombed shipping and personnel operating in support of the Allied Italian Campaign.

     The " S.S. Joseph Wheeler " was destroyed and eventually sank along with the other " 27 " ships noted below, in what has become known as the " Bari Port Disaster " in a huge explosion which caused the liquid sulfur mustard on the " S.S. John Harvey " to spill into the water, mixing with oil from the sunken ships, and a cloud of sulfur mustard vapor to blow over the city.   It is believed that nearly all crewmen of the " S.S. John L. Motley " perished in the sinking   The rescuers were prevented from knowing the danger they faced until a " M47A1 " bomb fragment was retrieved from the wreckage.

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The ship Master / Captain of the " S.S. Joseph Wheeler " was:

Patrick Morrissey

" Cenotaph "

He resided in Newport News, Virginia prior to the war.

Patrick was lost in this sinking !

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     The " Bari Disaster " included the sinking of " 25 " ships, another " 3 " becoming a total loss, another " 12 " damaged, and killing over " 1,000 " people.   A total of 628 military victims were also hospitalized with "mustard gas symptoms" and by the end of the month, " 83 " of them had died.   The number of civilian casualties was thought to have been even greater.

The " 28 " ship's sunk or lost included:

Ardito
( Italy )

Aube
( Italy )

Barletta
( Italy )

Bollsta
( Norway )

Cassala
( Italian )

Corfu
( Italian )

Devon Coast
( British )

S.S.
Fort Athabasca

( British )

Fort Lajoie
( British )

Frosinone
( Italian )

Genespesca II
( Italian )

Goggiam
( Italian )

Inaffondabile
( Italian )

S.S.
John Bascom

( U.S. )

S.S.
John Harvey

( U.S. )

S.S.
John L. Motley

( U.S. )

S.S.
Joseph Wheeler

( U.S. )

S.S.
Lars Kruse

( British )

Lom
( Norway )

Luciano Orlando
( Italy )

Lwow
( Polish )

MB 10
( Italian )

S.S.
Norlom

( Norway )

Porto Pisano
( Italy )

Puck
( Polish )

S.S.
Samuel J. Tilden
( U.S. )

Testbank
( British )

Volodda
( Italian )


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     The following below list was created in the memory of those who "Gave Their All" on the " S.S. Joseph Wheeler ".   There are personal "online memorials" for each of these honored men that were created for them by using the "Find A Grave" website.   You will see a blue " Yes " behind their names and by clicking on the " Yes " you will see a personal memorial that has been created for them by myself or someone else.


Key to Abbreviations and Notes

MM     =  Awarded the " Mariner's Medal " ~ ( Awarded to the Merchant Marines for being wounded, Missing or Killed In Action )

MM *  =  Awarded the " Combat Bar " ~ ( Awarded to those who are under combat conditions )

MM **  =  Awarded the " Combat Star " ~ ( Awarded to those who are forced to abandon ship when attacked or damaged )

MM-DSM  =  Awarded the Mariner's " Distinguished Service Medal " ~ ( Awarded for " Heroism Beyond the Call of Duty " )

PH     =  Awarded the "Purple Heart" ~ ( Awarded to soldiers & sailors for being Wounded and/or Killed in action )

Other Medals  =  Such as Good Conduct Medals, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medals, American Defense Service Medals, etc. " Are Not " included in this listing.

  =  Picture of person shown on online memorial

  =  Picture of tombstone shown on online memorial

Cenotaph  =  A memorial stone only  ~  " OR "  ~  Remains not recovered  ~  " OR "  ~  Interred somewhere unknown.

( www.usmm.org/medals.html )        

Quick Link by first letter of Last Name for the " S.S. Joseph Wheeler "

( Those letters shown below in " Maroon " below had no one on this ship )

A ] - B ] - C ] - D ] - E ] - F ]

G ] - H ] - I ] - J ] - K ] - L ]

M ] - N ] - O ] - P ] - Q ] - R ]

S ] - T ] - U ] - V ] - W ] - X ] - Y ] - Z ]

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Apligian,  Edward
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Seaman
First Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
Michigan
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Babbin,  John J., Jr.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Fireman /
Watertender
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Massachusetts
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Baggot,  Edwin B.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Able-Bodied
Seaman
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Michigan
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Bain,  Donald I.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Seaman
First Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
Massachusetts
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Barnard,  William R.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Able-Bodied
Seaman
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Arkansas
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
De Ann
Cemetery
Prescott, AR
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Betten,  Otto J.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Chief
Engineer
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Pennsylvania
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Mount Zion
Cemetery
Chester Cty, Pa
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Blome,  Cornelius F.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Cook
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Ohio
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Woodland
Cemetery
Monroe, MI
" Yes "
Cenotaph

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Childress,  Clarence E.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Third
Engineer
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
New York
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Clyburn,  Frank G.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Seaman
Second Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
South Carolina
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Cook,  John H.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

First
Engineer
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Florida
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Cowan,  John D.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Seaman
First Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
North Carolina
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Devine,  Carl B.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Seaman
First Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
Kentucky
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Dragan,  Joseph M.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Gunner's
Mate
Third Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
Connecticut
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Drexler,  John P.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Seaman
First Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
Pennsylvania
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

Last Names starting with " E " ~ " There Were None ! "

Last Names starting with " F " ~ " There Were None ! "

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Gardner,  Eugene J.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Oiler
" Ship Crew "
Merchant Marine
New York
Killed In Action

December 2, 1943
St. Peter's
Cemetery
Oswego, NY
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Garner,  Ralph A.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Seaman
First Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
South Carolina
Killed In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Gordon,  John F.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Seaman
First Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
New Jersey
Killed In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Graney,  Willliam C., Jr.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Seaman
First Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
Massachusetts
Killed In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Grech,  Paul
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Chief
Cook
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
New York
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Greene,  James W.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Seaman
First Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
Tennessee
Killed In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Hickey,  Gerald F.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Able-Bodied
Seaman
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
New York
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Holyoak,  Arthur
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Ordinary
Seaman
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Ohio
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Hooks,  Joseph F.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Oiler
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
New Jersey
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Hubbard,  Robert L.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Seaman
First Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
Maryland
Killed In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

Last Names starting with " I " ~ " There Were None ! "

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Johnson,  Mark W., III
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Purser
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Georgia
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Greenwich
Cemetery
Savannah, GA
" Yes "
Cenotaph

Last Names starting with " K " ~ " There Were None ! "

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Lesniak,  Joseph
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Able-Bodied
Seaman
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Illinois
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  List,  Norman T.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Seaman
First Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
Michigan
Killed In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  McFarlane,  Roy R.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Fireman /
Watertender
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Wisconsin
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Miller,  Lyndahl A.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Coxswain
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
Indiana
Killed In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Morris,  Carleton D.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Radio
Officer
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Ohio
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Morrissey,  Patrick
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Master
" Captain "
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Virginia
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Nobles,  Eugene
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Bosun
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
New York
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

Last Names starting with " O " ~ " There Were None ! "

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Page,  Don D.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Oiler
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Colorado
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

Last Names starting with " Q " ~ " There Were None ! "

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Rodenas,  Toribio
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Deck
Engineer
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
New York
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Rorie,  John B., Jr.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Ordinary
Seaman
" Ship Crew "
Merchant Marine
North Carolina
Killed In Action

December 2, 1943
Prospect U.M.
Church Cemetery
Monroe, NC
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Ryan,  William J.
          PH ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Seaman
First Class
" Armed Guard "
U.S. Navy
Massachusetts
Killed In Action

December 2, 1943
Sicily-Rome
American Cemetery
Italy
" Yes "
Cenotaph

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Sears,  Daniel W.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Third
Mate
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
New York
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Sheldon,  William D.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Ordinary
Seaman
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
New York
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

  Swisher,  Bernard E.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ 

Messman
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Maryland
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Rest Haven
Cemetery
Hagerstown, MD
" Yes "
Cenotaph

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Tait,  William M.
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Ordinary
Seaman
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Illinois
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

Last Names starting with " U " ~ " There Were None ! "

Last Names starting with " V " ~ " There Were None ! "

   Last Name, First Name, M.I.
          Awards ~ Place Of Passing ~Photos
Military
Rank
Branch
of Service
State / Country
Cause of Death
Date Of Passing
Cemetery /
Memorial
For Online
Memorial
Click on
" Yes "

  Weiss,  William
          MM ** ~ Bari, Italy ~ n/a

Fireman /
Watertender
" Ship's Crew "
Merchant Marine
Ohio
Missing In Action

December 2, 1943
Cemetery /
Memorial
" Not Found "
" Yes "
Cenotaph

Last Names starting with " X " ~ " There Were None ! "

Last Names starting with " Y " ~ " There Were None ! "

Last Names starting with " Z " ~ " There Were None ! "

Email any questions or comments to:

Russ Pickett

( russpickde@comcast.net )