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The United States Navy Memorial

Navy Memorial Honoring the Men & Women of the Sea Services



Friday, June 12, 1942
Torpedoed in the Caribbean
The SS Sixaola was en route from the Canal Zone to New Orleans, Louisiana, via Guatemala carrying Army trucks and cargo on June 12, 1942 with 87 merchant marine crew, 6 Armed Guard, and 108 passengers. Two minutes after being struck by two torpedoes Captain William H. Fagan ordered the ship abandoned.Mrs. Edna T. Johansson, the first female recipient of the Merchant Marine Combat Bar with Star, was a stewardess aboard the liner SS Sixaola. Twenty-nine crew members died in the explosions. After all survivors were aboard 5 lifeboats and 6 rafts, the ship's boiler exploded. The U-159 questioned the crew about the ship and its cargo. Some of the survivors were rescued by the SS Carolinian, USS Niagara, and Army Tug Shasta. 42 others in one lifeboat made Panama in 4 days.

Lost At Sea Log

Number of sailors in this log: 29

Namesort ascending Service Branch
Steward Charles Young USMM
Messman Claiborne Young USMM
Steward Willie Wyatt USMM
Messman Henry Williams USMM
Utility Willie Williams USMM
Utility Willie Washington USMM
Steward Cecil Wagner USMM
Night Engineer Levy Verrett USMM
Messman Sebastian Vaughan USMM
A.B. Vincente Suitado USMM
Waiter John Smith USMM
Messman William Prudeaux USMM
Waiter John Michel USMM
Waiter Ernest Joseph USMM
Waiter Walter Jenkins USMM
Storekeeper Joseph Hobbs USMM
Utility Bernard Gill USMM
Porter Samuel Funderburk USMM
Messman John Franklin USMM
Steward Manuel Fernandez USMM