As I was flipping though the pages of an old album, a small faded photograph of a sailor in his uniform fell onto the floor! 📷
I picked it up and didn’t recognize the person.
As the family historian, I feel as though I can identify everyone, regardless of age in a photograph.
Curious, I contacted a relative and within a few moments, I had my answer.
The sailor in the photograph was Alexander Crime. He worked as an Oiler on the SS Proteus
He was the brother-in-law of a very close uncle.
I never knew him, so I searched for information about him on the internet.
To my surprise, a distant relative had published her family tree.
Below Alexander’s picture were the words, Lost at Sea.
Puzzled, I wondered what could have happened to him?
I’d never heard anything about him before?
The Disappearance of the SS Proteus
The Proteus was a US Navy Bulk Carrier before being sold and used to transport shipments of bauxite.
On November 13, 1941, she sailed from St. Thomas en route to Portland, Maine and vanished without a trace!
Since November 23rd, the ship has never been heard from again!
Strangely, her sister ship, the SS Nereus met the same fate!
She left St. Thomas a month later on December 10, 1941.
Articles on the internet banter back and forth as to whether the ships were lost in the Bermuda Triangle, sunk because of a design flaw in their hulls or torpedoed by enemy fire.
No one knows for sure.
Condolences to the Family
A kind gesture of a letter from Buckingham Palace was sent to offer condolences to the families of the lost.
The Canadian Virtual War Memorial lists the names of those that perished.
I wonder how many Virgin Islanders were lost on this vessel?
As I tucked the photograph back into the album, it saddened me to think of my relatives mourning the loss of a loved one. 😔
Copyright © 2016 Valerie Sims. All Rights Reserved.