|Birth: ||Aug. 22, 1906|
|Death: ||Nov. 18, 1958|
🌹Capt. Roland O. Bryan, age 52
Master, SS Carl D. Bradley
Perished at Sea-Lake Michigan
Body Never Recovered
Resided in Loudonville, New York
Captain Roland O. Bryan was from Loudonville, New York, and was Master of the SS Carl D. Bradley when he passed away at age 52 on November 18, 1958.
The SS Carl D Bradley was built in 1923-1927 and launched on April 9, 1927 in Lorain, Ohio, the largest self-unloading steamer of her day, and sister ship of the SS Cedarville which also sank. The ship was built by the American Ship Building Company in Lorain, Ohio, owned by the Michigan Limestonedivision of U.S. Steel, and operated by the Bradley Transportation Line. The ship was known as the "Queen of the Lakes" until 1949 and was the longest and largest freighter on the Great Lakes in hey day. The ship hauled limestone from the Michigan Limestone Quary in Rogers City, Michigan, which was her home port in winter layovers. Though New York City was registered as her home port Rogers City came to be known as her true home port and is where most if the crewmen were from. The ship entered the Calcite harbor for the first time on July 28, 1927.
The Bradley was scheduled for repairs that winter of 1958 to have a new cargo hold fitted due to rusting. Her sinking is believed to be likely caused by brittle steel used in her construction, which caused overly excessive twisting and bending in bad weather.
Capt. Bryan and his crew met their fateful day on November 18, 1958 after delivering a load of crushed stone in Gary, Indian, and rather than head to Manitowoc, Wisconsin for winter repairs the ship and crew were heading back to Roger City, Michigan for one last load they were called to deliver at the last moment. The ships path took them directly into the treacherous storm. Capt. Bryan was was known as a "heavy weather captain" which meant he would push through wretched storms to deliver his cargo on time. Although the storm was growing worse with intensity It was not considered for concern to this weather tough captain and his equally tough crew, and with the Bradley riding smoothly, it was thought the ship could handle the rough seas. This was not the case. Approximately 12 miles southwest of Gull Island in Lake Michigan the ship experienced structural problems and soon split in two within the raging of the seas. Only four crewmen reached the lifeboat and only two of the four survived the terrible ordeal.
The German Cargo Ship Christian Satori witnessed the sinking of the Bradley through their binoculars. The ship's lights went out and only the ship's silhouette remained dimly seen in the darkness. An explosion was heard as fire shot high, blazing into the night's sky. As they came to realize the ship was sinking they turned their course around to sail into the storm which made progress to the location a crawl, and yet the Christian Satori set their sights on a rescue mission. It has been said that Capt. Bryan was seen standing on the deck refusing to leave his ship as she sank, and at least two other crewmen were seen remaining loyal at their Captain's side, not wanting that he should face this terrible death alone. It was the last time the ship was seen. It was a tragedy as 33 crewmen including the captain lost their lives that night. Only 2 men survived, the First Mate and the Deck Watchman, who were to be a witness to the tale of the horrible experience in the wretched gale storms of that November's fateful day. Deckhand Gary Strzelecki was found alive as well, but he died not long after he was rescued. During the following day's search 17 more bodies were found, all wearing lifejackets. 15 crewmen were never found.
In the final reports the Commandant of the US Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Richmond stated on Captain Bryan's 21 years of high standings in navigations in Michigan history of the Great Lakes and was not negligent, and that it was reported the ship was sailing smoothly just before sinking. He is remembered with an impeccable record. The sinking was due to structural weaknesses caused by defects which gave way under unforgiving stress. There was not a family living in Roger City, Michigan who were not touched in some way by the sinking of the SS Carl D. Bradley and the 33 men lost in her crew.
On Aug 9, 1997 a memorial in Lakeside Park, Rogers City, Michigan was dedicated to the memory of the men who died on the Bradley as well as on the Cedarville.
May this good man of the seas, Captain Roland O. Bryan rest in peace.
Remembering the crew of the Carl D. Bradley | Presque Isle Advance
SS Bradley Crewmen Lost in the Sinking Under Captain Roland O. Bryan:
(† Bodies not recovered)
✶Captain Roland O. Bryan, 52, Loudonville, New York, Master †
✶Carl Bartell, 25, Rogers City, Michigan, Third Mate
✶John L. Bauers, 30, Rogers City, Michigan, First Assistant Engineer †
✶Douglas J. Bellmore, 34, Onaway, Michigan, Porter †
✶Duane W. Berg, 25, Rogers City, Michigan, Deckhand †
✶Alfred F. Boehmer, 32, Rogers City, Michigan, Second Assistant Engineer
✶Richard J. Book, 26, Portsmouth, Iowa, Deckwatch
✶Alva H. Budnick, 26, Rogers City, Michigan, Watchman
✶Raymond G. Buehler, 59, Lakewood, Ohio, Chief Engineer †
✶William T. Elliott, 26, Rogers City, Michigan, Repairman
✶Clyde M. Enos, 30; Cheboygan, Michigan, Stokerman †
✶Erhardt O. Felax, 47, Rogers City, Michigan, Stokerman
✶John F. Fogelsonger, 31, St. Ignace, Michigan, Second Mate †
✶Cleland E. Gager, 30, Onaway, Michigan, Oiler
✶Paul A. Greengtski, 23, Posen, Michigan, Watchman †
✶Paul C. Heller, 45, Rogers City, Michigan, Stokerman
✶Paul Robert "Pete" Horn, 21, Rogers City, Michigan, Oiler
✶Dennis M. Joppich, 19, Rogers City, Michigan, Wiper †
✶Raymond J. Kowalski, 31, Rogers City, Michigan, Wheelsman
✶Joseph Krawczak, 35, Rogers City, Michigan, Wheelsman
✶Floyd A. MacDougall, 26, Rogers City, Michigan, Oiler †
✶Dennis B. Meredith, 25; Metz Township, Michigan, Deckhand †
✶Melville W. Orr, 35, Rogers City, Michigan, Watchman †
✶Alfred G. Pilarski, 30, Rogers City, Michigan, Second Cook
✶Gary N. Price, 21, Onaway, Michigan, Deckhand
✶Leo J. Promo, Jr., 21, Rogers City, Michigan, Asst. Conveyorman
✶Bernard J. Schefke, 19, Rogers City, Michigan, Porter
✶Keith H. Schuler, 34, Rogers City, Michigan, Third Assistant Engineer †
✶James L. Selke, 18, Rogers City, Michigan, Porter †
✶Gary L. Strzelecki, 21, Rogers City, Michigan, Deckwatch
✶Earl P. Tulgetske, Jr, 30, Rogers City, Michigan, Wheelsman †
✶Edward N. Vallee, 49, Rogers City, Michigan, Conveyorman
✶John Zoho, 63; Clairton, Pennsylvania, Steward
Wikipedia - SS Carl D Bradley
1958 SS Carl D. Bradley Sinking
Body lost at sea
Specifically: Body never recovered.
Maintained by: Jim Ditton
Originally Created by: Little✿Birdஐ...
Record added: May 28, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 111363337