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Ernest Michael McSorley
Birth: Sep. 29, 1912
Leeds and Grenville United Counties
Ontario, Canada
Death: Nov. 10, 1975
Whitefish Point
Chippewa County
Michigan, USA

Captain of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Born in Canada, Ernest Michael McSorley moved to the United States in 1924 with his family when he was a child and was raised in Ogdensburg, New York. With his home near the St. Lawrence Seaway, he had been around boating and ships his entire life. McSorley started sailing as a deckhand aboard ocean-going freighters when he was 18 years old. He began working with freshwater freighters as a wheelsman. He later moved to Toledo, Ohio and achieved the title of 3rd and 2nd Mate before becoming the youngest Captain on the Great Lakes. He had commanded nine other vessels by the time he became the Captain of the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1972 and was considered as a skillful master and veteran mariner. He had planned to retire from shipping in 1976. Captain McSorley was lost to the sea when the Edmund Fitzgerald sank on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975. All 29 of the crew members perished in the disaster. The Edmund Fitzgerald was an ore bulk carrying freighter that was first launched in 1958 and was the largest boat on the Great Lakes for over a decade. During its final voyage, the freighter had shipped off from Wisconsin en route to a steel mill near Detroit, Michigan carrying a 26,000 ton load of iron ore taconite pellets. Near the mouth of Whitefish Bay, the ship experienced a hurricane-like storm and problems began to mount. The cargo hold flooded and shifted the load which resulted in the loss of the ship's stability. The ship was then overwhelmed when it cut between two large waves and smacked into a third. Almost immediately the ship was under water at a downward angle. The Edmund Fitzgerald torpedoed to the bottom and split in two when it hit the floor of the lake. The last message that was received from the vessel was from a radio correspondence from McSorley at 19:10 reporting that "We are holding our own." The ship sank a few minutes later. McSorley and the others were never recovered. (bio by: K Guy) 
Family links: 
  Michael Joseph McSorley (1877 - 1971)
  Catherine Black McSorley (1884 - 1917)
  Nellie L. McSorley (1910 - 1993)*
  John Francis McSorley (1907 - 1993)*
  Ernest Michael McSorley (1912 - 1975)
*Calculated relationship

Cause of death: Shpwreck
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
Chippewa County
Michigan, USA
Plot: Cenotaph
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Apr 08, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 21175
Ernest Michael McSorley
Added by: Creative Commons
Ernest Michael McSorley
Added by: Barnard/OConnor/Wolford
Ernest Michael McSorley
Added by: Michael Merce
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