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Ernest Michael McSorley
Cenotaph

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Ernest Michael McSorley Famous memorial

Birth
Spencerville, Leeds and Grenville United Counties, Ontario, Canada
Death
10 Nov 1975 (aged 63)
Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, Michigan, USA
Cenotaph
Paradise, Chippewa County, Michigan, USA GPS-Latitude: 46.770657, Longitude: -84.9581139
Plot
Cenotaph - (Body Lost at Sea)
Memorial ID
View Source
Nautical Figure. He was the last captain of the ill-fated Great Lakes freighter, the "Edmund Fitzgerald." Born in Spencerville, Ontario, 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 with him. 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 the final voyage, the freighter had shipped off from Wisconsin in 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. The remains of McSorley and the others were never recovered. Canadian folk-singer, Gordon Lightfoot, brought the disaster to the public eye with his composition and performance of the 1976 haunting ballad, "The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald." The song reached #1 in Canada and #2 in the United States on the Billboard Top 100 Hits.
Nautical Figure. He was the last captain of the ill-fated Great Lakes freighter, the "Edmund Fitzgerald." Born in Spencerville, Ontario, 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 with him. 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 the final voyage, the freighter had shipped off from Wisconsin in 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. The remains of McSorley and the others were never recovered. Canadian folk-singer, Gordon Lightfoot, brought the disaster to the public eye with his composition and performance of the 1976 haunting ballad, "The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald." The song reached #1 in Canada and #2 in the United States on the Billboard Top 100 Hits.

Bio by: K Guy


Inscription

✝︎
Lost in the sinking of the
Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: Apr 7, 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID:
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/21175/ernest_michael-mcsorley: accessed ), memorial page for Ernest Michael McSorley (29 Sep 1912–10 Nov 1975), Find a Grave Memorial ID 21175, citing Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Paradise, Chippewa County, Michigan, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave.