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Able Seaman Jack Kleinberg & the SS Raceland
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Adam Brown
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Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:15 pm    Post subject: Able Seaman Jack Kleinberg & the SS Raceland Reply with quote

In Piershill Cemetery, Edinburgh there is a memorial to local Jewish servicemen. Thanks to our member MagsD we know that one of the WW2 names is Jack Kleinberg, aged 25 of the Merchant Navy.

He is listed on the SNWM database but not the CWGC one

Surname: KLEINBERG
Forename: Jack
Rank: Able Seaman
Place of birth: Glasgow
Date of death: 28 March 1942
Theatre of death: Unknown
SNWM roll: MERCHANT NAVY & FISHING FLEETS (Part 1)
Unit attached to MERCHANT NAVY & FISHING FLEETS
Other detail S.S. "RACELAND"

I can find Mess Boy Roy Currie from Canada as being the only "Raceland" casualty on the database. According to this website 20 men were lost:

http://www.ss-raceland.com/indexEnglish.html

I know the website may not be correct, but the fact that Kleinberg is commemorated by the SNWN suggests there should be more listed than just Mess Boy Currie.

I can find no other entries on the SNWM database for other Scottish sailors lost on the Raceland.

I have contacted the CWGC to ask them about the potential missing sailors including Jack Kleinberg

Thanks

Adam


Last edited by Adam Brown on Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This webpage gives a higher number of crew and dead but the description of one dead Canadian sailor suggests that Messboy Currie may have made it to land before perishing:

http://home.online.no/~raymon-e/sorsandfjord1.htm

It mentions the bodies were recovered. "The eight dead men from the lifeboat were fetched from Sørsandfjord a few days later. This time it was Trygve Pedersen with his boat "Liljen" from Sørvær, who took the trip to the fjord, and Per Hustad was his crew."

If so why is Currie listed on the Halifax memorial? Is there an unknown Canadian sailor grave in Norway which is Currie? If not him, why isn't another young Canadian sailor - described by the survivors as the same age as Currie - not listed on the database?

There also seems to have been a multi-national crew on the Panamanian registered ship - two Norwegians, two Danes, one Russian, one Spanish and one Estonian survived, so perhaps there are no other Commonwealth dead apart from Currie and Kleinberg.

Adam
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a bit more detail here:

http://www.isthmianlines.com/crew/lmyrhoej.htm

It seems the crew was mostly made up of Scandinavians which may explain why there are no other entries on the CWGC database.

Some more detail here which places the Canadian Messboy Currie in a different lifeboat, not the one which landed at Sørøya.

http://www.warsailors.com/convoys/pq13raceland.html

Adam


Last edited by Adam Brown on Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kenneth Morrison



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Location: Rockcliffe Dalbeattie

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam - the first link you quote also has crew details as:
The crew consists of: 17 Norwegians, 6 Danish, 6 British, 4 Canadians, 4 Swedish, 2 Est, 2 Polish, 1 American Netherlands,1 American Spanish, 1 Dutch en 1 Belgium.
http://www.ss-raceland.com/CrewEnglish.html

There is also a list of those who died and those who survived.
http://www.ss-raceland.com/CrewLaatst.html

But, as you say, only Currie seems to be on the CWGC Register.
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ken, I couldn't open those pages before but I can now. It looks like nine UK and Canadian sailors perished so another eight should be commemorated by the CWGC if the information is correct.

Perhaps Hugh MacKenzie could be another Scot and should be on the SNWM if so.

Adam
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Kenneth Morrison



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam - just some random thoughts.
The various descriptions of the sinking of the "Raceland" indicate that some crew members were killed in the bombing while others died in lifeboats or on shore.
This could mean that the date range might extend beyond the date of the sinking (28/3/1942)
It might also mean that the deaths onboard the ship were considered to be "as a direct result of enemy action" whereas the other deaths were not.
Or it may be they are non-comms!
As a secondary point I noticed that a team in the National Army Museum now reviews military non-comm cases - but who reviews the case for Merchant Navy non-comms?
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some good thoughts Ken. I did check later dates but perhaps didn't go far enough. I'll check again.

You've got to hope that an administrative decision wasn't taken that the men who died later in the lifeboats were not considered to have died as a direct result of enemy action.

It's alos an interesting question about Merchant Navy non-comms. Is there anyone? There is a Merchant Navy Association but would they look into this?

I'm still waiting on the CWGC coming back about my initial query.

Thanks

Adam
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the "Raceland" website, here are the Commonwealth crew names. One is commemorated by the CWGC, and one commemorated by the SNWM. I have checked the SNWM for the other UK names, but there were no others found in their database.

http://www.ss-raceland.com/CrewEnglish.html

Jos Odijk from the Netherlands has been researching the Raceland. I have found an e-mail address, so will contact Jos to see if there is more information on why these men haven't been commemorated. There also seems to be a possibility that James Joseph Burns was a Glaswegian.

Patrick Burke
Coal passer
Great Britain

James J. Burns
Fireman
38 years
Great Britain

Roy G. Currie
Messboy
17 years
Canada
Listed on the CWGC database


Samual Hickman
Coal passer
34 years
Great Britain

John G. Keough or Keogh
Coal passer
39 years
Great Britain

Jack Kleinberg
Messman
23 years
Great Britain
Listed on the SNWM database


John Lozon
Coal passer
25 years
Canada

Hugh McKenzie
Fireman
48 years
Great Britain

Bernard G. Sheridan
Messboy
20 years
Canada

Jack Dunn Wong
Radio operator
22 years
Canada


Last edited by Adam Brown on Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Kenneth Morrison



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of extracts from http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/32659-merchant-navy-unsung-heroes-of-the-sea-shipscrewsdangers/
put these possible non-comms in some kind of context.

"After nearly three years and reading through 4,716 digital pages of the DASR, I have also documented the names of a further 5,361 men from all corners of the British Commonwealth who died in service and have up until now been forgotten and have no official commemoration."

"In the near six years of war, some 2,952 British Merchant ships flying the Red Ensign were lost to U-boats, mines, E-boats, aircraft, commerce raiders, pocket battleships, those who died in captivity and those executed, as well as those lost through the forces of nature in supplying the world with food, raw materials and the materials to fight a war. 32,000 British Merchant Seamen are officially registered with the CWGC being lost to this cause. Unofficial numbers are much higher."
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Theletterwriter



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had a quick look at the Scottish Statutory Records via Scotlands People and there were 7 men named Kleinberg who are recorded as been born between 1900 and 1924. No evidence of a Kleinberg being born in Glasgow and all seven were born in Edinburgh. If his age his correct, a possibility is Jacob Kleinberg who was born in 1918 in the Newington district of Edinburgh.

Douglas
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kinnethmont



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:52 pm    Post subject: Able Seaman Jack Kleinberg & the SS Raceland Reply with quote

It seems clear that, although not hit directly, that the vessel was lost and the crew took to the lifeboats due to enemy action.

It is interesting that one man has already been commemorated as " war dead " as a member of the Canadian MM. He will have been put forward by the Canadian authorities. This may be a help in having others accepted.
It does appear that CWGC have not been notified of the others who, if any, were members of the British MM by them. CWGC cannot simply add the names of men who were alleged to be on that vessel.

It is likely that the crew were MM members and would be accepted for commemoration. Foreign nationals would also qualify if members of the British MM.

The first thing here is to obtain the MM records for " British " crew members you have listed as that will be the only way to prove they were in that service at their deaths.
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We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Raceland was not a British registered ship which probably doesn't help. It had been Italian owned and Panamanian registered before being interned by the USA after they entered the war.

It is stange that only one Canadian sailor was recorded by CWGC. This may be down to his body being buried in Norway rather than lost at sea and being recorded by the Norwegians / Germans at the time as war dead. Presumably that information was passed to the Red Cross?

Adam
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kinnethmont



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:45 am    Post subject: Able Seaman Jack Kleinberg & the SS Raceland Reply with quote

The registration of the ship would not matter, otherwise the Canadian would not be commemorated.

Quote:
It is stange that only one Canadian sailor was recorded by CWGC. This may be down to his body being buried in Norway rather than lost at sea and being recorded by the Norwegians / Germans at the time as war dead. Presumably that information was passed to the Red Cross?

If lost at sea he would still be commemorated by CWGC if the details were provided by the Canadian merchant service. His grave is not know in this case, he is on the Halifax Memorial and his date of death is given as the date the vessel was lost, not a few days later.

If you find oficial evidence to confirm Kleinberg was among the dead he would qualify for commemoration as a Civilian if he was a British national. If you prove he was a member of the MM he is " war dead " and commemorated accordingly.

You need to find the evidence. That aspect is not down to CWGC. Had the British MM provided the details at the time, CWGC would have acted upon it.
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Jim

If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk


Last edited by kinnethmont on Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Adam Brown
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been contacted by Jos Odijk, who has been researching the sailors of the "Raceland" in March 1942. I will liaise with him on providing information to the CWGC.

Thanks

Adam
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kinnethmont



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As a secondary point I noticed that a team in the National Army Museum now reviews military non-comm cases - but who reviews the case for Merchant Navy non-comms?


Ken

MM non comm cases are determined by the Registrar of Seamen and Shipping. If the official evidence presented is accepted they will advise CWGC accordingly.

Army non-comm cases
IFCP were advised that the National Army Museum was taking over responsibility for approval of UK army cases last September. This follows on from MoD staff cut-backs causing unacceptable delay in processing cases, and involves approval being given by the National Army Museum on behalf of the Army. The appeals process will remain with the MoD/Army.

There has been considerable delay in the flow of non-comm cases for some time due staff changes / retirement at MOD. Politicians at the higest level have been active on our behalf to get things sorted out.
The service should be much improved but NAM have had to recruit staff to undertake this work . The staff were to be in place by Christmas and receiving guidance from CWGC early in 2014.

Currently IFCP have around 250 cases in the pipeline ( I forwarded one this week) and CWGC has thirty or so from other sources.
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If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

www.kinnethmont.co.uk
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