Dear Mr. Falk,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Central Correspondence Files, 1936 - 1950 in the Records of the U.S. Maritime Commission (Record Group 178) that includes the files 901-4795 Olancho (Honduran SS) and 901-1582 Olancho (SS) (No. 233732). We also located World War II Casualty Reports, 1939 - 1945 in the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24) that includes the file S.S. Olancho. Next, we located Armed Guard Files, 1934 - 1946 in the Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Record Group 38) that includes the file Olancho 08/23/42 - 04/13/43 - Honduran vessel, sank after torpedoed by sub. In addition, we located the Central Administrative Correspondence, 1930 - 1948 of the Office of Naval Intelligence in Record Group 38 that may include reports regarding merchant ship losses filed under file headings L11-1 and QS.
If there were any survivors, there may be records concerning them. We located World War II Command Files in Record Group 38 that includes the file Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) Summary of Survivor Statements March 1943. Plus, we located the Papers of Vice Admiral Homer N. Wallin, 1941 - 1974 in Record Group 38 that includes Survivor's Statements in box 2. Further, we located Reports Relating to Rescued Survivors of Wrecked Ships and Aircraft, 1942 - 1945 in the Records of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (Record Group 52).
For more information about the records listed above, please email the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at Archives2reference@nara.gov.
Further, we located Name and Subject Index to General Correspondence, 2/1/1930 - 6/1/1942 in the General Records of the Department of the Navy (Record Group 80) that includes a reference to the Olancho on file Florida, SS - Fort Meyer, Image 984. This series is an index to the record series General Correspondence, 1940 - 1942 in Record Group 80. Finally, we located Merchant Vessel Information Files, 1939 - 1952; Reports Concerning the Sinking of Merchant Vessels During World War II, 1938 - 2002, Records Relating to Merchant Vessel Casualties During World War II, 1941 - 1950, and Messages and Memorandums Regarding Merchant Ship Losses, ca. 1940 - 1991 in the Records of the U.S. Coast Guard (Record Group 26). For more information about these records, please email the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at Archives1reference@nara.gov.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1 and RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
Because the ship was flagged as a Honduran vessel at the time that it was sunk, we suggest that you also contact the National Archive of Honduras.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
Thank you for your help! You have a great job.