Greetings, I am trying to find information about my late grandfather, for my father who recently turned 86 and mentioned his regret of not knowing much about his real father. My grandfather, Captain Fred Phillips, was a merchant mariner who was lost at sea off the coast of Myken, Norway on the SS Pelagia during a hurricane on September 16. 1956, which shipped out of New York I believe. It made the papers headlines in Seattle as several other Seattle men were lost was well and I have been able to locate the USCG Marine Board Investigation.
I have been able to find only 2 of his vessels he served on, the SS Halcyon, about 1951 out of Virginia and the ill fated SS Pelagia in 1956. I know that Phillips shipped out of Virginia, New York, Seattle and maybe other ports of call as well. My father, Fred McElroy (mother remarried) was an only child and was deployed overseas at the time and all his father's information was lost except a few pictures and a couple of letters. We also have pictures of him on his own vessel Rainbow II out of Seattle but again, no further information and no vessel information either. We have a couple of surviving letters between father and son, one stating he was the vessel in Mozambique, The SS. Halcyon, about 1951 out of Virginia owned by the Phoenix SS Corp; New York.
We do know he was on Attu Island during the war (photo of him in an downed Japanese fighter) but not sure in what capacity and I have been unsuccessful in locating any records of his time at Attu. I am hoping if I could locate his mariner records or captains license I might have better luck. Could you be so kind as to point me in the right direction to locate any information about his activities or where I might find records of his merchant documents? I am in the hopes of compiling a book for my father of his father's life. As the son of a son of a sailor, I followed in his footsteps by serving in the United States Coast Guard and recently achieved my 100t Captains License on a vessel of my own, hence my desire to find out more about my grandfather, the Captain. Thank you for any and all suggestions.