Captain James Waddell - OBE (??)

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by IJWaddell, May 11, 2012.

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  1. My grandfather - captain of a merchant vessel called the "Lakonia" (not sure if spelled with a C or a K - also not sure if it's RMS or another prefix). Story is it was torpedoed in the Atlantic during WW2. He and another sailor still managed to get it to Canada though. Of course, that's the story I heard from my dad when I was a kid.

    My grandfather's buried somewhere in BC, but I forgot the name of the cemetery we visited more than 10 years ago.

    Still gathering details, but I can't find his OBE in The London Gazette. The problem is his namesake with the American Confederate Captain James Iredell Waddell and another ship called of the same name:
    RMS Laconia (1921) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Have I been fibbed? I'll gather more details such as his DOB and day of death, as well as where he was exactly buried. Not sure the old man knows the service number if any, but most likely Merchant Navy.

    Tried the suggestions with the sticky thread, but I guess I'm lacking details right now. I'll be back, but I thought I'd share this now that I've been reading through this forum for a while now, and the thought of sharing would be good digging for anybody interested.

    EDITED to add: not military history but I was also told my great grandfather William Waddell was firemaster of Glasgow. Got at least one small mention on him on google so I guess I'll bite.
     
  2. Just one thought, since this is WW2, whilst you can't find his OBE, have you looked for a BEM (British Empire Medal)?

    Many highly achieving servicemen were awarded that, with it being largely considered to be of 'equivalent value' to the OBE, since the full name of the medal is the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service. Might be worth searching for that instead.
     
  3. Nothing either.

    Search Results

    Not sure if I'm using the advanced search correctly but I've played around with a few keywords with no luck.
     
  4. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Service number ?
    I think it's more likely to be a Seamans Discharge Book number.
    Contact the MCA in Cardiff, you may get some joy there as they should have a copy of the CRS10 file which lists the dates of the individual signing on and off various vessels.

    Your Grandfather's records will be in either the Fourth or Fifth Register of Merchant Seaman's service, (1919-1940 and 1941-1972 respectively.)

    If you need addresses pm me.
     
  5. Just got an E-mail from the old man:

    "It is Captain James Waddell M.B. E., not OBE. The ship was S. S. Lakonia, DoB 24[SUP]th[/SUP] October 1903/4 not sure which. Died in 1949 and buried in Forrest Lawn memorial Park, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. The Macphersons (my mothers side) have a burial site in Largs, Ayrshire, Scotland, we also have one in the Metropolist in Glasgow (Waddell) Where all the Waddells except my father are buried.

    Hope this helps and let me know what you find out. I searched hard for information on the ship and also came up dry."

    He must have hit the same dead end as I have because of the Lakonia Disaster (also on the wiki) being more well known. Just working on this right now.

    Will have to go on the Internet Cafe to continue. Limited access here at work.
     
  6. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Bet your old man's chuffed about that.
     
  7. Hell of a bump. Meant to do this way back. Anyway...

    Got it from here, a relative asked around:
    Chief Officer James Waddell - Ships Nostalgia

    Slightly complicated, I am afraid, as this ship transferred between the American and British registry.

    Chief Officer James Waddell received his MBE in the 1942 Birthday Honours List gazetted 11 June 1942. So his award was prior to the sinking of the ship indicated. The award may also have been for a prior action on the ship or even another ship.

    EMPIRE CONDOR official number 168167 built in 1940 as ALMERIA LYKES. Renamed EMPIRE CONDOR in 1941. Subsequently reverted to the name ALMERIA LYKES and sunk during Operation PEDESTAL on 14th August 1942.

    When the award was gazetted the ship was called ALMERIA LYKES.

    ALMERIA LYKES built in 1940, Lykes Bros SS Co.
    Torpedoed by an E-boat on the 13th August 1942 (Operation PEDESTAL) off the coast of Tunisia and sunk on the 14th August 1942.

    Have a read here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Almeria_Lykes_(1940) about the name change - she came from the US Maritime Commision (USMC) and was transfered to the British Ministry of War Transport (MoWT) and then back to the USMC.

    Apparently it's on one of the commemorative postal stamps.
     
  8. Thanks for the update. Fascinating stuff.
     
  9. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
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