Old Glox’ Ghost
By Capt. GW Mortimer
(The Compass Magazine Sept/Oct 1969)
‘So you’re not superstitious – you don’t believe in ghosts’
Neither did the master of the Steamship Gloxinia.
Until I served in the old Gloxinia I was strongly opposed to any opinions that supported beliefs in ghosts and supernatural apparitions, spirits, and the restless dead. When I left that ship, I had an open mind on the subject and now will listen with some sympathy to narratives of experience with unearthly forces. Sailors as a group tend toward easy acceptance of superstition and belief in the hyperphysical. It has been written that ignorant people in general tend to these beliefs naturally, the supposition being that the educated mind can provide reason and explanation for most occurrences within the bounds of live agency.
By David Sibley
(From SHIPPING Today and Yesterday)
IN SEPTEMBER, 1947, a British Military Court war crimes trial was held in Hong Kong in to the execution of crew members and passengers of the British cargo ship Behar, 7,840grt, owned by the Hain Steamship Co., a subsidiary of the P. & 0.Steam Navigation Co. The Behar had been sunk on Mar. 9, 1944, by the Japanese heavy cruiser Tone, under the command of Captain Mayazumi.
The cruiser was part of the Japanese 16th Squadron of the South West Area Fleet under the command of Vice-Admiral Sakonju, who flew his flag in the cruiser Aoba.
At the trial, Vice-Admiral Sakonju was charged with giving the order to execute the approximately 65 prisoners, and Captain Mayazumi was charged with carrying out that order. However, the owners stated to the court the official figure was 72.
The Japanese South West Area Fleet headquarters was located at Penang and at a conference held in February, 1944, it was decided that Allied shipping was to be attacked in the Indian Ocean with a view to disrupting the Allied supply routes.
United States Coast Guard
USCGC Coos Bay (WAVP – 376)
On the morning of 18th February 1964 the United States Coast Guard cutter Coos Bay, a 2500 ton
311 ft diesel-powered ship, was steaming in snow squalls and fog off the outer tip of the Grand Banks on her return from a three week winter weather patrol on ocean station BRAVO, located in Davis Strait off Labrador. The crew of 134 Officers, men and weather bureau observers had been alert for drifting icebergs, and now their thoughts were of homecoming two days hence. An emergency broadcast TTT was intercepted by the radio operator, advising that the British motor-ship AMBASSADOR, 7308 gross
tons, with a crew of thirty five aboard was broken down and listing heavily in mountainous seas, some 370 miles south of the COOS BAY. Shortly thereafter and SOS signal was received. Meanwhile, the Commander, Eastern Area, U.S. Coast Guard in New York, had directed the COOS BAY had directed the COOS BAY to proceed and assist. COOS BAY’S maximum speed of 18 knots was soon cut down to 15 by the heavy seas as she plunged south along in the trough, rolling heavily