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Albert E. Bamforth



Introduction

Albert Edward Bamforth was born on November 6th, 1910 in Lincoln, Massachusetts, just west of Boston. He was the fifth of seven children born to carpenter Charles Henry Bamforth (1876 – 1931) and homemaker Alice Maria Cousins (1874 - 1931).

His siblings were Charles Nathaniel Bamforth (1895 – 1975), Grace L. Bamforth Ward Corrao (1896 – 2004), Ralph Henry Bamforth (1898 – 1978), Beatrice Bamforth Snelling (1902 – 2002), Chester Allan Bamforth (1913 – 2002) and Clara Bamforth Knight (1913 – 2005). Chester and Clara were twins.

Regular visitors to the website might recognize his big brother, Charles N. Bamforth, who had a legendary 60 year career at sea and especially with American-Hawaiian and was the Master of the Honolulan when she was sunk in July of 1942.


I profiled Charles on the Honolulan page, and part of that was aided by his memoir: Iron Jaw: A Skipper Tells His Story – Captain Charles N. Bamforth (1895-1975) – ISBN 0-8059-5417-1. The book was compiled and edited by his two sons, Charles A. Bamforth and Richard A. Bamforth. I had the honor and pleasure of communicating with both Dick and Allan, and met Allan in person. Sadly, both men have since passed.

There are several passages in ‘Iron Jaw’ that refer to Albert that help tell his story, and Dick’s wife Pat has kindly allowed me to include them here. This of course provides a unique perspective on his career.

Their brothers Ralph and Chester also spent time at sea, though not as extensively as Charles and Albert. Ralph appears to have served a couple years in the Merchant Marine after serving in the Navy in WWI from 1917 through 1919 on the Nahunta and the Alaskan. He eventually settled in Long Beach California with his family and had a long career as a carpenter and builder. Chester’s sea career was a little longer, about 5 years, serving in the 1930’s, with American-Hawaiian, Oceanic & Oriental and United States Lines. He started as an Ordinary Seaman (O.S.) at age 19 aboard Charles’ Pennsylvanian in 1933, then moved to the Golden Hind, was an Able-Bodied Seaman (A.B.) by 1934, and ended his career on United States Lines SS Lehigh in 1938 around the time he was married. Chester and his family settled in Kempsville, VA and after college had a successful career as a land surveyor. In an interesting coincidence; the Golden Hind was later taken over by American-Hawaiian and renamed Honolulan, the same vessel his big brother was later torpedoed on. Note that the Alaskan and Lehigh were both lost in the war as well, and the Pennsylvanian was sunk as a block-ship off the Normandy beachhead.

In the spring of 1918, at the age of 7, Albert moved with his father and older sisters Grace and Beatrice to Ocean View, Virginia outside Norfolk. Consistent carpentry work eluded their father when they lived in Massachusetts, partially due to the winter months, and the family chronically struggled to make ends meet, even with the children working what jobs they could. Their father’s sister, Grace, was married to a naval officer named John Danner who was stationed in Norfolk at the time, and they let them know carpenters were in high demand. Their mother Alice stayed behind with the young twins until the father could get established, but eventually moved to Virginia in 1920. Older brothers Charles and Ralph were, of course, serving in the war effort.

Not much is known about Albert’s childhood in Virginia, and there are only a handful of references to Charles visiting the family there between voyages. The first somewhat detailed reference to Albert in the book ‘Iron Jaw’ occurs in Chapter 8 – ‘Good Times, Hard Times’ on page 146 Charles recounts: “On August 20 [1924] I went by bus with Dorothy [Charles’ wife] to New York, where I bought her a muskrat coat. Then we met my mother and my brother Albert, now thirteen years old. They had traveled to New York from Norfolk and stayed for a week’s visit. I put them up in the captain’s quarters on the Nebraskan, abeam of us [Charles was Master of the Pennsylvanian at this time]. Albert went on errands with me in the forenoon. I bought him sneakers and overalls. Then he helped me lay canvas decking on top of the wheelhouse. One day I took him with me to New York, where I took care of the payroll and then showed him the big city, including the Statue of Liberty and the aquarium.

It must have been a wonderful bonding experience for the two of them. With the 15 year spread in age and Charles having left home in 1910 to work when Albert was just an infant, they were virtually strangers up to 1924. Charles had already attended the Mass Nautical School, served in his first world war, married and had his first son, Charles Allan, by this stage. I assume this experience was when Albert got the bug to go to sea.

Early Career

A couple years later, in 1926, Albert appears to have dropped out of high school after two years, and joined his big brother in the Merchant Marine at the age of 16. As Charles notes on page 151: “My brother Albert joined my ship [SS Pennsylvanian] as a sailor [O.S.]. Evenings I talked with him while he was on lookout duty. I had him at the wheel once and a while and gave him lessons in tying knots and splicing rope yarns. A captain never fraternized with crew or even petty officers to any great extent; a kid brother was different.


Charles continued “The ship had to be laid up in San Francisco for ten days, which gave Albert and me some time for sightseeing. We went to Golden Gate Park and listened to the band play. With Tosca [family friend], we saw the movie Old Ironsides and played cards. In San Jose we visited Tosca at her school and took in the movie Naughty but Nice [note: both silent films].”

Albert and I prepared meals together in my room. We had fun sharing letters from home, sorting snapshots, visiting friends, and taking in the latest movies.

Having his little brother to share time on the west coast was likely a helpful distraction as Charles second son John was born in May 1927 with a serious medical condition. Charles was eventually able to get permission to leave his ship and was able to see his son just before he passed away in September.

On page 155, Charles noted Albert several times; September 1928 in San Francisco “Back aboard the Pennsylvanian, Albert and I studied together evenings”, December 1928 “At Christmas. Albert headed by train for Norfolk where he would spend the holidays” and finally March 1929 in Philadelphia “That evening Albert and I studied our lessons and played checkers”.

In the spring of 1929. Charles left the Pennsylvanian to take command of the Golden Tide, part of the company’s new joint venture with Matson Navigation called the Oceanic and Oriental Navigation Company, which took advantage of government mail subsidies. It lasted about ten years and you’ll see it mentioned throughout my website. The Golden Tide would become A-H's Puerto Rican in 1937, which was sunk in 1943. Charles seems to go beyond concerned big brother to being quite fatherly with Albert.

He describes this in Chapter 9 – ‘Oriental Jamboli’ on page 159: “I left Albert on the Pennsylvanian as he is far better off there. Although I have perfect confidence in him, I hate to lead him into temptations. Good liquor is cheap and commonly used by all on this route. Men like to ship out on this run since girls are so available and very cheap. In fact it’s nearly impossible to keep them off the ships.” Charles continues on in some detail, then on page 160 notes: “This problem is not nearly as common on the intercoastal run. I’d rather have Albert associate with the best men and women possible, and that’s where he is now”.

Interestingly enough, as noted above youngest brother Chester would sail on the O&O route. He served as an O.S. and an A.B. on the Golden Hind under Master Murvin Shigley, who I mention on my site and have a picture of in my Honolulan introduction.

Charles eventually returned to the Pennsylvanian and helped Albert continue his nautical education. In Chapter 10 – ‘Safety First’, on page 186 he notes: “February 5, 1930, when we docked in Brooklyn, I got Albert started in the Navigation School at the Seaman’s Church Institute at 25 South Street. That evening I instructed him in navigation by dead reckoning.


Further down Charles continued: “In March I received a letter from Albert announcing that he had received his third mate’s license. I was proud of him. He had served for three years on my ship starting as an ordinary seaman, then as able-bodied seaman, then as quartermaster. Now he was ready for a job as an officer. Captain Brown of the Texan hired him. Brown had told me he hoped to get Albert as an officer on his ship because he knew I had trained him well. Brown himself had sailed under me several years before.


I believe Charles was referring to Cyrus Lee Brown who would later command the Liberty ship Albert Gallatin in WWII. Brown had also served on the Californian, Hawaiian and Kentuckian.


There were likely a couple reasons why Albert went this route rather than attend Mass Nautical School (MNS):
  1. Eligibility - He was technically a resident of Virginia at the time. The three east coast schools, Massachusetts, New York & Pennsylvania all required cadets to be residents. He probably could have gotten Charles to sponsor him as Charles was a Massachusetts resident and had already made a name for himself. Albert also joined the Pennsylvanian to start his career when he was only 16, though, and you had to be between 17 and 20 to join MNS
  2. Financial – the family, country and world for that matter was in very bad financial shape at this time. Tuition was free and only $155 was needed in 1925 to cover Books and Uniforms for the two years. By 1928 this was up to $250. That would translate to $2,159 to $3,564 in 2017. A bargain to be sure, but in the midst of a depression with a large family to feed, still a luxury.
1931 dawned as an important year for Albert. He was now a 20-year-old 3rd Mate on the record breaking SS Texan, the 30-year-old Grande Dame of the American-Hawaiian fleet. The year was full of ups and downs. His parents sadly passed away a month apart in April and May. In August, however, Albert married Miss Elizabeth “Betty” Jane Waller in Seattle and started a home there.

1931 was also the year that our Bernard graduated from the Massachusetts Nautical School, and began his career as a new American-Hawaiian junior officer. As contemporaries in the same company on the same routes they likely knew each other.

Albert continued on the Texan for a few years, but in 1935 moved over to the Alaskan as her 2nd Mate under Master E. Hamell. Gardner Coas, who was Charles’ Chief Mate on the Honolulan during the attack, was Chief Mate on the Alaskan at this time as well. As mentioned previously, the Alaskan would be lost in November of 1942.

In July of 1935 Albert would earn his Chief Mate’s license, and the same month his first son, Bert, was born. It would not be until 1937, however, that Albert found a position as Chief Mate on American-Hawaiian’s Montanan under Master Charles H. McGahan. He likely had his Master’s license by this time, and as I’ve mentioned previously on the website, acquiring the license did not guarantee the position. With American-Hawaiian, most men serving as Second Mate actually held their Master’s licenses.

There were several strikes in 1936 and 1937 that Charles details in his book. The brothers appear to have been on opposite sides of the conflict, but their relationship survived it just fine.

Albert continued to serve on the Montanan for the next five years, with a brief switch back to the Texan from the end of May through October 1941. He appears to have been on the Montanan when they brought the German fighter-bomber back from England for review. See list below for his sailings during this period:

Vessel
Position Master Signed From Disch. To Type
Pennsylvanian O.S. Charles N. Bamforth 1926


Intercoastal
Pennsylvanian A.B. Charles N. Bamforth 1930


Intercoastal
Pennsylvanian Q.M. Charles N. Bamforth 1930


Intercoastal
Texan 3rd Mate Brown 1930


Intercoastal
Alaskan 2nd Mate E. Hamell 12/24/1935 S.F., CA 1/23/1936 Balboa, C.Z. Intercoastal
Montanan Chief Mate
7/31/1937


Intercoastal
Montanan Chief Mate Charles H. McGahan 1/7/1940 L.A., CA 1/27/1940 N.Y., NY Intercoastal
Montanan Chief Mate Charles H. McGahan 3/3/1940 S.F., CA 3/16/1940 S.F., CA Coastwise
Montanan Chief Mate Charles H. McGahan 6/7/1940 S.F., CA 8/12/1940 S.F., CA Foreign
Montanan Chief Mate Charles H. McGahan 8/13/1940 S.F., CA 8/25/1940 S.F., CA Coastwise
Montanan Chief Mate Charles H. McGahan 8/26/1940 S.F., CA 10/31/1940 S.F., CA Intercoastal
Montanan Chief Mate Charles H. McGahan 11/1/1940 S.F., CA 11/12/1940 S.F., CA Coastwise
Montanan Chief Mate Charles H. McGahan 11/13/1940 S.F., CA 1/15/1941 S.F., CA Intercoastal
Montanan Chief Mate Charles H. McGahan 1/29/1941 S.F., CA 4/6/1941 S.F., CA Intercoastal
Montanan Chief Mate Charles H. McGahan 4/7/1941 S.F., CA 4/16/1941 S.F., CA Coastwise
Montanan Chief Mate Charles H. McGahan 4/17/1941 S.F., CA 5/22/1941 N.Y., NY Intercoastal
Texan Chief Mate K. Hansen 5/29/1941 N.Y., NY 6/21/1941 S.F., CA Intercoastal
Texan Chief Mate K. Hansen 7/9/1941 S.F., CA 9/13/1941 S.F., CA Intercoastal
Texan Chief Mate K. Hansen 9/14/1941 S.F., CA 9/26/1941 S.F., CA Coastwise
Texan Chief Mate K. Hansen 9/26/1941 S.F., CA 10/29/1941 Boston, MA Intercoastal
 
It was likely during his Texan service in 1941 that Albert first met Graham (aka Gray) Griffiths, who was serving as Texan’s Second Mate. Graham later settled in Seattle and the two would become friends for the rest of their lives.

The War Years

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7th, 1941 soon brought America officially into the war. Griffiths Texan would be the first American-Hawaiian vessel lost, sunk by the German U-126 (Bauer – the same commander and U-Boat that sank the Arkansan) off the north coast of Cuba at the end of March. Griffiths survived, but unfortunately ten other men did not.

Albert’s Montanan was on her first foreign voyage in support of the war as well, and had departed New York a month before Pearl Harbor in November of 1941, but returned safely to Baltimore at the beginning of April of 1942 after 153 days. This was a foreign voyage sailing independently, likely to India and the Middle East.


Other American-Hawaiian vessels weren’t so lucky. Two days after the Texan’s loss, the same U-boat attacked the Colabee, with high loss of life, though the ship was salvaged. Washingtonian was lost in the Indian Ocean on April 6th, the same day Montanan returned to Baltimore. Before the year was over American-Hawaiian would also lose Ohioan in May, American and Arkansan in June, Honolulan in July, Oregonian in September, Coloradan in October and Alaskan in November to enemy action. The Oklahoman was also lost to an accident in July, and the Columbian survived a poorly executed attack by an Italian submarine in June.

Albert and the Montanan headed right back out into this carnage on May 10th, 1942 (unarmed) bound again for the Middle East. Griffiths, fresh from the Texan ordeal, joined his friend Albert on the Montanan at this time as Second Mate.

Albert’s big brother Charles had taken command of the Honolulan just before she sailed in February, and he recounts how he met Albert outside Cape Town, South Africa in Chapter 16 – ‘Explosion!’ on page 272: “On July 5 [1942] we sailed for Baltimore. Several vessels were outside Cape Town at anchor. I steamed over close to our Columbian and talked with Captain Johnson [Edwin E. Johnson] by megaphone. Then we slowly passed our Montanan, close enough for me to talk to my brother Albert, who gave me news of home, about which I had not a word in five months.

Note that this was just 2 ½ weeks before the Honolulan was attacked and sunk.

Albert’s Montanan was on the outbound leg of their foreign voyage, and Albert likely did not learn of Charles’ misfortune until he returned December 7th, 1942. Their voyage had lasted an impressive 211 days. By this time, Charles and his crew were luckily back home safe and sound, and Charles had started his active duty Navy career in Portland, Maine.

After Montanan’s return, Albert was given his first command, the brand new Liberty Ship William L. Marcy in January, 1943. Until researching Albert, the Marcy’s first master was not known. His friend Gray Griffiths took over his position as Chief Mate on the Montanan. The Montanan was subsequently lost in the Arabian Sea to a Japanese submarine on its next voyage. Albert’s friend Gray survived, but sadly Master McGahan, Chief Engineer Tyler (Both of whom Albert knew and worked with) and five others did not.


Unlike his previous vessels which all sailed independently, the Marcy sailed almost exclusively in convoys. Albert’s records combined with convoy information that has come to light since I originally added the page on the Marcy has allowed me to update the Marcy’s early history. See her page here for more detailed information on Albert’s time aboard.

While Albert was Master of the William L. Marcy they were hunted by multiple packs of U-boats, and in the case on arctic Convoy RS-55A, by the last remaining pride of the German surface fleet, the battleship Scharnhorst which would meet her end in the Battle of the North Cape while trying to intercept Albert’s convoy.

In March of 1944 Albert would hand over command on the William L. Marcy to his friend Gray Griffiths. Five short months later, in August, the Marcy was severely damaged in a special German S-boat attack on the anchored invasion fleet off Normandy. The torpedo damage combined with her chronic hull cracking issues ended the Marcy’s service.

This now made three ships that Gray had either taken over or joined after Albert had left, which were then torpedoed. In happier times after the war, according to Albert’s family, the two men used to laugh about it when they'd get together.

Albert’s next command was a vessel named the Pacific Oak according to crew lists I located on Ancestry.com (see below).


The vessel is a bit of an enigma. My first assumption was that based on the timing, this vessel was a C-Type replacement for an older WWI era vessel that some sources noted was given to the Russians under lend-lease in 1943. However, when I searched for her on two trusted sites, Frank A. Gerhardt’s usmaritimecommission.de and Capt. Stephen S. Robert’s shipscribe.com, neither showed a new Maritime Commission vessel by this name. Robert’s site did have information on the WWI era United States Shipping Board (USSB) vessel built in 1919. Robert’s info, from the article by Norman L. McKellar - 'Steel Shipbuilding under the U. S. Shipping Board, 1917-1921, in ‘The Belgian Shiplover, No. 87 May/June 1962' proved to be the most accurate once again.


The Pacific Oak was launched as West Hembrie for the Shipping Board in 1919. She was built by J.F. Duthie & Co., Seattle in Yard No. 22. Her Emergency Fleet Corporation design number was 1013, which made her sisters of the American-Hawaiian vessels Canadian and Louisianan, both sold before our entry in WWII. The design was known as a 'Robert Dollar' type and was 8,800 DWT, 410-1/2 feet long, had a breadth of 54 feet and a draft of 30 feet. It was a popular design with a total output of 111 vessels manufactured by five west coast yards. Of the 111, 2 were lost in WWI, 23 were broken up in the inter-war years, 50 were lost in WWII mostly in American or British hands (5 as Normandy Block Ships), though a handful were lost under Japanese and French ownership (Including Canadian) as well, 19 were given to the Russians (most of which were presumed lost), and 17 survived WWII with the last being scrapped in 1960.

McKeller’s information indicates West Hembrie was taken over briefly by Dimon between 1929 and 1932 and renamed Pacific Oak. The USSB took her back in 1932. He seems to indicate the US Government hung on to her until 1945, although other sources indicate she was operated by the Grace Lines during at least part of this time. I believe the intent was to transfer her to the Soviets in 1943, but possibly due to a collision which occurred between the Pacific Oak and the William L. Thompson during a snowstorm on December 3rd, 1942 off Kodiak, Alaska the government hung on to her a little longer so they could make repairs. American-Hawaiian perhaps operated her on a bareboat charter, throughout 1944 when Albert commanded her in the Pacific theater.

In 1945 she was sent to Russia likely via Alaska and renamed Ingul, before later being named Taras Shevchenko. Her final fate remains unknown. One source indicated her service ended in 1963; however that same source also indicated she was given to the Soviets in 1943, which I know not to be true. As I stated; an enigma.

Besides the two crew lists I found for her in 1944, a document I found on Fold3.com shows Pacific Oak was at Pearl Harbor at the end of November, 1944 having “2 sets of sound power phones” repaired. This coincides with passages in Charles’ book ‘Iron Jaw’, in Chapter 19 – ‘Pearl Harbor’, page 325 from December 1944 when Charles was serving as a navy harbor pilot he notes: “I was thrilled to meet my brother Albert, now master of his own ship, in Honolulu today. He is well and seems content. It was wonderful to be with family once more.

While in Pearl Harbor, Albert’s wife Betty gave birth to their second son, Bruce, on remarkably, the third anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.

Also in a letter to Dorothy in January of 1945 on page 326: “I had written to Betty (Albert’s wife), asking where Albert was. Then just a while later, he called me from the port by telephone. He came by cab and we had another visit, but he had to leave early as there is still a curfew at ten. Albert looks fine and is happy. He said he had expected to get fired because his cargo of sugar got wet. Instead the company gave him a new ship. He said he fired his mate and two days later had to rehire him because there was no one else available.

This matches the timing of transferring the Pacific Oak to the Soviets in early 1945, and his assignment as Master on the much newer C1-B Cape Isabel.


The first crew list I found on Ancestry.com of Albert in command of the Cape Isabel was during a lengthy 256 day voyage. Albert had signed on in San Francisco on June 20th, 1945, with stops in Manila, Philippines in December 1945 and in Bombay, India in January 1946 and finally arriving in New York on February 21st. 1946.

A final war-time passage from Charles’ book ‘Iron Jaw’ may offer some explanation for such a long voyage, as on page 334 he notes: “An interesting letter arrived from Albert. [December 24th, 1945] He had been laid up in Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands for two weeks, at Ulithi, east of the Philippines, for fifty-seven days, and in Okinawa for forty-eight days. In two weeks they will start to unload his ship. I am surely better off here. He said there were 150 ships there waiting to discharge.

It was during this voyage that the Japanese surrendered in August of 1945. See below for a summary of his wartime assignments:

Vessel
Position Master Signed From Disch. To Type
Montanan Chief Mate Charles H. McGahan 11/4/1941 N.Y., NY 4/6/1942 Balt., MD Foreign
Montanan Chief Mate Charles H. McGahan 5/10/1942 Balt., MD 12/7/1942 Balt., MD Foreign
William L. Marcy Master N/A 7/9/1943 Balt., MD 10/4/1943 N.Y., NY Foreign
William L. Marcy Master N/A 3/15/1944 Balt., MD 8/7/1944

Pacific Oak Master N/A 7/10/1944 Seattle, WA 10/5/1944 Tac., WA Foreign
Pacific Oak Master N/A 10/13/1944 Seattle, WA 12/15/1944 S.F., CA Foreign
Cape Isabel Master N/A 6/20/1945 S.F., CA 2/21/1946 N.Y., NY Foreign
Cape Isabel Master N/A 3/19/1946 Balt., MD 5/8/1946 N.Y., NY Foreign

Post War Years

Just because the war ended it did not mean the American Merchant Mariners could return to their peacetime duties. There was a massive amount of equipment and personnel to bring back from the Pacific and European theaters, and a massive amount of food and materials needed in those regions devastated by war.

I’ve often been puzzled why many experienced and quite heroic Masters from the war served as junior officers in the decade after the war. The government quickly began laying ships up in storage and this seemed to occur quicker than the men that were not mariners before the war left the service. In fact the government encouraged them not to leave right away. I believe this created a larger pool of mariners than there were now ships to operate.

Albert was no exception, and after the Cape Isabel he became Chief Mate of the Baylor Victory under Master L.A. Carlisle.

By April of 1947, however, he was a Master once again, this time of the Liberty Ship Philip Kearney. He would spend the next year and half transporting material to and from Japan.

Albert’s father-in-law, Thomas Waller, passed way unexpectedly in 1948, and the family moved from Seattle to scenic Rouge River, Oregon in April. They took over Betty’s father's historic inn called, 'Waller's Inn'.

Waller's Inn

According to the book Rouge River by Cheryl Martin Sund; “in 1926 T.H.B. Taylor sold the Waldorf Rooms to Jim Whipple and Myrtle Scott, who operated it until 1945, when it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Waller. A November 1953 newspaper clipping advertises rooms for $25 and apartments for $30 and up. It was operated under the name of Waller’s inn until it was torn down in 1967.

 

This photograph was taken shortly before this beautiful inn was razed in 1967. The landmark building was torn down and replaced by a service station and office building. The old oak trees that graced the lot and shaded many a guest at the inn were also removed. When T.H.B. Taylor tore down the original building on the lot, the Woods house, he used some of the lumber from the old structure to line the upstairs rooms of this building.


The family recalls that his brother Ralph came up from California and helped Albert install a new foundation under the inn.

1949 saw him as Chief Mate of the Liberty Tarleton Brown under Master Pierce A Powers, with a brief stint as Master between the end of July and mid-September. It would turn out to be his last command.

From the end of December 1949 until the end of August 1950 he served as Second Mate on the Carolinian, the Liberty ship replacement of Arkansan’s sister, sold in 1946.

He also served as Second Mate on the Queens Victory under Master Edward M. Hardwick from October of 1950 until March of 1951.

Finally he served as Chief Mate back on the Baylor Victory, first under Master Colman Raphael of Washingtonian fame, then Murvin E. Shigley, whom his younger brother Chester served under in the 1930’s.

Most of these voyages were to Japan, although his first voyage on the Carolinian in 1950 went to Bremerhaven, Germany and one of his last voyages on the Baylor Victory in 1953 went to Bordeaux, France.


Some of the voyages from June of 1950 to July of 1953 were likely in support of the Korean War, especially a stop in Buckner Bay Okinawa in the winter of 1952.

Below is a list of his known post World War II assignments:

Vessel Position Master Signed From Disch. To Type
Baylor Victory Chief Mate L.A. Carlisle 11/25/1946 Portland, OR 12/24/1946 S.F., CA Coastwise
Baylor Victory Chief Mate L.A. Carlisle 12/25/1946 S.F., CA 3/11/1947 Seattle, WA Intercoastal
Philip Kearny Master N/A 4/3/1947 Seattle, WA 5/21/1947 Seattle, WA Foreign
Philip Kearny Master N/A 7/27/1947 Van., WA 9/2/1947 Portland, OR Foreign
Philip Kearny Master N/A 9/8/1947 Portland, OR 10/23/1947 Portland, OR Foreign
Philip Kearny Master N/A 10/29/1947 L.view, WA 12/22/1947 Astoria, OR Foreign
Philip Kearny Master N/A 12/27/1947 Portland, OR 2/17/1948 Portland, OR Foreign
Philip Kearny Master N/A 2/19/1948 Portland, OR 4/17/1948 Portland, OR Foreign
Philip Kearny Master N/A 4/19/1948 Portland, OR 6/6/1948 S.F., CA Foreign
Hattiesburg Victory Master N/A 7/26/1948 N.O., LA 9/22/1948 Honolulu, HI Foreign
Tarleton Brown Chief Mate P.A. Powers 12/24/1948 Van., WA 2/15/1949 Portland, OR Foreign
Tarleton Brown Chief Mate P.A. Powers 2/16/1949 Portland, OR 4/18/1949 Portland, OR Foreign
Tarleton Brown Chief Mate P.A. Powers 4/19/1949 Portland, OR 6/6/1949 Portland, OR Foreign
Tarleton Brown Chief Mate Ole Lee 7/25/1949 Portland, OR 7/26/1949 Portland, OR Foreign
Tarleton Brown Master N/A 7/27/1949 Portland, OR 9/13/1949 Seattle, WA Foreign
Tarleton Brown Chief Mate P.A. Powers 9/15/1949 Seattle, WA 11/6/1949 Portland, OR Foreign
Carolinian 2nd Mate H.B. Hansen 12/31/1949 Houston, TX 3/6/1950 N.Y., NY Foreign
Carolinian 2nd Mate R.M. Pierce 3/7/1950 N.Y., NY 7/24/1950 Gulfport, MS Foreign
Carolinian 2nd Mate R.M. Pierce 7/25/1950 Gulfport, MS 8/27/1950 Everett, WA Foreign
Queens Victory 2nd Mate E. M. Hardwick 10/21/1950 Seattle, WA 10/31/1950 S.F., CA Coastwise
Queens Victory 2nd Mate E. M. Hardwick 11/1/1950 S.F., CA 3/16/1951 N.O., LA Foreign
Baylor Victory Chief Mate C. Raphael 9/27/1952 S.F., CA 11/25/1952 Seattle, WA Foreign
Baylor Victory Chief Mate M.E. Shigley 12/2/1952 Everett, WA 2/1/1953
Foreign
Baylor Victory Chief Mate M.E. Shigley 3/7/1953 Mobile, AL 6/18/1953 N.Y., NY Foreign
Baylor Victory Chief Mate M.E. Shigley 10/13/1953 Seattle, WA 11/2/1953 Norfolk, VA Intercoastal
Baylor Victory Chief Mate M.E. Shigley 11/13/1953 N.Y., NY 12/30/1953 N.Y., NY Foreign
Baylor Victory Chief Mate M.E. Shigley 12/31/1953 N.Y., NY 1/20/1954 Mobile, AL Coastwise


As 1955 and the end of American-Hawaiian Steamship Company approached, Albert retired from the Merchant Marines in 1954 and helped run the Inn full-time. Albert and Betty eventually ended up in Ashland, Oregon, where they owned motels including the Valley Entrance Motel (Currently the Flagship Inn) and later the Bards Inn Motel (still there) which they owned from 1962 to 1985.



According to Betty’s obituary, the Bamforth’s were actively involved in the growth of the Best Western Motel Association.

Not to state the obvious, but Albert’s 37-year career as a hotelier lasted longer than his impressive 28-year career as a Merchant Mariner, including the overlap from 1948 to 1954.


Albert Edward Bamforth passed away on November 28th, 1997 at the age of 87. He is buried at the Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery, Grants Pass, Oregon. His wife Betty passed away on December 2nd, 1999 also at the age of 87, and is buried next to her husband.

Their two proud sons, Bert and Bruce and their families still reside in Oregon and assisted me in putting this biography together.
















Sources

Ancestry.com for information on Albert E. Bamforth and crew lists for various vessels mentioned in this article.

Bamforth, Bert and Judy for their recollections of their father's service.

Bamforth, Bruce and Jill for their initial contact, cooperation in providing Albert's records, providing photographs and information on Albert's life.This copyrighted material is used with permission of the Bamforth family.

Bamforth, Pat for allowing me to quote relevant passages from Charles book: Iron Jaw: A Skipper Tells His Story – Captain Charles N. Bamforth (1895-1975) – ISBN 0-8059-5417-1. This copyrighted material is used with permission of the Bamforth family.

Boone, Dave - (tugboatpainter.net) artist who provided the photo of Montanan from his private collection from the 1930's originally taken by Francis Palmer.
 
Fold3.com for various war diaries that relate to the vessels that Albert served on.

Gerhardt, Frank A. at US Maritime Commission website for information on U.S. Maritime Commission vessels.

Roberts, Captain Stephen S. USNR (Retired) on his site shipscribe.com for information on Pacific Oak origin from the article by Norman L. McKellar  - Steel Shipbuilding under the U. S. Shipping Board, 1917-1921, in ‘The Belgian Shiplover, No. 87 May/June 1962.

Uboat.net for information on bauer, U-126, their victims, and for information on other U-boats related to this story.
 
U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center, 100 Forbes Drive, Martinsburg, WV 25404 for Merchant Marine career information on Albert E. Bamforth via his family.

Wikipedia free on-line encyclopedia for summaries on miscellaneous topics related to this story.

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