Friday, July 29, 2016

July 29, 1936 -- The Sinking of the Material Service

July 29, 1936:  The motor ship Material Service sinks early in the morning a mile north of the lighthouse at Eighty-Sixth Street as she is caught in an open-water gale for which she was not designed.  Although seven members of the crew are rescued, Captain C. D. Brown and 15 other crewmembers die.  First Mate John M. Johnson says upon his rescue, “We were going along as usual when suddenly the vessel listed to port.  Then it came back on an even keel, but immediately began to sink.  We had the usual complement of lifeboats, but the sinking was so sudden that there was no chance to launch them.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, July 29, 1936]  The ship was hauling gravel from Lockport to Chicago, had left the mouth of the Chicago River around midnight and had headed south for a dock in the Calumet Harbor area when disaster strikes.

1 comment:

Badger1010 said...

My Grandfather, Carl A. Holt, was Captain of the MATERIAL Service right up until the night she sank. The ship was not caught in a game, the weather was already foul and my Grandfather refused to take her out into open water. He was fired and Captain Brown took over. My Grandfather lost alot of good friends that night and it haunted him til the day he died.