Action in the North Atlantic (1943)

Passed   |    |  Action, Drama, War


Action in the North Atlantic (1943) Poster

An American tanker's sunk by a German U-boat and the survivors spend 11 days at sea on a raft. Their next assignment; bound for Murmansk through the sub-stalked N. Atlantic.


7/10
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  • Alan Hale and Sam Levene in Action in the North Atlantic (1943)
  • Humphrey Bogart in Action in the North Atlantic (1943)
  • Sam Levene in Action in the North Atlantic (1943)
  • Humphrey Bogart in Action in the North Atlantic (1943)
  • Action in the North Atlantic (1943)
  • Humphrey Bogart and Kane Richmond in Action in the North Atlantic (1943)

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7 February 2012 | max843
8
| The Real Merchant Marine
This film was so meaningful to me. My grandmother's first cousin, Alexander Miller MacKinnon 19, drowned during a March 1942 attack while serving in the Merchant Marine.

He was aboard the "Colabee," having just left Cuba with a load of sugar for Baltimore. 10 miles out they were hit by the German submarine U-126. 23 dead, 14 survivors. Ironically the U-126 was itself destroyed the following year with no survivors.

As a child in 1940s Buffalo all our windows were carefully covered with black-out shades each evening. I heard the adults whispering that this was in case the Germans came up the St. Lawrence to the Great Lakes but we did not really know U-Boats were operating so close to our shores.

A year earlier Alex had been assigned to the SS Santa Elisa, hauling sugar cane from Chile to New York, arriving Christmas Eve 1941. But on the return trip to Chile in January 1942 the Santa Elisa was attacked, just as she left NYC carrying crates of safety matches and barrels of highly explosive carbide crystals. She was then towed back to the Brooklyn Yard for repairs. Which is why Alex was aboard the Colabee.

After being refitted the Santa Elisa set out to carry gasoline from England to Malta as part of Churchill's 62 vessel Operation Pedestal. That August 1942 she was attacked a second time and torpedoed by Italian motorboats, the gasoline caught fire and she went up in flames off of Tunisia. (One account says no survivors; official MM record states no deaths.)

Many parts of the movie show what our Merchant Marine was really going through. Yet it wasn't until 1988 that President Reagan signed the bill conferring Veteran status on all mariners who served in WWII, guaranteeing their benefits.

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