Tanker Torn in Two
The Mission San Fransisco
doesn't get out of the way -
and the mistake is deadly
Elna's Captain Calls Naval Vessel 100 Pct. At Fault by Haynes Johnson
The master of the freighter Elna II this morning stated that in his opinion the tanker, Mission San Fransisco, was "100 percent at fault" for the Delaware River collision earlier today. Wihtout sleep for more than 27 hours, Capt. Alexander Kaare of the Elna, told of the tragedy near Deepwater point Range on the Delware.
Captain Kaare, speaking haltingly with a heavy foreign accent, said the Mission San Fransisco "didn't answer our signals and they didn't change course."
A Delaware River pilot, Capt. Henry Rice, who was standing near the wheel at the time of the collision, agreed with Captain Kaare that the Mission San Fransisco was at fault. He said the accident could have been prevented....
"19-year Old Helmsman Had Best View" by Daniel S. Greenberg
"Suddenly I saw the bow of a ship come around in front of us. The pilot ordered full astern. But it was too late. There was a big flash, and then an explosion." George Malvar, a 19-year olf Filipino who was at the wheel of the SS Elna when she collided this morning with the U.S.N.S. Mission San Fransisco, sat at the table in the YMCA and described the collision.
The young seaman, who suffered several facial cuts when the winshield of the Elna's bridge was shattered, probably had as good a bird's eye view of the collision as anyone on either vessel.
"Ireported to the bridge at 12 (midnight) and relieved the man at the helm. The captain and the pilot were the only others there. The [river] pilot was giving orders.
He told the captain to blow the whistle, and the captain blew it. He said 'Starboard,' and I [turned Starboard]."
Journal Every Evening, March 7, 1957
Chester Times, March 8, 1957
Chester Times, March 11, 1957
Reading Eagle, March 21, 1978
Chester Times, May 31, 1957
All images created and produced by Cannonball Press, Brooklyn, NY