Down to the Sea in Ships

The U.S. Merchant Marine consists of privately owned ships that act as an auxiliary arm of the military, transporting troops and supplies during wartime. The following record collection in Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE) was prepared by the Bureau of War Risk Insurance during World War I:

U.S., Lists of Merchant Seamen Lost in WWI, 1914-1919

It contains five schedules listing officers, enlisted men, and civilians:

Schedule A: Officers and Seamen in the American Merchant Marine ― Killed, wounded, or captured since the beginning of the World War, as the result of war risks, July 1, 1914–June 30, 1919 on American merchant vessels, whether or not they were covered by war risk insurance which went into effect on June 12, 1917.

Schedule B: Civilians working on merchant vessels owned or operated by any department or agency of the United States government and killed, wounded, or captured by war hazards, April 6, 1917–November 15, 1918.

Schedule C: Enlisted personnel of the U.S. Navy on merchant vessels killed, wounded, or captured by war hazards, April 6, 1917–November 15, 1918.

Schedule D: (a) Officers and Seamen in the American Merchant Marine ― Who died or were disabled on account of disease and causes other than marine and war risks ― On vessels whose crews were insured by the Marine and Seaman's Division; and (b) memorandum of deaths of American Seamen ― From records of U.S. Public Health Services ― July 1, 1914, to June 30, 1919.

Schedule E: The fifth, and largest, lists seamen and officers of the Merchant Marine lost or disabled by marine hazards in each of the fiscal years, 1915–1919.

Entries in the schedules can include the name of vessel, place and date of the loss, name and address of the vessel's owner, nationality and rating of each seaman or officer lost, the name and address of next of kin, nature of the casualty, and a total of the number of vessels and men involved in the accident/incident.

You may use Ancestry Library Edition at Central Library or any of our branches.

Here’s a list of SLPL reference databases.

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