Episode 1: Biography

Captain Jack Stull

15-02-2019 • 0 seconds

Biography Elmer Jack Stull

Born Aug. 27th, 1887, on a farm two miles from Chesterville, Ill.

The Death of his father in a railroad accident when he was 12 obliged him to quit school to help support his family of six.

Moved to Pacific Coast in 1900. Worked in many jobs; messenger, railroads, carpentry, plumbing, bridge and dam building, machine shop, mining, steam engineering, etc.

Went to sea in square riggers from 1906 to 1910, then in steam and motor vessels.

Married a Sydney, N.S.W. girl in 1911. Brought her to the Pacific Coast in 1912.

They had four daughters.

Enlisted in USNR in 1917 and called into active service in August. Commissioned as Ensign a year later--to his vast surprise
that an uneducated man could rise to such a then coveted height. (He was promoted to warrant officer two months previously.)
During the first World War he served on both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Released from active duty in June 1919.

Resumed service in merchant marine, starting with Admiral Oriental Line, which later became the American Mail Line.

Held first command of a vessel in 1929 with another line but returned to American Mail Line in 1931 with which he served ever since.

Commanded SS Collingsworth when the 2nd World War opened. Sailed from Singapore the night of Jan. 30th 1942 with 82 evacuees to Java for further transport to Australia. Sailed from Surabaya, Java, the night of Feb. 19th 1942. Both above cities were captured a few days after they left them. Preceded to New York, arriving May 6th 1942.

In transatlantic service to England and Ireland until taking command of SS Samuel Parker in December 1942, in which we preceded to the Mediterranean, where he operated from February to August 1943, under the British Ministry of War Shipping. Then to New York and the transatlantic run again.

Had command of the M.S. Island Mail during the Kwajalein and Saipan invasions, then command of the SS Waco Victory, getting in on the tail end of the Leyte activity. Next transfer was to the SS Cape Newenham, another troop ship, in which we saw no enemy activity the remainder of the war.

Holds the Lloyds silver medal and a couple of others for life saving prior to the war. Was awarded the DSC by King George of England.

Written by: Elmer J Stull 1887-1975