Kirill Nõu He disappeared into the Pacific on Sept 9, 1947 from Marine Phoenix

April 1, 2011

Dear Sir;

I am writing in response to letters posted by travellers aboard the liberty ship: Marine Phoenix in 1947.

In particular, the letter from Julian Manning in which he describes the experience of his mother-in-law Kitty Emmanuel, aboard the Marine Phoenix.

In the letter, Kitty says "Tony was given a berth with 11 other men, one of whom disappeared during the voyage.  No one ever know whether he was pushed overboard or just fell, nothing was done for at least a couple of days - far too late to ever find him!"

The man who disappeared was my great-uncle Kirill Nõu.

He was an Estonian, leaving war-torn Europe for Australia. He escaped to Denmark. He then sailed from Aarhus Denmark to New York aboard the "Texas"  He travelled to San Francisco, where he left for Australia aboard the Marine Phoenix on Sept 2, 1947. He disappeared into the Pacific on Sept 9, 1947.

There was apparently some passenger account that he was pushed overboard, and our family's history agrees with Kitty's letter, that the crew was drunk most of the time.

Do you know if there is anyway to look into whether there was any kind of investigation, hearing or tribunal after the ship arrived in either Auckland New Zealand Sept. 18th 1947 or Sydney Sept. 22nd 1947?  I am not sure what the proceedings are for cases such as this, where an accident or crime occurs at sea.

Also, if you could post this letter to the other thread (or if there is anyway to forward this to Julian Manning (who posted his mother in law's letter), I would greatly appreciate it.

Perhaps more recollections of this event will be forthcoming!

thanks you so much
Ann Aaviku
Stouffville, Ontario, Canada


Launched 9th Aug.1945 by Kaiser Shipyard, Vancouver, Wash.
12,420 gross tons, length 523ft x beam 71.2ft, one funnel, engines aft, single screw,  speed 17 knots. Accommodation for 3,800 troops. Managed by Moore-McCormack Line for the US Maritime Commission, her maiden voyage started 12th Dec.1945 when she left Seattle for Nagoya, Japan. 1947 laid up in Suisun Bay, San Francisco. 21st Jul.1950 commissioned by the US Navy (T-AP 195) after the outbreak of the Korean War. Nov.1958 laid up in Columbia River. Apr.1967 sold to Mohawk Shipping Inc., New York and rebuilt as a 10,625 gross ton cargo ship at Jacksonville and renamed MOHAWK. 16th Sep.1979 arrived Kaohsiung, Taiwan for scrapping. [Great Passenger Ships of the World by Arnold Kludas, vols.4 & 6]

Thank you for your mail, I have not been able to find any inquiry that was set up to ascertain the cause of your Great Uncle's disappearance from Marine Phoenix.

We will add your letter to the Marine Phoenix thread on AHOY at URL: "Kirill Nõu, Estonian refugee, disappeared 9th Sept. 1947 on Marine Phoenix"

I have passed your mail on to to Julian at the address I have for him, but it may have changed in the interim.


Thanks so much for your help!

Interestingly, I found that a messmate from the ship was charged (many years later in 1954) of possession of drugs
(marijuana) shortly after the 1947 voyage. Not that I think my great-uncle disappeared due to drug trafficking; but more to support the observation that the crew was not sober. (I've provided the link below).


The pictures I found on your site were very helpful as well, insofar as documenting the event.

I appreciate your time and attention, and please pass along any news should it be forthcoming!

thanks once again...

Sorry, one more thing; I also found this publication of a Sydney newspaper, referencing the event...

Sydney Newspaper Mon 10-Nov-1947 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/18045655

thanks again


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