SPROUL, Kenneth Allen, Signalman 3c,
USNR. Parents, Mr. and Mrs. Allen L.
AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
Kenneth A. Sproul
Signalman, Third Class, U.S. Navy
Service # 2089822
United States Naval Reserve
Entered the Service from: Maine
Missing in Action or Buried at Sea
Tablets of the Missing at North Africa American
Awards: Purple Heart
THE DEMISE OF THE SS DANIEL
CHESTER FRENCH DUE TO A MINE
On March 6, 1944 the SS Daniel
Chester French was steaming in convoy UGS-33,
which had left Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and
was in route to Bandar Shapur, Iran with a cargo
of Russian lend/lease ammunition, truck tires,
crated vehicles and general cargo.
Also there were eighty-seven U.S. Army personnel
She was steaming close in, about thirty miles off
the coast of Bizerta Tunisia when she hit
a mine, which actually was part of an Allied mine
field of that area.
The SS Daniel Chester French was not the first to
hit a mine in this area...a few minutes
earlier the “Virginia Dare” a member of this very
same convoy had hit a mine in the same
area....it was later determined that both ships, the
SS Daniel Chester French and Virginia Dare,
were routed through this minefield in error.
At 0720 there were two explosions, seconds apart,
at the starboard side of holds No. 2
and No. 3.
The ship buckled at No. 3. The cargo of lend/lease
ammunition exploded, which in turn
caused the ship to catch fire, immediate flooding
took place and she sank.
The passengers and crew abandoned ship ten
minutes after the explosions in six boats.
Two boats swamped but survivors were picked up
by HMS Charon and the Thelma and landed
safely at Bizerta. Nine crew, and four Armed Guard
and twenty-four personnel were lost in this
The SS Daniel Chester French struck mines
just 30 miles outside of Bizerta, Tunisia.
[Lat. 37 17' N; Long. 10 22' E]
MERCHANT CREW [lost]
Edwin Bellamy - Able-Bodied Seaman
Norman K. Carlson - Oiler - Youngsville, PA.
Benjamin Kelen - Radio Officer
Charles Wesley Outen Jr. - 2nd Engineer -
Vasco Rolli - 2nd Cook - Richmond Hill, NY.
John J. Roach - Able-Bodied Seaman - Medford,
Martin Solo - Deck Engineer - Plymouth, PA
Joseph C. Silkowski
Burton E. Tomlinson - Messman - Philadelphia, PA.
ARMED GUARD [lost & wounded]
Peter D. Dundas - SM3c - NJ. - (L)
Donato Disiena - S1c - NY - (L)
Kenneth A. Sproul - SM3c - ME. (L)
Harry Lee Whitesell - S1c - Dunkirk, IN. - (L)
Francis P. Jeffords - Cox - (W)
Edward M. Kott - S1c - (W)
Harold E. Lee - S3c - (W)
David B. Soule - Lt. jg - (W)
Portland Press Herald - April 4, 1944