The Crew Manifest of the World War II Liberty Ship ‘Daniel Drake’

Today I saw that no fewer than four genealogy blogs, Chris Dunham’s The Genealogue, Joe Beine’s Genealogy Roots Blog, Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, and Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings mentioned the fact that has now digitized and indexed all readily available U.S. Passengers Lists from 1820 to 1960.  Moreover, Ancestry’s entire Immigration Collection is FREE until the end of November.

I immediately took a look and I found much more than I expected, because the records in this collection are not just Immigrant Passenger Lists, but also include Crew Lists for World War II Naval Ships and Passenger Lists for Vacation Cruise Ships!

In particular, I found the record of my father’s World War II service on the S.S. Daniel Drake, where he served in the U.S. Naval Armed Guard on the Murmansk Run.

Crew Manifest of the S.S. Daniel Drake

Crew Manifest for the S.S. Daniel Drake (Page 2)

Click on the link for a PDF copy of the Crew Manifest for Francis Danko – 1943.  My father’s record states that:

  • The manifest is that of the S/S Daniel Drake, United States Line
  • The ship departed London on 20 September 1943 and arrived in New York on 01 October 1943
  • Francis Danko is listed on line 14 as part of the Armed Guard
  • His Serial Number was 801 66 21
  • His rate (rank) was S1c (Seaman, First Class)
  • His service was USNR (United States Naval Reserve)
Francis J. Danko - US Naval Armed Guard

Francis J. Danko – US Naval Armed Guard

The manifest also lists 42 crew members and 27 other members of the Armed Guard.  I’ll have to ask my father if he remembers any of these names.  He has several photographs of his shipmates, but doesn’t remember the names of most of them.  Perhaps now with this list, he can name the people in some of his World War II photographs.

I found some interesting details on this manifest, including the fact that five of the crew members on this United States Liberty Ship were not U.S. citizens.  Also of interest is that, of the members of the U.S. Armed Guard, only one was in the USN, the United States Navy; all the rest were in the USNR, the United States Naval Reserve.

For those who are not familiar with the Liberty Ships in World War II, I’ll have to write a piece on Liberty ships one day.  For now, just realize that the Liberty Ship crews consisted of a number of Merchant Marines (who were, in fact, not part of the U.S. Navy) and a group of Navy personnel called the Armed Guard who were trained to protect their ship and the Merchant Marines aboard it.

I never would have guessed that the Crew Manifests of World War II U.S. Liberty Ships would be in this collection!

Copyright © 2006 by Stephen J. Danko

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7 Responses to The Crew Manifest of the World War II Liberty Ship ‘Daniel Drake’

  1. Cheryl Palmer says:

    Very exciting! I saw you listed as a “celebrity” on the Genealogy Roots Blog! Pretty awesome to be classified as a celebrity!

    I too found info from this free website! I found my grandfather, Erik Lundberg on the Kristianafjord coming over to the states from Sweden in 1917, along with his sister, Signe. My grandfather was only 8 years old, I had no idea before this of when he came over or what ship he was on! I can’t wait to give the family this news!

  2. Well, Cheryl, don’t get too excited. I looked at the post on the Genealogue, and, while Chris Dunham wrote about celebrities in’s Immigration Collection, his reference to me was about the fact that I found the Crew Manifest of a World War II Liberty Ship in the collection, not that I, myself, was a celebrity. I’ll have to wait for my 15 minutes of fame!

  3. Cheryl Palmer says:

    I didn’t actually read the article, but saw there was a reference to “celebrities”, and then your name….so to me you ARE a celebrity!

  4. Pingback: Steve’s Genealogy Blog » World War II Convoys JW-54A and RA-55A

  5. Carlton Jones says:

    Do you have a seaman by the name of Frank Settle on your list of crew of the Joaquin Miller? He was my uncle and a Merchan Marine in World War Two.

  6. Steve says:


    I checked the indexes for the Joaquin Miller on but could not find anyone with the surname “Settle”.


  7. James D. Scharf says:

    I’m looking for a list of the crew members of the Liberty Ship Augustus Thomas EC2-S-C1. I believe my father was a member of this crew when the ship was hit by a Japanese bomber during the invasion of Leyte Gulf. He was a Coast Guard radio officer assigned to the Navy during WW II. He was a very private person and did not like to talk about his war time experiences. His name was Donald V. Scharf. Any help would be greatly appreciated. He passed away in 2005 at the age of 84.

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