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Remembering World War II
Name: John Murray Keating Rank: Waiter Service: SS Suecia (Sweden); Swedish Merchant Navy Date of Birth: 1926 Place of Birth: Lower Sackville, Halifax Co., NS Marital Status: Single Date of Death: August 16, 1942 Age: 16 Cemetery: Halifax Memorial, Nova Scotia Reference: Panel 16 Commemorated on Page 164 of the Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on April 3, August 31, and November 6 John Murray Keating was the son Louis (Leo) Keating (1990-1943) and Mary (Casey) Keating (1908- 1949 of Lower Sackville, Halifax Co., NS. John Keating served as one of two waiters on The SS Suecia that carried a crew of thirty-five and twelve passengers en-route from Baltimore via New York and Sydney to Liverpool. Initially the ship was part of convoy SC-95 from Sydney, Cape Breton departing there on August 12, 1942 to Liverpool in the United Kingdom; however, the ship fell behind the convoy. The ship carried general cargo, including steel, phosphate, tobacco and pulp. At 7:45 am on August 16 the SS Suecia was sighted by U-596 and ordered to stop. The Germans examined the ship papers and discovering the ship was en route in British service ordered the crew and twelve passengers to abandon ship. The u-boat then sank the SS Suecia. The crew and passengers abandoned the ship in three lifeboats. One was lost on launch and the other lifeboats were separated in bad weather. One survivor fell overboard from a lifeboat and drowned, while another boat with eight occupants, including Waiter John Murray Keating, was never seen again. Thirty-eight of the crew and passengers survived, nine were lost. The second waiter, Fred Whitter, age 15, also a Canadian, survived the sinking of the SS Suecia in the lifeboat in charge of the Chief Officer and was rescued by HMS Hartland.
John Murray Keating
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Merchant Navy Memorial, Sydney, NS