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Remembering World War II
Name: Arthur Churchill Forsyth Rank: Lieutenant, Junior Grade Service Number: Officer, Third Mate Service: SS Zebulon Pike, Merchant Navy Date of Birth: September 20, 1922 Place of Birth: Hantsport, Hants Co., Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: 1943 Place of Enlistment: Unknown Address at Enlistment: Baldwin, Nassau, New York Age at Enlistment: Unknown Height: 6 feet, 1 inch Complexion: Light Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Blue Date of Death: January 15, 1945 Age: 22 Cemetery: Unknown Arthur Churchill Forsyth was the son of John Stewart Grant Forsyth (1899–1978) and Frances (Churchill) Forsyth (1901–1942). His father was born in Windsor, in Hants Co., NS; his mother – in the Hantsport / Walton area of Hants County. Arthur had an older brother Alfred Stuart (1921-1944) and a younger sister Mary Elizabeth Forsyth (1924–2008). Arthur’s uncle Lieutenant Alfred Snow Churchill died in the First World War at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917, serving with the Royal Canadian Regiment. Arthur’s brother Lieutenant Alfred S. Forsyth served with the Princess Louise Fusiliers in the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps in the Second World War and was killed in action September 29, 1944, age 23. He is interred at the Cassino War Cemetery in Italy. The family moved to the United States in 1924. Arthur’s mother died in 1942. Arthur was employed as telephone engineer in the 1930 and 1940. The Forsyth family lived on Staten Island in 1930 but by 1940 had moved to Hempstead, Long Island. Arthur C. Forsyth registered for the US Draft on June 30, 1942, in Baldwin, New York. At the time, he was working for the California Texas Oil Co. Arthur entered began his merchant navy schooling in 1943 and graduated from the Kings Point United States Merchant Marine Academy in New York on January 4, 1944. He signed on as Third Mate aboard the Liberty Ship SS Zebulon Pike on December 28, 1944 at the port of New York. He was joined by his academy classmate Edward S. Sherman who signed on as Second Mate the same day. Forsyth and Sherman had served aboard the same ship at least twice. Both men signed on as Deck Cadets aboard the SS Caleb Strong on November 5, 1942. The men signed on as Third and Second Mate, respectively, aboard the SS Robert F. Stockton at New York, NY on January 20, 1944 and signed off on November 5, 1944 at the same port. At the time they signed aboard the Stockton, Forsyth is shown as having six months sea time while Sherman had seven months time. The SS Zebulon Pike sailed from New York to Norfolk, VA on January 1, to load cargo. On January 15, 1945 at 1900, Arthur Forsyth and Edward Sherman left their vessel. According to the Zebulon Pike’s Official Log Book, at 0245 on January 16, the Master was informed by Norfolk Police that the two men apparently commandeered a taxi, drove the taxi into a body of water and drowned. According to an account of the incident published on January 16, 1945 in the Norfolk Virginia Pilot, the taxi containing the two men drove off the Chesapeake and Ohio Terminal at the foot of Brooke Avenue into the Elizabeth River shortly before 10pm. A rescue boat was on the scene within fifteen minutes of the accident, but neither man was found in the water. With the assistance of Navy Diver Mack McKesson and a floating crane, which arrived on the scene at 11:30 p.m., the car was brought to the surface at 12:25 a.m. At that time Edward Sherman’s body was found to be floating face up outside the car with his coat caught in the door of the cab. Arthur Forsyth’s body was still inside the cab when the car was brought to the surface. Edward Sherman’s body was taken to the Ewell & Williamson Funeral Home while Forsyth’s body was taken to the Cox Funeral Home for preparation for burial. Before the ship sailed on January 18, the personal effects and wages of Edward Sherman and Arthur Forsyth were left at the U.S. Shipping Commissioner’s office, for return to their families.* An article in The Times Dispatch of Richmond, Virginia, Tuesday, January 16, 1945, explains his fate: NORFOLK Jan 16— (AP) —Two naval officers were drowned last night when a cab in which they were riding plunged off the pier at the end of Brooke Avenue and sank in the Elizabeth River. The men were identified by Norfolk police through identification cards in their pockets as: Lieutenant Edward Stanley Sherman, Jr., USNR, inactive, of 219 Grant St, Port Jefferson, NY, Lieutenant (JG) Arthur C Forsyth, address unavailable. The men had been attached to the deck department of the Merchant Marine. The tragedy followed briefly an episode in which two officers commandeered a Yellow Cab in front of the Atlantic Hotel on Granby Street and disappeared. R F Flannigan reported to police that he saw a yellow Cab stop on Boush Street near Brooke Avenue and an officer on the rear seat move into the front seat. Another officer, he said, was driving. The car then was thrown into gear and driven swiftly through the Boush Street - Brooke Avenue traffic light, while the light was on the red. Flannigan said the car proceeded down Brooke Avenue toward the water turned left and plunged overboard. He followed and reported that the cab sank slowly leaving a trail of bubbles. A little earlier, J H Bryant, driver for the Yellow Cab Company, reported the theft of his cab to police. He said four officers, one an army officer a member of the air force boarded his cab at the Monticello Hotel. ‘One Officer Dropped’ - Bryant reported he dropped one of the officers at the Greyhound bus terminal Granby Street and Brambleton Avenue. The other two, he said, wanted to go to the army base, and the army officer asked to be taken to the Old Point ferry, at Willoughby, but asked that the driver stop first at the Atlantic Hotel to pick up his baggage. At the hotel, the driver said, he went in for the baggage but was refused it and returned to the cab to get the army officer to identify him. As he left the cab, he reported, one of the men moved from the back seat to the front— a not unusual procedure. On his return with the army officer, Bryant reported the cab had disappeared. Lieutenant JG Arthur Churchill Forsyth’s death was ruled an accident. His body was returned to Windsor, Nova Scotia, on January 20, 1945. His exact place of burial is unknown. For his service aboard the SS Caleb Strong and SS Robert F. Stockton Arthur C. Forsyth was awarded the Atlantic War Zone, Pacific War Zone and the Mediterranean-Middle East War Zone Ribbons, the Victory Medal and the Presidential Testimonial Letter.*
Arthur Churchill Forsyth
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