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S.S. ZamZam Collection, 1941-1942

Manuscript Collection #906

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: S.S. ZamZam Collection
Creator: Hocutt, David
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Collection (1941-1942) consisting of a photograph album of the S.S. ZamZam, an Egyptian-owned ship, its crew and passengers, including 120 American missionaries (from 21 different denominations), tobacco buyers and other passengers traveling from New York to Alexandria, Egypt, via Capetown, South Africa, who survived sinking by the German raider Tamesis 17 April 1941, including newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, periodicals, correspondence, and photocopies of an autobiographical account.
Extent: 1.81 Cubic feet, 3 containers, 419 items , scrapbook

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

March 11, 2003 1 container, 0.21 cubic feet, 78 pages, 1 volume; Collection (1941-1942) consisting of a photograph album of the S.S. ZAMZAM, an Egyptian-owned ship, its crew and passengers, including 120 American missionaries (from 21 different denominations), tobacco buyers and other passengers traveling from New York to Alexandria, Egypt, via Capetown, South Africa, who survived sinking by the German raider Tamesis 17 April 1941, including newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, periodicals, correspondence, and photocopies of an autobiographical account. Donor: Mary Hester Powell.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

S.S. ZamZam Collection (#906), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mary Hester Powell

Processing Information

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services

  • Processed by Christine Mayo April 2003


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

In 1909, The LEICESTERSHIRE, an ocean liner was built by Harland and Wolf in Belfast, Ireland, for the Bibby Line. Her gross weight was 8,059 gross tons, length 467.2 feet x beam 54.3 feet x depth 31.7 feet, one funnel, four masts, twin screw and a speed of 15 knots. (Her gross tonnage in 1941 would be 8299 and her speed 14 knots.) The ship was launched on June 3rd and delivered to her owners On September 11th. Her maiden voyage was from Birkenhead, England to Rangoon, Burma.

In August 1914 the ship was requisitioned by the Indian colonial government to serve as troop transport and carried the 17th Lancers regiment from Bombay, India to Marseilles, France. She also carried Indian and Burmese troops to the Persian Gulf before being returned to her owners. In November 1917 the ship was requisitioned by the British government to serve as troop transport and convoyed 2,000 troops from Plymouth, England to Bombay, India. Between April and August, 1918 the ship was part of the transport of 2,000 troops British troops to Archangel in northern Russia and then of the convoy that brought 5,900 American troops to London and Liverpool.

In December 1918 the ship carried 3,000 Australian troops from Liverpool, England to the Australian ports of Freemantle, Melbourne, and Sydney. After the ship was returned to her owners, they changed her from coal to oil burning and otherwise modernized the ship. The coal bunker was turned into cargo space. In 1930 the LEICESTERSHIRE was purchased by the British National Expedition Company, Ltd., and renamed BRITISH EXHIBITOR In 1933 the BRITISH EXHIBITOR was purchased on September 28th by the Egyptian Company for Travel and Navigation after the bankruptcy of the previous owners. It was renamed the ZAMZAM and for two months of each year at least carried Islamic pilgrims back and forth from Mecca.

Source: Ephemera of the ZamzamIncident Collection 624, Billy Graham Center Archives

http://www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/GUIDES/624.htm

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The original scrapbook was compiled by David Hocutt, and presented to Rosa Hocutt Powell in commemoration of the shelling and sinking of the S.S. ZAMZAM. Formerly a Muslim Pilgrim ship, the ZAMZAM was named for a holy well in Mecca. The scrapbook documents the ZAMZAM’s voyage and the American passengers that were aboard through newspaper headlines and clippings. An in-depth compilation of the ship’s journey is found in the June 23, 1941 issue of Life Magazine. The S.S. ZAMZAM left Baltimore, Maryland on 23 March 1941 with 120 missionaries, two Life Magazine staff, six Wilson, North Carolina tobacco buyers, twenty-four British-American Corp ambulance drivers, twenty-six Canadians, twenty-five British, five South Africans, four Belgians, one Italian, one Norwegian, two Greek nurses, and 129 ship’s crew. They were scheduled to travel to Alexandria, Egypt via the Cape of Good Hope. In the beginning, the trip went smoothly. However, the ship sailed with no flag, no lights, no identifying marks and in radio silence. The ship was spotted while crossing the Atlantic by an Italian plane, who then notified the German Nazi Party.

On 14 April 1941, the ZAMZAM heard radio communication from a Norwegian ship, TAI-YIN, that it was being attacked by a German raider. The ZAMZAM quickly changed course and sailed on. On 17 April 1941, the ZAMZAM was shelled for 10 minutes by the German raider TAMESIS. After realizing their mistake, the Germans immediately stopped firing and proceeded to rescue the passenger and crew of the ZAMZAM. The next day the survivors were transferred to a larger, German ship, the DREDSEN.

The DREDSEN then headed north, taking the survivors to Bordeaux, France, where they landed on 20 March 1941. The survivors were questioned, and many of the missionaries were immediately released to return home to America. However, some of the ambulance men were held for further questioning. The Americans were then transferred to Lisbon, Portugal and prepared for their journey home. They departed on 6 June 1941 but bad weather forced the planes to turn around. Weather subsiding, the planes left for America once again, and the surviving American arrived back home on 10 June 1941.

After the sinking, the whereabouts of the S.S. ZAMZAM was unknown, until the Germans released the survivors to Lisbon, Portugal. The American public speculated widely and newspapers repeatedly reported on the whereabouts and condition of the Americans that were on the ship. Many major newspapers covered the ship’s voyage through report, some of which are contained in the collection.

Related Collections Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

  • Box 1#0906.1
    • Folder a#0906.1.a
      • Introduction from the collaborator of the scrapbook to readers (7/3/1941). Scrapbook page 2.
      • Inscription and photograph of Rev. J. Carlyle Powell (n.d.). Scrapbook page 4.
      • Inscription and photograph of Mrs. Rosa Powell (n.d.). Scrapbook page 5.
      • Newspaper clipping. The NY Times (3/20/1941). Scrapbook page 6.
      • Newspaper clipping. The Duplin Times (n.d.). Scrapbook pages 6-7.
      • Newspaper clippings. Listed as Newspaper Unknown. Contains newspaper clipping from: The New York Daily News, The New York Times, The Duplin Herald, The New York Post, and The News and Observer (n.d.). Scrapbook pages 6-7.
      • Newspaper clipping. The News and Observer (5/24/1941). Scrapbook pages 6-7.
      • Newspaper clipping. The News and Observer (6/27/1941). Scrapbook pages 6-7.
      • Newspaper clipping. The News and Observer (5/20/1941). Scrapbook pages 6-7.
      • Newspaper clipping. The Duplin Times (6/26/1941). Scrapbook pages 6-7.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily News (5/19/1941). Scrapbook pages 6-7.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Times (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 8.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Herald (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 9.
      • Newspaper clipping. The Brooklyn Eagle (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 10.
    • Folder b#0906.1.b
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Journal American (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 11.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Journal American (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 12.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Journal American (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 13.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Journal American (n.d.). Scrapbook page 14.
      • Newspaper clippings. Newspaper unknown (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 14.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York World Telegram (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 15
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown (n.d.). Scrapbook page 16
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown (n.d.). Scrapbook page 17
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 18.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Post (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 19.
    • Folder c#0906.1.c
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Post (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 20.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Post (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 21.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Sun (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 22-23.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Sun (5/19/1941). Scrapbook page 24.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily News (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 25.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily News (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 26.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily News (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 27.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily News (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 28.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily Mirror (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 29.
    • Folder d#0906.1.d
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily Mirror (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 30.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily Mirror (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 31.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily Mirror (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 32.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Herald (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 33.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Herald (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 34.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Herald (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 35.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Herald (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 36.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Times PM Edition (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 37.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Post (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 38.
      • Newspaper clipping. The Brooklyn Eagle (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 39.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Post (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 39.
    • Folder e#0906.1.e
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 40.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Journal American (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 40.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Sun PM Edition (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 41.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Sun (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 42.
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown (n.d.). Scrapbook page 43.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York World Telegram (5/20/1941). Scrapbook page 43.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily News (5/21/1941). Scrapbook page 44.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily News (5/21/1941). Scrapbook page 45.
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown (5/21/1941). Scrapbook page 45.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Times (5/21/1941). Scrapbook page 46.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily Telegraph (5/21/1941). Scrapbook page 47.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Times (5/21/1941). Scrapbook page 47.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Sun (5/21/1941). Scrapbook page 47.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily Telegraph (5/21/1941). Scrapbook page 47.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily Journal (5/21/1941). Scrapbook page 48.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Pos (5/21/1941). Scrapbook page 48-49.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Post PM Edition (5/21/1941). Scrapbook page 48-49.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily Mirror (5/21/1941). Scrapbook page 48-49.
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown. Newspaper listed are: The New York Post, The New York Journal American, and The New York Times (5/21/1941 - 5/22/1941). Scrapbook page 48-49.
    • Folder f#0906.1.f
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Times (5/22/1941). Scrapbook page 50.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Sun (5/22/1941). Scrapbook page 50.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York World Telegram (5/22/1941). Scrapbook page 50.
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper Unknown (5/22/1941). Scrapbook page 50.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Sun (5/23/1941). Scrapbook page 51.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily Mirror (5/23/1941). Scrapbook page 51.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Tribune (5/23/1941). Scrapbook page 51.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Journal American (5/23/1941). Scrapbook page 51.
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown (5/23/1941). Scrapbook page 51.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily Mirror (5/24/1941). Scrapbook pages 52-53.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Post (5/24/1941). Scrapbook pages 52-53.
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown. Newspaper listed are: The New York Daily News, The New York Sun, and The New York Times (5/24/1941). Scrapbook pages 52-53.
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper Unknown (5/25/1941). Scrapbook page 54.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Sun PM Edition (5/25/1941). Scrapbook page 54.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily Mirror (5/25/1941). Scrapbook pages 54.
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown (5/25/1941). Scrapbook pages 54-55.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily Mirror (5/26/1941). Scrapbook page 55.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily News (5/25/2941). Scrapbook page 55.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Sun PM Edition (5/26/1941). Scrapbook page 56.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Sun (5/26/1941). Scrapbook page 56.
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown (5/26/1941). Scrapbook page 56.
      • Newspaper clippings. Newspaper unknown. Newspapers listed: The New York Times AM and PM, The New York Journal, The New York Telegram, The New York Sun, and The New York Daily Mirror 5/26/1941 - 5/27/1941. Scrapbook pages 56-57.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Telegram (5/27/1941). Scrapbook page 57.
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown (5/27/1941). Scrapbook page 57.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Telegram (5/31/1941). Scrapbook page 58.
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown. Newspaper Listed: The New York Post, The New York Daily News, and The New York Telegram (5/31/1941). Scrapbook page 58.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Times (6/1/1941). Scrapbook page 59.
    • Folder g#0906.1.g
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Sun (6/6/1941). Scrapbook page 60.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Sun (6/7/1941). Scrapbook page 60.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Times (6/4/1941). Scrapbook pages 60-61.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Times (6/10/1941). Scrapbook pages 60-61.
      • Newspaper clippings. Newspaper unknown (6/7/1941). Scrapbook pages 60-61.
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown (n.d.). Scrapbook page 61.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Daily Mirror (6/14/1941). Scrapbook page 62.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Herald Tribune (6/18/1941). Scrapbook page 63.
      • Western Union telegram (6/21/1941. Scrapbook page 64.
      • Personal Inscription (n.d.). Scrapbook page 64.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Tribune (6/19/1941). Scrapbook pages 64-65.
      • Newspaper clipping. Newspaper unknown. Newspaper listed: The New York Tribune and The New York Times (6/19/1941 - 6/21/1941). Scrapbook pages 64-65.
    • Folder h#0906.1.h
      • Periodical. Life Magazine (6/23/1941). Vol 10 Num 25. Pages 21-27, 70-74, 77-79. Scrapbook pages 67-74.
    • Folder i#0906.1.i
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Tribune (6/24/1941). Scrapbook page 75.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Times (6/24/1941). Scrapbook page 75.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Tribune (6/25/1941). Scrapbook page 75.
      • Newspaper clippings. Newspaper unknown. Newspapers listed: The New York Times, The New York Tribune, The New York Daily Mirror, and The New York Daily Telegram (6/25/1941, 7/11/1941, 7/25/1941, 8/10/1941). Scrapbook pages 76-77.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Telegram (9/11/1941). Scrapbook page 77.
      • Newspaper clipping. The New York Post (9/27/1941). Scrapbook page 78.
  • Box 2#0906.2
    • Folder a#0906.2.a
      • Personal Letters (A.L.S.) (3/22/1941, 3/28/1941, 4/7/1941, 6/5/1941, 6/15/1941, 7/8/1941, 7/15/1941, 7/29/1941, 8/19/1941, n.d.). Scrapbook no page.
    • Folder b#0906.2.b
      • Foreign Mission Letters (5/27/1941, 6/5/1941, 6/9/1941, 6/12/1941, 6/14/1941, 6/19/1941). Scrapbook no page.
    • Folder c#0906.2.c
      • Western Union telegrams (3/3/1941, 5/19 - 5/21/1941, 5/23 - 5/24/1941, 6/10/1941, 6/21/1941, 9/10/1941, n.d.). Scrapbook no page.
    • Folder d#0906.2.d
      • Misc. Items (n.d.): Transfer slips, bank notes, and Hotel Bills. Scrapbook no page.
    • Folder e#0906.2.e
      • Periodical. The Presbyterian Survey. (n.d.) Vol, #?. Pages 416-420.
      • Periodical. Periodical unknown. (n.d.) Pages 10-11. Scrapbook no page.
      • Periodical. The Pentecostal Evangel. (7/19/1941) Number 1419. Pages 1 and 11. Scrapbook no page.
      • Periodical. The Commission. (9/1/1941) Vol 4, Num 9. Pages 233-234. Scrapbook no page.
      • Periodical. Life Magazine (ca. 1941). Scrapbook no page.
    • Folder f#0906.2.f
      • Photographs (n.d.). Scrapbook pages 5-6.
      • The Story of the Strange Fate of the ZamZam and the Miraculous Rescue of the One Hundred and Twenty Missionaries (copyright 1942) by Slyvia M. Oiness. Osterous Publishing Company, MN. Scrapbook no page.
    • Folder g#0906.2.g
      • Photocopy (n.d.) of the passenger and personnel list of the SS ZamZam. Scrapbook no page.
      • Detailed passenger list (n.d.) photocopied, of the SS ZamZam. Contains names, birthdates, occupation, and state or nationality of residence. Scrapbook no page.
    • Folder h#0906.2.h
      • Whole Newspapers The Ashville Times (5/20/1941). Oversized items
      • Whole Newspapers. The Duplin Times. (9/17/1936) Scrapbook no page.
  • Oversize Folder os1#0906.os1
    • Periodical. Life Magazine. June 23, 1941. Vol 10 Num 25. Oversized items
    • Periodical. Life Magazine. (ca. 1941). Oversized items
    • Cover of scrapbook (ca. 1941) Oversized items
    • Page 1- personal inscription (n.d.) Oversized items

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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