SS Carl D. Bradley
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The SS Carl D. Bradley was a self-unloading Great Lakes freighter. Built in 1927 by the American Ship Building Company in Lorain, Ohio, the Bradley was owned by the Michigan Limestone division of U.S. Steel, and operated by the Bradley Transportation Line.

The Bradley was named for Carl David Bradley, who was president of Michigan Limestone at the time. It was honored in 1943 by being the first Lake freighter to pass through the new MacArthur Lock, part of the Soo Locks.

The Bradley's registered port was New York, however, her true home was at Rogers City, Michigan, where Michigan Limestone was based. As the boats of the Bradley Transportation fleet were often out and back home every few days, many of the crews made their homes and raised their families in Rogers City.

On the evening of November 18, 1958, after unloading a delivery of stone at Gary, Indiana the previous day, the Bradley was upbound on northern Lake Michigan with water ballast when she encountered a storm with 65 mile per hour winds and 20-foot (6.1 m) waves. The ship was about 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Gull Island when, around 5:30pm, the hull began breaking in two. The first mate managed to radio three separate transmissions of mayday before the power lines aboard the ship were severed in two. An order was given to abandon ship but the Bradley sank before any life saving craft could be effectively launched.


Alerted by a distress call, United States Coast Guard air and surface units and other commercial vessels searched for survivors throughout the night and into the next morning. At 8:25am on November 19, the USCG Cutter Sundew located the Bradley's forward life raft 5 miles (8.0 km) northeast of Gull Island with two survivors aboard — First Mate Elmer H. Fleming, 43, and Deck Watchman Frank L. Mays, 26. Throughout the night and the following days, the Sundew and other vessels recovered 18 bodies, many of which were brought to city hall in Charlevoix, Michigan for family identification. In all, 33 crewmen lost their lives.

In August 2007, divers John Scoles and John Janzen removed the "Bradley's" bell and returned it to Rogers City, where it was restored and unveiled in a ceremony held the weekend of the 49th anniversary of the "Bradley" sinking. Curators plan to toll the bell again on the 50th anniversary of the sinking. A memorial bell engraved with the names of the lost crew was placed back on the Bradley two days after the original bell was removed.

The following men were lost in the sinking. Unless noted, all resided in Rogers City, Michigan. † denotes body not recovered.

  Carl R. Bartell, 25; Third Mate 
John L. Bauers, 30; First Assistant Engineer † 
Douglas J. Bellmore, 34, Onaway, Michigan; Porter † 
Duane W. Berg, 25; Deckhand † 
Alfred F. Boehmer, 32; Second Assistant Engineer 
Richard J. Book, 26, Portsmouth, Iowa; Deckwatch 
Roland O. Bryan, 52, Loudenville, New York; Master † 
Alva H. Budnick, 26; Watchman 
Raymond G. Buehler, 59, Lakewood, Ohio; Chief Engineer † 
William T. Elliott, 26; Repairman 
Clyde M. Enos, 30; Cheboygan, Michigan; Stokerman † 
Erhardt O. Felax, 47; Stokerman 
John F. Fogelsonger, 31, St. Ignace, Michigan; Second Mate † 
Cleland E. Gager, 30, Onaway, Michigan; Oiler 
Paul A. Greengtski, 23, Posen, Michigan; Watchman † 
Paul C. Heller, 45; Stokerman 
Paul R. Horn, 21; Oiler 
Dennis M. Joppich, 19; Wiper † 
Raymond J. Kowalski, 31; Wheelsman 
Joseph Krawczak, 35; Wheelsman 
Floyd A. MacDougall, 26; Oiler † 
Dennis B. Meredith, 25; Metz Township, Michigan; Deckhand † 
Melville W. Orr, 35; Watchman † 
Alfred G. Pilarski, 30; Second Cook 
Gary N. Price, 21, Onaway, Michigan; Deckhand 
Leo J. Promo, Jr., 21; Asst. Conveyorman 
Bernard J. Schefke, 19; Porter 
Keith H. Schuler, 34; Third Assistant Engineer † 
James L. Selke, 18; Porter † 
Gary L. Strzelecki, 21; Deckwatch 
Earl P. Tulgetske, Jr., 30, Wheelsman † 
Edward N. Vallee, 49; Conveyorman 
John Zoho, 63; Clairton, Pennsylvania; Steward 

Carl D Bradley bell before restoration

Carl D Bradley bell restored by David M Erickson

Replacement Carl D Bradley bell with 33 names of crew members who died when the ship sank Nov. 11, 1958.

Bradley ship survivor Frank Mays and William Valentine with restored Bradley Bell.


Divers John Janzen and John Scoles who recovered the Bradley bell.

Diver John Janzen entering the Pilot House.

Carl D Bradley bell before exchange in August 2007.

Carl D Bradley bell before removal 2007

Inside the C. D. Bradley Pilot House

Front of the Carl D Bradley Pilot House.
Copyright 2009 © Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum