Charles Richard Le Gal was born on February, 18, 1899 in California. He was the son of Clarence Lindsay Le Gal and Ida May Hanson of Berkeley, California. His parents moved form the New York/Rhode Island area to California. Charles was the youngest of five children. His brother Clarence Le Gal died of pneumonia in France during World War One. Charles himself was also drafted.

Charles was married to a Cecelia Bendasher of Lompoc,  California.

He became Merchant Mariner and became chief engineer aborad the Alcoa Banner, a freighter of over 5,000 tonnes which was engaged in transporting supllies and good from North American to Britain and Russia.









U.S. Merchant Marine

 Alcoa Banner

The Alcoa Banner was built in 1919.

The Alcoa Banner was part of at least the next convoys:

Convoy SC 77 which departed from Halifax, Canada on March 30,1942 and arrived in Liverpool on April 16.

Convoy PQ 16 in May 1942. Departed from Reykjavik on the 21st of May 1942 and arrived Murmansk on the 30th of May 1942.This convoy en route to Russia, was attacked fiercely by the German Luftwaffe. The Alcoa Banner was damaged but with no casualties among its crew. 8 vessels were lost in this convoy.

 Convoy MKS 8 departed from Bone on 17 February 1943 and arrived in Liverpool on 1 March 1943.

On 7 July 1943, German submarine U-185 carried out two attacks on convoy BT 18 off the coast of Brazil, torpedoing U.S. freighter James Robertson and tanker William Boyce Thompson. The James Robertson careened through the columns of the convoy, colliding in succession with U.S. freighter Alcoa Banner.

CONVOY SC 148 departed from Halifax on December 2, 1943 and arrived in Liverpool on the 16th.

CONVOY HX 327 departed New York City on December 19,1944 and arrived in Liverpool on January 2, 1945.

After this last convoy, the Alcoa Banner was sent to the port of Antwerp in Belgium to deliver supplies to the Allied ground forces on mainland Europe. On 24 January 1945, Ar 234 (jet propelled) bombers of the German KampfGruppe 76, struck the docks at Antwerp and damaged the Alcoa Banner. Two men died in the attack, Chief Engineer Le Gal and fireman Joseph Cummings.

Both were awared the Mariner's Medal. The Alcoa Banner was repaired but later written off and scuttled.

After the war Charles Le Gal was re-interred at Margraten Military Cemetery, Plot O Row 19 Grave 7.

Margraten, The Netherlands

See Also:
Merchant Seaman Joseph Cummings

Alcoa Banner

Mr. David Henderson
American Merchant Marine at War

Posted 9 January 2009

Directions to Margraten American Military Cemetery

for suggestions, comments or additional information, please contact me.

This website is dedicated to the men and women who died and/or are buried in The Netherlands during World War II.


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