Brandler, Carl A.

Carl A. Brandler

Born: November 2, 1917
Hometown: Mabank, TXBrandler, Carl A. non-military uniform
Class: 1943
Service: Merchant Marine
Position / Rank: Engine Cadet
Date / Place of death: May 4, 1942 /
Gulf of Mexico, 25-17′ N, 83-57′ W
Date / Place of burial: May 4, 1942 /
Gulf of Mexico, 25-17′ N, 83-57′ W –
Lost at sea
Age: 24

According to his family history, Carl A. Brandler entered the Cadet Corps in March
1942. Given his Texas residence he probably attended the Pass Christian Basic
School and was then assigned to the tanker SS Munger T. Ball.

On May 4, 1942 the Munger T. Ball was traveling from Smith’s Bluff, Texas to
Wilmington, North Carolina carrying a cargo of 65,000 barrels of gasoline. At 1840
EWT, when the Munger T. Ball was 80 miles northwest of Dry Tortugas Island it was
sighted and attacked by U-507. The ship was hit on the port side by two torpedoes, one
amidships and one aft of the engine room. The explosion of the first torpedo ignited the
gasoline cargo while the explosion of the second torpedo killed the engine room crew
and many in the crew accommodations. The flames from the burning gasoline
prevented the launching of ship’s lifeboats and liferafts. Four of the 33 man crew
survived the attack by leaping from the ship and swimming clear of the burning gasoline
on the surface of the water. All of the other members of the crew, including Engine
Cadet Carl A. Brandler, perished in the attack.

According to the survivors, within minutes of the second explosion U-507, the attacking
submarine surfaced on the port side of the vessel and fired a machine gun at the ship
from stem to stern. The four survivors were picked up by the MV Katy at 2055 EWT.
The Katy had been about nine miles away from the Munger T. Ball when it was
attacked.

At this point in the war the Navy did not believe that German submarines were
operating in the Gulf of Mexico, so ships traveling through the Gulf were neither
escorted or expected to zigzag. However, the German Navy had just sent the
submarines of the 10th U-Boat Flotilla into the Gulf of Mexico to disrupt the flow of oil
and other cargos from the Gulf of Mexico to the East Coast and Caribbean. The
Munger T. Ball was one of 56 ships sunk by these German submarines during May
1942.

Carl A. Brandler was posthumously awarded the Mariners Medal, Combat Bar, Atlantic
War Zone Bar. According to the 1930 Census Carl was the youngest son of Charles
Hubert and Winnie Myrtle Bates Bandler’s four children. Carl grew up on farms and
small towns in Henderson and Kaufman Counties in North East Texas.

For some unknown reason the name of Carl A. Brandler is not on the 1946 Monument facing Long Island Sound or on the later Monument by O’Hara Hall at Kings Point. The photo of Bradler was received from family after the book was published. It may be of a teen aged Brandler in the uniform of some non-military organization

Photo of SS Munger T. Ball

One thought on “Brandler, Carl A.

  1. Carl A. Brandler was brother to Sgt. Charles Hubert Brandler. Who is my step grandfather. Iam his exectrix of his estate. Iam upset to learn Carl name not on monument.Please let me know what, I can do to change this.

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