Siviglia, Stephen Neuman

Stephen Neuman Siviglia
Born: May 28, 1924
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Class: 1943
Service: Merchant Marine
Position / Rank: Engine Cadet
Date / Place of death: April 23, 1943 / North Atlantic,
57-30 N, 43-00 W
Date / Place of burial: April 23, 1943 / North Atlantic,
57-30 N, 43-00 W – Lost at Sea
Age: 19

 

 

Stephen Siviglia signed on as Engine Cadet aboard the SS Robert Gray on April 3,
1943 at Baltimore, MD. He was joined by Cadet-Midshipman Aubrey Connors who
signed on as Deck Cadet. A week later, on April 12, 1943 the ship sailed from New
York with a number of other ships in Convoy HX 234 bound for Liverpool, England,
apparently loaded with a cargo that included ammunition or explosives. For unknown
reasons the Robert Gray fell back from the convoy on the night of 13/14 April. Although
ordered to return to Halifax, the ship apparently attempted to follow or re-join the
convoy, but was never heard from again.

After the war, German Navy records told the rest of the story. The ship was spotted by
U-108 at a little before 3am on April 19th while the submarine was running on the
surface about 125 miles south of Cape Farrell, Greenland. The submarine fired four
torpedoes and heard two explosions. However, the ship did not sink immediately and
its gun crews began firing at the surfaced submarine, forcing it to dive. While
submerged U-108 fired two more torpedoes, with the final torpedo hitting the Robert
Gray a little after 5am local time. This caused an fire and explosion in the ship’s cargo,
sinking the ship quickly by the stern. There were no survivors among the crew of 39 and
the 23 Naval Armed Guard.

Cadet-Midshipman Stephen N. Siviglia was posthumously awarded the Mariners Medal,
Combat Bar with star, Atlantic War Zone Bar, the Victory Medal, and the Presidential
Testimonial Letter.

According to the 1940 U.S. Census, Stephen Siviglia was living with his mother, Rose
Siviglia Zagorski, step-father Stanley Zagorski and their young son Victor Zagorski. The
Census noted that the family had been living at the same address in Brooklyn, NY since
1935. Stanley Zagorski worked as a Rigger at the New York Naval Shipyard.

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