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William Breen
Merchant Marine
14th January 1918 ~ 5th Apr 1974

William Breen was born in St. John's, Newfoundland.

From approx. 1941 to 1953, Bill spent most of his time at sea. His occupation was listed as "Fireman" up until 1946.
In 1946, he was promoted to "Oiler".

The photo above was taken from his identification card. The date of issue was 31st Mar 1942. It was issued by the United States Coast Guard in the port of New York. It stated his occupation as "Mariner", employed by Furness Withy& Co. Ltd. It contains his right hand index finger print. It gives the following statistics:

Date of birth
British citizen
5'7", 150 lbs
Brown hair, Brown eyes
Alien registration number: 9193044
Card serial #271255.

On all the certificates his Ability and Conduct were listed as "Very Good".

The following is a summary of Bill's sea-going years:
Name of Ship
Terra Nova 16 Sep 1941, St. John's 10 Oct 1941, St. John's 25 days
Fort Townshend 9 Feb 1942, St. John's 26 Feb 1942, St. John's 18 days
Fort Townshend 27 Feb 1942, St. John's 10 Jul 1942, St. John's 135 days
John Cabot 20 Nov 1942, St. John's 21 Dec 1942, St. John's 32 days
Eagle 17 Mar 1943 18 Mar 1943 1 day
Fort Townshend 3 Jun 1943, St. John's 28 Jun 1943, St. John's 26 days
M.V. Oldham 18 Apr 1944, St. John's 27 Apr 1944, Halifax NS 10 days
Meigle 3 Jul 1944 20 Jul 1944 18 days
Meigle 16 Apr 1945, St. John's 21 Sep 1945, St. John's 160 days
North Brook 9 Nov 1945, St. John's 19 Dec 1945, Halifax NS 41 days
North Brook 1 Jan 1946, St. John's 28 Feb 1946, St. John's 59 days
North Brook 26 Apr 1946, St. John's 20 Jul 1946, St. John's 87 days
North Brook 21 Jul 1946, St. John's 14 Sep 1946, St. John's 56 days
MayFall 1 Jan 1947, Halifax NS 20 Feb 1947, Harbor Grace NF 51 days
Argovic 18 Aug 1947, Wabana, Labrador, NF 21 Aug 1948 Vancouver, BC 369 days
Federal Trader 16 May 1950, Halifax NS 31 Aug 1950, St. John's 108 days
Fort Hamilton 26 Apr 1953, St. John's 31 Dec 1953, St. John's 250 days


The photo above was taken from his Seaman's Identity Certificate. It was issued in Halifax, NS, on 29th Apr 1953. The serial number is A23477. The rest of the information is Name, Address, DOB, Left Thumb print, and unemployment insurance #.

When Bill wasn't working the waterfront or at sea, he would love to go off "in the woods". He was a competent camper. He knew First Aid, was familiar with wild edibles and was comfortable in blazing heat, extreme cold or a downpour of rain. He could "shift" for himself and was very confident in the outdoors. He traveled with a minimum of gear and his camps were simple, clean and efficient.

Bill wrote and passed his examination for Engineer 3rd Class. He then went to work in the boiler room at Fort Pepperrell. A United States military base, located at St. John's between Quidi Vidi Lake and the White Hills. In 1966, the name "Fort Pepperrell'' was dropped and the area reverted to its former name of Pleasantville.

Return to Contributed Records

Return to the Main Military Records Index

Military Records Contact: Daniel B. Breen

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