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World War II Honor Roll

Roy F. Brucks

 

SS Titan

United States Merchant Marine

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: July 27, 1943

 


ROY F. BRUCKS was born in Virginia in 1914 to William and Helena Brucks. In 1920 the family was living at 10 Horner Street in Newport Rhode Island, where his father, then a chief petty officer in the United States navy, was stationed. By 1930 the family had moved to New Jersey, and had purchased a home at 101 Barlow Avenue in Delaware Township (Cherry Hill) NJ. His father listed his occupation in 1930 as "policeman" for the "U.S. Government". Roy Brucks graduated from Merchantville (NJ) High School, where he was prominent in athletics.

By the time of the war, Roy Brucks had married, and lived with his wife, Jane, at Union and Pennsylvania Avenues in Pennsauken NJ. He was managing a gas station at 34th and Federal street in Camden NJ when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Both he and wife Jane answered the call to serve. Jane Brucks entered the Army, serving with the WAC. Roy Brucks joined the Merchant Marine in January of 1943.

Roy Brucks was drowned when he attempted to get aid for the fellow survivors of the sea-going tug TITAN, sunk during the 1943 "surprise" hurricane that devastated the Texas coastline. The TITAN had left Galveston TX on Monday, July 26, the day before the storm hit and was caught in the grip of the storm as it quickly increased in wind and seas. She was trying to make port at Port Arthur TX when she went down. Four of Titan's crew drowned, three, trying to get into a rubber raft and another, Roy Brucks, died before the rest of the crew made it to shore. Roy Brucks had tried to swim to shore from a raft on which he and 13 other members of the crew were floating upon.

Roy Brucks was survived by his wife, then serving with the Army in Newark NJ, his parents, who had moved to Beach Haven NJ, his brother Leon, of Merchantville NJ, and his sister, Mrs. Lorraine Schwartz, of South Merchantville (probably present day Cherry Hill) NJ.  His death was reported in the Camden Courier-Post on August 7, 1943. 


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