Monarch of Nassau ex-Sir Charles Orr, rescued Cygnet crew March 1942

This is a rare photo of a ship, the Monarch of Nassau, which was an inter-island trader through the Bahamas from 1930 to at least 1947. Built in the UK as the Sir Charles Orr, cleverly named after the governor of the colony, by former military investors who wanted to export pineapples and other goods from Eleuthera to Florida, the ship was fitted with 16 first class and 16 second class accommodation with a state-of-the-art ventilation system.

During its life it ran routes through the entire Bahamas, delivered “Father Jerome” John Hawes, the Hermit of Cat Island to that island, rescued a family of non conformist from California who tried to “colonize” the Turks & Caicos with their own commune (it failed), traded bananas with the Greater Antilles, rammed and damaged a passenger ship in Miami named Fire Island, and was put up for sale in Texas. About 110 feet overall, Carl Sawyer of Miami and Nassau was its last owner, and one of his captains was Captain Roland Roberts.

In mid-March 1942 the Monarch of Nassau rescued 30 Greek sailors under Captain Mamais from the Greek ship Cygnet (ex-Mirach) which was torpedoed and sunk 4 miles from Dixon Hill, San Salvador by the Italian submarine R.Smg. Enrico Tazzoli under Carlo Fecia di Cossato.