The Missing Man


One intrigueing item I found while reading the Sarsi Deck Logs was the incident
I will call "The Missing Man".  In January 1947, Sarsi was in the waters around
the Aleutian Islands once again.  She had received many new hands, having
transferred or discharged all the plankowners.

In the Deck Logs, there are notations about infractions of the regulations by the
crew and the disciplinary measures taken by the commanding officer.   One of
more common reasons for a disciplinary action was the offense of "absent over
leave".   This is where a sailor has authorization to take a leave from the ship,
but fails to return by the specified time.  If the reason for the absence was
unavoidable, it might be excused.  If a sailor's record showed a history of
truthfulness, and the delaying reason was one such as a traffic accident or
serious illness, it would likely be overlooked.   Otherwise, it was considered a
serious offense.

In May 1946, Seaman 1st Class Samuel Dagostino reported for duty aboard
Sarsi.   He went on leave in early 1947, due to return to the ship at 2230 January
13, 1947.


Samuel Dagostino, 1946

When he failed to return to the ship, he was shown absent on the log and muster
rolls, and an investigation was eventually intiated.  According to the Deck Log of
15 Feb 1947, the matter was turned over to the Bureau of Naval Personnel.  It
reads:

     15 Feb 1947
        0800  DAGOSTINO, Samuel (n) S1c USN, absent over leave since
        2230 January 13, 1947 is this date declared missing.  Due to
        the lack of evidence, accidental death or desertion, it is 
        recommended to the Chief of the Bureau of Naval Personnel that
        the subject be considered missing until such time as he can be
        declared deceased.

As of that date, Dagostino was stricken from the muster rolls of the Sarsi and no
further mention of him is found in Sarsi records.  What happened to this man?   Did
he meet with mishap?  Did he desert?  Since the search for deserters is never given
up, surely he was found if that was the case.

Return to Tales of the Sarsi Page

Copyright © 2008, Tom Wilbeck