Wednesday, March 23, 2016

James Brown MacKay

I am trying to fill in missing pieces of my father’s family and leave this for my sons and grandson.

My grandfather James Brown MacKay was born in Lybster, Scotland and went to sea at a young age - that’s what he told me. He moved to Glasgow and operated a marine business with his brothers, and there must have been a family dispute as one brother took off and jumped ship in New Brunswick. The other I think I was told moved to Australia. My grandfather moved the family to Liverpool I would guess around 1930 and to my knowledge he only worked for Elder Dempster Shipping and was an engineer on the MV Apapa for many years. He later served in a land based position with Elder Dempster in Liverpool until he retired around 1960.

Grandad MacKay was not very talkative, and I learned after he died that during WWII he had been part of a salvage recovery team before the US entered the war. Convoy ships torpedoed by the Germans were somehow located and made “seaworthy” and sailed back to the UK to be patched up and sail again. I think his knowledge of the shipping lanes from England to West Africa were a key to his being assigned to the “Wavy Navy” and if anyone has any tidbits of information I would be very grateful.


Bruce A MacKay
Sonoma, CA, USA

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