Born: August 29, 1915
Hometown: Methuen, MA
Class: 1939 – USMMCC Cadet Officer
1938 – Massachusetts Nautical School
Service: Merchant Marine
Position / Rank: Second Assistant Engineer
Date / Place of death: October 23, 1941 / Baltimore,
Date / Place of burial: October 27, 1941 / Elmwood
Cemetery, Methuen, MA
Thorndike (also spelled Thorndyke in some records) J. Berwick graduated from
Massachusetts Nautical School in April 1938 with a U.S. Coast Guard License, issued
on April 8, 1938, as Third Assistant Engineer, Steam and Motor. He began sailing with
the American Pioneer Line as a Cadet Officer aboard the SS West Cusetta on April 15,
1938. On November 4, 1938 he was transferred to the SS City of Elwood. On March
29, 1939 and was promoted to Junior Third Assistant Engineer. He continued sailing
aboard the SS City of Elwood as Junior Third Assistant Engineer and Third Assistant
Engineer until 1941. According to his U.S. Coast Guard records, Thorndike Berwick
served as Junior Third Assistant Engineer aboard the SS Capulin from March 5, 1941
to April 24, 1941. One month later, on May 22, 1941 he signed on as Second Assistant
Engineer aboard the MS Jeff Davis and signed off at the end of a coastwise run on
June 9. 1941.
According to his obituary, Thorndike J. Berwick was killed in an automobile accident on
October 23, 1941 in Baltimore, MD. The funeral was held on October 27 at the home
of his grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Camire in Methuen, MA followed by a Catholic
Requiem High Mass at St. Mary’s Church in Methuen.
Based on his merchant marine service Thorndike J. Berwick was eligible to receive the
Merchant Marine Defense Bar, the Victory Medal and Presidential Testimonial Letter.
Thorndike Berwick was the oldest of Louis P. Berwick and Yvonne G. Camire Berwick’s
four children and one of their two sons. His siblings were Louise, Marceline and Louis
P., Jr. In the 1930 U.S. Census Louis Sr.’s occupation is listed as electrician.