Glenn Ray Bruaw
Born: November 19, 1921
Hometown: York Haven, PA
Service: Merchant Marine
Position / Rank: Deck Cadet
Date / Place of death: May 9, 1942 / Gulf of Mexico,
Date / Place of burial: May 9, 1942 / Gulf of Mexico,
28-53’N, 91-03’W / Lost at sea
Glenn R. Bruaw signed on aboard the passenger-cargo ship SS Heredia as Deck Cadet on April 23, 1942 at New Orleans, LA. In addition to Glenn Bruaw, Engine Cadet Irwin S. Ebel was also part of the ship’s crew. On May 19, 1942 the ship was returning to
New Orleans from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala loaded with 40,000 stems of bananas
and 5,000 bags of coffee. The ship was traveling without an escort and was not
zigzagging since the Navy did not believe that any German submarines were operating
in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the German Navy had recently ordered the submarines
of their 10th U-Boat Flotilla to begin operating in the Gulf of Mexico to interrupt the flow
of petroleum products and supplies to the U.S. East Coast and Caribbean. During the
month of May 1942 these submarines sank 56 ships, including the SS Heredia.
At about 0200 CWT, when the SS Heredia was about two miles south of the Ship Shoal
Buoy off the Louisiana coast, the ship was sighted and attacked by U-506. Two
torpedoes hit the Heredia on the port side at #3 and #4 holds. Survivors reported a
third torpedo hit on the starboard side amidships, leading them to conclude that the ship
was attacked by two submarines. However, German Naval records do not identify a
second submarine operating in the same area as U-506.
The torpedo explosions on the port side destroyed the life boats there. No distress
signal was sent and the passengers, crew and Armed Guard abandoned ship in two life
rafts. The survivors were rescued by several shrimp boats (Papa Joe, Conquest, J.
Edwin Treakle and Shellwater) and by a seaplane. Of the Heredia’s eight passengers, 48 crewmen and 6 Armed Guard Sailors, one passenger, 30 crewmen including Cadets Glenn Bruaw and Irwin Ebel and five Armed Guard Sailors perished.
Cadet Glenn R. Bruaw was posthumously awarded the Mariners Medal, Combat Bar,
Atlantic War Zone Bar, Victory Medal, and the Presidential Testimonial Letter.
Glen R. Bruaw was the only child of Raymond Stephen Bruaw and Lottie M. Stoner Bruaw. Atlee Hoover, a family friend said the following about Glen.
“Cadet Glen Bruaw had an ideal American boyhood. Born on a small
farm in the village of Cly in Newberry Township, York County,
Pennsylvania, he attended a one-room school for eight years.
His youthful days were spent playing baseball, hunting and fishing the
nearby Susquehanna River.
Growing up in the historic Pennsylvania Dutch country no doubt
contributed to the formation of his patriotic character.
He graduated from New Cumberland High School.”