****I am sad to announce the passing of my brother, Anthony Grillo on October 21st, 2004. Please keep visiting, being patient with the hopeful continuation of his website. Sincerely, Vivian Grillo****



New York did it big in mobilizing to receive the shipwrecked hundreds from the Andrea Doria and the Stockholm. Red tape was wiped out. Helping hands waited instead. Passports were waived, public health inspection was suspended. There was no need for customs. Medical teams, ambulances, buses, canteens, multi-lingual volunteers and loans of money were ready at North River piers and the Army base in Brooklyn as the disaster survivors arrived. A quick decision by the State Department in Washington loosened the passport requirements, and within a few minutes, Federal Immigration, Customs, and Public Health officials met at the Custom House with steamship line officers to expedite the entry of the injured, the unnerved and the anxious passengers.

Mayor Wagner and Police Commissioner Kennedy set in motion the city's facilities to ease the journey from pier to hospital or hotel or home. The Red Cross offered its disaster service and canteens. The Travelers Aid Society organized staffs of persons who speak several languages and provided money to arrange quick cash. The Italian Line arranged to announce the arrival of survivors at the piers so reunion with waiting friends and relatives would be quick. Customs officers lifted the usual inspections, requiring only that passengers sign a blank declaration as they left the piers. Realizing that many would have lost passports, Edward J. Shaughnessy, District Director of Immigration and Naturalization, announced that, aliens as well as citizens would be exempt from presenting credentials.

Ile de France

Photo:Tom Gallagher-Relatives greet survivor from the Ile de France


At the pier the American Red Cross, the Travelers Aid Society and representatives of the Welfare Department were on hand in force. The telephone company rigged up twenty extra telephones at Pier 88, which were addition to the seventeen permanently on the Pier. Capt.  William V. Bradley, president of the International Longshoremen's Association was present when the Ile de France arrived and said that he had 500 longshoremen standing by.  He said they would render free any service for which they were needed. The Italian line said It would pay all bills, including hotel expenses, of the survivors, and also promised to reimburse the Red Cross and the Welfare Department for their expenses.

The survivors were disembarked on the pier's upper level. Slowly they descended, singly or two or three at a time. Cleared through a Red Cross enclosure, they went forth into a battery of floodlights and a wall of newsmen and photographers. Laughter blended with tears on the faces over 700 Andrea Doria survivors when they arrived aboard the Ile de France to join friends and relatives they thought they may never see. It was a moment when emotion, created by many hours of anxiety, burst forth like a flood.

Arriving on the Ile de France, Mrs Anna DeGirolamo is unable to calm down. Photo: Oggi

"My baby! My baby!" a mother screamed when she spied her young daughter walking unaided off the ship. Mother and daughter embraced and cried uncontrollably. The scene was repeated a hundred times as wives were joined with husbands, parents with children, brother with sister.

Survivor kissing family members. Photo: Courtesy of Rafael Zuazo Survivor kissed. Photo:Stanziola Crying survivor. Photo:Nick Sorentino Hug & Kiss. Photo:Stanziola Woman from Ile de France. Photo: Hiller Kissing Survivor. Photo: Ken Korotkin

Mrs. Angelina Guarnieri rushed forward to clasp her sister, Mrs. Benedetta De Michele, who came to the US to live with her sister. This reaction was typical of the first survivors to reach land safely. For most, the disaster was the high moment of their lives.

As they left the rescue ships, many clad in bathrobes and pajamas, some with bandages, hundreds of anxious spectators pressed forward watching for a familiar face. "My husband. He's safe!" a young woman shouted, breaking through police to reach her loved one.

Ile de France page carries an unidentified girl. Police crowd control. Photo: Oggi

Priests and nuns stood by reciting silent prayers as they awaited friends returning from religious pilgrimages in Rome. One nun began to bite her nails as she waited the first of more than 20  stretcher cases lifted from the Ile de France.

It was 6 p.m. when the first casualty was treated.  She was Mrs. Viola Gentle, seventy-five, of San Francisco.  Dr. Fernando Vescia, of the Bellevue Unit, helped her to a cot, exchanged pleasantries with her in Italian.  He administered a sedative noting that the elderly woman was suffering from shock. "You have money?" a nurse from Bellevue asked Mrs. Gentle. Mrs. Gentle pointed to her bosom and whispered  yes. She got into a taxi and said she was going to a hotel.

A moment after Mrs. Gentile was released, the first of about twenty stretcher cases started to be brought down the gangplank. By 6:30 p.m. twenty-one stretcher cases, sixteen women and five men-had been carried off the Ile and whisked away in ambulances to Roosevelt, St. Clare's and St. Vincent's Hospital.  

Injured passenger Photo: Paul Schutzer Stretcher carried off Ile de France Nurse helping Lena Scianamanico. Photo: Pat Candido

Several of them had legs or arms in casts. One woman was heavily bandaged about the head. Another injured woman was pregnant. She was accompanied by her husband, and four-year-old daughter.  One injured man was in his bare feet.

Injured but safe. Photo: News Displaying her bandaged hands, Lena Scianimanico is held by her husband John on the right. Photo: UP  Father & Daughter. Man and wife walking. Photo: Courtesy of Rafael Zuazo Family reunion pier 88. Photo: Stanziola

A Roosevelt Hospital ambulance took an entire family to the hospital: Giuseppe Napoli, his wife Rosa, and their daughter Angela,4. Giuseppe and Angela were not injured but Rosa was expecting a baby and she  was suffering from shock. They would not leave her.

Many of the first survivors were Italian immigrants seeing this country for the first time. Their faces showed stark fear as they stepped on the foreign soil they hope some day to call home. Unable to speak English, they gestured wildly trying to give police and first aid units personal information so desperately needed. But the Red Cross solved this by having on hand a delegation of Italian-speaking aids.

Red Cross, Salvation Army and other welfare groups started the almost impossible task of locating missing relatives and outfitting those left virtually without clothes.

Nicandro Caranci came here to live with a brother he has never seen. He planned to find him among the throng on a New York pier by the simple expedient of shouting the family name at the top of his lungs. But he came down the gangplank of the Ile de France to a wild, noisy scene of shipwrecked survivors instead of home coming passengers, and his simple plan failed. Italian speaking officials turned him over to the Traveler's Aid Society. Miss Eileen Sweeney checked Nicandro in a room at the Roosevelt Hotel and began a long distance hunt for Nicandro's brother. Speaking no Italian and only armed with a  name and address she called three states before finding Antonio Caranci who then came to pick his brother up.

"My son, he's where?" an Italian woman asked a pier official. She was quickly turned over to one of several Italian speaking police officers called in to ease the language barrier. Margherita Prata had no idea where her son was. They were separated when she gave Enrico to a priest on the Andrea Doria but could not keep up with them while fighting the crowds on the deck. 
His name was not on any of the lists that were available and it took a frantic search by a news paper reporter to find him on a list of Stockholm survivors. It appeared that Enrico's name was left off an earlier list.

Among survivors who had managed to stay together during the rescue were John Dazzo and his bride Carmella. Laughter and tears blended as they told how their wedding trip to a home in the US had been a nightmare but "we thank God we're here at last".

Mrs. Anna Coppola arrived on the Ile de France with her sons, Francesco and Fillipo. Her infant son Luigi was missing, the child was placed in another lifeboat when they left the Andrea Doria.

One of the largest families to arrive was Mr. and Mrs. Ellis D. Hill and their five children including their 2 month old twins.

The Paladino family was sick with worry, they did not find their four year old daughter Maria on the Ile de France and now they were in New York. They were advised to go to Pier 84 where the Cape Ann would arrive at 7:30pm. 

Dr. Thure Peterson reported the death of Camille Cianfarra and his two children and then sadly added that his own wife was crushed in the wreckage, died in his arms and went down with the ship.

Many survivors departed with friends they had made while facing death together, friends they will have for life. 

New York City Mayor Wagner greets Philadelphia's Mayor Richard Dilworth and his wife at Pier 88

Maurice Couve de Murville, French Ambassador in Washington, sent a message of congratulations to the Ile de France. Captain de Beaudean read the message to the reporters in his cabin. "I ask you to accept for yourself and transmit to the officers and crew of the Ile de France my sincere congratulations for the magnificent part taken in the rescue of the victims of the collision between the Andrea Doria and Stockholm. Because of your ship, the French flag is once more at the place of honor through an action which shows the solidarity and courage of our mariners."
The captain added that the rescue was made possible by the discipline and bravery of a well trained crew. "I am very satisfied with our boys, and with the one hundred and sixty of them that manned the boats.

The Ile de France cast off her lines at 8:10 p.m. and slowly backed out into the river. Her prow swung around and once again she headed for Europe. Her part in the rescue would delay her arrival in Le Havre by at least twenty-four hours. In the words of Captain de Beaudean, "What's that compared to lives."

Cape Ann

The freighter Cape Ann arrives at Pier 84


Three Italian children, separated from their parents in the sinking, arrived on the Cape Ann in custody of crewmembers.
The youngest, Maria Paladino, 3, was accompanied by Antonio Regina, 17, who told customs officers he had saved her from the sinking liner. Regina related that when the ship was abandoned, he found little Maria but could not locate her parents before he was ordered into a lifeboat. He said he did not know her father's Christian name and had become acquainted with them only on the ship. 
Little Maria clung to Antonio while Red Cross nurses fitted her into blue jeans, sport shirt and moccasins and protested each time the boy tried to move away.
Regina was met by his brother Ralph Regina, who offered to take the little girl to his home along with Antonio. Immigration officers, however said that would not be possible and that the little girl must go to the shelter until her family could be located.

The other two children Vito Rizzi, About 3, and Sabina, about 5, came ashore from the Cape Ann with crewmembers. They too were about to be bundled off to the children's shelter, clad in brand new Red Cross outfits, when their uncle Luigi Rizzi, of the Bronx, appeared to claim them. The uncle explained that Vito and Sabina had been placed in one life-boat and their parents, Giusseppe and Maria Rizzi, in another.  Both parents were injured and were taken aboard the Ile De France. When the French line docked, the parents were sent to Roosevelt Hospital.  From there they contacted Rizziís brother Luigi, who came to the Cape Ann. while his wife rushed to the hospital.

Luigi and Michael Moscatiello are finally reunited with their mother Angela, she arrived earlier on the Ile de France.

Survivor embraces relative. Two men reunited. Crying with joy, a survivor embraces a relative.


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Life Magazine
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Oggi Photo
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UPI Photo
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Photo:Ira Rosenburg
Arriving on the Cape Ann, Liliana Dooner is carrying her two year old daughter Maria. Walking ahead of her is Cecilia Di Paola. Liliana saved her child with a desperate plunge from the deck of the Andrea Doria into the Atlantic Ocean.


George Dooner greets his wife, Liliana and daughter, Maria, at the dock in New York.  Walking with Cecilia next to him, George Dooner holds Maria for the first time.

At 9:05 pm all the survivors were landed.

Pvt. William H. Thomas

Luigi Coppola being carried by Navy Corpsman John Gloyd of the S.S. Thomas

Oggi Photo: Anna reaching for her baby.

Oggi photo: Anna and Luigi reunited at last!
After arriving on the Ile de France with her two children, Mrs. Anna Coppola began her search for her 16 month old son, Luigi. The last time she saw him was on the Andrea Doria. There was a report of an unidentified Italian child that was about 18 months old on the Pvt. William H. Thomas and the ship was due to dock at Pier 4 at the Brooklyn Army base. Once the Red Cross confirmed Luigi had been rescued, Police Commissioner Kennedy personally escorted Mrs. Coppola to the pier.

After the Pvt. William H. Thomas docked she watched each emerging passenger until she saw Mary Green, a nurse, carrying a bundled-up baby in her arms. Only his blonde hair showed, but that was enough for Mrs. Coppola.

"My baby, give me my baby", she screamed in hysterical relief, as she rushed forward to embrace her child.

The crowd on the pier cheered and some wept.

Edward R. Allen

It was about midnight when the Navy escort Edward R. Allen arrived at  the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Brooklyn with officers and crew members of the Andrea Doria. As reporters and photographers waited, the captain conferred with with officials of the Italian Line and the Italian government. Acting on their instructions, the crew kept silent regarding the cause of the collision. 
Only one crewmember leaked information of any importance, Cadet John Conte, he told reporters that the radar was still functioning ten minutes after the collision and he saw a ship about four to five miles away. This indicated that the radar was in operation. The cadet was in the lounge when the Stockholm struck. He then rushed to the bridge for orders and was assigned to man the signal lights and the intercom system.

Captain Calamai embraces his brother as he arrived at the Brooklyn Army Base. Photo: Gary Kagan Calamai_escorted.jpg (26155 bytes)

Captain Calamai was escorted from the ship, the ordeal placed a great strain on him. His brother Mario took him to his own house so he could rest.


Family_walking.jpg (37871 bytes) Rafael Zuazo: Survivors arriving on the pier.
Injured_man_and_son.jpg (36349 bytes) Rafael Zuazo: An injured father is reunited with his son before being transported to the hospital.
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Life Magazine: Survivors debark and are caught up in emotional meetings. Man and woman embrace (top to bottom), three woman join in a joyful hug, man takes girl into his arms.
Joseph_Maggio_Jr.jpg (44452 bytes) Oggi Photo: New York resident Joseph Maggio Jr. is stricken with grief when he is told his 72 year old father Joseph is not on the survivor's list. He later found out his father was on the Pvt. William H. Thomas.
Upset_survivor_at_pier.jpg (30631 bytes) Kin seek to restore the composure of this emotionally upset survivor. She became overwrought on meeting relatives at pier.
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Photo: Tom Gallagher
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Photo: John Duprey
Injured but smiling
Stranded_Crewman.jpg (38235 bytes) Stranded crewman of the Andrea Doria, still in stained clothing of rescue, queue up at a pier to draw up to $75.00 in emergency funds for food and clothing.

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Last modified: Tuesday, September 11, 2007