****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****


Captain Piero Calamai

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A portrait of Captain Calamai at the time of the Doria's maiden voyage.

Captain Calamai was the Andrea Doria's first master, who would take her on her maiden voyage to New York, was aboard for the ship's trial runs. Captain Calamai also came from a family whose name in Genoa was connected with the sea, although the Calamai family had neither the station nor wealth of the Doria family. His father, Oreste, had made the Calamai name known in Italy by founding and editing the magazine The Italian Navy, the foremost magazine in its field. His older brother, Paolo, who had joined the navy before him, had risen to the rank of rear admiral and commanded the Annapolis of the Italian Navy at Leghorn. Captain Calamai began his sea career at eighteen years of age when he enlisted in the navy as an officer cadet on July 17, 1916. He had served as officer on twenty-seven different ships of the Italian merchant marine before he was chosen as master of the Andrea Doria.
On the Andrea Doria's first voyage from Genoa to New York in January, 1953, Captain Calamai had been the youngest of the Italian Line's ship masters to command a first-rate ship. Now in July, 1956, on the fifty-first voyage of the Doria, Captain Calamai had reason to suspect, ironically enough, that this would be his last round trip on the Andrea Doria. He was due, upon bringing his ship back to Genoa from New York, for his annual vacation, after which he was in line to take command of the Andrea Doria's sister ship, the Cristoforo Colombo, which built a year later, succeeded the Doria as flagship of the Italian merchant fleet, whose captain was retiring at the mandatory age of sixty.

Additional Pictures: Click on the image to enlarge it.

Calamai & Impelliteri.gif (34931 bytes) UPI: Captain Piero Calamai in 1953, being welcomed in New York by Mayor Vincent Impelliteri upon completion of his ship's maiden voyage. One hundred crossings later, the Andrea Doria was struck by the Stockholm.
Calamai, Giannini,Franchini.gif (81398 bytes) The three officers who were on the bridge of the Doria. Captain Calamai seated, Third Officer Giannini on his right, and Second Officer Franchini on his left.
Calamai escorted ashore.gif (70618 bytes) Captain Calamai, some 24 hours after the collision, being escorted ashore at the Brooklyn Army Base in New York.
Capt_Calamai_making_a_statement.jpg (28841 bytes) Life Magazine: Captain of the Andrea Doria, Piero Calamai, 58, had been 40 years at sea and commanded his luxurious ship on 50 successful crossings of the Atlantic.

Captain Harry Gunnar Nordenson

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Captain Nordenson of the Stockholm in a contemplative mood.

"Every ship has its own long splice" is a saying familiar in many forms to men of the sea. It means in effect that each ship is a reflection of the 'old man" or each ship is operated differently, according to the working philosophy and habits of the captain. Captain Nordenson at sixty-three years of age, with almost fourty-six years of sea life behind him, was a hard taskmaster. And the Stockholm, the oldest and smallest ship of the White Viking Fleet of the Swedish Line, was a compact, tightly run vessel. Captain Nordenson, who had commanded at one time or another every one of the Swedish-American Line ships, was a strict disciplinarian who spared few words in casual conversation with either his officers or crew lest that relax the discipline of his ship. The captain was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, but soon returned with his parents to their native Sweden. He first went to sea in 1911 at the age of eighteen. He passed the examination for his master's license in 1935. For three years during World War II he commanded the Gripsholm, under charter to the U.S. Govermnent for diplomatic exchange service, and received numerous citations for his work. He commanded the Stockholm for four months months in 1954, then transferred to the Kungsholm, which he directed on a round-the-world cruise. He again took command of the Stockholm on September 14, 1955. He maintained a home in Gothenburg with his wife, two sons, and a daughter.

Additional Pictures: Click on the image to enlarge it.

NordensonJohannsen.gif (31458 bytes) UPI: Captain Harry Gunnar Nordenson (left) with his third mate, Johan-Ernst Carstens-Johannsen. Nordenson was in his cabin when the young Carstens was in charge of the bridge at the moment of collision.
Joannsen & Larsen.gif (54992 bytes) Third Mate Carstens-Johannsen in a typical ingenuous pose, explaining something after the collision.
(Insert) Peder Larsen, the helmsman whose attention wandered.
Capt_Nordensen_after_collision.jpg (33223 bytes) Life Magazine: Captain of Stockholm, Gunnar Nordenson, 63, in 36 years with Swedish American he served on all line's major ships, and took command of the Stockholm in 1956.

Baron Raoul de Beaudean

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UPI: Baron Raoul de Beaudean, captain of the Ile de France, displays a newspaper with an optimistic estimate of survivors. The captain's decision to turn his giant liner around saved hundreds of   Doria passengers.

Baron Raoul de Beaudean was the vacation replacement master of the venerable French liner Ile de France, carrying 940 passengers and a crew of 826 to Le Havre, France. he might well have told himself, upon receiving the news, "there but for the Grace of God..."

Captain de Beaudean was a nobelman of fifty-three, who surprised and charmed his passengers with his use of a monacle and Gallic wit, had taken command of the Ile de France a month before. 











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The names of the rescue ships Pvt. William H. Thomas, Ile de France and Cape Ann will be perpetuated in American merchant marine history as "Gallant Ships." Louis S. Rothschild, Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation (on left) presented the awards to Captain Shea of the Thomas, Captain  de Beaudean of the Ile de France and Captain Boyd of the Cape Ann, and a letter of commendation to Captain Blanc of the Robert E. Hopkins (standing left to right).

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Last modified: Tuesday, September 11, 2007