How much was the reward Vincent Astor gave crew members of the Mackay-Bennett for finding JJ Astor's body?

Melinda R

Melinda R

Member
How much was the reward Vincent Astor gave crew members of the Mackay-Bennett for finding JJ Astor's body? I've found conflicting amounts - $10,000 one source. Another source said it was $100,000 split among the M-B crew each receiving $2500. Also can't find a number for how many crew were on M-B. Found one picture from 1910 that showed 17 men on deck in uniform. Thanks for any help!
Melinda
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

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How much was the reward Vincent Astor gave crew members of the Mackay-Bennett for finding JJ Astor's body? I've found conflicting amounts - $10,000 one source. Another source said it was $100,000 split among the M-B crew each receiving $2500.
Took quite a bit of searching, but I found it. It was neither and I have no idea, where those incorrect figures originate from. According to The Electrician dated June 28, 1912 and The Canadian Gazette dated July 4, 1912, Captain Larnder and his crew received a cheque in the amount of $2,000:

Titanic Disaster Sequel.-- "On June 15 Capt. Larnder, of the cable steamer "MacKay-Bennett," which recovered a large number of bodies of victims of the Titanic disaster, including that of Col. John Jacob Astor, received from his widow (Mrs. Astor) and Mr. Vincent Astor (his son), a proof of their appreciation of the work of the crew of the "Mackay-Bennett" in the shape of a cheque for $2,000, with the request that it be distributed by him in gratuities to those who assisted in any way in the work of the recovery. The money will be allotted to all members of the crew in proportion to their standing on the pay roll. The cheque was accompanied by a letter appropriately expressing the thanks of the senders."

Also can't find a number for how many crew were on M-B. Found one picture from 1910 that showed 17 men on deck in uniform.
According to the crew list, she had a crew totalling 155 men:
 

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Melinda R

Melinda R

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Jason, thanks so much. I have several references but didn't feel any were primary sources. One was Scuba News Canada 6/2/22 about Vincent Astor's offer of $100,000 to anyone bringing in his father's body. Then the "infamous" Wikipedia cites TItanic: The Aftermath as the source for crew split 2,500 each. Also NY Times, June 16 1912 (just found) the check for $2000 was given to Captain of MB.
I think the $100,000 figure was simply divided (in people's minds) among the MB crew . Thanks for the primary source! You are always so helpful!
Godspeed,
Melinda
 
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