Morro Castle

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Hello Jim and Steven, I been futzing around here on ET for a bit now...mostly because of my interest in Titanic but I have been dabbling with research on other ships and shipwrecks.

Now I am not familiar with the Morro Castle, but I have heard of a ship that had a deadly fire on board and vaguely remember Castle in the name. Upon briefly browsing through your posts I came to the realization that this ship is an entirely different incident but very similar. I just did a bit of digging and the ship I am familiar with was the Yarmouth Castle. I couldn't help to notice the similarities in both situations right from the name of the ships to their demise.

I am curious to learn more about the Morro Castle as I would like to do closer comparisons between the two ships.
Hello, George: Glad to read that you are starting to look into the Morro Castle. If I may make a suggestion: the only worthwhile book on the subject is Hal Burton's Fire at Sea. You can find it used for next-to-nothing online. I would also suggest trying to get the NY Daily News on microfilm. The more easily found NY Times did a good job, but the Daily News and her sister tabloids were handed a golden opportunity when the survivors appeared in midtown Manhattan on the morning of the fire and were far more aggressive in "getting the story."
I have a book entitled "Fire At Sea" about the Morro Castle, but the author is a Thomas Gallagher...are there two books out there about the MC with the same title?

I have another book about the MC called "Shipwreck", by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts (read it a long time ago!). Are there other books about the tragedy?

Left flowers at Eleanor Brennan's grave today. (Victim) The one local survivor still alive does not discuss the disaster, having had an awful experience on board, so his wishes to be left undisturbed have been honored.

And, Deborah, belated thanks for the postcards you sent me. They were much appreciated, and my delay in sending thanks inexcusable.
Survivor Dies: I learned from researcher Anthony Cunningham that survivor Joseph Hidalgo recently died. Joseph Hidalgo was in his late teens in 1934, and was travelling to NYC and Columbia University with his friend, Franz Hoed, when he survived the fire. Franz died and his body was never recovered, while Mr. Hidalgo survived in the same manner as the majority on board- luck. He spent his later years in the American West, and left at least one extended written account of the disaster.
Survivor Dies: We are sorry to announce the death of Dolly Davidson McTigue, possibly the final 'adult' survivor of the disaster, on September 24, 2005. Dolly, a child actress who appered opposite WC Fields, and a Fifth Avenue model in 1934, was on her honeymoon with husband, Sydney Davidson, when both survived the disaster. Dolly is well remembered by those who attended the Morro Castle reunions for her personality and for her sense of fashion- the former model in her never quit
This is sad news indeed- and thank you Jim for making me aware of it. Dolly and the two Prince sisters came to a TIS convention at Ellis Island some years ago, and everyone was enchanted with Dolly's intrepid spirit, endless humor, and fascinating tales of the good old days in show business, she even treated us to a few snappy dance steps. She was a trouper and a great gal full of joie de vivre. I don't think they make 'em like that anymore. I only hope she has left a memoir or a lengthy interview somewhere about her singular life.
This may have been posted in the past, and if it has forgive me, but did you know that there is extensive footage of the Morro Castle in the Boris Karloff film, "Doomed to Die?" I got a copy a few years ago for Christmas and after examining it I realized that it was Morro Castle footage. I believe that the movie is still available.

Bonnie-Lynn Nadzeika

Inger Sheil

Thanks for the tip-off Bon-Bon...

And, as a sidenote (albeit a big, happy one)...great to see you back here! Must have catch-up - soon. You've been missed.
Its great footage, so its well worth getting.

Thanks for the welcome. Its nice to be back. What with all that has gone on in the world I havent' been much up for discussing tragedies, but I miss having folks to share my ship passion with.
Is it pre-fire or post- fire?

There is a beautiful view of either the Morro Castle or the Oriente passing the actual Morro Castle in Havana used to establish pre-Castro "atmosphere" in one of the Celia Cruz memorial DVDs, which i have never been able to trace back to its source.
Have ordreed a copy- am assuming that since it was produced in 1940 and uses the murder of a shipping magnate as a plot device that the footage is postfire.
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