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Oscar Wilhelm Johansson

A seaman from the Island of Orust in Sweden

Oscar Wilhelm Johansson
Oscar Wilhelm Johansson

Oscar Wilhelm Johansson,1 was born 8 September 1879, the son of skipper Johan Olsson and Maria Emanuelsdotter of Lunna, Myckleby, Orust Island, near Gothenburg, Sweden. He had two brothers, Olof and John.

He began his career as a sailor on the schooner Edit from Uddevalla under his fathers command. In the early 1900s he emigrated to USA and signed on ore ships on the great lakes, working mostly under the Norwegian skipper Petersen.

In 1911 he returned to Sweden and was married on New Year's Eve to Maria Abrahamson. The earnings were low on Orust so he wrote to Captain Petersen who promised him a place on the Bulgaria.

Johansson travelled with Karl Johan Johansson and Samuel Niklasson, they boarded the Titanic at Southampton. Only Johansson survived on which lifeboat is unknown2. He recalled that on reaching the Carpathia he went down to the engine room to get warm again. As soon as he reached New York he sent a telegram to his wife "Saved, Oscar."

The Woman's Relief Committee in New York gave him $50.

On his way to join the Bulgaria he assisted a boy who had also survived to find his parents and an American paper wrote an article "Man saved from Titanic, lost between New York and Detroit." He had not notified captain Petersen, and no one knew where he was. He came too late to the Bulgaria so he signed on to another one of the company's ships, but, it was reported that that ship ran aground and sank! Johansson saved himself in his underwear but after the incident he had problems with his stomach and his nerves.

On 9 May 1912 he paid the consulate in Chicago $1 for a new passport he had lost his old one on the Titanic.

He returned to Sweden in 1918 and worked as a rigger at the Allmag shipyard on the West coast of Sweden. Later, he and his wife ran a family hotel.

He died at Trolltorp Old People's Home on Orust 5 April 1967.


  1. His surname is sometimes given as Olsson (his father's surname).  It has been recorded that in America he changed his name from Olsson to Johansson, "because everyone had problem to pronounce Olsson on the right way and of course my fathers name was Johan". In the White Star Line list 6th June 1912, he is listed as Oscar Johansson. The Senate list also has him as Johansson rather than Olsson.
  2. It has been suggested that it was the waterlogged collapsible A but this is unlikely.

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Oscar Wilhelm Johansson (Olsson)
Age: 32 years 7 months and 7 days (Male)
Nationality: Swedish
Marital Status: Married to Maria Abrahamson
Last Residence: in Lunna, Halland, Sweden
Occupation: Seaman
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 347079, £7 15s 6d
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912

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Research Articles

Titanica! (2017) Shipwrecked again!
Titanic passengers and crew that experienced shipwrecks either before or after the Titanic disaster.


Oscar Wilhelm Johansson
Detroit Free Press (1912) Oscar Johansson

Documents and Certificates

(1912) Contract Ticket List, White Star Line (Southampton, Queenstown), National Archives, London; BT27/776,780


(1912) Report on Funds for Titanic Survivors, Women's Relief Committee, New York


Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988) Titanic, Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0
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    Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
    Leif Snellman, Finland
    Claes-Göran Wetterholm, Sweden