The History of the Armistice Day Storm

 
Throughout the night the Coast Guard stood watch, then as the storm moved east Tuesday morning a breeches bouy was made ready to take people off the Flint.

Armistice Day Storm

The breeches bouy, used nation-wide, was a canvas-like bucket attached by rope and pulleys to the ship. A Lyle gun fired the rope to the ship so that a person could be pulled ashore.

Armistice Day Storm

Two crewmen were taken ashore that way, each suffering exposure and hypothermia from their dunking in frigid water during the ride to shore. The Coast Guard quickly abandoned that effort.

Armistice Day Storm

Two days after the storm the Pere Marquette 22 and a Milwaukee tug freed the Flint.

Armistice Day Storm

As the storm subsided Flint crewmen saw two bodies washing ashore. The Coast Guard was notified and the bodies recovered, their life jackets bearing the name Davock.It was the first indication the Davock was lost.

Armistice Day Storm

Within two days 18 bodies from the Minch and Davock came ashore in Ludington, the final one 13 months later near the Mason-Manistee line.

Armistice Day Storm

Divers found the Minch and Davock miles apart, the Davock upside down, the Minch broken in half. The Novadoc remained close to shore, but defied salvage efforts.

Armistice Day Storm

For years bouys marked where she sank, in time she no longer posed a threat to navigation and the bouys removed. Bodies from the Minch and Davock were returned home, the unidentified were buried in a common grave in Lakeview Cemetery.

Armistice Day Storm

The Armistice Day Storm of 1940 was the worst ever to his this area. It caused massive property damage, and took the lives of 60 seamen aboard three vessels, sending two of them to the bottom.

Armistice Day Storm

Today the breeches bouy and 30-foot surf boats the Coast Guard had to paddle with long oars are a thing of the past. Some found controversy in that storm, others recognized that the Coast Guard did everything possible to save life and vessel under conditions few would want to confront.