Fred Deckert (Charles F. Deckert)

Charles F. Deckert was born on April 19th, 1897 to a German father, Eugen, and an American mother, Annie. He was the youngest of 3 children and the only son. At the age of 20 Fred was working at the Central Brewing Company in NYC, and married to Marie Anne Deckert.

Fred was born Fridrich Dickert but his name was anglicized from German. It makes sense as a first generation American to do so, but growing up with a German heritage would almost certainly create problems for Fred. Nevertheless, Fred was proud to be an American, because at the age of 21, Fred enlisted to serve for the United States in World War 1.

When he returned from service, he moved to Railroad Ave in Teaneck. He worked as a chauffeur and started a family, as Mary gave birth to Fred’s daughter, Geraldine. Around 1930, Fred was divorced and living alone in Leonia and working as a policeman.

By 1935, Fred was a seaman traveling around the globe. By August of 1941, Fred had been to Argentina, Barbados, Belgium, the Netherlands, Singapore, Manila, Hongkong and Yokohama. As a Merchant Marine during the War,

Fred’s job onboard was as a Firemen and Wiper. On the night of September 21, 1942, Fred’s ship was having a little trouble keeping pace with the rest of its convoy and had to be left behind. Sadly, on the 24th a German submarine spotted the ship and was sunk by 7.10 pm. There were no survivors.

  1. New York, New York, Birth Index, 1878-1909
  2. 1900 United States Federal Census
  3. New York, State Census, 1905
  4. 1910 United States Federal Census
  5. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
  6. 1920 United States Federal Census for Fred C. Deckert
  7. 1930 United States Federal Census
  8. U. S., Applications for Seaman's Protection Certificates, 1916-1940
  9. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (March 31, 1939)
  10. California, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1959 (July 14, 1940)
  11. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (August 25, 1941) Website

  1. Ships hit by U-boats: John Winthrop

Find A Grave Website

  1. Charles Fred Deckert - USMM Charles F. Deckert was a fireman/watertender on the newly-built SS John Winthrop, an American merchant ship know as a Liberty ship. On the night of Sept. 21, 1942, the ship was in convoy ON-131, enroute from Glasgow to New York, when it began to straggle and was left behind. On the 24th the ship was spotted by German submarine U-619. The submarine fired five torpedoes, which broke the ship in two, and then surfaced and sank both parts with gunfire. There were 39 Merchant Mariners and 13 US Navy Armed Guards, none survived.