Crusty old Joe's

Kodiak Alaska Military History

The official web site of the Kodiak Military History Museum

Sinking of the mail boat MV Phyllis-S

On December 17, 1942, the U.S. destroyer Hulbert, AVD-6, collided with and sank the Phyllis-S in Kupreanof Strait at Kodiak Island. There were two lives lost. The navy destroyer was judged to be at fault. The entire court of enquiry record including copies of ships logs and all testimony and exhibits are in the Lola Harvey collection box at the Kodiak Military History Museum.

-Joe Stevens
I searched the Kodiak Mirror archives for two years after the probable date
and found no mention of the incident.  I did find mention of the boat in operable
circumstances in the October 31, 1942, Mirror, Page 1.  There was no further mention
of the PHYLLIS S in the two years 1943-1944.

KADIAK TIMES Friday, July 18, 1980, page 6 contains an interview with John Reft
done by Mike Rostad.  Reft was four years old and a passenger on the ill fated voyage.
He states Dan Valley was on board but the passenger list shows Daniel Naumoff.
A copy of the article is in the museum archives.

There is an interview with an unidentified PHYLLIS S passenger in an issue of ELWANI,
Combined 3rd and 4th Issues, April, 1977, page 147.  A map shows the site of the 
incident as center of the channel between Port Bailey and Chadwick Bay.
The date is given as the 16th or 17th of December, no year.
Page 1, Page 2

-maintains the Alaska Shipwrecks Database
Michael Burwell
U.S. Department of the Interior
Minerals Management Service (MMS)
Alaska OCS Region
3801 Centerpoint Drive, Suite 500
Anchorage, AK   99503-5823
907-334-5249 wk
907-334-5242 fax
michael.burwell (at)

- Bill Jager [mailto:wjager (at)] 
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
The Phyllis S was a mail boat that made a trip around Kodiak Island 
about once a month during the WWII period. The skipper of the 
Phyllis S was Robert von Scheele.  The Phyllis S was traveling from 
Kodiak going to the west side of Kodiak Island when it was hit by a 
US Navy ship and sunk. This happened sometime during WWII. I know 
of at least 2 lives that were lost -- there may be more. 

-Baranov Museum, Alice Ryser:
I have a copy of the Kadiak Times, July 18, 1980 with John Reft's 
story of this account. Iver Malutin said to contact Fred Squartsoff 
in Ouzinkie and Tim Panamaroff. The Phyllis S. was named after
Phyllis Sholl Zehe. Her father was the Machinist for the Ouzinkie 
Pkg. Co.  
Main index This page created 2005 September 21, updated 2011 April 10