Newfoundland Constabulary

                                                                                    STATION       St. John’s

                                                                                    DATE              December 1st, 1942

SUBJECT        Re: Edward Tolmage Bethea, passenger on the ill-fated Caribou.


            I respectfully report for your information that on November 14th. I received the following telegram by Anglo-American Telegraph Company: “Inspector W. Case, Care Constabulary, St. John’s, Newfoundland.  Description of Edward Tolmage Bethea Seaman 1st class USCG Age 22 Weight about 160 lbs., height, 5 feet 8 inches., blond hair, fair complexion, class ring 1939 Jones Co. Has upper eye tooth out, scar in top of head, big toe nail busted.  Reply requested.  Alice Bethea.”

            Thinking this concerned the Caribou tragedy, I communicated with Mr. Dalton, General Passenger Agent with the Newfoundland Government Railway, and was informed by him that the passenger list of the “Caribou” shows that Edward Tolmage Bethea, a seaman in the U.S. Navy, was a passenger on the S.S. “Caribou” and was reported as missing, his body not having been recovered.

            On this date I received a letter from Miss Alice Bethea explaining the telegram of November 14th.  In this letter she says that her brother, who was described in the telegram of November 13th, was a passenger on the S.S. “Caribou” and has been reported as missing, and that she had been informed that the body of an unidentified American sailor was in the morgue at St. John’s.  She enclosed a picture of her brother and requested any information.

            No body of an American sailor was received at the Morgue here. In fact, I might state, that there has been no body recovered which has not been identified. I would suggest that Miss Bethea be notified accordingly. I would further suggest that the photograph and communication be kept on file in case any unidentified body should be later recovered.


District Inspector

P.J. O’Neill, Esq., O.B.E., J.P.,

Chief of Police

Source: "Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador."

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