Lucey Memorial Day OBrien

In Memoriam – John J Schlenker

The USS Block Island, part of a hunter-killer group of escort carriers providing cover for convoys moving across the mid-Atlantic, is north-west of the Canary Islands on 29 May 1944. On board were 957 crew, including my grandfathers first cousin John J Schlenker. At 20:13, German U-boat U549 slipped through the screen and fired four torpedoes, three hit the Block Island. John and five other men were killed in the attack.

USS Block Island in Oct 1943. By US Navy Employee - U.S. National Archives photo #80-G-87149., Public Domain,
USS Block Island in Oct 1943

John was the son of John Joseph Schlenker and Bernice O’Brien. He enlisted just before his 37th birthday in September 1943. John worked as a shipping clerk at the Gonic Manufacturing Company, a woolen mill in Rochester, NH and was married to Myrtle Lamprey. They had no children.

John and my great uncle Gerald were groomsmen in John's sister Mary's wedding on 28 Apr 1932.
John and my great uncle Gerald were groomsmen in John’s sister Mary’s wedding on 28 Apr 1932.

It’s Memorial Day and John is the only person I’m aware of in my tree that died in service after the Civil War. I’d written about the Bowen family in the Civil War before here and here, so I thought I’d remember John and say thank you to him and all the men and women that have paid the ultimate price fighting for our country.


Sources: U.S. Navy Cruise Books, 1918-2009 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc, 2011.
Original data: United States Navy. Various U.S. Navy Cruise Books. Navy Department Library, Washington, D.C.

Block Island Photo By US Navy Employee – U.S. National Archives photo #80-G-87149., Public Domain,

2 replies on “In Memoriam – John J Schlenker”

Thankyou so much sharing this.. I can’t imagine the amount of work you have put into this and we all get to enjoy and learn from it!

Have a good Memorial Day


Sent from my iPhone



This is my grandfather, Dr. Wilfred t Roy and grandmother Mary Schlinker Roy’s wedding. The person on the right standing is uncle Edgar Roy, my grandfather’s brother.


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