Shipcott, Henry Hanna (No. 8882442)

Shipcott, Henry Hanna (Harry)

Seaman First Class

No. 8882442, USS Morrison, United States Naval Reserve

Died as the result of enemy action on Saturday/Sunday 4/5 May 1945 (aged 36)

No known grave


American Battle Monuments Commission

Honolulu Memorial (Court 2), Hawaii


Henry Hanna (Harry) Shipcott was born on 20 April 1909 at 250A Stranmillis Road, Belfast and he was a son of William Bradford Shipcott and Elizabeth Shipcott (nee McMillen, sometimes McMillin) who were married on 2 April 1896 in St. Enoch’s Church of Ireland Church, Belfast.  William Bradford Shipcott, a tinsmith from Belfast, was a son of William Shipcott, a millwright.  Elizabeth McMillen from Belfast, who was born on 15 December 1873, was a daughter of William John McMillen, a painter.

Their witnesses were Henry Hanna and Sarah Lyttle McMillen, who was Elizabeth’s sister.  Henry Hanna and Sarah McMillen were married later the same day in the same church.

William and Elizabeth Shipcott (nee McMillen) had five children:

Eleanor (born 18 December 1896 at 7 Henry Street, Belfast)

Sarah Beatrice (born 17 March 1898 at 200 Snugville Street, Belfast)

Mabel Logan (born 8 October 1901 at 43 Howe Street, Belfast)

William Bradford (born 6 September 1905 at 250 Stranmillis Road, Belfast)

Henry Hanna (born 20 April 1909 at 250A Stranmillis Road, Belfast)

William Bradford Shipcott Senior had previously been married to Annie Cain (sometimes Cean).  They were married on 27 March 1886 in Mariner’s Church of Ireland Church, Belfast, and they had a daughter called Annie Ethel who was born on 27 November 1887 at 7 Henry Street, Belfast.

In 1901 the Shipcott family (it was the only Shipcott family in Ireland) was living at 22 Howe Street, Belfast and in 1911 the Shipcott family was living at 11 Stranmillis Road, Belfast.

In 1911 William Bradford Shipcott was the manager of a soup factory and on 10 July 1911 his eldest daughter, Annie Ethel Shipcott, married Samuel McMillen (sometimes McMillan) in Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, Belfast

William Bradford Shipcott Senior of 2 Lockview Road, Belfast died in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast on 24 October 1914 (aged 48) and he was buried in Belfast City Cemetery (Grave M. 62).  After William’s death his widow Elizabeth and her five children moved to Bangor where they worshipped in Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church.  They were living at 29 Alfred Street when Eleanor died of tuberculosis on 1 July 1915 (aged 18), and, at 12 May Avenue when Beatrice Sarah died of tuberculosis on 25 March 1917 (aged 19).  Eleanor and Beatrice Sarah Shipcott were both buried in Belfast City Cemetery (Grave M. 62) alongside their father.

After Beatrice died, Elizabeth and her three surviving children moved to Canada; in April 1921 Mabel Logan Shipcott travelled from Liverpool to St. John, New Brunswick aboard the Empress of France and records also show Elizabeth Shipcott (aged 43) travelling to Niagara Falls, Ontario with her three children – Mabel Logan (aged 18), William Bradford (aged 15) and Henry Hanna (aged 9).

Mabel Logan Shipcott died of tuberculosis on 12 March 1923 (aged 21) in Toronto Free Hospital and she was buried in Prospect Cemetery, Toronto.  At the time, her mother Elizabeth was living at 159 Campbell Ave, Toronto.

After Mabel died, Elizabeth and her two sons – William Bradford Shipcott and Henry Hanna (Harry) Shipcott – moved to the USA.  Harry completed his education at Biola Bible Institute and College, Los Angeles, California where his mother did clerical work.  In the archives of Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, Bangor it is recorded that Harry Shipcott, a former member of the Congregation, was ‘engaged in active full-time Christian service in connection with Dr Torrey’s work in the USA’.  Dr Reuben Archer Torrey conducted evangelistic campaigns throughout the world before being appointed Dean of the Biola Bible Institute in Los Angeles.

Both William Bradford Shipcott and Henry Hanna (Harry) Shipcott had fine singing voices and they were part of a Men’s Quartet that gave performances up and down the coast of California.  Both men became naturalised US citizens in California.  During the Second World War Seaman First Class Harry Shipcott served aboard USS Morrison with the United States Naval Reserve.  USS Morrison was a Fletcher-class destroyer built by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation in Washington State, USA and launched in 1943.  She was engaged in the Central Pacific Campaigns, the Philippines Campaign, and the Battle of Okinawa.  USS Morrison sank on 4/5 May 1945 after being struck by four Japanese kamikaze aircraft and Seaman First Class Harry Shipcott (aged 36) was one of more than 150 men who were killed.

Seaman First Class Harry Shipcott is commemorated in the Courts of the Missing (Court 2) and on the Tablets of the Missing, Honolulu Memorial, Hawaii.

Harry Shipcott’s wife Viola (in some records Clara nee Anderson) lived at 163 16th Street, Richmond, Contra Costa County, California and she and Harry had one son, Harry Clifford, who was born in 1931.

In 1930 William Bradford Shipcott was working as a farm labourer and living in Turlock, Stanislaus County, California.  He and Florence Idamae Rodman, who was born in Sweden, were married on 1 January 1928 in the Swedish Free Church, Turlock.  In 1940 they and their five children were living in Eden, California – William (aged 11); Ronald (aged 8); Florence (aged 5); Stanley (aged 4) and Robert (aged 2).

William Bradford Shipcott joined the US Army Transportation Corps and during the Second World War he served on various ships in both the South Pacific and European theatres of war.  He remained at sea after the war ended (in 1951 he was serving aboard USNS Cardinal O’Connell) and his last appointment was as First Mate on the Puerto Del Sol.

William Bradford Shipcott of 508 North Rama Street, Puente, California died at 8.55 am on 8 September 1955 (aged 50).  He died of cirrhosis of the liver in a hospital in Buenos Aires, Peru and his remains were shipped to Schanel Mortuary, 444 South Tyler Avenue, El Monte, California.

In the archives of Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, Bangor it is recorded that ‘W.B. Shipcott from the Congregation served with the US Navy’.