Isaac Henry Strauss Collection

Manuscripts Collection 348

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G.W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Strauss, Isaac Henry (b. 1914 Dec 30)
Title: Isaac Henry Strauss Collection
Dates: 1941-2004
Extent: 207 items.
Abstract: Collection, 1941-2004, of Isaac Henry Strauss. Includes a variety of government documents from Strauss’s time in the United States Navy, including personal identification cards, his Navy training course certificate, government dispatchs, and two copies of the servicemen’s magazine, “The Chaser.”rauss’s time in the Navy about war time events and the shipwreck, as well as later clippings that include the articles Strauss wrote about the disaster and clippings about the memorials at the wreck site, the United States Memorial Hospital, and Strauss himself. The collection also contains manuscript drafts, including a personal account of the shipwreck written by Strauss while he was in the hospital following the wreck, a rough draft of his article for Oceans magazine, and two other drafts of chapters written by Cassie Brown and George Whitely. This collection complements photographs in the general collection.
Identification: Coll. 348
Accesssion number: MC 2004.81, 2007.28

Biography of Isaac Henry Strauss

Isaac Henry Strauss was born in Long Island, New York on 1914 Dec 30. He attended New York University where he was a diving champion and graduated in 1936 with a Bachelor of Science degree. After college Strauss married Joan Straus and joined the United States Naval Reserve as an apprentice seaman. He was called to active duty on 1941 May 5, and was assigned as a quartermaster/signalman third class on the USS POLLUX, a converted supply ship. The USS POLLUX crashed onto the cliffs of Placentia Bay, Newfoundland on 1942 Feb 18 along with the USS TRUXTUN. The ships lost 203 men and the 183 survivors were pulled ashore and cared for by local fishermen and women. In honor of the brave actions of the Newfoundlanders, the United States government had a hospital built in St. Lawrence, Newfoundland, and called it the United States Memorial Hospital. Following the wreck Strauss went on to become an ensign and later commanded SC 668, a sub chaser. Following his four and a half years in the Navy, Strauss began his own company, Henry Strauss and Co. Incorporated. He later became a documentary filmmaker and wrote two magazine articles about the wreck.

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Scope and Contents of the Papers

This collection was largely organized by Isaac Henry Strauss. The original order was kept as much as possible and the only items that were moved were not dated while other items were put in chronological order. The Isaac Henry Strauss Collection is is arranged by series as described below.

Series 1: United States and Canadian Government Documents. 1941-1992, undated

Series 2: Correspondence. 1942-2004, undated

Series 3: Clippings. 1940-1992, undated

Series 4: Manuscript Drafts. 1942-1988, undated

Series 5: Miscellaneous. 1941-1992, undated

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Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division.

Restrictions on Use

 Various copying restriction apply. Guidelines are available from the Manuscripts Division.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the G. W. Blunt White Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.


Brown, Cassie
Strauss, Isaac Henry (b. 1914 Dec 30)
Whiteley, George

Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):

Pollux (Ship)
St. Lawrence Heritage Society
Truxtun (Destroyer : 1920)
United States Memorial Hospital (N.L.)
United States. Navy
Wilkes (Destroyer : 1901)


Placentia Bay (N.L.)
St. Lawrence (N.L.)


Shipwrecks–Atlantic Coast (Canada)
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc.–Anecdotes
World War–1939-1945–Search and rescue operations
World War–1939-1945–United States

Document Types:

Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
Government publications
Logbooks–United States–20th century



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 348, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

United States and Canadian Goverment Documents; 1941-1992, undated
Box Folder
1 1 Papers; 1941 Jun 23-1942 Feb 20 (19 items)
2 Papers; 1942 Mar 2-1942 Oct 6 (9 items)
3 Papers; 1944 Sep 8-1992 Aug 14 (8 items)
4 Papers; undated (6 items)
5 Copies of Logs, SC-668; 1944 Feb 1-1944 Mar 31 (2 items)
6 “The Chaser”; 1944 Nov 10 (3 items)
Correspondence; 1942-2004, undated
Box Folder
1 7 Correspondence concerning the wreck of the USS POLLUX and Strauss’s articles; 1942 Mar 31-1985 Mar 31 (14 items)
8 Correspondence concerning the wreck of the USS POLLUX and Strauss’s articles; 1989 Apr 1-1989 Nov 29 (29 items)
9 Correspondence concerning the wreck of the USS POLLUX and Strauss’s articles; 1990 Feb 6-2004 Oct 6, undated (19 items)
10 Correspondence concerning the memorials, hospital, and reunions; 1988 Sep 12-1994 Nov 18, undated (12 items)
Clippings; 1940-1992, undated
Box Folder
1 11 Clippings from Strauss’s time in the service; 1940 Oct 6-1945 Feb, undated (38 items)
Box Folder
2 1 Clippings from Strauss’s post naval career; 1951 Aug-2002 Aug 19, undated (38 items)
Manuscript Drafts; 1942-1988, undated
Box Folder
2 2 Strauss’s personal account of the wreck; 1942 Feb (2 items)
3 Draft of “Ocean’s” magazine article; 1988 Oct (1 item)
4 Chapter drafts from “Standing Into Danger” by Cassie Brown and “Hardy Sailors Northern Seas” by George Whiteley; undated (3 items)
Miscellaneous; 1941-1992, undated
Box Folder
2 5 Papers; 1941 May 19-1992 Aug 2, undated (4 items)

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