Alma Willis aboard a ship pursued by the raider Seeadler in 1915-16?

Dear Mac

Wondering if you can point me in the right direction. I believe my Gran, Alma Willis was born on 12/12/97 in New York but then emigrated to NZ in the 1st WW travelling there. The story goes that the ship she was on was pursued by a german raider in the Pacific. The captain of this raider was Capt. Felix Von Luckner (Count). I think this was about 1915-16?

Can you pls help me with any info regarding this or give me any suggestions as to where I should start searching.

Thanks so much..... LOU GEARY 


Count Felix von Luckner as Captain of the German Raider Seeadler, moved from the South Atlantic round Cape Horn on April 16, 1917, to sail into the Pacific.

In the Atlantic his ship had accounted for 11 ships sunk, but in the Pacific pickings were much more meagre, he sank A B Johnson on June 8th, R C Slade on June 18th, and his final victim was Manila on July 8th.

The ship then sailed to Mopelia Island, to wind up as a wreck after running aground on the coral reef there on August 2nd. 1917.

Whilst hunting for enemy ships in the Pacific Ocean I am unaware of any reports of Seeadler pursuing a ship that escapes.

Also your dates of about 1915- 16 are far too early for the count's time in the Pacific.

I will look at other German Merchant Raiders in the Pacific in WW1 to see if I can get close to tracking down your Mother and Gran's possible ship.

Do you know if they sailed to NZ from New York, or if they travelled across the US to the west coast to embark in a ship in that area?

The latest and probably the best book about Seeadler ( sometimes described as the Sea Eagle ) is Blaine Pardoe's The Cruise of the Sea Eagle,  
Published by The Lyons Press Guilford Connecticut in 2005.

Best wishes and I will come back to you should I find anything of note.

Mac. Gregory.

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