Veterans' Day Storm / Graveyard of Ships

Registered Site S0571

Veterans' Day Storm

The most disastrous day in the history of Lake Michigan shipping was Armistice (now Veterans') Day, November 11, 1940. With seventy-five-mile-per-hour winds and twenty-foot waves, a raging storm destroyed three ships and claimed the lives of fifty-nine seamen. Two freighters sank with all hands lost, and a third, the Novadoc, ran aground with the loss of two crew members. Bodies washed ashore throughout the day. As night fell, a heavy snow storm arrived. Rescue efforts by the Coast Guard and local citizens continued for three days after the storm. Three Pentwater fishermen were later recognized by the local community and the Canadian government for their bravery in rescuing seventeen sailors from the Novadoc.
photo of Veterans

Graveyard of Ships

The twenty-mile span of Lake Michigan between Little Point Sable, at Silver Lake, and Big Point Sable, north of Ludington, has earned a reputation as the "Graveyard of Ships." Beginning with the loss of the Neptune in 1848, through the Armistice (now Veterans') Day Storm of 1940, nearly seventy vessels have gone down in these treacherous waters. Gales and November snow storms have made navigation of this part of the lake a sailor's nightmare. Significant among the losses near Pentwater Harbor were the schooner Wright in 1854, the Minnie Corlett and the Souvenior in 1875, the Lamont in 1879 and the tug Two Brothers in 1912. The freighters William B. Davock, Anna C. Minch and Novadoc were all lost on November 11, 1940.

Erected 1986

Location: 421 South Hancock (Village Marina)
Pentwater, Oceana County


Latitude: 43.7779, Longitude: -86.43286

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