S.S. Carl D. Bradley – “Queen of the Lakes”

ROGERS CITY, MI – The last living survivor from the wreck of the S.S. Carl D. Bradley has died.

The Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan announced Friday the passing of Frank Mays, who was one of two men to survive when the vessel broke in two and sank in northern Lake Michigan during gale-force winds on Nov. 18, 1958.

In total, 33 men were killed, including 23 from Rogers City.  S.S. Carl D. Bradley was built in 1927 by the American Ship Building Company in Lorain, Ohio. She retained the title of “Queen of the Lakes” for 22 years as the longest and largest freighter on the Great Lakes before her tragic sinking about 12 miles southwest of Gull Island in 1958.Bradley- "Queen of the Lakes"

“The Edmund Fitzgerald gets lots of attention, because of the Gordon Lightfoot song and the speculation on what caused it to sink. However, the Bradley sinking claimed more lives, featured an unbelievable night of four men clinging to a small raft and the thrilling rescue attempt,” said Eric Gaertner, a news leader for MLive in Grand Rapids who wrote a book about the wreck called “Torn in Two: The True Story of the Carl D. Bradley Sinking and the Challenges for Those Left Behind.”