Ernest Murdock

Captain Ernest L.

Was born on December 10, 1924 in Lowland, North Carolina. He passed away on August 20, 2013 in San Rafael, California. He was 88 years old.

Ernest began service in the U.S. Merchant Marine in 1941. This service continued throughout World War II, including service on board several Liberty ships as well as other freighters and tankers. After the war, he served on ships transporting relief cargoes to Europe.

In 1955 Ernest Murdock was commissioned as Lieutenant (Junior Grade) in the U.S. Coast Guard. During the next 25 years he served on board several Coast Guard ships and in Marine Safety duties in New Orleans, Miami, Washington D.C., Manila (Republic of the Philippines), San Francisco, and Jacksonville, Florida. This service included assignments as Captain of the Port in Jacksonville and Captain of the Port in San Francisco, where he retired in 1980.

In 1979, Captain Murdock became involved with efforts to restore the Liberty ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien. He became an active member of the volunteer organization which succeeded in saving the ship from the scrap yards and pursuing designation as a National Historic Landmark. He worked many hours in the capacity of volunteer Marine Superintendent in preparing the O'Brien for its historic return to Normandy to commemorate the D-Day landings.

Captain Murdock was the owner of the Motor Vessel Lock Knot, a World War II troop ship, which he proudly restored. He also worked part time with the San Francisco Fire Dept., as engineer on the Phoenix and Guardian Fireboats.

"Cap" was loved and greatly respected by his family and friends. He was a good, kind man who not only worked hard but truly enjoyed life. We will all miss you "Cap".

He was preceded in death by his mother Delia Bland and his daughter Teresa Belleville. He is survived by his long time, loving companion Didi Maillard, his daughters Carol Cemo and Nancy Ireland, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A "Celebration of Life" will be held on September 21, 2013 at 11:00 a.m., at 1685 East Napa Street, Sonoma, California.

Gifts of remembrance can be made in Ernest Murdock's name to the SS Jeremiah O'Brien at: National Liberty Ship Memorial, 1275 Columbus Ave. Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94133

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Sept. 8, 2013