CHIEF ENGINEER HUNTER R. CRIST was born in New York. According to the 1930 Census he was born in 1875. He ran away from home at age 14, and first went to sea in 1895. Hunter Crist made the sea his life's work, and served as Chief Engineer on tankers for the Gulf Oil Corporation starting around 1918. Around 1915 he married Helen Slack Williams. The Crist family made it's home at 209 South Davis Avenue in Audubon NJ, and included his step-daughter Jean Williams, and sons Vernon and Forrest Crist. Vernon Crist was killed in an automobile accident in 1939.
At the outbreak of hostilities Hunter Crist was still working, despite his advanced age. He was killed when his ship, the tanker Gulfland, collided at night with another Gulf tanker, the Gulfbelle, near Hobe Sound FL on October 21, 1943. Both ships caught fire, and between the two ships, 87 men were lost. The Gulfland sunk, a total loss, only 4 of her crew of 38 survived, and the Gulfbelle was severely damaged.
Hunter Crist was survived by his wife, stepdaughter Jean, a school nurse in the Audubon school system, and son Forrest, then serving with the United States Navy. His death was reported in the Camden Courier-Post on October 26, 1943.
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