45 years ago today, 29 crew members of the Edmund Fitzgerald parrished as it sank below the icy waters of Lake Superior. The Edmund Fitzgerald was the largest ship on the Great Lakes when it was launched in 1958 and to this day remains the largest ship to have sunk on the lakes.  The wreck went on to become one of the most famous to ever occur on the Great Lakes.

On November 9th, 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald disembarked from Superior, Wisconsin on its way to deliver ore to a steel mill near Detroit, Michigan.  The ship sailed across Lake Superior and was nearly to Whitefish Bay and the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario when it suddenly sank amidst a powerful storm. The storm had hurricane force winds and waves reported to be as high as 35 feet.

Despite the bad storm, Captain Ernest M. McSorley of the Edmund Fitzgerald never sent a distress signal before the ship sank.  All 29 crew members perished in the icy waters and none of their bodies were ever recovered.

According to a wikipedia article about the Edmund Fitzgerald, "The sinking led to changes in Great Lakes shipping regulations and practices that included mandatory survival suits, depth finders, positioning systems, increased freeboard, and more frequent inspection of vessels."

The Edmund Fitzgerald and her crew have been honored many ways throughout the years and will be honored at 3 different memorial services today.

Another way the ship and its crew were honored was in the 1976 hit by Gordon Lightfoot, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald".

Rest in peace to the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

  • Michael Armagost
  • Frederick Beetcher
  • Thomas Bentsen
  • Edward Bindon
  • Thomas Borgeson
  • Oliver Champeau
  • Nolan Church
  • Ransom Cundy
  • Thomas Edwards
  • Russell Haskell
  • George Holl
  • Bruce Hudson
  • Allen Kalmon
  • Gordon Maclellan
  • Joseph Mazes
  • John McCarthy
  • Ernest McSorley
  • Eugene O'brien
  • Karl Peckol
  • John Poviach
  • James Pratt
  • Robert Rafferty
  • Paul Riippa
  • John Simmons
  • William Spengler
  • Mark Thomas
  • Ralph Walton
  • David Weiss
  • Blaine Wilhelm

UP NEXT: Michigan Beach Resort For Sale for $1.2M

More From 97.9 WGRD