Thomas C. Sanger - Author of Without Warning - photo

A Message From the Author

Hello and welcome to my website, the official website of author Thomas C. Sanger.  I recently completed a historical novel set at the beginning of World War II. The book’s working title is Without Warning and elsewhere on this site you can read an excerpt, find a brief description of the story, and learn more about the research behind the writing.  I first became interested in writing about Athenia, a British passenger liner sunk by a German U-boat, because my grandmother, Rhoda Thomas, was aboard the ship. Over the years, I found that many people knew of the Lusitania, which was torpedoed by a U-boat during World War I, but hardly anyone had ever heard of Athenia, even though 30 Americans died in that attack more than two years before Pearl Harbor. In researching the book, I read many inspiring and harrowing accounts written by other survivors and spoke to a handful of them who are still alive. What began as a project to remember my grandmother has become for me an effort to honor the memories of Athenia’s passengers whose heroism and sacrifices have been overshadowed by the war’s greater conflagrations. READ MORE…

Tom’s Athenia Blog

Russell Park’s SS Athenia Adventure Part 4: Russell Explores a Lifeboat!

Sunday Afternoon, September 3, 1939 Dressed in an old, olive-drab sweater, short brown trousers and sneakers, Russell climbed the stairs to the open Tourist class area at the stern of the Promenade deck. He had spent more than an hour walking the cramped Third class cabin passageways, wandering the busy lounge and empty dining saloons... Read More

The Story of Russell Park and the SS Athenia Continues* Part 3

Sunday Morning, September 3, 1939 With the conclusion of Father Joseph O’Connor’s Holy Mass for several dozen Catholics aboard Athenia, Russell was on his feet. The morning service had seemed interminable as he sat with his mother, Rebecca, and the other worshipers in the ornately domed Tourist class smoking lounge on the Promenade deck. The... Read More