ZAMZAM: The Story of a Strange Missionary Odyssey

By The Augustana Synod Passengers.
Edited by S. Hjalmar Swanson, D.D.

A reprint of the 1941 edition. 15 black and white photographs. With an epilogue by Eleanor Anderson.

ISBN 978-1-931475-35-8
US $ 18.95

Excerpt from the introduction by
S. Hjalmar Swanson:

The S. S. Zamzam left New York (Hoboken), March 20, 1941, for Suez, via Trinidad, Pernambuco, Capetown, and Mombasa. it was declared a neutral ship. Its passengers were chiefly missionaries bound for Africa.

Twenty Protestant denominations as well as the Roman Catholic Church were represented among its passengers of missionaries. These missionaries were bound for thirteen different areas of provinces in Africa. Probably never before had a ship left our shores for the "Dark Continent" with such a host of Christian ambassadors.

Excerpt from the epilogue by Eleanor Danielson Anderson:

The Zamzam story lives on! Beginning in 1991, fifty years after the Zamzam’s sinking, survivors and families have gathered for reunions six times. That list of survivors, with their storehouse of memories, has dwindled drastically with the passing of time. By the year 2008 only two of the known twenty-nine living survivors had been adults on the Zamzam. The story is still told at church and community programs, often accompanied by newspaper articles. Newer media include a website (, a DVD/video titled “Zamzam: A Missionary Odyssey”, and the book, Miracle at Sea by Eleanor Anderson (Quiet Waters Publications). The republishing of this 1941 book is another testimony to interest in the Zamzam story.

Zamzam materials are now being preserved at the ELCA Archives in Elk Grove, IL; the Billy Graham Center Archives in Wheaton, IL; and the Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. Several survivors keep collections, too.

As Zamzam research continues, more is being learned about the Canadian survivors, the internment camps, the German officers and crew, the motives which prompted the sinking, the Egyptian crew and more. Indeed, the story goes on!

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