William I. Lang, 86, merchant marine captainWilliam I...

February 11, 1997

William I. Lang, 86, merchant marine captain

William I. Lang, a retired merchant marine captain who commanded vessels during World War II, Korea and Vietnam, died of pneumonia Saturday at his Edgewood home. He was 86.

Mr. Lang retired in 1975 after a 40-year career that saw him rise from seaman to ship's master. During World War II, he commanded freighters and Liberty ships on the perilous Murmansk run through U-boat-infested waters.

"He was never torpedoed, but plenty of ships around him were and it always bothered him that they couldn't stop to pick up survivors. The convoys had to keep moving or be open to attack," said a daughter, Mary P. L. "Posie" Thompson of Edgewood.

An ammunition ship under his command was attacked in Saigon harbor during the Vietnam War. His luck from previous conflicts remained with him. "He kept one of the bomb holes that was cut out of the ship during its repair as a souvenir," his daughter said.

Born and raised in Atlanta, he went to sea after meeting a steamship captain while working as a hunting guide in south Georgia.

He met his future wife, Mary Ridgely Poe, who worked for Moore-McCormick Lines, on one of his voyages to Baltimore. The couple was married in 1948.

The couple lived on the Bush River, where Mr. Lang kept a boat, raised bees, crabbed and fished and enjoyed goose hunting.

He also is survived by another daughter, Elizabeth L. "Betsy" Green of Burlington, W.Va.; and five grandchildren.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. today at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Abingdon.

S. Allan Kane Jr., 82, founded interior design firm

S. Allan Kane Jr., who was founder and president of a Charles Street interior design firm, died Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital of congestive heart failure. He was 82 and lived in Pikesville.

Mr. Kane retired in 1975 from the residential and commercial design firm he established in 1949.

Born and raised in Boston, he earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University in 1936.

He went to work for the Navy's Bureau of Ships in the late 1930s and was commissioned a lieutenant commander in 1942. He served on the staff of Adm. William F. "Bull" Halsey in the Pacific Theater of operations.

He was the author of several technical papers and the holder of several patents for the improvement of gas turbine engines.

After retiring, he served as a Better Business Bureau arbitrator and, at his death, was an arbitrator for the National Association of Securities Dealers. He was a member of the congregation of Temple Oheb Shalom.

Services were held Sunday.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, the former Jean Werner; a son, S. Allan Kane Jr. of Irvine, Calif.; a stepson, John W. Katz of Washington; a stepdaughter, Laura L. Katz of Roland Park; and a granddaughter.

Pub Date: 2/11/97

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