Hans August John Gerull was born in 1895 in Memel (Klaipeda) Germany to Fredrich Gerull and Marie Miller (Muller). Not much is known about Frederich and Marie other than we know they had at least three children. Johann and Frederich and Heinz. John Gerull left home sometime before 1917 when he was found to be registered for WWI in Boston, MA. Again he registered on April 27, 1942 for WWII where it was listed that he was 5'8" and 185 lbs living at 17 Corbett Avenue, Dedham, MA. He worked for General Sea Foods, Boston, MA. December 19, 1938 he became a U.S. Citizen dropping Hans August and going by John.
On April 14, 1923 he was listed on a crew change record for the German ship Aval as signing on the ship. On July 4, 1923 he was recorded on the ship Westphalia arriving from Hamburg. This was the Westphalia's maiden voyage. http://www.norwayheritage.com/p_ship.asp?sh=westr. It left Hamburg on June 21 arriving in New York on July 4. He was listed as Fireman. On January 21, 1924 he arrived in Boston from Tampico, Mexico aboard the Beacon.
In 1920 he was found living at 14 Dixwell Street, Boston, MA as a boarder with his friend and fellow shipmate Max Plonske and another fellow Ernest Heim. About 1923 he married Josephine Rose Keefe Baum, widow of Harry Baum.