Thursday, December 29, 2011


For several, several years I've researched and published on my web site about sinkings of Merchant shipping during the WW II  era.....included in this "grouping" of Merchant vessels were "Liberty Ships"...and really they were "Merchant Freighters"...only thing different they were more or less owned by the government...and managed by private companies.

Yes war war..ships are sunk...seamen get killed....but most generally I've read many a report where the ship was torpedoed...the men abandon ship....and pretty much once in the life boats...the enemy offer food, and a direction to go to reach the nearest land.

But I have a history that just turns the tables on what was generally the norm on the sinking of a ship....  And actually there was no reason for this type of action....if you'd care to give this a will simply blow your can people be so cruel

Hope you find it ....interesting.


Young men and women ...regardless of the dangers of  the sea....they like the adventures...or some like myself call it a wanderlust.  These youngsters many of which sign on to the Navy's of their country...or into a Merchant service as their career.  Sail training is the beginning of learning seamanship and gaining it is clearly understood why these sailing training ships was still a part of the sea....even in the 1950's.

To the world and her stout-hearted crew of young sea cadets, the Pamir appeared indestructible for she's weathered many a storm in her illustrious career as a training ship.  But then fate intervened - proving once again that nothing is sacrosanct at sea.

A sadness to the loss of any life at sea...but to lose 80 seamen is considered more than is simply "tragic."

If you'd care to give this story a go....just click on the below link:

Hope you find the article interesting

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Now folks here is a guy .....I swear...he saw things that most people wouldn't gosh you would have thought he was on the hooch all the time.  Ok you say, "Well Bud every family has one of these types of individuals....hmmmmmmm....well maybe so...but let me throw some examples at you.

He says, he witnessed the burning of the Merrimac off Craney without taking a breath he also said  he saw ships swallowed whole in Hel's Gate.  Dynamite Johnny even watched the 'Main' rise from its watery grave only to be ceremoniously sunk you tell me what this guy was on??

Ole Dynamite Johnny...was born in the dry-dock section of New York.  Oh yes a tough part of doubt about he had plenty of 'brine' running through his veins.  He even 'cut his nautical teeth piloting the ferry across Hell's Gate.....oh yes he did in deed!!!!

Tell you what....I can set here and pound out all kinds of things about this guy....and excuse my 'French' but this is one hell of an article...but I've banged this story out I'll let you go get that chilled glass, fill it with a tad of "cheap wine"...(my goodness cheap or expensive after awhile you still get a 'buzz' so who care's...whatever trips your trigger)....and indulge in the article.

Just click on this link:



You know I'm not a big "Cowboys & Indians" fan....but it is very hard for me to believe that many individuals are aware to the heroic role played by the Army river steamer "Far West" the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

Actually the most famous cavalry battle in the west....and I've also learned that this battle...had an episode that saw the use of an Army steamboat to supply troops and to evacuate the wounded.  

So...if you want to read about how the steamboat became an integral part of a cavalry is a chapter in American military history that may be of interest to you.

Just click on this link....and it will unfold before you:

Hope you enjoy!!


Yes Sir...this ole gal was "one" of many that suffered extensive damage in WW II.  Her story is told by a crew member....Mr. Bill Foster a Boiler Technician 1c....  He enlisted in the Navy in 1937...and became an "old salt" on board the USS Selfridge (DD-357).
Well ....Mr. Foster has a very clear memory on just how his ship lost her "complete bow"...all the way back to the bridge....killing 13, wounding 11.....and 36 missing and presumed dead.

There is some pretty devastating pictures of this damage in the article....and you wonder how the crew even kept there ship afloat....well it was either swim or see if the unheard of could be accomplished.

If you'd care to give this one a 'go'....just click on the below link:

Hope you enjoy

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Oh yes!!....we've probably all have heard of Lt. William Bligh and the "Mutiny on the HMS Bounty".....but really don't sell this guy short.....  I want you to all know ...this guy was an excellent 'seaman' and he had somewhat of a 'street-smart' skill in navigation.

Now you say, "Well there has been many that you can say that about......"  Tell you what....give this a is attention to the miles at sea that was traveled...the year.....and all this in an 'opened' boat....

Here is the link hope you enjoy.

Friday, December 23, 2011


The were called a lot of names, “Jeep Carriers,” and some referred to them as “Baby Flat Tops.” Early on the U.S. Navy designated the ships as (AVC’s), but later on that was changed to a designation of (CVE’s), which resulted in the “old salts” saying this designation stood for “Combustible, Vulnerable and Expendable.

This is not a long drawn out don't get into those types of subjects.  So if your into reading...a thumbnail of four pages on the basic history on these puppies.  So if you wish to give this a gander....well just click on the title:

Hope you enjoy

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Oh yes....she had her problems....but regardless of that she was a great lady of the seas.  

This is a short thumbnail history of the ole girl........excellent pictures....and if your into 'ship histories' this is one you well need to keep for your record books

Just click on the link below to read:

Hope you enjoy the article

Monday, December 19, 2011


After the forced retirement of the American warships from the Philippines in late December 1941 the defense of Bataan and Corregidor had to be shouldered in its entirely by the ground troops, aided by a few patched-up planes which managed to survive the repeated Japanese assault from the skies. The gallant American and Philippine defenders - more than 60,000 of them -finally had to lay down their arms in surrender, after a bitter and stubborn resistance against hunger, disease, and an over powering enemy, but in doing so they added new glory and new luster to the U.S. Army.

This is a "Two Part Article"  just click the link below to give this a go!!



Hope you enjoy the article.

Friday, December 16, 2011


This Liberty was named after Lawyer and social reformer Clarence Seward Darrow whom was the most famous and controversial defense attorney of the early twentieth century. He won unprecedented fame in momentous courtroom battles in which he championed the causes of labor, liberal social thought, and the use of scientific Criminology. His aggressive legal tactics, as well as his outspoken denunciations of industrial capitalism, political corruption, and popular religion, aroused animosities throughout his life. But in the end, his compassion for oppressed persons, as well as his winsome personality, compelled friends and foes alike to honor his unparalleled legal career as attorney for the damned.
The SS Clarence Darrow a Liberty ship freighter was built at California Shipbuilding Corp.  Here Keel was laid on April 30th 1943.  Lauched on May 23rd 1943 and Delivered on June 6th, 1943 to her operator: Matson Navigation Co.  Following postwar service she entered the James River Reserve Fleet on June 1, 1946 and then was withdrawn on March 1, 1947.

1947 (Apr.) the Clarence Darrow was sold to Det Forenede D/S A/S and was going to display the Denmark flag and the name was changed to Oregon.
1948 (Nov.) she was damaged by mine (near Emden).
1959 she was sold to White Cross Maritime, Ltd and would be displaying the Liberia flag and her name changed to White Cross.
1960 she was sold to United White Shipping Co., Ltd and would continue to display the Liberian flag and she would retain the name of White Cross.
1964 she was sold again to Century Shipping Lines, Inc. and displaying the Philippines flag and renamed Don Ramon.
1964 (Sept. 25th) she was heavily damaged by typhoon "Wilda" (Osaka), refloated October 4th, repaired, resumed service.
1965 she was to remain flying the Philippines but her name wast changed to Safe Philippine Anchorage.

Safe Philippine Anchorage

1968 (Nov. 26) she was purchased by the Shipbreakers, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Author: Bud Shortridge

Friday, December 9, 2011


The ship you see is the USS Culgoa, about 1902 or there abouts...she was recommissioned. She was being 'update'....machinery and refrigeration units being overhauled....and fitted out as a repair ship to service the Atlantic, Caribbean, and European Squadrons.

She got involved with some other major issues that you may find extremely interesting if you have a general interest in nautical history and the wars that engulf the early years of sea power.

Just click on this link: BEEF BOAT EXTRAORDINAIRE  if you care to give this one a gander.

Hope you find the article interesting

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


March 5th 1942............her encounter with German Sub U-404 (von Bulow) crewman in engine room never had a chance.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Now here is a "Merchant Ship" that was sunk by a Japanese Submarine I-26.....and yes it was a tragic event, all sinking's were...huge numbers of lives lost in connection to these unfortunate events of war....but there is more to the sinking of this vessel than you can imagine.

This is not a long story...3 pages at most....but you'll be somewhat taken back by the position the U.S. Navy took in the connection of this sinking ....just 35 miles off the State of Washington's coast line.

You can link to the article two ways....they are listed below:


Hope you find the document interesting.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


The ship is the USS Liberty (AGTR-5)...she was a war-built Victory ship with her spacious holds converted to house delicate instrumentation for the highly secrete "TRSS-COMM" signal relay system.  She carried a crew of 300...many of which were highly skilled electronic technicians.

I'm sure you all know of the bombing of the destroyer USS Cole....of which demonstrates the U.S. Navy's recurring lack of foresight when operating in troubled international waters.....but do you know of a similar tragedy of which occurred over 35 yrs ago...with devastating Israeli attack on the above American ship during the famed 'Six Day War'?

This ungodly event happened in June of 1967.....and folks you will not believe what you read about this will simply blow your mind....the U.S. Navy and our government simply turned there backs on the lives of 300 men....with no defense when being attack....34 died or missing....186 wounded ...two dozen critically....wait till you read how our government rewarded these men....

Just click on this if you care to give it a read:


Bud Shortridge

Thursday, December 1, 2011


The SS Furnifield M. Simmons was named after...Furnifield McLendel Simmons (January 20, 1854 – April 30, 1940) was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from 1887 to 1889 and U.S. senator from the state of North Carolina between 1901 and 1931. He served as chairman of the powerful Committee on Finance from 1913 - 1919. In 1920 he was an unsuccessful contender for the Democratic Party nomination for president.  As a leader of the state Democratic Party, Simmons led the 1898-1900 White Supremacy campaigns that effectively disfranchised black voters for a half-century. From his Senate seat, he then ran a powerful political machine, using A. D. Watts "to keep the machine oiled back home," in the words of one journalist.
The SS Furnifield M. Simmons was a Liberty ship freighter that was built at North Carolina Shipbuilding Co. and assigned emergency hull no. 888.  Her Keel was laid on January 13, 1943, and her hull touched the water on her Launching of February 10, 1943.  She was Delivered to her Operator R. A. Nicol & Co. on February 18, 1943.

1947 [February] she was sold to A/S D/S Svendborg an displayed the Denmark flag, as well as having her  name changed to SS Ellen Maersk.

1948 she was sold again to A/S J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi and displayed the Norway flag with a name change to SS Hada County.

1952 she was sold again to Monarca Cia. Nav., S.A. and displayed the Liberia flag with a name change to SS Comet.
1968 [February] she arrived at Shipbreakers, Sakaide, Japan for scrapping.

Author: Bud Shortridge

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


The article that I posted just prior to this article [ACTION THIS DAY OF DAYS] which happens to be on the Normandy invasion....and during that invasion all of the military was on that beachhead...Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marines.  Well somehow they had to tell one another to glance at a Sailor or a Coast Guard-man....they was told to paint a 'grey stripe' on their helmet.  Well this article somewhat follows the same idea...but with a twist due to the fact that these sailors that was on the Normandy beachhead...was largely unappreciated of their heroic duties .....

They were the naval beach battalions or (NBB's)....and they were I.D.ed by red helmet markings.....  Secretly trained they were the U.S. Navy medical teams.....and they were on Omaha Beach, on June 6th, 1944.  I talk of "they"...well "they were 18 doctors and 144 corpsmen who landed in the early hours of D-Day."

So as you can see this article somewhat fits on the heels of the prior if you'd care to give this one a read as well....I think you'll get some idea of what these guys had to deal with when landing on the Normandy beach heads.....and the guts it took to make all the attempts they could to save lives in a very high casualty assault. 

Just click on the following title to read:


We've all heard or read about Omaha....and Utah beaches....all hooked with the word "Normandy Invasion."  It was an enormous undertaking by everyone concerned....amassing a huge array of more than 4,000 ships, landing craft....all were berthed in United Kingdom preparation for one of the largest amphibious assaults in modern military history.

This article....will provide you with just a tad of the years of planning...and regardless of all this planning....the things that "went wrong"...and why they went wrong....some were just mistakes....but some were not.  Then you have what the sailors and soldiers faced....  The Navy guys to get those soldiers on that beach...and in such numbers that effect could be made on the enemy.....but it was well known that there was going to be many casualties in this "assaults of all assaults."   And this was "just getting them soldiers on the beach"....once on...there was still intense fighting them men faced.

If you'd care to give this some of your valuable reading time....I do believe you will be enlightened to some degree and provide to you some idea just what went into this WW II assault, and actually I have only explained just a tip of the iceberg of this event.

Just click on the below link...if you care to give it a go

Hope you find the article interesting

Monday, November 28, 2011



These "Battlewagons" as they were referred to has always been true to a sailors heart....just looking at see "a mass of power."  Something that has served us all so well one would think there has to be a way to somehow....some way to keep these massive battleships that helped preserve our freedom....a place for all to see and marvel being a museum ship of some sort.

Well that is all nicely said...but it cost huge sums of money in doing so....and we've done a fair job at preserving many ships....the Missouri...New Jersey...and many more...actually the U.S. has become known for preserving the third-largest fleet in the world.

So... this article goes over the problems and some history of the USS Iowa (BB-61)....what do we do with her????

If you care to give this one a glance...all you need to do is click on link below:




Here is another issue of the "Calship Log"...  I have posted a couple of others on this blog so you can run a search on them if you wish to give them a gander.  For those of you that don't really know what these are all about....below is a thumbnail description....that I provide whenever I post one of the issues.

If you know all about them and rather not read...but just go right to the "Log"....just click on the below:

I'm going to provide just an extremely short "intro" to this articles 'subject.' if you will kindly  bare with me on will give the reader a thread of back ground info of the 'Who, Want and When.'

Most of you know that several shipyards were built around the U.S. just prior to WW II....and most of these 'shipyards' was to gear up and built ships for the U.S. Navy as well as for the Liberty ship program....and later on the Victory ship came into the picture.

One such shipyard was the Californai Shipbuilding Corporation which was managed by Henry Kaiser and his associates.  "CALSHIP" as it was referred to, was the third emergency shipyard on the West Coast.  Built on land owned by the local port authority, it was located on the Cerritos Channel of Terminal Island which connects the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

The orginal 1941 plan called for eight building ways, but this quickly expanded to fourteen.  With expansion came remodeling and rapid Liberty ship construction.  Initially a production quota of twelve ships per month was set and by June 1942 this had been surpassed and was continually exceeded throughout 1943.

The 'Calship' shipyard mainly built Liberty freighters and tankers and later on began producing Victory ships.  Now this particular 'yard' was ranked the third in the nation in savings during the wartime emergency ship construction effort.  Their ships were built at an average cost of $1,858,000.....all together this yard produced 306 Liberty freighters and 30 Liberty tankers. you have a tad of a back ground on the 'Calship' shipyard.  Well to construct all these vessels at a cost savings as I just was always attempting to devise ways to cut cost but to still keep the quality in these "oh so important" cargo haulers of the War up to snuff.  So how did they do this??  Well they were always asking there Shipyard employees to suggest, suggest, and suggest...cost cutting ways to improve the product for less.

Well that is all fine and dandy....but to keep the shipyard worker 'in the mood' to help in this area they had to keep up the moral of the worker....and one of the ways management accomplished this was to provide the "CALSHIP LOG" [kind of a weekly newspaper of what was going on around the shipyard] twice a month....[issued on the 1st and 15th of each month].

It just so happens I have several of these "Calship Logs"....about 18 to 20 of them...I have them on a 'disk.'..I do not have the orginal. 

I'm going to provide to you 'one' of these is dated March 1, 1945....Vol 1 No. 4....and what is so darn interesting about this particular log is......this 'Calship Log' tells of the launching...[with pictures and data] of the SS John C. Fremont the first of 55 Liberty ships they built.

Now this is not the only thing that is described in this 'Calship Log'....if you read the entire 'Gossip Sheet' you'll soon see how management used this publication to keep the employees informed and to show just how important of a job they were involved in....and the appreciation for the quality and importance of the job all was doing.

So...if you've never seen one of can 'open' the above March I, 1945 issue by clicking on this:
and believe me your in for a treat.

This particular issue has two interesting of these are on Japanese shipyards....the other article provides some insight on the Turbo Generators...of which each ship had four installed.  Both articles are interesting.

As I stated above....I have several additional issues....which was actually provided to be by a Mr. William Layton....whom is a computer friend of mine that has in the past provide me with many, many Liberty ship pictures and data...

So....hope this is all interesting to y'all.....and I'll be offering other issues from time to time....


Sunday, November 27, 2011


The nation enthralled in mid-January of this year after seeing television coverage of the remarkable ditching of a passenger plane in the frigid Hudson River off Manhattan.  Captain Chesley “Sulley” Sullenberger was pilot of the U.S. Airways Airbus 320. He skillfully brought the plane to safety after its jet engines swallowed birds and lost power. All 155 people on board were saved, thanks to quick response by Coast Guard, police, and commercial craft on the river. With his background as an Air Force pilot and safety expert, Captain Sullenberger was the right man in the right place at the right time.

News reports hailed the feat as “unprecedented.” Perhaps that is true in a narrow sense, but this was not a new experience for the Coast Guard. Its men were also in the right places when needed years earlier. With the advent of commercial aircraft able to span the world’s oceans, the Coast Guard set up a series of ocean stations. It was not pleasant duty, for it required steaming around for weeks at a time. - often in cold, rough weather. The cutters’ duties included determining winds aloft, serving as navigation beacons, and relaying radio communications. It was a mission that beat up both men and ships.

Oh all happened before...and the Coast Guard was there


Friday, November 25, 2011

Louis A. Sengteller (1846-1889) had a career with the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.  He created the first detailed charts of the coast of California and Oregon.
This Liberty of which was a freighter had an Emergency Hull no. of 2149.  She was built at: Permanente Metals Corporation, Yard No. 2.  Her keel was laid on August 24, 1943.  Launched on September 14, 1943.  Her Operator: Alaska Packers Association.

After the war the SS Louis A. Sengteller was sold to

1946 in Nov. she was sold to Cia. Argentina de Nav. Dodero, S.A. she displayed the Argentina Flag and name changed to Coracero......[which can be viewed in the pictures below]

1948 she was renamed to Arriero
1951 she was sold to Flota Agrentina de Vav de Ultamar and continued to display the Argentina Flag and kept the same name ....that being Arriero.
1961 she was sold to Empresa Lineas Maritimas Argentines and continued to display the Argentina Flag and kept the same name ...that being Arriero.
1963 she was sold to Melteni Cia. Nav., S.A. and displayed the Liberia and the name was changed to Akti. the month of October  she was actually scrapped by Shipbreakers, Hirao of Japan.

By: Bud Shortridge


The picture you see is of the 'Island' on the USS Enterprise and if you look close to the left of the Island you'll see a Japanese 'Val' on fire and attempting to come in for a 'kill.'  This is just one of many Japanese planes that was attacking the Enterprise during the battle of the eastern Solomons.
We had three carriers and there support groups in this battle....but the Enterprise was pretty much singled out as the target....the Japs wanted her "down & out" in there quest to hang on to southern Solomons.

Folks this is one heck of a battle...and yes one of the commanders of our side did make a mistake....a costly one for his career as a battle commander....and the Enterprise took one hell of a beating....damaged well as killed some of her crew.

It is a detailed article of which if you're into reading about sea battles....well let me tell you this one is for first it is a tad 'slow' in providing you with how this battle all got started and how we "thought" it was going to play out....but hang with it...because it sure does get interesting.

If you wish to give it a go...just click on the title below:

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Months before Pearl Harbor the Navy began design studies that envisioned a quartet of giant new carriers intended to improve on the then-building Essex-class. The result would be the 45,000-ton Midway-class, the largest warships ever built for the US Navy.

It was an unusually hot summer in Washington, D.C., when naval planners gathered to tackle a thorny new project. Given a mandate to conceive a giant new class of battle carrier, heated round table discussions commenced in an atmosphere as scorching inside the bureau of ship as temperatures outside. No two people shared the same reactions to the encyclopedic masses of data on which judgments would be based.  At issue was not only the concept of how to configure the envisioned gargantuan 45,000-ton vessels, but debate if they were needed at all. The time was 1941. Though the United States was not officially at war disastrous events in Europe and Asia foretold that the thin thread of America’s neutrality would soon snap under the weight of Axis aggression. A year earlier President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration had fortuitously ordered an unprecedented naval treaties. If the United States were to become the fee world’s ‘Arsenal of Democracy’ it would need a strong modern navy to counter the sizable fleets of Japan, Italy and Germany.  Foremost in these fleets would be the large new 27,000-ton Essex-class aircraft carriers then under construction. Fast, tough, purpose-built ships embodying the very latest naval technology, the 24 Essex would become the backbone of the carrier task forces in the 1940s.

Due to the length of this extremely interesting article there is "two parts"...just click on the titles below:


I certainly hope you enjoy the article

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


We had a major battle in getting onto Guadalcanal....but we did eventually manage.....but involved in this whole mess was a night battle referred to as "The Battle of Savo Island."  

To put it real bluntly...there were four.....yes that is 1, 2, 3, and 4...cruisers lost during this of which was the USS Astoria (CA-34).  Now a cruiser is no cork in the water as far as a warship goes....she is one hunk of ship that does in fact pose a factor in any sea battle.

Well this particular night...August 9th, 1942 started a series of events that proved out to be extremely costly in the loss of the four cruisers.  The Japanese had slipped into position....missed by all the forces we had in the area....planes, ships and anything else that would float....but still the Japanese slipped in to within striking distance of yards.....and lite up the surprised cruisers with searchlights....and lite them up...and pounded the hell out of all units.

The one unit...the USS Astoria provides great detail on what took place during being surprised right up to the ship fighting back when surprised....all the way to when she was abandoned...
Yes it is one hell of a story.

If you'd care to give it a read....just click on the below title:


Sunday, November 20, 2011


This article is an extremely unique sub-to-sub rescue....which draws together two sub crews .....U.S. and Dutch submariners in the later days of WW II.

It involves the USS Cod (SS-224) and the Dutch Sub O-19.  The Cod got sent out on a mission to take care of one situation but ended up being directed to the O-19 that so happened to having an unfortunate meeting with a coral reef.

So the two crew met...and proceeded to tackle the problem of removing the O-19 from the reef...which for a submarine was not in the Submarine handbook on 'Just how to do such a thing'.

Anyway...after it was all said and done.....[no I'm not going to tell you how it turned out you'll have to read that for yourself]....the two crews bonded....and it even continues in todays world.

If you consider reading this....just click on the below title

Hope you enjoy the article

Friday, November 18, 2011


In our modern world it is almost unbelievable that an illness would almost cause the loss of a war....but in WW I do you realize that the flu was more deadly than mustard gas, bombs, or killed millions in its march across the land.

What you see in the picture is these young Navy recruits at the Naval Training Center, San Francisco....which all found out they were not immune from the flu's lethal effect. was a "Pandemic".....and in 1918 -19...influenza was comparable to the "Black Plague" was called many things...flu, grippe, Spanish Lady, Flanders Fever, or Three-day Fever....whatever you decide to call killed more than 20 million people...which was a conservative estimate...  

This article provides you with some idea how this 'Influenza Pandemic" effected the U.S. Navy fighting came close to shutting down all Naval WW I.

If you'd care to give this one a read....just click on the below title


This particular Liberty ship was named after.... GEORGE H. POWELL....(1872-1922) whom made a career as a horticulturist whereas the U.S. Department of Agriculture sent him to California in 1904 to study citrus fruits that were rotting in transit....and actually became an authority in the preservation of fruit.  He also became general manager of the California Fruit Exchange (1912-1922),
The SS George H. Powell was built by Permanente Metals Corporation, Yard No.1, as a freighter. and was assigned the Emergency Hull No. 2126.  Her keel was laid on November 16, 1943, and her hull greeted the water [launched] on December 4,1943.  She was delivered to her 'operator': McCormick Steamship Co.on December 16, 1943.  Following her stent in the WW II she entered the Astoria Reserve Fleet on October 3, 1946 and was withdrawn shortly after that on February 7, 1947.

1947 (Feb) she was sold to Det Dansk Franske D/S A/S and displayed the Denmark flag and was renamed Gronland.
1951 she was sold again to Cia de Commercia y Vapores, S.A. and displayed the Liberia flag and again her name was change to Barka
1957 she was sold again to Cia Oceanica de Nav., S.A. and continued to display the Liberia flag under her name as Barka (no name change)
1958 sold  to "Siracusano" S.p.A di Transporti Transoceanici and this time she displayed the Italy flag and her name was changed to Siracusano.
1962 sold to Shipbreakers, Vado, Italy and arrived for scrapping on August 8.

[Note: If anyone has any pictures of this vessel and would like to share to this post please feel free to contact me]

Author: Bud Shortridge


This article is about a subject that has not generally been discussed a great deal.  Oh yes if you've viewed WW II pictures of invasions you would see the (LTA's)....which stands for 'Lighter-Than-Air' components of the U.S. Navy....better referred to as "blimps."

There were and probably still is many miss-conceptions about how the performance of the LTA's benefited the Navy in the all out effort of invasions and having a "helium umbrella" over the Merchant Marine that was so important in supply to our friends and fighting men on other shores.

I'd have to say...this is an interesting if your up for a short read....and wish to know a tad about these "LTA's".....well you can click on this: AN EFFECTIVE UMBRELLA

Hope you enjoy the article

Monday, November 14, 2011


This Liberty ship was named after..... Charles J. Finger (1869-1941) whom was an author of juvenile books.  His book Tales from Silver Lands (1924) won the 1925 Newbery Medal.   Some of Finger's other works include Tales Worth Telling (1927), Courageous Companions (1929), and A Dog at His Heel.  Finger was an accomplished musician. He directed the San Angelo Conservatory of Music in Texas, from 1898 to 1904.[4] Among his piano students in San Angelo was David Wendel Guion, who would later achieve notability for arranging and popularizing the ballad "Home on the Range."
The Liberty Ship freighter SS Charles J. Finger was built at Todd Houston Shipbuilding Corp. with emergency Hull No. 2909.  Her Keel was laid on December 8th, 1943.  Her hull kissed the water [launched] on January 28th, 1944, and was delivered to her 'Operator" Overlakes Freighter Corp.  After her postwar duties she entered the James River Reserve Fleet on October 20th, 1945 and was withdrawn on February 24th, 1947.
SS Charles J. Finger

1947 March the Charles J. Finger was sold to Det Ostasiatiske Kompagni and was to display the Denmark flag.....her name was changed to St. Thomas.
1951 she was sold again to Aragon Cia. Nav., S.A. and this time she would display the Panama flag with a name change to Cavostaras.
1953 she was sold again to Cia Europa Comm. y Maritima, S.A. and she would display the Panama Flag with a name change to Despina.

                                                                       SS Despina

1959 Re-flagged to display the Greece flag....and she was renamed Amfithea.
1963 she was sold to Chogule Steamships, Ltd. and was to fly the India flag....and to be renamed Maratha Explorer.
1966 she was sold to Pent-Ocean Steamships Ply., Ltd. and was again to display an India flag, and her named changed to Samudra Vijay.
1970 August. she was purchased by Shipbreakers, Bombay, India to be scrapped.
Author: Bud Shortridge                                                      

THE "AgR's"

America's Forgotten "COLD WAR" Skywatcher's

Completing an early-warning ring of radar sites around the United States in the pre-satellite Cold- War era was a fleet of 16 Specially modified Navy-manned Liberty ships spotted in mid-ocean to alert America’s East and West Coast of impending air attack.

This article entails the era of the "Cold War"....when tensions seemed to escalate between the United States and the Soviet Union....this was in the mid- 1950's.  Well what took place was the U.S. and Canada were somewhat concerned that an attack from over the North Pole could be a possibility.  So in light of  this concern it was conceived that and "Early Warning System"..had to be put into place...they call this the "Distant Early Warning Line" or better known as The 'DEW' Line...across the Arctic border.

The article gives you some input on how we came up to monitor this "DEW LINE"...and what ships were involved....

If you would like to give this article a can link to it by
 clicking : HERE

Friday, November 11, 2011


Many of us don't have a clue on how 'we' would react if we were on a warship...involved in a major sea battle....and being attack by many enemy planes....  So in many of these articles that I publish on this blog I attempt in my merger manner to put the reader in the thick of the battle...and what the crew was going through.

Well this is what this article is all about....the USS Sims (DD-409) as well as the USS Neosho (AO-23) while being engulfed in the battle at "Coral Sea."  

This article is pretty much based on one of the few survivors of the USS Sims.  Most if not all the survivors do not agree with the Captains decisions or non appropriate decisions at the time of the attack.  By reading about this incident you'll read that the survivors feel is the appropriate evasive moves would have been made with the USS Sims...many fact many, many more of the crew would have survived.

So...this is the story...there are parts that are not real entertaining to read I warn you NOW!!!  If you care to give this accounting of this event a go....

Just click: HERE