Thursday, June 30, 2011


There has been alot of various sea tails about the above Liberty ship....but really the most sad event is the number of crew and number of U.S. Navy Armed Guard that was lost.

I've went from book to book...internet site to internet well as shuffling through many research papers...and attempted to provide the reader some insight into all of the various accounts from these sources. 

I'm not going into detail here on this 'Lead-in' to the short article....  This article has been on my site:
for awhile....but I recently "re done" the entire a more modern version.

Now if you would care to read the article and not not go to either site....well you can do that by just clicking on this link:

If you'd care to 'give it a go'
I hope you enjoy a tad of history

Tuesday, June 28, 2011



Have you ever wondered, "Now how in the world did the military ever come up with this kind of "Paint Job" for ships at sea?"  Then as soon as you attempt to wrap your ole grey matter around that light bulb of thought the next question pops into your head, "Surely they can't be serious about thinking you can hide a ship out in that big ocean of ours?"....hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....does make one wonder.

Well folks I was sent an article by the author: Nora Hollaway that provides some insight into the "Dazzle Paint".
She gave me permission to reprint her article on this blog....I myself thought it was super interesting.  It is not super long or anything like can probably read through it with about four sips of coffee....but it is good!!

If you click on the below link it will pop up for you to give it a gander.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


She was a body of water where many voyages were made to funnel much needed cargo to Britain for the War effort, but also lurking beneath were Germany's greatest concentration of U-boats.
This is the story of some of those vessels, crews and convoys and how they weathered that mass of water.

This is a "TWO PART" the beginning of the article I've provided a brief history of convoy and its origins.

The article is a rather long one but it provides the reader of just how it was out there in the mid Atlantic....cold...and as every crewman had to deal with those ungodly well as knowing...the lurking of the U-boats was a very real and "a going to happen event"....just when are they going to strike?

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

Hope you enjoy the article


This article provides some insight to the 'word' that best describes the style of the very early vessels.....and actually most of these same I.D.'s have been carried over into this modern world of ours.

Now this "TWO PART" article could be considered a tad dry reading for some.....but I myself I've always wondered, "About the mystery behind the word"......"How did they [who ever 'they' were] come up with this naming of an item...or a place...hmmmmmmmm for thought].  

Well I started this off back in the sixteenth as I could provide the reader with some back ground on the true origin of how this all came about.

As an about ships called "frigates?".....the history of this word is a long one....going back to the early times in the Mediterranean when the big galleys were equipped with a smaller tender....also oared, called a "fregata."  The 'fregata' remained in attendance until the demise of the galley, latterly being lightly armed to enable her to intervene in battle when the opportunity presented itself.

Ok...this should give you some insight of how this article is going to play out.  As I stated is a "Two Part" article.....just click on the links below if you'd care to let your eyes dance over this jumble of words.


Hope you enjoy the article 

Friday, June 24, 2011



This 2nd Adams was laid down in February 1874 at Boston Mass. by Donald MacKay, and launched on October 24th 1874.  When commissioned on July 21st 1876.  The Adams was crewed by 190 men.

Now I can set here and bang on these ole keys for a long time in telling you what all this ship accomplished in her day...where she went...all the dates and all of that sort of thing..[if anyone so desires to read the entire history...just contact me and I'll be glad to bang it out and send it to you]..but in reading over her history I found what I consider of some interest....among many...but I'll just tell you about one.

On September 12th 1882 the Adams stood out to sea, and headed north to Alaskan waters.  The warship reached Sitka on Oct 1st and began a tour of duty in the northern Pacific of almost 23 months in duration.  Her two main functions in Alaska seem to have been monitoring the seal fur industry and regulating the relations between the native Indian and Eskimo population and the multitude of white traders, trappers prospectors, sealers, and whalers that had established themselves in the area since the United States purchased the territory from Russia in 1867.

Well the Adams had not been on station a month before her commanding officer had to intervene in two incidents involving representatives of the Northwest Trading Company and the native population.  Both cases involved the accidental death of an Indian while performing work for the company.  In the first instance Comdr. Merriman, backed by Adams and her guns, simply informed the Indians that their custom of levying reparations in the event of an accidental death did not apply in relations with white men and warned them that attempts to do so would bring swift reprisal.  That tribe submitted with ill-concealed malevolence.

The second instance, however, required a more emphatic response.  When an Indian shaman died as the result of an accidental explosion during a whaling operation on October 22nd, the natives of the village of Angoon seized two white men and two of the three company vessels involved and demanded a payment of 200 blankets.  The superintendent quickly put to sea in the company's steam tug Favorite and made the voyage to Sitka.  There Comdr. Meriman armed Favorite with a howitzer and Gatling gun and mounted an expedition comprising of Favorite and Adam's launch reinforced with 50 sailors and 20 marines from Adams and soon augmented by the revenue cutter Corwin.
Upon arrival at Angoon, the force collected as many of the Indians' canoes as possible, and Comdr. Merriman held a meeting with some of the Indians during which he made counter demands for the release of the hostages and a levy of 400 blankets in return for which the expedition would spare their canoes and village.  To buy time, the Indians accepted the demands at first and released the hostages; however, after they had an opportunity to hide their canoes and gather their forces, the Indians refused to honor the agreement.  Thereupon, Corwin and Favorite took the village under fire, destroying a number of houses.  When the ships ceased fire, a landing party went ashore and set fire to some of the remaining houses.  At that point the Indians submitted.  Comdr. Merriman left a part of sailors at Angoon to insure continued good faith, and he and the remainder returned to Sitka in Corwin to reembark in Adams.

The Adams patrolled Alaskan waters from her base at Sitka until late in the summer of 1884.  Then on August 19th 1884 the warship departed Sitka and headed south along the coast of North America....she arrived in San Francisco on the 27th and moved to the Mare Island Navy Yard the following day.

The Adams was involved in many events.....put alot of sea miles on that ole wooden hull of hers....but she ended up as a station ship on the Delaware River.  Decommissioned on August 1919....she was sold to Mr. Joseph N. Tobin, 25 Church Street New York, NY in August of 1920.  She did operated very briefly in mercantile service with a Polish company as Stefan Batory, but then was broken up in 1921 or 1922. I said folks this ole girl was all over the southern Pacific....or really the Pacific in general....  Anyway that is a tad of a tid-bit of  U.S. Navy ship history on the warship USS Adams.

Hope you Enjoy!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Don't Crucify the Boatswain's Mate

Have you ever heard of the USS Hannibal (AG-1)......and the story that goes along with her????

You haven't??  Well don't sweat it.....I didn't either until a couple of years ago I happened to run across it when I was involved in doing research for something entirely different and unrelated to ships.

This is the story that took place back in the 1920's.....a captain that liked his booze....none of the other officers aboard wanted to 'pony up to the bar' and get 'head to head' with the old things onboard simply got out of hand.

Well the final straw was.....when a Chief Boatswain's Mate refused to drink with the old man.....the old man was so angered, as well as full of a bucket load booze ....he ordered a cross constructed so that the Chief Boatswain could be crucified.........."Yes!!...I kid you not...and this is a true story"

So if you'd care to read this 4 pager...well all you need to do is just click on the link below:

Hope You Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011



Every launching required a woman sponsor who christened the ship, champagne for the ship, and flowers for the sponsor.  The "Louisa M. Alcott," launched by the Bethlehem Fairfield Shipyard at Baltimore on 28 May 1943, was christened by WAVE Ensign Regina Flanigan.  The attendants included WAVES, Marines and SPARS.

In all history there could never have been a more unlikely group of people than Big Foot Wallace, Button Gwinnett, Betsy Ross, Abner Doubleday, Pocahontas, Sun Yat-Sen, Mosses Brown, Billy Sunday, Bernardo O’Higgins, Johnny Appleseed, and Hawkins Fudske. The mind boggles at the thought of them all seated at dinner together. Neither Sherlock Holmes nor Nero Wolfe at their finest could ever have deduced a logical connection between 13 such characters. Yet in World War II it should have been elementary enough for even Dr. Watson - they were all Liberty Ships. 

When the Liberty ship program began, the job of naming 300 ships seemed simple enough. The ships were to be named for outstanding Americans, heroes and leaders in American history. There were certainly enough of these, even without counting and founding fathers and revolutionary patriots, to make up a list of 300. But when the Liberty fleet continued to grow to 500, to 1,000 - and even twice that - the naming process became much more than a matter of skimming through a grade school history book.

So....if you'd like a tad of insight into how this "Name Game" actually got underway....and what a really big deal it be enlighten in just how this all took place.

Here's the link....and it is pretty darn interesting....


Hope you enjoy!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011



DAVID PORTER [1780 - 1843]


A tall man, lean and fit, James Monroe had just won re-election receiving all but one electoral vote in 1820, and honor reserved for his old boss, George Washington.  One of the few Founding Fathers to have risked his life during the Revolution, Monroe had manned the boat which rowed Washington ashore when the General took the Army across the Delaware in a surprise Christmas attack on the enemy.

During the fighting in Trenton, Monroe rushed an enemy cannon emplacement receiving a musket ball in the neck and would have died if not for an Army surgeon who happened to be nearby.  The ball was so close to an artery and was left in the throat.  Monroe would have the noticeable bulge all his life.

He was at Valley Forge freezing and starving, sharing his tent and food with Aaron Burr, John Marshall, and Lafayett.  Monroe was a fighting man - weather on the field or in politics.  As Secretary of War under Madison, he guided America's war on land and sea making sure frigates like the Constitution, Constellation, and Essex were well supplied.  He even ignored President Madison's orders and gave command appointments to firebrands like Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison.

Now president, Monroe demonstrated his fath in Naval power by expanding the U.S. Navy into five squadrons stationed strategically aroung the globe - the Mediterranean, the African Coast, South Atlantic, the Pacific, and the West Indies - to protect American interest.

Now in his 60's and facing one last term in office before retiring form public life, James Monroe decided to use the U.S. Navy as an instrument for sweeping form the seas, onece and for all, the pirates of the Caribbean.

A really good read if your into Naval History


Sunday, June 12, 2011


Late in 1941, President Roosevelt ordered an urgently needed re-supply convoy sent to the Philippines to bolster MacArthur’s garrisons. Had this convoy not been the victim of timidity and military wrangling, it might have reached its destination and changed the entire course of the Pacific War.
A few months prior to 7 December 1941 and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt formulated plans to send a military convoy to the Philippines to reinforce Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s garrisons in the islands.

On 14 November, Operation Plum was given the go-ahead. Seven merchant vessels and two U. S. Navy warships were fitted out for the voyage to Manila.  The troopships included the Willard A. Holbrook, Republic, Miens, Bloemfontein, Admiral Halstead, Farmer, and Chaumont. The escorts assigned to the Pacific crossing were the heavy cruiser USS Pensacola (CA-24) and the submarine chaser USS Niagara
The relief force, dubbed the Pensacola Convoy, comprised a brigade of National Guard artillery, 20 75mm guns, 52 Douglas A-24 dive bombers, 18 Curtiss P-40 fighters, 340 vehicles, a half-million round of .50-cal ammunition, 9,600 rounds of 37mm antiaircraft shells, 5,000 bombs, and 9,000 drums of aviation gasoline.
On 20 November 1941, the 4,600 National Guard troops arrived at San Francisco. The First Battalion, 148the Idaho Field Artillery, and the First and Second Battalions of the 147th South Dakota Field Artillery marched aboard the Holbrook. The Bloemfuntein carried the Second Battalion of the 131st Texas Artillery.

Willard Heath, of the 148th, stated: “Once aboard the ‘rust bucket’ Holbrook any preconceived ideas of a pleasure cruise soon vanished.”

Above you see the USS Pensacola (CA-24).  Well this is what this article is all about...of how this cruiser would become the name sake of the most controversial convoy in the history of WW II.

So if you wish to give this one a "go"...well just click on the below link:


Hope you enjoy the article.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


One Thing to Get the Ship Torpedoed Out From Under You....
But How About Being Captured By the Enemy as well??

Now here is a case where an American freighter....the SS Carlton, attempted to get her cargo to Murmansk, USSR on two attempts....first off she was in the convoy PQ-16....  Well that didn't work out all that well due to the fact the convoy was attack by German planes....and she got a little out of wack due to a bomb being dropped.

Well she got involved in another fact it was convoy PQ-17...and we all know what happened to this convoy.

Anyway....she tangled with U-88.....and her crew ended up captured by the Germans....whom landed seaplanes after the survivors was in the lifeboat....and hauled most aboard.....

Ok...I'm getting way ahead of myself is an interesting short true article ....that I think you'll wonder "How in the heck did these guys endure???"

If you wish to give it a can click on the below link

How you enjoy!

Thursday, June 9, 2011



A clever trapeze rigged aboard shallow-draft LST landing ships allowed them to launch and retrieve small spotter aircraft which played hell on well-concealed enemy gun emplacements.

Actually, the ingenious but simple device was an unlikely candidate for the title of “Secret Weapon” because the term conjures up high-tech, ballistic innovation. It was neither, but it still packed a lethal punch in the Pacific War and the Japanese had nothing comparable.  It was a development that had the Japanese High Command not only concerned but completely flummoxed. This jerry-built, rickety-looking device mad it possible for an ordinary Piper Cub reconnaissance plane to suddenly appear over the Japanese fleet hundreds of miles from land - and far beyond its normal range.

Yes this lead in is just a 'tease' to entice the reader to give this a read and to see if you can wrap your mind around to visualize yourself flying a pipercub and trying to land that light little pup by hooking it on to a wire that was attached to a bobbing ship...  Well they did it....

If you wish to read how it was done.

Give this a read:

Hope you enjoy!!!


Here is the case of a steam merchant....on a short haul...from Trinidad to Georgetown, British ballast...un-escorted.....and she no more that gets out of the gate and "BANG!!!!"  she gets tagged by the lurking U-boat....U-175

There was loss of life....not so much when the first torpedo hit....but it was when the second hit and blew up the ammo that she had aboard.....

Anyway this ole girl didn't win the battle.....but her survivors were picked up by PC-469.....and I have a 'first hand' accounting of how the captain of PC-469 dealt with all of the wounded.....this is something that is not told all that often.....
Believe is worth a read

Just click on the link is only three pages but the event is interesting.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


She tangled with the German U-boat U-160....and the result was the ship and crew were engulfed in a fire storm of burning oil
You can read about it below...just click the link.



Scheduled to be an assault three times the magnitude of the Normandy landings, the invasion of Japan's home islands was also expected to be the bloodiest battle ever fought.
Myoki Ushami still remembers her defiant teacher’s words well. “We’d been taken from Nagoya far into the countryside to escape the fire bombings by the American B-29s.  Our teacher took delight in describing every detail of how we girls, age 12 to 15, were going to kill the American soldiers with knives, spears and stakes before they could rape us when they invaded our Japanese homeland.” “Everyone will fight beside our valiant army when the Yankee infidels come,” Myoki’s teacher vouched. “They’ll find 28-million civilians ready to sacrifice their lives to defend our homeland.”  Were his commands a fanatical promise, or the empty boast of a dispirited warrior?  Luckily, Myoki would never know. 

Many know very little about this perposed battle......and actually it will knock your socks off when reading about it....

Hope you enjoy the article

Sunday, June 5, 2011


The SS Acme was a Steam Tanker....and she did have some years on her.....being built in 1916 and owned and operated by Socony Vacuum oil Co, she was not in the best of shape but she was doing her part in helping the war effort.

Well on March 17th, 1942 she met up with the Greman Submarine U-124 about a mile west of Diamond Shoals Light Buoy, North Carolina....and all hell broke loose......

The story and the outcome of the encounter can be read by clicking on this link:

Friday, June 3, 2011



Officially they called these floating airfields CVE's....but among the boys in blue they were better known as "Baby Flattops."

You know now days many types of ships are perserved as memorialized museum's...or convention centers on the water....but of all the 122 of these "Baby Flattops"...none are afloat in any shape or fashion.

Actually the're purpose was to help out with providing a mid ocean air umbrela for the many merchant convoys that was going back and forth from point A to point B in the Atlantic waters.  Now I don't know if you know this or not....but many of these CVE's were merchant ships least that is how they started out....then some were pulled from the group and converted to the "Flattops." is some of there history....some you may alread know....some you may not.  If I stirred up some interest for you to let your eyeballs dance over a few can click on this link to get to the article

Hope y'all enjoy the article