I N C O M P L E T E   D R A F T

 

© 2008 Richard E. Barry. All rights reserved.  This journal, or portions thereof, may not be republishes without prior written permission from the author.

 

Index to Family Journal

 

By Richard E. Barry

Arlington, VA

email: rickbarry [at] aol [dot] com 

 

Acknowledgments

 

This is a family journal that is based, so far, on memorabilia from a collection of family pictures and newspaper clippings, mostly from the 1940s, and my remembrances about these items, simply because that was the period for which I have the most recorded information right now. Unless otherwise noted, the items described below are from a collection owned by Susan (Barry) Nolan, daughter and only child of my oldest brother, the deceased Commander Charles Bernard Barry, USN (Ret). CBB gave Susan a collection that he had received from our deceased mother, Mary Margaret (Witherell) Barry. We are all grateful to: Susan for keeping this collection and kindly lending it to me to allow me to digitally scan the material and create this family journal. Thanks also to Maureen Barry, wife of my cousin Mike and to Mike, who have also contributed photos and some excellent fact-checking help for this. And thanks to my brothers Jack and Neil and Jack's wife Dot in advance for both agreeing to read and offering their corrections or personal stories as augmentations to this journal and for additional materials that they may provide for a later version of this journal. I greatly look forward to their assistance in improving the content of this journal.

 

But it is fair to note that much of the family historical information during the WWII years comes from the news clippings that appear to have taken their information from material supplied by dad, who was also known in the family as "CVB" or as mom sometimes called him in the Irish tradition when he wasn't present, "himself"; or as the "boys" used to call him affectionately, "the old man." He must have had an incredible "in" with the Springfield Union newspaper (Springfield, MA, that is), very possibly because of his role in Civil Defense. Some of those clippings may have come from the now defunct Holyoke Daily Transcript, which I believe was bought up by the Union, now the Springfield Republican. [Is this correct?]  I believe most are sourced from the Union. It's a wonder he didn't get into trouble, since some of it seems to border on what might have been considered at that time as classified ship movements. I think it was dad rather than mom who was behind those clippings, because virtually all of them begin with "[Rank] Charles B. Barry, son of Charles V. Barry, head of the Chicopee civilian defense organization and Mrs. Barry…"  I have tried to put these items into chronological order, but this has not always been possible, because 1) I am uncertain of the dates of some of them, and hope that Jack and Neil will help here; and 2) because some of the items are pasted on scrap book pages that cover a range of dates and can't physically be removed from one another. Because this journal is intended to pass on to the next generation and possibly to their children, I've inserted some small historical comments to provide some broader context for the time in which these family events occurred.

 

We kid about dad for his PR prowess. He seemed always to elbow family stories into the local press, but if it hadn't been for that, we would have missed one of the most important sources of family history. It is fair, therefore, that we owe our first thanks to the old man for seeing to it that important family stories (at least the ones that put us in a good light!) were published in many local newspaper accounts that have provided a huge source of information for this journal. And secondly, we owe our thanks to mother (whom we never called "the old lady") for carefully keeping these photos and clippings in the first place, and for what explanatory or date notes she placed on some of them.

 

 

Why I Started This Project

 

There are several reasons that I undertook this project. Firstly, the paper copies for some of mom's scrapbook documents have become considerably faded, brittle and tattered over time, especially the clippings, some of which have broken apart just from age, the kind of paper and print they were recorded with and ordinary handling. Unfortunately, this normal process of deterioration will become increasingly the case as time goes on. Some of the pictures and documents were so faded that it was necessary to enhance the scanned images of them with photo editing software for better viewing. In addition:

 

  • It has been becoming increasingly clear from my own collection of items that mom had sent to me over the years, some of which are now about 70 years old, that some of the original items were not likely to survive another generation of deterioration.
  • My consulting work over the past 15 years, including some pro bono consulting to the National Archives, has focused on electronic records; thus I've become very familiar with the problems organizations are having maintaining their extensive collections of paper records. I've also learned a good deal about the difficulties with long-term preservation of records in electronic form, which is how the vast majority of records are created today. Thus, I've been thinking more about the lessons this has for personal records.
  • It allowed me to do this in a manner that I believe will help to better preserve these family documents hopefully for many, many years and generations to come through digital replication.
  • My wife Linda and I have five children and 10 grandchildren. Even exercising the best conservation and preservation methods with the costs associated with doing that, the question remains: how could such a collection be divided among our successors? And should it be broken up at all?
  • I felt that it was important to be able to replicate these items so that the entire clan of Barrys who came from the marriage of Charles Vincent Barry and Mary Margaret Witherell (which I believe must now exceed 50 people) and subsequent generations could have easy access to these items, some of which are the sole extant copies.
  • By obtaining recollections of other family members, it would provide a means for enriching the meaning of the items, some of which carry no notation.
  • The best sources of information to augment or clarify family events are Jack, Neil, me and our wives. We should all contribute while we can.
  • It would provide a vehicle with which to add collections from other family members – this one started out with Susan's collection to which I will add my own.
  • It could offer a model not only for other family members to add to this journal but to make their own family journals and keep them in such a manner that they too will be accessible to their heirs as complete collections, without having to break them up or lose them to time and degradation.

 

I hope that the below text, based on my own recollections and research, will give greater context to the collection. In addition, I have researched and obtained documentation from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), phone calls and discussions with  people familiar with certain events covered here and World Wide Web research, a very small portion of which is included or referred to here. Needless to say, anyone receiving this journal is invited – requested – to contact me by email, phone or snail mail with any corrections or additional information concerning the circumstances or occasions in which these pictures were taken, the names of people in the pictures and any family stories that go with them. I would especially appreciate it if Jack, Neil and Susan would send me any such information relating to the below pictures and clippings, since they are the ones most likely to have recollections of their own, including stories they heard from CBB and his wife Katherine (Murray) Barry, to correct or augment my own annotations. Even if some accounts conflicting, they are much better than none.

 

Any additional or corrective information that anyone can contribute will make it all the better for our wider families, and the sooner the better. It can be done by: hand marking up a copy of this journal; copying effected paragraphs and your comments into a letter or email; calling me; or by any other means that is convenient to you. Let's chip in our thoughts while we still have our memories of these matters reasonably in tact – at the very least with birthdates and helping date and locate some of the unmarked pictures included here (like the one with our dog Danny), but hopefully with other totally different stories and related details not included here at all.

 

While I have begun this journal with Susan's collections, I plan to add corrections and additional items as I am able to. With the possible exception of a few of those items, time permitting, that task will come later. This has been a laborious process – much more than I had anticipated at the beginning – including:

§         Reviewing and making notes for as many of Susan's items as I could remember.

§         Several visits to the research room at the NARA (www.archives.gov) in College Park, MD, where CBB's ship records are retained permanently for anyone to view, where I reviewed many volumes of ship's logs and copied some of the more interesting records – some of which were log entries that CBB wrote and signed as the ship's Duty Officer – one of the ship's officers regularly to take turns "standing the duty" during the scheduled four-hour shifts in every 24-hour period.

§         Contacting NARA's St. Louis repository of personnel records to obtain CBB's Navy Personnel records, because his personal copy of those records had been lost or destroyed. (NARA is busily developing systems to make its archived military records accessible from the World Wide Web and is doing extensive research on a new Electronic Records Archive (ERA) for all of its electronic records.)

§         Scanning photos and other documents (a small fraction of the documents I copied at NARA are copied from or referred to here), enhancing them as necessary, going to Kinkos to make some color copies of selected ones from the scanned images, which you can easily also do yourselves with other items you may have.

§         Putting the whole collection together on a CD, writing this journal and making it accessible in paper and digital form.

 

NARA is a most interesting place to visit and a national asset of the greatest importance to both our national memory as well as the memories of individual families like our own. In my opinion, it is one of the best kept secrets of tourist destinations in Washington, D.C. It is a special family legacy that original records of CBB's military service and the ships on which he served. I haven't checked yet, but I expect to find the same will be true with respect to Jack's ship(s) and for the records relating to my naval service. Records maintained in the National Archives are all preserved in perpetuity, or as the Archivist of the US says: "for the life of the Republic". It is a special thrill to pick up some of those originals, for example, to hold in one's hand a piece of paper containing the Combat Action Report for December 7, 1941 that was typed up on December 10, 1941 aboard the USS Blue at sea. I strongly recommend visiting NARA if any of you ever have the opportunity for to see other documentary national treasures that are readily accessible to the public.[1]  (Viewing ship records such as I did, requires first registering as a researcher.)

 

I outline the above process not in any complaining way, but just to inform people what is involved and to beg Susan's understanding for the length of time it took with her collection for me to do this while also carrying out other family and business commitments. So there simply hasn't been time to do much more than Susan's collection up until this time. But it has been a labor of love. I know our children and their children will appreciate having copies of this collection.

 

I also encourage all of you to start a journal of your own collections for yourself and your family. It is a rewarding experience that we owe to our kids and grandkids who will appreciate them as they get older and may want them to pass on to their children.

 

Organization and Viewing Note:

 

In addition to this journal in paper copy, there is or will be a copy of this journal and the individual images on an accompanying disc that are accessible using the computer file names shown inside carats, < >, above the pictures below. In order to make for short file names and references throughout this text, I have used initials for family members, shown in the "Cast of Characters" below.

 

Also, this family journal is written in Microsoft Word 2002 with the pictures and other images copied and "pasted" into it. With a Word version, one can't automatically go from the pictures in the journal to the full-sized album version. If you wish to do that, you must make note of the picture <file name> and go to the photo album in the disc with your computer and select and open that file. I plan to put a trial version of this document my website, using an unpublished WWW address, so that it can be viewed at any time by family members who have the address from anywhere in the world. If no one objects, this can be maintained there and be updated as new information is received. Separately I have written a note on long-term preservation of the originals digital or printed copies of this information for anyone interested in keeping this material for very long periods of time, i.e., for generations to come.

 

*            *            *            *            *            *            *

Cast of Characters: Charles. V. Barry & Mary Margaret (Witherell)Barry Family

                                                                              (yyyy/mm/dd)                   

Name                                                              Born                Died                Relation

 

                                                                        yyyy/mm/dd

Mary Margaret [Witherell] Barry [MWB]         1899/03/23                              mother

Charles Vincent Barry  [CVB]              1900/                                       father

Charles Bernard Barry  [CBB]              1920/09/18                              oldest son

Kathryn (Kaye) [Murray] Barry [KMB]                                                           CBB's wife

John Gallen Barry [JGB]                                   1927/02/28                              2nd son

Dorothea (Dot) [Connors] Barry [DCB]                                                           JGB's wife

Neil Francis Barry [NFB]                                 1930/09/                                  3rd son

Jeannette (Jen) Barry [JB]                                                                                 NFB's wife

Richard Edward Barry [REB]                           1933/05/12      youngest son/journal-author

Susan Barry Nolan [SNB]                                                        only child of:CBB/KMB]

 

 *           *            *            *            *            *            *

 

Ancestors

 

Great Grandparents, Michael and Bridget (O'Brien) Barry (No family picture available)

 

           

 

Photo by Maureen Barry, August 2007. (Maureen is my Cousin Mike Barry's wife.)

 

This is the tombstone of my great-grandfather, Michael Barry, and my paternal great-grandmother, Bridget O'Brien Barry at St. Mary's Cemetery in Florence MA (a sort of little unincorporated village or town within Northampton), not far from the burial sites of CVB and MWB, their parents, CVB's brothers and grandparents, and other relatives are also buried in St. Mary's Cemetery.

 

Michael and possibly Bridget were probably the first of this line of Barrys to emigrate from Ireland to the U.S.  Michael died February 8, 1897 at age 51. Depending on his birth date, he would have been born in 1846 or 1847, the years in which Florida, Texas and Iowa became the 27th, 28th and 29th states of the Union. Those years also coincided with the beginning of one of the Great Irish Famines (1845-1849) that was brought about by a potato blight that destroyed the principal Irish staple diet at the time for some two thirds of Ireland's population. The famine, along with other economic, political, social and religious factors, brought about mass emigration from Ireland.

 

According to the account of the Famine by The History Place, a Boston-based independent publisher of history, the Irish constituted the "first big wave of poor refugees ever to arrive in the U.S….The roughest welcome of all would be in Boston, Massachusetts, an Anglo-Saxon city with a population of 115,000…run by descendants of English Puritans, men who could proudly recite their lineage going back to 1620 and the Mayflower ship… In 1847, the first big year of famine emigration, the city [Boston] was swamped with 37,000 Irish Catholics arriving by sea and land."[2] 

 

This is a particularly interesting observation in the context of the Barry family history, because Mary Margaret (Witherell) Barry was member of the 10th generation of Witherells in the U.S. Her original 1st-generation U.S. ancestor was William Witherell, a minister from Yorkshire, England, who was born ca. 1600 and whose heritage goes back to the Middle Ages. In March 1634/35, William "brought his family on the ship Hercules to Plymouth Colony in New England, and settled initially in Charlestown, [MA]"[3] and later moved to Duxbury. According to MWB's family genealogy, "A good case can be made in support of William Witherell being the first public school teacher in New England and probably in America."[4] The same source also suggests that in 16__, Witherell established the first public school in New England, in Charleston, MA, and probably in America. Excellent research done more recently by another Witherell descendant, Tom Wetherell, different spelling but same line as mother's family, provides very interesting additional information about William, his religious beliefs, property transactions and his life in Scituate, Plymouth Colony, MA, where he finally settled in the U.S. and where he died April 9, 1684.

 

For an interesting sub-text, fast forward to the 7th generation of U.S. Witherells such as Ransom Witherell or some of his 10 siblings in Chesterfield, MA, or his cousins in the Boston area. They would have been 30-somethings or 40-somethings at the time of the great Irish emigration. Might it have been that the Witherell siblings and their own children were among those descendants of Anglo-Saxon, English Puritans who provided the "roughest welcome" for the likes of Michael and Bridget Barry? Whether they were or not, one wonders what might their reactions have been if told then that the Witherells and Barrys would form a tribe as large as it has become, three to six more generations later?

 

The famine and related Irish troubles of that time may well have been a factor in Michael's emigration to the US, as it was for nearly a million others caught up in that unsettled period in Ireland's history. Whether he was brought to this country by his parents as a child or came later as a young man, remains the subject of research yet to be done. Similarly, it is yet to be determined, if he did come to America on his own, whether he was already married to Bridget or if he met her in the new world. Bridget died July 28, 1896 at what appears to have been 53 yrs and thus would have been born in 1843 or 1844.

 

There is an old family joke that the Barry men tend to marry older women. This was the case for David and Bridget, and for CVB and MWB, but beyond that…well, we won't go there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Grandparents, David C. J. and Emma (Bartley) Barry

 

 

 

         

 

Digitized copy of original family photo by Maureen Barry.  My paternal grandparents and children. First row: Emma (Bartley) Barry, David C. J. Barry, George B. Barry.  Second row: Charles Vincent and Francis D. Barry. Photo of burial site of David, Emma and George at St. Mary by Maureen Barry, August 2007.  [Does anyone know what David's two middle initials stood for? Or George's middle initial?]

 

George B. Barry (1902-1960)

More on the CVB branch of the Barry family, the focus of this journal, later. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of Uncle George, so the only documentary evidence concerning him is in the above two pictures. We do, nonetheless, share some fond memories. George was a little slow to move and speak, and was regularly scolded for poor table manners by dad, his big brother CVB – perhaps after a bit of a burp or slurp – during many Sunday dinners at our home in So. Hadley. George would look up from his soup bowl a bit sadly at dad and say his inimitable "AY-yah". Dad didn't do that in a mean or ugly way, but more as a father might scold one of his children. Or perhaps he did that more for the benefit of his real children so that we would know that this was note acceptable table behavior. I now believe that he felt considerable love, care and responsibility for his baby brother. Dad and mom were always generous with George and regularly had him to our home, picking him up at the bus stop, and sharing meals and family celebrations with him. So far as I am aware – and I could be wrong about this – George never sought or received financial support from his family after he began to work for himself. He took a position on the janitorial staff [what year that was or how old he was, I do not know] of the Northampton State Hospital (formerly, the State Lunatic Hospital at Northampton, opened in 1858) where he lived, so far as I know, for the rest of his life with room and board that I'm sure gave him a great and well deserved sense of independence and personal worth.

 

Northampton State Hospital
Hospital for Insane, Northampton,
from W.B. Gay, Gazetteer of Hampshire County, Mass.,
1654-1887 (Syracuse, N.Y., 1887?
http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/digital/nsh.htm

 

Mom used to say that George suffered from "sleeping sickness".  I always thought that was so mysterious, enough so that I looked into it later in life only to learn that sleeping sickness, the common term for the disease trypanosomiasis, is transmitted to humans through a bite from the African tsetse fly. It is indigenous only to sub-Saharan Africa, where it is even today near epidemic, or by maternal transfer, blood transfusion, or organ transplant. As I don't believe George or MWB ever traveled to Africa, methinks mom may have been embarrassed or in a state of denial about George's real condition and just saying that as a way of avoiding indicating that a relative of ours had a form of retardation, possibly the result of a birth injury, that was mild enough that he was still able to function independently quite well. I have no medical evidence to support this belief, but it seems like the most likely explanation.

 

And hers was a generation in which people hid the fact that there might be an unusual disease in the family. In more extreme cases in the 18th and early 19th centuries, it was not an uncommon practice for parents to hide mentally or physically disabled children in their attics, often tied to a bed. This will come as a great surprise to the children and grandchildren of our generation, because they are vastly more enlightened and personally know people with various temporary or permanent impediments who have sought and successfully received help with their conditions.  Others are widely seen working in service positions in our grocery stores and much better. Perhaps the most well known such case is bestselling author and physicist Stephen Hawking. Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, we now hardly notice curb cutaways for wheel chair accessibility, audio annunciators in elevators or street corners to alert visually impaired people to the floor that the elevator door is about to open on or the color of the traffic light at a street crossing. But that wasn't the way it was when we were growing up and that wasn't the way folks talked in those days. People "had sugar" or had suffered "a shock" instead of diabetes or a stroke.

 

Whatever his condition, Uncle George had a heart of gold. I remember that George always spent Christmas Day with us and always came with the same gift for each of the four brothers – a package of new handkerchiefs – every year. No matter. We loved him just the same. My embarrassment, at the time, was different. I knew that George wasn't like everyone else, but it embarrassed me to hear my uncle scolded, until I became old enough to have a better understanding of my own father, CVB. George was such a simple and gentle person, one couldn't help liking him.

 

In what turned out to be a most unexpected but pleasant "proxy" revival of my relationship with Uncle George came about when I was a naval aviator and far away from South Hadley and Northampton, MA, through my wife and then fiancιe, Linda Cox. Linda was a student nurse at the Holyoke Hospital Nursing School. As part of her training, she did extensive affiliations (learning clinical internships) at leading teaching hospitals in the Northeast that were highly regarded in their areas of specialties – e.g., the Philadelphia Children's Hospital, the Shriners Hospital and, yes, for psychiatric medicine, the Northampton State Hospital. Linda had apparently met George at a family dinner at our home on Charon Heights in South Hadley (when we were dating and before announcing our wedding engagement, obviously), because George recognized her in the cafeteria at the Hospital and they became friends who always shared a loving greeting with one another for the months that she was there. Either George didn't know or was kept uninformed of the circumstances surrounding our later planned wedding and the unpleasant problems that that had created within my family, or he just didn't give a damn. In any case, he was always very friendly and nice to Linda, who remembers him very fondly to this day. I guess in those days she was looking for any Barry who would be friendly, which is how she came to know CBB and KMB in the early years of our married life and my other brothers in later years.

 

Francis D. Barry

 

As noted above, this journal focuses on the CVB/MWB branch of the Barry family, which I'm finding challenging enough already. For that reason, and because it is something much better written by my cousins, I only mention the family of Francis Barry briefly here. I hope very much that my cousins will write a story of their branch that might be cross linked with this one.

 

When I was a young man, it seemed that we went to funerals at least a couple of times a month, and because of mom's and dad's roots in Florence the funerals inevitably were there, I believe at one of the Ahearn Funeral Home, of which there were two, one on Main St. in Florence and the other at Bridge Rd. in Northampton proper.

  

Photos by Maureen Barry, August 2007

 

 

 

A Word About The Witherells

 

Part of the reasoning for wanting to begin a Barry family journal was that little is recorded about the Barry side of the family in comparison to the Witherell side. Mother's line in the Witherell clan is the subject of an extraordinary 742-page genealogical book, The Witherell/Wetherell/Witherill Family of New England, (see fn. 2 for the citation) a copy of which was given to me and, I believe, each of my brothers. The book is out of print. As of this writing, it is listed on www.amazon.com but unavailable; and it is on sale on eBay for $75 at http://cgi.ebay.com/HISTORY-OF-THE-WITHERELL-FAMILY-OF-NEW-ENGLAND-REPRINT_W0QQitemZ4644221975QQcmdZViewItem how many copies I do not know. (See http://www.chs.org/loancoll/loan_famwx.htm)

 

Florence, MA Elementary School, ca. 1906

 

Below is a picture of Miss Bridgman's 2nd grade class in the Florence Elementary School, with MWB in the first row. 

 

<mwb-2nd-grade-ca1906>

 

 

Below it is an image of the reverse side of the original picture.

 

<mwb-2nd-grade-ca1906a>

 

 

It contains the above hand-written explanatory note that SBN wrote. Based on the last visit I made to St. Mary's Cemetery, the building in the above photo also appears very much to be the small building at St. Mary's Cemetery in Florence MA. A very similar looking small building that I believe may be this old school building is located in St. Mary's Cemetery in Florence, MA, just steps from the grave where CVB/MWB and other relatives are buried. I believe it is now used as a residence, possibly related to the cemetery. Could it be that mother is buried within a few feet of the grammar school where she was taught as a young girl as shown in the below picture of CVB and MWB's grave? (Thank you brother Jack for the care that you have taken over the years to keep this site beautiful.)

 

 

Photo by Rick Barry 8/10/2007

 

Postscript: Thanks to information provided by Mike and Maureen Barry while we were all at St. Mary's Cemetery for Jeanette Barry's burial services August 10, 2007, I learned that I was wrong in thinking that the above picture includes a building that is the same as the one in St. Mary's Cemetery. The building in St. Mary's near CVB/Mis indeed a school – the Slough Hill School – but not the building in the was not taken in front of MMB's grade school, which the Annunciation School, also known as the Pine Street School in Florence. Below is a picture of the Pine St. School as it is today, a residence – patio furniture, stroller and all.

 

 

Photo by Maureen Barry, August 2007

 

Mike and Maureen also provided an interesting further sub-story on mom's elementary school in a recent email:

 

In a message dated 8/23/2007 7:07:00 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, MBarry2033 writes:

Hi Rick:

 

Just got back from the Cape yesterday and Mike had a copy of the Gazette - thought it was ironic that this little article just happened to be in it!  Thought you might find it interesting.  He did the picture taking and actually talked with the woman owner.  She had purchased both buildings, the school house for her mother to live in and Temperance Hall for her own family.  The mother is now in a nursing home and she is in the process of renovating the school house.

 

Attached to that email was the following entry in the Daily Hampshire Gazette of 8/22/07 in the 10-Years-Ago column:

  This seems to close the loop on the picture of MWB's second grade picture. It was (Our Lady of ) Annunciation School (a.k.a. Pine St. School) that mom (and dad, Fran, George?) attended and it was put on the market for sale on August 22, 1997 and subsequently sold. Not to be confused with the also-former school building still in St. Mary's Cemetery, which is Slough Hill School.

 

 

**********

The Gathering Storm

 

This is an extraordinary letter from brother Charles (CBB) written exactly one month to the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Obviously, though our military and political leaders were not prepared for the attack on Pearl, a young naval ensign and his associates were clearly apprehensive about foreboding times ahead. It was dated November 9 while at sea, but was postmarked two days later when his ship was in port at Pearl. The ship's deck log records at NARA show that the ship was in and out of Pearl over the next month.  

 

CBB gave me a key to Room 205 of the Moana Hotel, which he marked "December 7, 1941," where he was on that fateful day. Below is a picture of me standing in front of the room during a business trip in the 1980s (when I had a lot more hair) on a stopover in Oahu, Hawaii. I attempted to book the room for an evening when I arrived there, but it was already occupied. I was able to get one of the cleaning staff to take this picture while the room was being cleaned.

 

                                [insert pic of key]

 

 

However, I learned in the summer of 2005 that one of my old Navy squadrons, Patrol Squadron FOUR (VP-4)  was planning a reunion in Honolulu in October 2006. During Vietnam days when I joined VP4 it was home based in Naha, Okinawa and had been for many years. One of its missions was daily recon missions in the Sea of Japan that ran to the northern parts of Japan and off the coast of Vladivostok and Siberia, Russia, operating in international waters of course. During the eight years between 1956-1964 in which VP4 was home based in Naha, despite the many  typhoons the squadron had to fly in and around on these missions, sometimes with winds up to 200 mph, the squadron missed only one day in making patrols in the Taiwan Straits and East China Sea, because of an unusually terrible typhoon.

 

Let's divert here to put my VP4 tour in context and to relay another family story.  

 

In June 1964, I completed my MBS studies at the USN Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. After graduation, I took a month's leave for a much needed family vacation. We bought a second-hand, hand-made teardrop trailer, and piled our five kids, Kevin, Belinda, Peter, Richard (Rick) II and John -- very recently hatched at Fort Ord Army B ase in Seaside, CA near Monterey. Linda was still nursing him. Young and crazy, we drove from Monterey up the inland route (Rt. 101, the "Redwood Highway") through northern California and Oregon, camping at such Lake Berryessa in northern CA (see someone else's family photos -- not ours), and Crater Lake, Oregon....nobody told us that it would be laden with snow in late June! Why were we the only family camping there in a teardrop and tent when the few other crazy people camping there were in nice and warm RVs? They didn't get to enjoy the pleasures of warding off bears from our campsite. 

 

The teardrop was built around an old queen bed and since our oldest, Kevin, was just almost 7 years old, they all slept across the bed. I had already toasted the bed and inside of the trailer with some rocks taken from the dinner campfire and covered in foil. John got to sleep in the tent in mom-Linda's sleeping bag.  We continued our travels -- stopping every few days for a night in a motel for a good shower, swim in the pool, and some restaurant food -- up to Tacoma, WA, to visit CBB's mother-in-law (Kaye's mom) which was a very nice stop. Then we traveled south on the ocean route (Route 1) all the way to Imperial Beach, CA literally on the US/Mexican border where we would live for the next months while I undertook flight training at Naval Air Station San Diego to prepare me to fly the aircraft that was in use in the new squadron I had orders to join in Naha, Okinawa. During that time, I also spent some time in the middle of the CA desert, time with a group of other fellow "POWs",  undergoing escape and evasion training, eating desert food, getting captured in the process, living in an underground dugout, being interrogated by serious men dressed in Chinese uniforms, being tossed into 3'-high steel boxes to soften us up for further interrogation, being humiliated in front of my enlisted crew members, etc. This serious business was all part of the military's response to research done on Korean War POW experiences where many men died for no reason but having given up the wish to live following maltreatment by their Northern Korean captors, under circumstances where the discipline and group structure was systematically broken down and every man became an island unto himself. One or two of our compatriots had to be airlifted out of the desert camp when they broke down psychologically under the realistic training. Those men were quietly reassigned to other stations where they could serve in non-combat-related locations outside of Vietnam, where we were headed, and other venues from which they would not be involved in direct flights into Vietnam. 

 

The flight training I undertook in San Diego was to learn the SP2H naval patrol bomber and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and reconnaissance aircraft, better known as the Lockheed Neptune. Just before leaving San Diego for Naha, I was ordered to instead go to NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii,not far from downtown Honolulu, to become the Officer-in-Charge of the Change of Home Port Detachment for VP4. Soon the squadron would move to Hawaii and, like many other squadrons, then deploy for six months each year to the western Pacific (WestPac) where we would operate out of Saigon, Iwakuni, Japan, Naha and other garden spots in 1964-66. Much needed to be done to prepare for the squadron families and squadron itself, including 12 Neptunes. 

 

Back to 2005:  immediately after learning about the squadron reunion, I contacted the Moana, by then, known as the Sheraton Moana Surfrider Hotel  on October 11 and 12, 2006   CBB also gave Susan a Moana key to another room, Room___, reflecting the fact it was a regular port of call for some time. These and the Moana letterhead on the November 7, 1941 letter suggest that he probably stayed there several times when his ship was in port at Pearl and he could get liberty to go ashore. Ironically, as of the time we stayed there, the Moana was owned by Japanese interests. While they had marvelous menu offerings aimed mainly at American diners, they also had a full menu of Japanese food, which we love, even at the extensive brunch tables. They have preserved the wing where CBB which is now called the "historical wing". The hotel has its own wonderful hotel "historian" and tour guide, Tony Bissen, a native Hawaiian, as well as its own quite impressive hotel history soft cover book. According to that book, the Moana and some other hotels were contracted by the U.S. Government during WWII as R&R facilities for military personnel and room rates were $0.75 per night. 

 

The first thing people ask us when we tell them the story of staying in the very same room used by CBB had occupied: Does the key still fit the room door? As it turns out, the one aspect they didn't preserve was the key system that has been replaced with a plastic key-card system. I learned this when we checked into the hotel. In the process, the 30-something Hawaiian duty clerk told me that we would be in the historic wing in Room 205. I told him that it was the very room that my brother occupied on December 7, 1941. The clerk looked at me questioningly and asked: What is the significance of that date? 

 

Immediately thereafter, I asked to speak to the manager to thank him for making the arrangements. He was equally surprised to hear what the clerk had said. I then told him that my brother obviously had to leave in a great hurry that day and took his key and didn't pay his bill on the way out the front entrance. He smiled and said not to worry about the key, because they were all replaced, or the bill. It happened with everyone and the US government had picked up the bill retrospectively.

 

 

[insert pic of book cover]

 

As can be seen in CBB's below letter, the address he placed on his letter was "Oahu, T.H.," or Territory of Hawaii, reflecting that at the time he wrote it, it was still a Territory of the U.S., which it would continue to be until it became the 50th state in 1969, along with Alaska, the 49th.

 

<Scans 10012/10013>: CBB's November 7, 1941 letter home, page 1-obverse, and page 1-reverse. For a full-size image of this letter, see Appendix 1-1c.

 

 

    

 

<Scans 10014-10015>: CBB's November 7, 1941 letter home, page 2-obverse and page 2-reverse

 

       

 

 

 

There appears to be at least one missing page as there is no signature line. He always signed his letters "CBB". But this is all that was in the envelope and SBN confirms that this was all she ever had for the letter.

 

<Scans 10011-10012>: November 9, 1941 envelope (obverse/reverse) of CBB's November 7, 1941 letter home. 

 

For larger view of the envelope, see Appendix 1d

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CBB's above letter to mom and dad was the subject of one of dad's "press releases" to the Springfield Union as shown in the below clipping, also snipped from Appendix 2:

 

 

              

**********

 

The Storm: December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor

 

Scan: Front page, Springfield Union, December 8, 1941. For enlarged versions, see Appendix 2/2a

 

 

    

 

 

On December 7, 1941, CBB was a 21 yr-old Ensign Gunnery Officer on the first USS BLUE (DD-387) – torpedoed in Aug. 1942 in the Solomon Islands after CBB was reassigned to other duties. Like many, many other members of the crews on ships that were anchored in the Harbor that weekend, he was on weekend liberty. He was staying at the Moana Hotel on Waikiki beach in Oahu, Territory of Hawaii (T.H.) when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor (about 25 miles away from Waikiki) at 7:55 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941. He heard some distant sounds and later that he thought it was those crazy Navy pilots showing off on a Sunday morning with their practice bombing runs. (He pulled my chain on this reflection later on after I had become a naval aviator.)  He called his commanding officer, LCDR H. N. Williams, who was also on liberty and at the Moana for an appointed tennis date, only to discover from the skipper's wife that general quarters had just been sounded – this was no drill! – due to the attack. She said that her husband had just left for Pearl.

 

Reportedly, CBB commandeered a jeep and driver (who was waiting for his Army COL boss) in front of the hotel and directed him to take him to Pearl Harbor, which the driver did under protest. He told me that the roads were nearly impassible with traffic jams and that they had to drive part of the way downtown on the sidewalks. By the time he got to Pearl, the BLUE had already gone to sea.

 

USS BLUE, First Ship Out of the Harbor

 

Yes, the BLUE was the first ship to leave Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 at 8:45 a.m. It would have taken about 45 minutes to crank up the boilers and get enough steam up to get a ship of that size under way. The senior officer standing the duty aboard the ship that weekend was Ensign N. F. Asher. With a skeleton crew of three other young Ensigns and a handful of enlisted men, Asher took charge and carried on heroically. This skeleton crew showed itself remarkably as can be seen in the Combat Action report for December 7 http://www.history.navy.mil/docs/wwii/pearl/ph25.htm that Asher wrote and dispatched on December 10.  This was also the subject of the below December 17, 1941 Springfield Union story, that is a blow up of that portion of Appendix 2.

 

 

A few years ago, I attempted to reach Asher, but he was long deceased.

 

I believe it was a retired military officer who authored a history book on the War that indicated the BLUE was the first ship to leave Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 at 8:45 a.m. I have been unable to confirm this, because I don't recall the author's name. However, I don't find any other ship that was listed as leaving the Harbor earlier than the BLUE in any of the official or other accounts I have read about the action that day. The DETROIT (which CBB wound up on because of the early departure of the BLUE) was listed as ready to depart the Harbor about the same time as the BLUE but was ordered to stand down from doing so, presumably for fear that it might be sunken in the throat of the departure channel and thus create a bottleneck for all other ships departing. It was given the go-ahead to proceed after it was clear that the attacks were over and fought valiantly against the Japanese bombers from inside the Harbor until then.

 

 

 

 

 

My recollection is that we received telephone notification from the Red Cross a day or two after the attack, I believe by phone, that CBB was missing in action. I remember walking home with Neil from vespers. Below are mom's recollections. I can't make out the word after "Dad and Mom +…" perhaps "Family," but think that by the time Neil and I got home the news of the attack had already just come through to the folks on the radio.

 

Mom's Recollections

 

 

 

 

"STILL GOING STRONG"

 

I recall another story that CBB just missed a motor launch that was ferrying crews from shore to ships only to observe it blown out of the water by a bomb from a Japanese aircraft. However, if it were true, I think it would have wound up in one of the newspaper accounts that dad put out. Not being able to get to the BLUE, CBB wound up on the USS DETROIT (CL-8 cruiser; only battleships and aircraft carriers were larger than these warships) according to the newspaper account. Like many other military people that day who had to get to any duty station they could, he was listed as missing in action. Our family was extremely upset to learn this. It was very tense for a whole week until we received a call from Western Union with the below message from CBB. What wonderful news! What a huge relief. The WU operator asked if we wanted a copy of the telegram. "YES! Of course!" my father or mother who answered the call said. Below is that telegram. MWB gave it to CBB who passed it down to SBN for posterity, a cause that hopefully this journal will extend to the whole family.

 

Scan 1010: "STILL GOING STRONG"

 

I did some research at NARA to confirm that it was indeed the DETROIT that CBB went to after finding the BLUE was already at sea, and to discover how long he was on that ship before returning to the BLUE. It turned out to be a somewhat larger research task than I had originally thought it would be. First, I obtained a copy of the key records in CBB's military records by request to NARA's military personnel records facility in St. Louis.

 

I thought I would find the DETROIT or some other ship listed on CBB's list of duty stations that would quickly answer both questions. But there was no such reference. I was told by a naval archivist in the Research Room at NARA's College Park, MD facility that this likely happened for many others in the same situation that day and was probably due to: all the confusion during the attack; the fact that there were no written orders to the DETROIT; and because he was repatriated only days later to the BLUE. In all likelihood, he was simply verbally ordered by a senior officer to make his way to the DETROIT, which was very likely still moored. So I continued the research by searching the daily "Muster Roles" of both the BLUE and the USS DETROIT with no luck. Then a Navy specialist archivist informed me that in those days only the enlisted men were included in "Muster Roles". He referred me to the full crew rosters that appeared at the beginning of the ship's Deck Log records for each month.  I first searched the BLUE from December 7-14, with no luck. Since his above telegram was dated December 14, I assumed that he was back on the BLUE by that date. I then searched the corresponding records for the DETROIT's.

The Deck Log of the DETROIT for Sunday, 7 December 1941, has a lengthy entry for the "8 to 12" watch (military time for 8 a.m. to 12 noon), which of course would have been the period during which the attack took place. The attack would have taken place just as the watch was turning over; and the first entry in the 8-12 report was: "Moored as before. 0755 Japanese airplanes commenced dive bombing attack on Naval Air Station and ships in port…Went to general quarters, set material condition "Z" and commenced firing AA guns and machine guns. 0800 Torpedo planes made a simultaneous attack on the battle ships, and DETROIT,RALEIGH and UTAH, moored at F-13,F-12 and F-11 respectively."  The end of that watch entry stated: The following passengers reported aboard: from NEVADA…[listing names]. From U.S.S. BLUE, C. B. BARRY, USNR…"  My best guess is that CBB had a very hard and tense hour or so getting to the Harbor from the Moana and thus probably boarded the DETROIT around 9 a.m. or shortly thereafter, but certainly before 10 a.m. when DETROIT cast off F-13 and got underway. Judging from the prior entries on that watch, one might conclude at least two things: 1) The Commanding Officer of the DETROIT was no doubt happy to take on a Gunnery Officer, because the DETROIT, in berth F-13, was among the first priority targets under siege. The adjacent RALEIGH (DETROIT's sister ship (CL-8) in berth F-12) and the battleship UTAH (in berth F-11) were both hit and the UTAH capsized. And 2) It was clearly a very bad hair day for CBB and his shipmates.

 

The story of the battleship UTAH on that day according to the official Navy Website[5] reads:

 

"Shortly before 0800, men topside noted three planes — taken for American planes on maneuvers — heading in a northerly direction from the harbor entrance. They made a low dive at the southern end of Ford Island, where the seaplane hangers were situated, and began dropping bombs.  The attack on the fleet at Pearl Harbor lasted a little under two hours, but for Utah, it was over in a few minutes. At 0801, soon after sailors had begun raising the colors at the ship's fantail, the erstwhile battleship took a torpedo hit forward, and immediately started to list to port. As the ship began to roll ponderously over on her beam ends, 6- by-12-inch timbers, placed on the decks to cushion them against the impact of the bombs used during the ship's latest stint as a mobile target, began to shift, hampering the efforts of the crew to abandon ship. Below, men headed topside while they could. One, however, Chief Watertender Peter Tomich, remained below, making sure that the boilers were secured and that all men had gotten out of the engineering spaces. Another man, Fireman John B. Vaessen, USNR, remained at his post in the dynamo room, making sure that the ship had enough power to keep her lights going as long as possible. Cmdr. Isquith made an inspection to make sure men were out and nearly became trapped himself. As the ship began to turn over, he found an escape hatch blocked. While he was attempting to escape through a porthole, a table upon which he was standing, impelled by the ever-increasing list of the ship, slipped out from beneath him. Fortunately, a man outside grabbed Isquith's arm and pulled him through at the last instant. At 0812, the mooring lines snapped, and Utah rolled over on her beam ends; her survivors struck out for shore, some taking shelter on the mooring quays since Japanese strafers were active.

 

Shortly after most of the men had reached shore, Cmdr. Isquith, and others, heard a knocking from within the overturned ship's hull. Although Japanese planes were still strafing the area, Isquith called for volunteers to return to the hull and investigate the tapping. Obtaining a cutting torch from the nearby USS Raleigh (CL-7) — herself fighting for survival after taking early torpedo hits — the men went to work.

As a result of the persistence shown by Machinist S. A. Szymanski; Chief Machinist's Mate Terrance MacSelwiney, USNR; and two others whose names were unrecorded, 10 men clambered from a would-be tomb. The last man out was Fireman Vaessen, who had made his way to the bottom of the ship when she capsized, bearing a flashlight and wrench…. 

 

 

The Detroit would have been fighting off the same attacking aircraft that did in the UTAH – looking at the above picture, one can't help but see a likeness to a giant whale – and other nearby ships. Its log for the same watch indicates that DETROIT  killed some aircraft and fended off several others, as well as joining in on an attack of a Japanese submarine in the Harbor. DETROIT got underway at 1010, but received orders from CinCPac not to leave Pearl and "moored port side to in berth F-13", probably for fear that it might be targeted to sink in the channel and close off escape by other ships. At 1100 "No further attacks appeared imminent." DETROIT was ordered underway at 1115 and passed through the channel at noon.  It had expended 422 rounds of 3" 50 caliber and 14,845 of .50 caliber machine gun ammunition. No doubt CBB commanded if not manned some of those guns.

DETROIT's Combat Action Report for December 7:

 

[Insert description and image of DETROIT's Combat Action Report for Dec 7.]
**********

 

 

The WWII Years

 

After Pearl

 

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, CBB served on the BLUE during raids on the Gilbert, Marshall, Wake and Marcus islands.

 

He was reassigned to an armed guard center in April 1942 for training and subsequently to the SS WILLIAM FLOYD as Officer in Charge of its Armed Guard Unit.

 

His first visit home (since March 1941) was in June, 1942, shortly after having been reassigned from the BLUE and coincident with his promotion to lieutenant junior grade.

 

Duty on the SS William Floyd as chief of the armed guard unit

 

<cbb-william-floyd-ca1942-43>:

 

 

 

 

Ensign CBB as officer in charge of the armed unit on the merchant SS William Floyd that was one of the hundreds of "Liberty Ships", so named, I believe, because of their role in the "Lend Lease" program to provide Britain, under siege from Nazi Germany before the U.S. actually entered the war.  They were contracted by the US Government to transfer troops, tanks and supplies to battle theaters, including in this case to Africa and the Middle East in 1942-43. He appears to be masquerading in a tough-guy stance a la Jimmy Cagney, which was the sort of thing he loved to do.

 

 

 

SS William Floyd Combat Action Reports (March and April 1943

 

Despite any moments of levity or boredom, this duty had its very serious and dangerous days. For example, on March 21, 1943 – this would have been within a couple of days of MWB's 44th birthday, his convoy was attacked and bombed by German Junkers 88 and Focke-Wulf 200 aircraft, which his guns fired upon. While doing research for this project in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) research room in College Park, MD, I discovered that the documentation of this and a subsequent action aboard the SS William Floyd, which were part of SBN's collection were not included with the public records of the SS William Floyd. With her agreement, I returned the two original action reports to NARA for permanent insertion in the SS William Floyd's records. As the two documents appeared to be the only extant copies of the original reports, NARA was very pleased to receive them and processed them into the Floyd's record folder for easy access to future generations of family members, historians and other researchers to view permanently.

 

Six days later, during that voyage, the convoy was attacked again. CBB observed Heinkel 111s aircraft dropping torpedoes nearby and alerted the convoy of this. The aircraft and torpedoes were fired upon by his guns and believed to be destroyed. One of the torpedoes missed his ship by 35 ft. It hit and set aflame a nearby ship in his convoy. 

 

Copies of the combat action reports for these two engagements from the NARA files are shown below. For enlarged copies of these Action Reports, see Appendix 3/3a:

 

 

 <ss-william-floyd-combat-rep19430321>       <ss-william-floyd-combat-rep19430327>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Liberty and Back Home

 

<cbb-lt-ca1944>

CBB as LT in Navy "Greens" uniform, a winter uniform that at I thought was restricted for use by naval aviators only. Maybe that came later and it was OK during WWII. But I don't think so. Again, as anyone who knew him well will remember, he loved a gag like that, for instance, family pictures we have somewhere where he took a most pious bearing as a priest, perfectly outfitted in priest's robes that he had temporarily lifted while attending St. Michael's College in Winooski Park, VT. If I can find them, I will include some of those St. Michaels pictures in a later version of this journal. The location of this picture is uncertain to me. Could that be a field of tulips in the background? Likely ca. 1942-4, as he is still a LT here.

 

Subsequent to writing the above, in discussions with my three old local VP-49 squadron buddies who meet for lunch typically the first Tuesday of each month, I was reminded that even "black shoe" officers were allowed to wear "aviation greens" while serving on a carrier. This would suggest that this picture was taken during his service on the carrier USS Salerno Bay (CVE-110), between June 1944 and August 1947.

 

 

 

 

 <cbb-lt-ca1943-44-sh>

CBB as Navy Lieutenant (LT) in front of our home at 27 East St (Charon Heights), South Hadley MA, ca. He was promoted to LT  Dec. 1, 1942. Possibly 1944, as he was very much at sea on the Floyd during 1942-43.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

<Scan 10007>

Page of photos from MMB's scrapbook: Top Left, Stoney Brook that ran from Mount Holyoke College through the farms below our residence on Charon Heights where we often swam as kids and which was one of Neil's (NFB) favorite fishing and trapping place for Neil . Top Right: CBB and by then I believe CBB's wife Kathryn Murray Barry (Kaye) (KMB), again in greens, probably as a LT and probably as with other photos that page at Christmas 1946 at 27 East St. Middle Left: Christmas at East St. home with CBB and Kaye seated, CBB in center with "Genius at Work" apron and MMB at far right. Couple on left were  Tom Tongay (Tonguay sp?) and wife, he a long-time business associate and close friend of CVB's from Hartford, Conn. I believe the person to his right was one of his Prudential Life Ins. Co. (where CVB was director of its Chicopee MA office) sales staff.  Middle Right: CBB and Kaye, again Christmas 1946 in the kitchen at 27 East St. Lower Left: KMB not far from our house – looks like it could be "Cold Hill" in neighboring Granby MA – with NFB to her left and Dorothea Connors Barry (Dot) (DCB) and JGB on her right in March 1946. Don't know if CBB was home at that time or not. Lower Right: KMB and NFB at same location and time.

 

Blow-ups from above pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

<Scan 1007b>: Cropped blow-up of Scan 1007 Upper Right photo  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

<Scan 1007a>: Cropped blow-up of Scan 1007 Middle Left photo

 

 

 

 

 

<Scan 1008>:  Page of photos from MMB's scrapbook apparently all from March 1946, when it appears that KMB was visiting and CBB was not at home: Top Left: KMB and DCB. Top Right: JGB, NFB and REB with our wonderful English setter, Danny. Middle Left: REB standing before what I believe is the hospital in which I was born in Adams, MA near the Mohawk Trail in the Berkshires.  Middle Left: REB, possibly in front of hospital where I was born.  Right: JGB and DCB. Lower Left: JGB and DCB. Lower Right: KMB, JGB and DCB.

 

<Scan 1008a>: Cropped blow-up of Scan 1008, Bottom Right photo

 

 

<Scan 1008b>: Cropped blow-up of <Scan 1008>, Top Right photo. Sorry Danny for the bad shot. We'll get a better one later.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

<news-su19420825>: Springfield Union newspaper clippings Jun-Nov, 1942

           


 

The above Springfield Union clippings cover a few months' period. They are interesting from a number of perspectives. The leftmost article without the headlines recites the huge fights that took place in January 1942 under the command of Vice Admiral William Halsey Gilbert and Marshall Island Groups that included the BLUE while CBB was still aboard. At the bottom is an accounting of an "Eyewitness Recital of Navy Attack on Wake," Island on February 24 the same year, another engagement that CBB participated in on the BLUE. 

 

 

 

 

An interesting sidebar: 23 years later, almost to the date of the above newspaper report, on March 26, 1965, I flew into Wake Island after an eleven and a half hour flight on deployment from Barbers Point, Naval Air Station, Hawaii, where my squadron (VP-4) was home ported. I was Plane Commander of that multi-engine Lockheed SP2H, ASW/Recon aircraft (Bureau Number 140153) with a crew of 12, known as "Barry's Bastards". The most versatile and unusual aircraft had two props and two jets (as we used to say, "two to go low and slow and two to get the hell out", especially when Russian fighters scrambled on us). Wake was an essential fuel and rest stop from Hawaii en route to Iwakuni, Japan. For the same reason, it was a most strategic island for the U.S. to capture from the Japanese forces in March, 1942. It was our ticket to the Japanese homeland. To my surprise, signs of the battle of Wake were still present in the form of numerous shell holes in the hangars and some of the other buildings. The next day we flew on to Guam Is., another famous and bloody WWII battleground, and from there on March 29, we flew on to Iwakuni. We used that base for the next six months for daily recon flights in the Sea of Japan off the coast of Vladivostok and Siberia and as our staging base for additional missions in Okinawa, the Phillipines and Vietnam – also to Hong Kong for one memorable R&R weekend in July when Linda was able to join up with me. I felt as though I was chasing my brother down at some of these places. [The above dates and places are taken from my Naval Aviators Flight Log Book.]

 

 

 

[Insert card from RB to SBN from Midway.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He was reassigned in March 1942 to the SS WILLIAM FLOYD as head of its gunnery unit. The FLOYD was one of hundreds of commercial ships that came to be known as "liberty ship" that were contracted by the government to carry supplies as part of the pre-war support to England and subsequently to carry both troops and supplies across the Atlantic to various key staging areas. They were outfitted with guns and each one had a small Navy contingent to operate them. CBB was the head of the FLOYD's, gunnery unit.

 

Not long after the Gilbert and Marshall campaigns, in March 1942, CBB was reassigned from the first USS BLUE, to a new command. The BLUE continued as part of the Pacific Fleet battles and during one such operation off the Solomon Islands, it was struck by a torpedo under controversial circumstances. According to NARA-held documentation, a subsequent investigation indicated that the ship was not zig-zagging during its operations -- a standard defensive maneuvering tactic for naval ships in enemy waters. A radar contact that was thought to have been a fishing boat turned out to have been a torpedo boat and the BLUE was hit. The inquiry stated that the torpedo might have been avoided had the ship's captain ordered zig-zagging. A surviving crew member with whom I had a telephone conversation a few years ago said to me: "That was a lot of crap! The Destroyer Division Commodore was present on the BLUE on that date and he had told the skipper that zig-zagging was not necessary." The ship didn't sink right away.

 

Another ship in the division attempted to save the BLUE by towing it toward the Solomons while the crew was evacuated from the ship. However, it was taking on so much water that it was necessary to scuttle the ship at 2221 on 23on August. CBB was no longer serving on the BLUE. This is simply a historical footnote. A new destroyer was named the USS BLUE with the side number, DD-744, was commissioned 20 March 1944.

 

 

<Scan 1019>

News report of the torpedoing of the USS Blue (DD387)

 

 

 


 

Immediately following Pearl Harbor, as noted above, the BLUE became involved in a series of campaigns westward over the Pacific in several battles for the Japanese held islands –

 

Also shown (left) is a "Timetable" for converting Eastern War Time (EWT), which I recall was an extended daylight savings time to facilitate greater war production, to other time zones. Of course it was used to help families at home learn what the time difference was between home and wherever their loved ones were serving.

 

 

 

 

The Simon Cohn story is about someone in Northampton whose family my mother may have known. According to her notes, he was serving on the small carrier USS Salerno Bay (CVE110) that CBB also served on from its commissioning May 19, 1945 in Portland, OR (and possibly before while making ready for its commissioning). Its keel was laid on Feb 7, 1944 by the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co, in Tacoma, WA before it was moved to Portland Sep 29, 1944. It got underway for the first time as a ship of the Navy, according to its War Diary of 19 May to 30 June 1945, on 1 June 1945 via the Willamette (in the Willamette Valley area best known today for some of the most exceptional pinot noir wine produced in the U.S.) and Columbia Rivers, OR.  I wonder if it might have been during its time in Tacoma that CBB met wife-to-be KMB, who came from Tacoma. Perhaps SNB can inform us on this possibility. [Perhaps Susan could provide a para or two on how they met.] By October, the SALERNO BAY was riding out a typhoon in the China Sea in the area of Formosa (now Taiwan) area and off of Okinawa. Only days later his ship provided air operations, including air cover, in "support of the occupation of Formosa," when "advance units of the [Chiang Kai-shek's] 70th Chinese army disembarked at Kiirun." From there, they sailed to Saipan in the Marianas Islands, shortly after the VJ-Day (Victory-in-Japan: 15 August 1945) that marked the end of WWII. In fact, CBB arrived in Saipan harbor with the SALERNO BAY on 23 October 1945 the day before the official creation of the United Nations Organisation.[6]

 

<Scan 10022>

 

<CVB-MWB-Family-ca1946-12-24>

Family picture, probably ca. 1945-6, as Jack was in the Navy in this picture taken in living room of our home at 47 East Street (aka Charon Heights), So. Hadley, MA. Charon Heights was named after Felix Charon the farmer at the top of the hill who was a farmer who owned most of the surrounding area. He turned developer and made a fortune on his property. He also owned a chicken farm at the top of the hill, where Rick worked in 1953 plucking and eviscerating chickens during summers when at American Int'l College in Springfield MA).

 

Above is a picture of the whole family: Seated Richard (aka Rich as a boy and later Rick) (REB), Mother (MWB) and father Charles Vincent Barry (CVB) (1900-1956); standing Charles Bernard Barry (CBB), Neil Francis Barry (NFB) and John Gallen Barry (Jack) (JGB). Jack and some of his classmates enlisted in the military services, in his case the Navy, before completing their senior year at So. Hadley High School. This illustrates to the way that everyone, young and old alike, felt about this War in a stark contrast to other subsequent wars such as in Vietnam and Iraq. Several fathers of these young patriots, including CVB on Jack's behalf, accepted diplomas that were awarded to the graduates in absentia during the normal graduation ceremonies.

 

The folks purchased that new home for about $8500. (Or was that what MMB sold it for when she moved from there to an apartment 20+ years later?) It had 3-bedrooms, 2 baths, a basement "rec room," fireplaces in the rec room and living room and a good sized, screened-in porch off the living room. We moved into that home in 1942 from the 118 Davenport St. address in Chicopee, MA, near Springfield MA. It was about 5 miles away as the crow flies from Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee, the home of the 8th Air Force that distinguished itself in bombing raids over Germany during WWII (and shook our house taking off nights loaded for bear). CBB left home for the Navy in 1940 so he never lived there, but he often visited. CVB bought several oriental rugs in Springfield MA, also in 1942 (must have been a big bonus year!), which I later purchased from MWB when she moved from the East St. house.

 

 

                     

 

Another Family Member of "the Greatest Generation": John Gallen Barry

 

Military personnel by the thousands left military service in the year following the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945, which marked the end of World War II. That date was originally called Victory-in-Japan Day, or VJ Day, and was wildly celebrated throughout America and the rest of the world, three months after the surrender of Germany on Victory-in-Europe Day, VE Day. VJ Day was immortalized in Life Magazine by Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous celebration picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square where over 2 million people gathered to celebrate the news that Truman had announced the surrender:

 

LIFETHE SMACK SEEN ROUND THE WORLD

JPEG IMAGE

The pretty arc of the nurse and the seaman's stylish stance made a "one in a million" composition, says Eisie. "They were very elegant, like sculpture."

For millions of Americans, Alfred Eisenstaedt's 1945 LIFE photograph of a sailor stamping a masterly kiss on a nurse symbolized the cathartic joy of V-J Day. http://www.life.com/Life/special/kiss01a.html

September 2 was later declared to be VJ day by President Harry Truman[7], because that was the day in 1945 of the formal surrender signing on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

 

The Caloosahatchee's Muster Roll at the National Archives records that Jack (and several others of his shipmates) left the ship on August 27, 1946, just days after the first anniversary of the surrender of Japan on August 15, 1945. His orders were for transfer to the Receiving Station, Norfolk, VA, prior to his discharge from naval service.

I have located some information on the Caloosahatchee, which remained in the service of the Navy for 45 years before being decommissioned on February 28 (Jack's birthday, by the way), 1990. According to the account in Appendix 5 below, "She was towed to the Mothball fleet on the James River where she sat until 2003 when she was sold for scrap to a salvage company in England. On October 6th the Caloosahatchee was taken under tow by an Ocean-going tug along with her sister ship Canisteo (ex AO-99) for a 4,500 mile / 21 day trip across the Atlantic to the Able UK's Graythorp yard, near Hartlepool, England. When the ships arrived there was protesting against the scraping of the ships in England due to the oil, asbestos, and PCB contamination aboard both ships. As of spring of 2005 the Caloosahatchee and the Canisteo are moored next to each other until the legality of the scraping can be resolved. Even long after the Caloosahatchee has stopped serving the U. S. Fleet she is still making history."

Her post-War operations included as a recovery vessel for NASA operations

 

including some very interesting post-war involvement of that ship with NASA recovery operations and operations in the Mediterranean Sea during the Jordanian crisis in April 1957. This and other information is included as Appendix 5 below. Hopefully it will jog Jack's memories, though I don't think his memories of his time on that ship are very pleasant ones.

 

As you will see, there are several pictures and documents relating to Charles. Not surprisingly, there is very little about Jack during the period covered in this version, since the bulk of the information came from Charles' daughter Susan's collection.

 

Moreover, Jack was home, still in high school till the tail end of the War. Somewhere we have a picture of Jack at the top of a 3 storey ladder painting our house on Charon Heights, sometime during the War. Maybe I took it. I don't know. I was still pretty young – 9 to 12 years and a couple of months during the time we lived in the old at that house. On the other hand, I was already big into photography, including staging my own portraits and developing my own film.

 

Somehow it's a picture that is sharply etched in my mind's eye, even today. If I locate it, I will include it here. Not only is the picture fresh in my mind, but so is the sound that went with it. Jack was an excellent singer, as I recall much in the Sinatra style. He was usually in very good spirits and sang a great deal, even to himself. The song that keeps playing in my mind as I "see" that picture is an old Mills Brothers single, "Paper Doll" that sold 6 million copies. It was one of the many favorites of the day that they produced.  My other favorite of theirs was "Till Then", one in the huge and great genre of WWII "going-away" songs that were produced by many singers and orchestras during that time that so caught the spirit of the GI leaving the wife or girlfriend behind as he went off to war or found himself humming it on his ships or airplanes or in the trenches. And not just the guys – there were many young women who served in each of the Armed Services, including not a few, especially nurses, in the front lines. Wherever their boyfriends or husbands were, the songs were made for them too. Jack never gave up his singing and to this day makes regular weekly visits to nursing homes and VA hospitals, which he has been doing for many years and where he is loved by the hundreds of people who look forward to his songs and jokes.

 

I asked Jack to send me some notes for the WWII years that he might have in his head or old files to build out records and reflections during the WWII years, e.g., there was a local newspaper clipping about how dad picked up Jack's high school diploma, along with some other parents of seniors who enlisted in the Navy before they finished their senior years at South Hadley High.

 

Jack served on the USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98). The ship was originally built by Bethlehem Steel Corporation's Sparrows Point Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland for the U.S. Maritime Commission, but before completion was converted into a U.S. Navy Fleet Oiler, AO-22 Class. The keel was laid in November 1944 and the ship was launched on June 2, 1945. The ship was named after the Caloosahatchee River, which runs from Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico in the vicinity of Fort Meyers, Florida. It was placed in commission in the Navy on 10 October, 1945, the day that, according to the Caloosahatchee's daily Muster Rolls maintained in the National Archives, Jack joined its crew as a radar operator. From Jack's accounts, this duty station was tantamount to the fictitious ship USS Caine made famous in the movie "The Caine Mutiny" based on Herman Wouk's novel by the same name, i.e., a ship poorly run by a most unpleasant skipper reminiscent of the Caine's Captain Queeg, played by Humphrey Bogart.

 

Jack's recollections are not very pleasant ones, but undoubtedly reflective of the experience of others, and very real for him. Living under the conditions he speaks to called for a special kind of bravery and fortitude that we don't often hear about in the more noble stories of war years:

 

September 10, 2007

 

Dear Richard:

 

What I can tell you about the fleet oiler, USS Caloosahatchee (AO98) on which I served on, you might not want to print. It was a hell hole! Lousy food, very poor sleeping conditions, 6 crew members who never bathed, nor did they wash their mattress covers but just kept turning them over. The crew had to force them to take showers. This is where I contracted TB.

 

One "90-day wonder" ship's navigator didn't know the bow from the stern. And last but not least, one big SOB ship's commander, a lieutenant. He made us wear blues every day at sea unless we were scraping paint from the decks and bulkheads. That's how I became an artist, radar (my job) 24 hours a day even with 60 miles visibility. The commander called me to the bridge one day and asked me all kinds of questions about "South Hadley," Mass., which was printed on the back of my fatigue jacket. What did South Hadley mean? Where was it? What is it noted for? He made me throw the jacket over the side. I found out later that he had once lived in Holyoke [the next town across the Connecticut River from South Hadley.] He was replaced by Admiral "Randy" Jacobs' son, who was the nicest guy in the world. He turned everything around. Let us wear fatigues; improved the food; and when he saw the living conditions, he separated "the 6" from the rest of the crew's sleeping quarters.

 

One night, when I was ashore visiting with our brother, Charles, then a Lieutenant Commander, who happened also to be there, a hurricane warning was posted. When I got to the dock where our ship's liberty boat was supposed to have taken us back to the ship, we were advised that, due to the storm, the liberty boat had been hoisted onto the deck of the "98" and would not be back until the next morning. Several hundred crewmen from my ship as well as others were forced to stay on the dock in pouring rain and wind from 2000 hours until 0800 the next morning. Needless to say, we were cold, wet and hungry. Lieutenant "Nice Guy" gave me a Captain's Mast hearing for failing to get back to the 98 even though the liberty boats were unavailable. Charles tried to intercede for me on the Captain's Mast charges but to no avail.

 

Another time, I reported a blip on the surface radar to the bridge .206 miles dead ahead about 2200 hours. The Duty Officer woke up Lieutenant "Nice Guy" who came out onto the bridge and asked for an identification and calibration of the object. I calibrated the distance and tentatively identified it as landfall. As I received no response to IFF (Information, Friend or Foe) challenges.  He could see nothing on the bridge repeater s radar scope and accused me of making a false report. I locked my radar on the blip and went out onto the bridge from the navigation room to check the radar repeater scope. I got another ass reaming. The object was Iceland. I reported a mine or periscope 6 miles off the starboard one day, so we went to investigate. It turned out to be a mine which had floated to the surface. LT "Nice Guy" sent the "90-day Wonder" out in the Captain's gig to investigate and report his findings. He was about 200 yards from the 98. He was banging on the mine with an oar. The mine was so old that it didn't explode. Talk about being lucky. AND WE WON THE WAR!

 

Regards,

 

Jack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Appendix 1

 

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Appendix 1a

 

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Appendix 1b

 

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Appendix 1c

 

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Appendix 1d

 

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Appendix 2

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Appendix 2a

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Appendix 3

<ss-william-floyd-combat-rep19430321> Action Reports of the SS WILLIAM FLOYD, March 21 and April 1, 1943

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Appendix 3a

 <ss-william-floyd-combat-rep19430327>

 

Appendix 4

Action Report of BLUE, December 7, 1941, accessible online at www.history.navy.mil/docs/wwii/pearl/ph25.htm

 

Appendix 4

 

From:

Commanding Officer.

 

To:

Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

 

 

 

Subject:

U.S.S. Blue – Action during December 7 Air Raid, Report of.

 

 

 

Reference:

(a) Cincpac despatch 102102 of Dec., 1941.

 

  1. Forwarded with great pride in the excellent and efficient manner in which all officers and men in the Blue at the time conducted themselves.
  2. Summarizing the basic letter to accord with reference (a) and clarify certain items, the following is submitted.

a.       Offensive measures.

      1. Fired .50 caliber machine gun and 5"/38 AA batteries at enemy planes presented as targets while moored at Berth X-7 from 0805 to 0847, and during sortie via South Channel to entrance buoys from 0847 to 0910.
      2. Dropped 4 and 2 600-pound depth charges in two successive attacks about 0950 on underwater sound contacts approximately 4 miles, bearing 190°, from Diamond Head Light. Dropped 2 600-pound depth charges in attack on third underwater sound contact approximately 6 miles, bearing 200°, from Diamond Head Light about 1020.

b.       Damage to enemy.

      1. 4 planes under fire by 5" battery and 1 under fire by .50 caliber were observed to crash in the following places: 2 near Pearl City, 1 on stern of U.S.S. Curtiss in West Channel, 1 in Middle Loch near P.A.A. Landing, 1 in cane field on Waipio Peninsula.
      2. One submarine either sunk or severely damaged by depth charging in approximate location 4 miles, bearing 190° true, from Diamond Head Light.

c.       Own losses and damages – none.

      1. Three men received minor injuries, two of them a burst eardrum and the third a bruised foot.
      2. The material casualties mentioned under the citations of Millard and Shaw in the basic letter were a gun stoppage due to loading a grommeted projectile, and a torpedo running in its tube after being struck by a second torpedo inadvertently partially ejected from an opposite tube.
      3. Attention is invited to paragraph 3 of the basic letter, to which should be added Ensign N.F. Asher, U.S.N., who, as acting commanding officer from the commencement of the raid until the ship returned to Pearl Harbor the following evening, performed most commendably and efficiently in assuming prompt offensive action, conducting emergency sortie under existing trying conditions, attacking submarine contacts in offshore area, screening heavy ship proceeding to attack a reportedly greatly superior force off Barber's Point, and subsequently standing watch and watch as O.O.D. for a period of 30 hours at sea.
      4. All personnel conducted themselves in an eminently satisfactory manner, and the commanding officer has not heard of a single adverse criticism.

d.       To date there have been found no evidence of any hits of any sort on this vessel, although several shrapnel or bomb case fragments, and two spent .50 caliber projectiles have been picked up about the decks. Enemy planes made several attempts to bomb this or nearby vessels during sortie in an apparent attempt to block the channel; the nearest miss from such bombs was about 100 yards.

[signed] H.N. WILLIAMS

Copy to:

Combatfor
Comdesbatfor


 

DD387/
Serial

U.S.S. Blue DD 387
Pearl Harbor, T.H.
December 11, 1941

 

From:

N.F. ASHER, Ensign, U.S. Navy.

 

To:

Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

 

 

 

Via:

Commanding Officer

 

 

 

Subject:

Air Raid on Pearl Harbor, T.H. December 7, 1941 – report of action by U.S.S. Blue (DD387)

 

  1. Summary of actions:

0800

U.S.S. Utah torpedoed.
Ensign N.F. ASHER, U.S.N., Ensign M.I. MOLDAFSKY, U.S.N.R., Ensign J.P. WOLFE, U.S.N.R., and Ensign R.S. SCOTT, U.S.N.R., while seated in the wardroom, received word from the bridge that the U.S.S. Utah had been torpedoed by Japanese airplanes. The general alarm was sounded, and word passed throughout the ship to man battle stations and prepare to get underway immediately. Stations were taken immediately as follows:

Ensign ASHER -- on the bridge -- in command.
Ensign MOLDAFSKY -- forward machine guns -- in charge.
Ensign WOLFE -- control -- in charge.
Ensign SCOTT -- repair party -- in charge.

0805

Opened fire with 50 cal. machine guns on Japanese planes diving on ships in harbor.

0807

Opened fire with 5"/38 cal. guns on Japanese planes. The engine room was ordered immediately to light off No. 2 boiler (No. 1 already steaming), and made all preparations for getting underway. Repair party cleared the ship for action, and made all preparations for slipping quickly from the mooring.

0847

Underway – upon execution of signal to get underway – from Berth X-7, Ensign N.F. ASHER, Commanding. Maintained fire on enemy planes with main battery and machine guns while steaming out of harbor. Four planes fired on with main battery were later seen to go down in smoke. It is claimed that two of these planes were definitely shot down by this vessel. one was seen to crash in field on Waipio Pena., and the second crashed into crane on stern of U.S.S. Curtiss. Two planes that dove over the ship were fired on by the 50 cal. machine guns. It is claimed that one of these planes, seen to crash near Pan American Airways Landing at Pearl City, was shot down by this vessel.

When abeam of Weaver Field landing, went to twenty five knots, and maintained this speed while steaming out of the channel.

0910

Passed channel entrance buoys, and set course 120 true. Proceeded to sector three to patrol station. Upon reaching station commenced patrolling at speed 10 knots.

0950

Good sound contact on submarine. Maneuvered to attack and dropped four depth charges. Regained sound contact on same submarine. Dropped two depth charges. investigated spot where the second attack was made, and observed a large oil slick on the water, and air bubbles rising to the surface, over a length of about 200 feet. it was first believed that the submarine was surfacing, due to the appearance of the air bubbles, and all guns were ordered to train out to starboard, so as to be ready to open fire. It is felt that this submarine was definitely sunk. Approximate location: 21°-11'-30" N and 157°-49'-45" W.

Obtained a third sound contack on a submarine that was apparently heading for the U.S.S. St. Louis, which was at the time steaming at high speeds on a course of approximately 150 true. Signal "EMERG. UNIT 210" was hoisted, and attack on submarine made. Two depth charges were dropped. Upon a return to the spot where the attack was made, a large oil slick was noticed on the surface of the water. All contacks were made at about 1400 yards, and the submarine tracked before the charges were dropped.

It is claimed that one submarine, and possibly two were sunk.

1030

Upon completion of the attacks, the Blue screened the St. Louis upon orders from that vessel.

1055

All four boilers on the main steam line.

  1. Ammunition expended during engagement:

5"/38 caliber

507

rounds.

50 cal. (machine guns)

4000

rounds.

Depth charges

8

 

3.       There were no material or personnel casualties.

  1. Special commendation should be given the following officers and men for their extreme heroism, courage, and fine cooperation, during the conduct of the battle, and until the Blue returned to port, on the night of December 8, 1941:

Ensign J.P. WOLFE, U.S.N.R., – is responsible for the excellent shooting of the Blue during the conduct of the battle. Ensign WOLFE's duties as control and gunnery officer were performed to perfection. Ensign WOLFE also acted as assistant communication officer.

Ensign R.S. SCOTT, U.S.N.R., – did an excellent job as damage control officer. Ensign SCOTT was detailed to maintain the spirit of the men on battle stations, and to look after things about the ship while the other officers remained at their battle stations from the time that the Blue got underway, till she returned to port.

HAMMOND, J.P., 233-63-83, CQM, USN, – provided valuable assistance to me, and loyally remained on the bridge till the Blue returned to port. I give HAMMOND great credit in aiding me considerably in the swift and safe manner in which the Blue proceeded out of Pearl Harbor.

KITZER, H.M., 102-87-19, CMM, USN, – did an excellent job as acting engineer officer of the Blue, for the two days that we were out to sea. KITZER is greatly responsible for the excellent performance of the engineering department.

KETCHUM, F., 102-39-98, CBM, USN, – performed in an excellent manner with the repair party, and proved invaluable by assisting in general tasks throughout the ship.

MILLARD, M.L., 355-54-90, CGM, USN, – performed in an excellent manner throughout the conduct of the battle, and whom I give great credit for the fine performance of the firing. He cleared a loading casualty at Gun 2 at great danger to himself, after sending all men from the gun and handling room.

SHAW, C.H., 200-79-90, CTM, USN, – performed outstandingly both in refilling depth charge racks, and preparing torpedoes for firing while the ship was proceeding in heavy seas at high speeds. During a casualty in which a fired torpedo remained in the tube, and a live warhead fell on the deck, his quick action at personal risk to himself prevented any serious damage to material and personnel.

MATTHEWS, W.J., 273-82-86, CRM(PA), USN, – who remained on watch continuously manning sound gear and radio equipment. While manning the sound gear, he picked up two submarines, and gave the information leading to the successful submarine attacks. His work on radio equipment as well as on sound gear was extremely well done.

  1. I wish to commend all the men who were aboard the Blue for their courageous and excellent performance during and after the engagement with the enemy.

[signed] N.F. ASHER


Source: Enclosure (E) to CINCPAC action report Serial 0479 of 15 February 1942, World War II action reports, the Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740.


 

***************************************************************   

Appendix 5

USS Caloosahatchee - AO 98

Just got started on some research on Jack's ship and have found some preliminary material below. More will be available at the National Archives.

http://www.usscaloosahatchee.org/docs/history.htm

USS CALOOSAHATCHEE (AO-98)


"SERVICE TO THE FLEET WITH PRIDE"

OCTOBER 10, 1945 - FEBRUARY 28, 1990
45 YEARS OF PATRIOTISM

     The ship was originally built by Bethlehem Steel Corporation's Sparrows Point Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland for the U.S. Maritime Commission, but before completion was converted into a U.S. Navy Fleet Oiler, AO-22 Class. The keel was laid in November 1944 and the ship was launched on 2 June 1945. The ship was named after the Caloosahatchee River, which runs from Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico in the vicinity of Fort Meyers, Florida. Caloosahatchee was christened by Mrs. C. L. ANDREWS, wife of Captain C. L. ANDREWS, MC, USN. The ship was placed in commission in the Navy on 10 October, Commander H. R. Livingston, USNR, in command; and reported to Commander, Service Force, Atlantic Fleet.
     Caloosahatchee cruised off the east coast, transporting oil and fueling ships at sea, and made a voyage to
Iceland from Norfolk during her first two years of operations. On 14 August 1947, she sailed for her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, a deployment that marked almost every year of her operations from that time into 1960. In this era when the U.S. Navy had perfected at-sea replenishment to greatly increase mobility, flexibility and efficiency, Caloosahatchee played a key role in increasing the enormous power for peace represented by the mighty 6th Fleet. Among other widespread operations, Caloosahatchee participated in NATO Operation "Mariner" off Greenock, Scotland, from 16 September to 20 October 1953, and provided summer training for future naval officers in midshipman cruises to Le Havre, France, in 1954, and to Copenhagen Denmark, in 1956. In fall 1957 and again in summer 1958, the oiler sailed with forces calling at ports in England, Scotland, France, and Portugal.
     Caloosahatchee's constant readiness for emergency deployments or other challenges to her operational capability was developed and maintained through training operations along: the east coast, and participation in such large-scale Atlantic Fleet exercises as Operation "Springboard" held in the
Caribbean, which operations continued through 1960.
     During the "Cuban Missile Crises", October 1962 the Caloosahatchee performed the duties of refueling the blockade fleet off the cost of
Cuba.

     On 8 May 1968 Caloosahatchee returned to Bethleham Steel Corporation at the Key Highway Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland where she was delivered to the custody of the Commandant FIFTH Naval District and the Supervisor of Ship-Building for conversion and modernization. Caloosahatchee was re-comissioned as mini-multi-commodity replenishment ship on 27 September 1969 and assigned to Service Squadron TWO, then homeported in Newport, Rhode Island.
     Since rejoining the Atlantic Fleer following conversion, Caloosahatchee has established an enviable record of operational performance and material reliability. In December 1969 she was awarded the highest operational readiness inspection grade assigned by the Commander Training Command, U.S. Atlantic Fleet during the calendar year 1969. During September, 1970 the Caloosahatchee while in the eastern Mediterranean Sea participated in the naval blockade off the coast of Lebanon & Jordan during 'The Jordanian Crises" when members of the PLO seized control of three jetliners which were later blown up on the ground in Jordan after the passengers (including some Americans) and crew were evacuated and held as hostages. The Caloosahatchee supported units of the SIXTHFLEET from September 1969 to February 1971 and was awarded the Battle Efficiency "E", and the Engineering Excellence "E" in 1973. In February 1975 Caloosahatchee was reassigned to her present homeport,
Norfolk, Virginia, coincidently transferring allegiance to Service Squadron FOUR. She departed for the Mediterranean via the North Atlantic, North Sea, and Baltic Sea Areas.
     Complimented for her overall material condition and cleanliness for a vessel her age by the INSURV Board in March 1977, Caloosahatchee then commenced a major RAV, which she completed two weeks early, a first in the Surface Force community over a considerable span of time. Following a brief period of refresher training and WESTLANT support operations, Caloosahatchee again departed for the
Mediterranean to spend the winter of 77-78 operating with units of the SIXTH FLEET.

     This deployment was highlighted by two very fruitful industrial availabilities in Marseille, France and Palermo, Sicily opening commercial shipyard facilities to the SIXTH FLEET in the Mediterranean basin. Caloosahatchee was recognized for her effective performance while ashore and afloat by the Commander, SIXTH FLEET and the Commander, Service Force SIXTH FLEET. While serving the fleet with pride, Caloosahatchee was runner-up to COMNAVSURFLANT's 1977 Golden Anchor Award for retention. In the winter and spring of 1978 Caloosahatchee endured a bitter winter and an eight-month major extended regular overhaul in Brooklyn, New York during which she received five competitive awards:
Combat Information Center Green "E", Communications Green "C", Gunnery Systems "E", Damage Control "DC", and the Deck Seamanship Award.
Following overhaul and after refresher training in August 1979, Caloosahatchee in September departed with Commander SECOND FLEET for
Northern Europe and NATO Exercises to be conducted in the North Atlantic, North Sea, and Baltic Sea areas. Caloosahatchee sustained her enviable record of operational performance and material reliability by replenishing 116 ships and meeting all commitments.
     During 1980 the Caloosahatchee participated in various readiness exercises, which involved two deployments to
Cuba and a five-month cruise to the Mediterranean. Over 170 safe replenishments were completed in 1980, which set a new record for the CALOOS and established a precedent difficult to follow. 1981 brought the CALOOS another fast paced Caribbean deployment and a six-month cruise to the Mediterranean. The Caloosahatchee's reputation continued to shine as she serviced the fleet with pride and professionalism.
     During 1988 Caloosahatchee made her last, and very successful, Med deployment. On the trip home completing the 191st unrep of the year.
     During 1989 she participtated in Unitas XXX and crossed the equator.
     The Caloosahatchee was decommissioned on
February 28, 1990 at Norfolk, VA after 45 years of "SERVICE TO THE FLEET WITH PRIDE". She was towed to the Mothball fleet on the James River where she sat until 2003 when she was sold for scrap to a salvage company in England. On October 6th the Caloosahatchee was taken under tow by an Ocean-going tug along with her sister ship Canisteo (ex AO-99) for a 4,500 mile / 21 day trip across the Atlantic to the Able UK's Graythorp yard, near Hartlepool, England. When the ships arrived there was protesting against the scraping of the ships in England due to the oil, asbestos, and PCB contamination aboard both ships. As of spring of 2005 the Caloosahatchee and the Canisteo are moored next to each other until the legality of the scraping can be resolved. Even long after the Caloosahatchee has stopped serving the U. S. Fleet she is still making history.

Back to Caloos homepage.

 

 

Interesting post War assignments:

http://history.nasa.gov/ships.html

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Click here for our Site Map.

FIND IT @ NASA

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 Navy Recovery Ships

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-f/cva59.htm

Photo #: 80-G-K-22688 (Color)

USS Forrestal (CVA-59)

Awaiting her turn to refuel, while operating in the Mediterranean Sea during the Jordanian crisis, 29 April 1957. USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98) is ahead, with USS Lake Champlain (CVA-39) and USS Salem (CA-139) alongside.
Note Forrestal's eclectic air group, with F3H-2N, FJ-3M, F9F-8B, F2H-2P, A3D-1, AD-6, and S2F aircraft visible on her flight deck.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

 

 

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04

Hey Lonnie!

How are you doing Lonnie? I just got an email from Duck that you were talking with him. Me and the M... Read more

Posted by Jennifer Gallagher

May
30

Hi Jennifer

My name is Lonnie Kratts. I recently have been in contact with Duck. We have been exchanging emails ... Read more

Posted by Lonnie Kratts

May
21

Searching for father

I am searching for my father who may have been aboard this ship when in plymouth,devon in England in... Read more

Posted by Carla Tucker

May
08

collision

it was in 75, I was on deck and we were getting ready to refuel the Inchon and the Hermitage... Read more

Posted by Carl Warnement

 

History

Apr
26

USS Caloosahatchee

In 1965 the Caloosahatchee participated in the Dominican Republic campaign when Cuban forces attempt... Read more

Posted by Richard Kennedy

Dec
19

Uss Caloosahatchee AOJ-98

Caloosahatchee (AO-98) was launched 2 June 1945 by Bethlehem-Sparrows Point Shipyard, Inc., Sparrows... Read more

Posted by Clayton Bliss

193 Unit Members

Robert Stoner
Robert
Stoner

Clayton Bliss
Clayton
Bliss

John Doughty
John
Doughty

Marc Youngblood
Marc
Youngblood

Harold Sanders
Harold
Sanders

 

Latest Members

Name

Rank

Affiliation

Stewart, John j

E-6

1982 - 1984

David, George

NONE

1987 - 1988

Young, Steve

E-5

1986 - 1988

Tanner, Larry

 

1982 - 1986

Ramirez, Hector

 

1987 - 1989

 

Reunions

There aren't any new reunions for this unit page.

 

Reunite with Unit Buddies

Proctor, Steve

Search by Norman Bruce

USS Caloosahatchee, AO Ninety-Eight

 

Customized Gear & Clothing

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http://www.usscaloosahatchee.org/

USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98)

The USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98) website.

This is the website for former USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98) sailors to share memories, keep in touch with each other and keep up with Caloos events.

USS Caloosahatchee (AOJ-98) patch

USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98) old style patch

USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98) new style patch

 

Patches were obtained from: Navsource (Fleet Oiler). They were originally contributed by Mike Smolinski.

 

 


 

USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98) Fleet Oiler

SERVICE TO THE FLEET WITH PRIDE


SHIP'S CHARACTERISTICS

Displacement, Full Load..............35,000 tons
Length..................................644 feet
Beam.....................................75 feet
Draft..................................37.5 feet
Speed...................................18 knots
Propeller......................................2
Rudders........................................2
Engines........................................2
Boilers........................................4
Shaft Horsepower..........................13,000
Armament..............2-3"/50 cal. single mounts
                    4-50 cal. machine gun mounts
Replenishment Stations........................11
Complement...........................22 Officers
                                    335 Enlisted
Liquid Cargo Capacity.............8,000,000 gals
Ordnance Cargo Capacity.................400 tons
Provision Cargo Capacity................525 tons
(Support for 3,000 men for 30 days)




Welcome to the USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98) Home Page

I looked for an "Official" Webpage for the USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98) and didn't find one. While I found many other pages that mentioned the Caloos, I didn't find anything we could call our own. So I started one.


History:

USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98) was launched 2 June 1945 by Bethlehem-Sparrows Point Shipyard, Inc., Sparrows Point, Md., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. C. L. Andrews; acquired by the Navy 10 October 1945; commissioned the same day, Commander H. R. Livingston, USNR, in command; and reported to Commander, Service Force, Atlantic Fleet. USS Caloosahatchee history. (This one is more complete than the one you see referenced at all the other Websites.)

Commanding Officers: List.


Reunion Information:

The 2006 reunion is October 20 - 22 in Mystic, CT.
See the Spring 2006 Reunion News Letter.

Past Newsletters:
See the Summer 2005 Reunion News Letter.
See the Spring 2005 Reunion News Letter.

The Navy Memorial Commemorative Plaque Program: The final plaque design has been chosen. See the final plaque design

For more information, e-mail the Reunion Association: caloosreunion@comcast.net.


Pictures:

In addition to the pictures I have taken myself and have otherwise scanned myself, I have collected a few that I downloaded from various websites. I do not mean to infringe on anyone elses work, but when I saved them from the web, I wasn't planning to make this website. I have not credited the source of some of these photographs, but I have included as many links to the original pages below as I could find.
I am also seeking contributions of pictures from anyone that has pictures that they would like to share. You may e-mail them to me at: webmaster@usscaloosahatchee.org

Click here for picture collection.


The Caloosahatchee BBS

A BBS is a "Bulletin Board Service". This is a place where you can post messages for all to see. Carry on conversations and catch up with old frends, or make new ones.

Update: Due to an overwhelming attack from outsiders, I am changing the membership process for the BBS. Normally we get 1 or 2 new members a month, but during the past couple months, I have been hit with about 4 or 5 a day. Unfortunately these aren't people that really have anything good to share with us. Most of them seem to be promoting gambling websites or porn websites.

In order to help identify the good from the bad:

  • No more handles, you must use your first and last name.
  • I have changed the BBS settings to require that final activation of a new account must be done by me. This will unfortunately cause a delay of activation, so please be patient with me.
  • Also, when you create an account, please send me an e-mail to let me know who you are, and your connection with Caloosahatchee.
  • I am deleting approximately 50-100 new accounts for every 1 new account that is actually legitimate. If I delete your account that I mis-identified, please coordinate with me by e-mail. E-mail the Webmaster

Click here to enter the BBS.


LINKS:

Caught in someone else's frames? Click here --> www.usscaloosahatchee.org <--to break free.

You are visitor # to our site.

 

 

 

 



[1] Other wonderful historical documents include the Charters of Freedom (the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights – http://archives.gov/exhibits/), the only remaining original version of Magna Carta in the U.S. http://archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/, and more mundane documentation such as the Watergate files including the original night log book of the security guard at the Watergate, etc. There are also selected genealogical records, such as Census Records, ship records of arriving immigrants, etc., that are held in NARA's downtown Washington, D.C. location across the street from the Smithsonian Institution between Constitution and Penn. Aves. That will likely be a more appropriate place to find records of our immigrant ancestors.

[3] The Witherell/Wetherell/Witherill Family of New England, by Peter Charles Witherell, Ph.D and Edwin Ralph Witherell, B.A., Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore MD, 1976, p. 108.

[4] Ibid. p. 29

[5] http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/ships/battleships/utah/bb31-utah.html. Text from The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships published by the Naval Historical Center and by Journalist 2nd Class Greg Cleghorne, Editor, Hawaii Navy News.

[7] See transcript of President Truman's "Radio Address to the American People After the Signing of the Terms of Unconditional Surrender by Japan," at http://www.trumanlibrary.org/calendar/viewpapers.php?pid=129.

 

 

© 2008 Richard E. Barry. All rights reserved.  This journal, or portions thereof, may not be republishes without prior written permission from the author.