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
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
obtaining recollections of other family members, it would provide a means
for enriching the meaning of the items, some of which carry no notation.
best sources of information to augment or clarify family events are Jack,
Neil, me and our wives. We should all contribute while we can.
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
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
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 withpeople 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
§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.
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
§Putting the whole collection together on a CD,
writing this journal and making it accessible in paper and digital form.
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.(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.
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
NameBorn Died Relation
Mary Margaret [Witherell]
Charles Vincent Barry[CVB]1900/father
Charles Bernard Barry[CBB]1920/09/18oldest son
Kathryn (Kaye) [Murray]
Barry [KMB]CBB's wife
JohnGallen Barry [JGB]1927/02/282nd son
Dorothea (Dot) [Connors] Barry [DCB]JGB's wife
Neil Francis Barry [NFB]1930/09/3rd
(Jen) Barry [JB] NFB's
Richard Edward Barry [REB]1933/05/12youngest son/journal-author
Great Grandparents, Michael and Bridget (O'Brien) Barry
(No family picture available)
Photo by Maureen Barry, August 2007. (Maureen is my Cousin Mike
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
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."
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,
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."
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, TomWetherell, 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.
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
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.
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
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
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
through my wife and then fiancιe, Linda Cox. Linda was a student nurse at the HolyokeHospitalNursingSchool. 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 CharonHeights
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
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 FlorenceElementary
School, with MWB
in the first row.
Below it is an image of the reverse side of the original
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 FlorenceMA. 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
Photo by Maureen Barry, August 2007
Mike and Maureen also
provided an interesting further sub-story on mom's elementary school in a
In a message dated 8/23/2007 7:07:00 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
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:
seems to close the loop on the picture of MWB's second grade picture. It was (Our Lady of ) AnnunciationSchool (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 SloughHillSchool.
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
[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
The flight training I undertook in San Diego was to learn the
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
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.
10012/10013>: CBB'sNovember 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'sNovember 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
<Scans 10011-10012>: November
9, 1941 envelope (obverse/reverse) of CBB'sNovember 7, 1941 letter home.
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
Scan: Front page, SpringfieldUnion, 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 ,
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 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, 1941Springfield
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
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 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
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.
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 ""
watch (military time for ),
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 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
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 FordIsland, 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.
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.
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
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 DETROITkilled 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 .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:
and image of DETROIT's Combat Action Report for Dec 7.]
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor,
CBB served on the BLUE during raids on the
Gilbert, Marshall, Wake and Marcus
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
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
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:
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 as Navy Lieutenant (LT) in front of our home at 27 East
St (Charon Heights), South Hadley MA, ca. He was promoted to LTDec.
1, 1942. Possibly 1944, as he was very much at sea on the Floyd
Page of photos from MMB's
scrapbook: Top Left, Stoney Brook that ran from MountHolyokeCollege
through the farms below our residence on CharonHeights 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
wereTomTongay (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
Left: KMB not far from our house looks like it could be "Cold
Hill" in neighboring GranbyMA
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
Cropped blow-up of Scan 1007 Upper Right
<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.
Cropped blow-up of Scan 1008, Bottom
<Scan 1008b>: Cropped blow-up of <Scan 1008>, Top Right
photo. Sorry Danny for the bad shot. We'll get a better one later.
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
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
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
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.
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 PortlandSep 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 WillametteValley
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 SALERNOBAY was riding out a typhoon in the
China Sea in the area of Formosa
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 MarianasIslands, 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
on 23 October 1945 the day
before the official creation of the United Nations Organisation.
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. CharonHeights 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 AmericanInt'lCollege
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 JohnGallen 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. HadleyHigh
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
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 SpringfieldMA. 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 SpringfieldMA,
also in 1942 (must have been a big bonus year!), which I later purchased from
MWB when she moved from the East St.
Another Family Member of "the Greatest
Generation": JohnGallen 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:
SMACK SEEN ROUND THE WORLD
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."
September 2 was later declared to be VJ day by President
Harry Truman, because
that was the day in 1945 of the formal surrender signing on the USS Missouri in
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
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
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
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 CharonHeights,
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,
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 CaloosahatcheeRiver,
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:
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.
"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.
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.
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!
<ss-william-floyd-combat-rep19430321> Action Reports of the SS
WILLIAM FLOYD, March 21 and April 1, 1943
Action Report of BLUE, December
7, 1941, accessible
online at www.history.navy.mil/docs/wwii/pearl/ph25.htm
Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Blue Action during December 7 Air Raid, Report of.
of Dec., 1941.
Forwarded with great pride in the excellent and
efficient manner in which all officers and men in the Blue at the
time conducted themselves.
Summarizing the basic
letter to accord with reference (a) and clarify certain items, the
following is submitted.
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.
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.
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 WaipioPeninsula.
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.
Three men received minor injuries, two of them
a burst eardrum and the third a bruised foot.
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.
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
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
U.S.S. Blue DD 387 Pearl Harbor, T.H. December
N.F. ASHER, Ensign, U.S. Navy.
Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
Air Raid on Pearl Harbor, T.H. December 7, 1941 report of action by U.S.S. Blue (DD387)
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.
Opened fire with 50 cal.
machine guns on Japanese planes diving on ships in harbor.
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.
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
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.
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.
Upon completion of the
attacks, the Blue screened the St. Louis upon orders from that vessel.
All four boilers on the
main steam line.
expended during engagement:
50 cal. (machine guns)
3.There were no
material or personnel casualties.
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,
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
wish to commend all the men who were aboard the Blue for their
courageous and excellent performance during and after the engagement with
OCTOBER 10, 1945 - FEBRUARY 28, 1990
45 YEARS OF PATRIOTISM
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 CaloosahatcheeRiver, 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 CopenhagenDenmark, 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 1968Caloosahatchee 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
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.
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
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
Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.
Welcome to the USS Caloosahatchee (AO-98) Home
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.
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.)
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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.