Length: 503'11". Breadth: 69 foot 7 inches. Mean Draft: 24 feet 1 inch. Displacement: 13,680 tons. Machinery: 28,059 IHP; 2 Vertical, Inverted, Triple Expansion Engines, 2 screws. Speed: 22.41 knots. Coal Bunker Capacity: 1,825 tons. Batteries: Main Battery: four 8 inch breech-loading rifles 40 cal., fourteen 6-inch rapid fire guns 50 cal., Secondary Battery: eighteen 3-inch rapid fire guns 50 cal., twelve 3-pounder semi-automatic guns, two 1-pounder rapid fire guns, two 18-inch submerged torpedo tubes. Armor: Belt, 6 inches; turrets, 6 1/2 inches; barbettes, 6 inches; deck, 4 inches; Conning Tower, 9 inches. Complement: 41 officers, 850 men. Built by: Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va. Launched: 12 September, 1903. Class: PENNSYLVANIA
The second Maryland (ACR-8) was laid down by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va., October 7, 1901 and she was launched on September 12, 1903 being sponsored by Miss Jennie Scott Waters. Her launching ceremony took place on September 12 at the Newport News yards, in which she had a little difficulty in making a perfect launching.
At 10 O’clock on the morning of the launching the gates to the Newport News Yard were opened and the great crowd of folks gathered began to walk into the yard down past the machine shop building and past the dry-dock, passing the ways where the USS Virginia was taking form, and the nearly finished cruiser USS Charleston, and the ways where the new battleship Minnesota’s keel is being laid. The crowd finally gets good vantage points around the hull of the Maryland of which they all have come to see slide into the water for the first time today.
As the crowd assembles the Navy band makes their way onto the launching stand and begins to entertain the crowd with songs such as “Maryland, My Maryland.” Then the launching officials and party arrive at the launching stand escorted by Newport News president Calvin B. Orcutt.
Down below the hull of the waiting Maryland workmen begin to make final preparations by driving long slender white oak wedges lifting the hull up from the ways. At the same time Miss Jennie Scott Waters is ready with her bottle of champagne waiting for her moment to bestow the name of Maryland onto the new ship. Those on the launching stand can hear the sounds of men sawing through the last remaining piece of oak that holds the Maryland fast to the land, and they know she will be free in mere moments. But as the bottle is swung against the hull and the name “Maryland” is called out, the hull begins to slide down the ways but quickly begins to stick because the hot sun that day has melted the tallow that was to keep her sliding evenly down the ways.
She reaches the water but not at the speed she should have and her stern digs into the mud of the bottom and she is stuck with about 70-feet of her hull still on the ways. She seemed to be stuck in a way in which was puzzling to her builders and they took their time in forming a plan on how to get her free of her clutches. The yard workers were said to be keeping a tight lip on just what was keeping her fast and what they would do to get her free. In the end jacks were used to push her free of her confinements and she sustained no damages.
The christening party then went to Old Point Comfort where an elaborate post launch luncheon was awaiting them. Speeches were made by Governor Smith of Maryland and Governor Montague of Virginia, along with United States Senator Thomas S. Martin of Virginia, Asst. Secretary of the Navy Charles H. Darling, and State Senator Robinson of Maryland.
Maryland was commissioned on 18 April 1905, with Captain Royal R. Ingersoll in command. Captain Ingersoll was a native of Indiana and later became an Admiral and the cruiser USS Ingersoll was named in his honor. In October 1905, following her shakedown, Maryland joined the Atlantic Fleet for operations along the east coast and in the Caribbean, where she took part in the 1906 winter maneuvers off Cuba.
In November of 1905 Maryland Governor Warfield presented to the USS Maryland and her officers a 200-piece silver service set along with a handsome banner representing the state to the ship. A distinctive masterpiece of silversmithing, the service was designed and wrought by Samuel Kirk and Son, Inc. of Baltimore. Over $5,000 was raised from citizens and school children all over the state to pay for it. The ornamentation on each piece represents an historic structure, event, or product of the 23 counties and Baltimore City. The punch bowl depicts the battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. When the new battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) was commissioned in 1921, the silver service set was transferred to her. The ship fought victoriously during WWII and was decommissioned shortly after the war. The silver service was returned to the state to go on display. In 1992, the submarine USS Maryland (SSBN 738) was commissioned, and four pieces of the original USS Maryland Silver Service from 1905 were placed aboard the submarine.
There were 6 ships in the Pennsylvania class and the Maryland (later renamed Frederick) was the second fastest ship in the class. Her 4-hour full power trial showed 28,059 I.H.P. at 22.41 Kts. The Pennsylvania was the fastest ship at 28,600 I.H.P. at 22.44 Kts. It was noted that the Maryland's main battery of 8-inch guns could be fired at a rate of 1 round per 50 seconds. According to a newspaper clipping dated 28 January 1905 the speed trial of the Maryland took place on 27 January 1905 on an 88-knot course from Thatcher’s Island, off Gloucester, Maine to Cape Porpoise, Maine and then back again. With Captain Ingersoll at the helm the Maryland answered his commands very quickly and was speedy and economic at the same time.
|Saturday, January 28, 1905
The Maryland A Speedy Boat.
Attained and Average of 22.306 Knots an Hour on Official Trial Trip. Tidal Corrections Will Be In Her Favor. The new cruiser may be recorded as the speediest of her class. During the trial the two engines developed an average horsepower of 27,000. She is an economical coal burner and quick with her helm.
Boston, Jan. 27. (1905) With a keen north-west wintry wind striking her abeam, the armored cruiser Maryland, which was built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, attained on her official trial trip today an average speed of 22.306 knots an hour, thereby exceeding her contract requirement of 22 knots.
The Maryland is the fourth and last of a type of fast cruisers to have a trial off this coast. Of the three, which have proceeded, the Pennsylvania, the fastest of these, averaged 22.43 knots an hour. It was unofficially announced by the trial board today, however, that the tidal corrections fro the trial of the Maryland are in the ships favor to from 11 to 18 one-hundredths of a knot. If this trial correction is over .124 of a knot the Maryland will be recorded as the speediest cruiser of her class.
The trial course today extended from Thatchers Island, off Gloucester, to Cape Porpoise and return, a distance of 88 knots.
The Maryland was found to have quick working steering gear, establishing a record for the throwing of the helm hard over, when the big ship was describing a figure 8 at the conclusion of the official run. It was found that the run was held under an economic consumption of coal. During the trial the two engines of the cruiser developed an average horsepower of 27,000.
The average speed attained of 22.306 will be subject to the change of the tidal correction, which will not be made known until the commanders of the various stake boats have made their reports to the official trial board.
The trip of the Maryland today was observed under an official Government inspection board, which was headed by Captain J. H. Dayton.
In the last week of October 1905 President Teddy Roosevelt was in New Orleans and took transportation back to Washington D.C. on board the West Virginia, which was Admiral Brownson’s flagship. The President aboard the West Virginia was convoyed through the Gulf of Mexico and up the Atlantic east coast with the rest of the Armored Cruiser Squadron consisting of the Maryland, Pennsylvaniaand Colorado. On the 29th of October the Squadron was fighting a rough northwest gale off the South Carolina coast in which the seas were very high. Admiral Brownson decides that he should put his squadron out to sea to avoid the dangerous waters of the shoals near the coast. The squadron delivered president Roosevelt safely to his destination, although later than planned.
In 1906 the Navy made its first efforts to make use of naval radio on its ships of the line. In the early months of 1906 Rear Adm. Robley D. Evans, Commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet saw an opportunity to experiment with the new radios. The Dewey Dry-dock had just sailed under tow across the Atlantic for the Philippines and Admiral Evans formed a scouting line composed of the USS Illinois, USS Pennsylvania, USS West Virginia, USS Colorado and the USS Maryland. The distance the ships in the scouting line kept from each other was dependent on the ability of each ship to keep in radio contact with the next ship in the line. The idea was to keep in radio contact with the towing party of the Dewey Dry-dock as she was towed across the Atlantic. It was on the 19th of January that the Maryland was 500 miles east of Cape Hatteras, NC and 600 miles north of San Juan, PR, and 640 miles west of the USS Glacier, the flagship of the towing group, when the Maryland received a message from the Glacier for relay to Washington, DC. The Maryland relayed this to the USS Illinois, which relayed it to the USS Missouri and she sent it to RADM Evans’ flagship the USS Maine. The Maine then tried the relay to a shore station but was not able to make contact. One week later another attempt was tried as the scouting line had moved another 300 miles farther south. The Glacier again sent a message to the Maryland, which she was able to relay to the Missouri. But the Missouri had to relay the message visually to the Maine. On this attempt the Maine did make radio contact with the shore station. These were the only two communications that were relayed from the Glacier through the Maryland. The Maryland herself was able to keep fairly good radio communications with the Glacier for several days.
During that first trial the Maryland had the best radio communications as she had the most powerful radio set. The West Virginia had the next most powerful radio. The Maryland and the West Virginia could transmit radio messages from 550 to 600 miles’ distance from each other. On the other end of the scale the range that the Colorado and the Pennsylvania could communicate was only about 150 miles’ distance. RADM Evans again set up another radio experiment in February 1906 in which two scouting groups would try to keep the other scouting force from communicating with the use of radio interference. These two scouting forces were the Blue Force made up of the USS Alabama, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Kearsarge, and Iowa. The opposing Red Force was made up of the USS Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and the Colorado. It was judged that the Blue force was unable to keep the Red Force from communicating the speed and direction of the Blue Force between the Red Force ships. The radio equipment of the time was just not built to withstand the high power that was required to operate a successful radio signal. Transmitting at full power caused excessive heat and this caused the radio sets to break down. They were repaired with anything that could be found on the ship such as tinfoil taken from tobacco packages and other pieces of zinc that could be found. The Navy learned from these two exercises that much improvement in Naval Radio had to be made before it would be reliable enough to withstand the stress of combat at sea between ships. For several years afterwards, there was no real improvement in Naval radio transmission at sea.
While the Maryland is in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Maryland’s Paymaster Howard P. Ash passed away aboard the ship. His body was transported north to Washington, DC and arrived there on April 3, 1906. The next day his funeral was held at 2:00 in the afternoon at Calvary Baptist Church with Rev. Green of the church officiating the funeral service. Paymaster Ash was then buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
In early April 1906 the Maryland along with the entire Atlantic fleet is conducting their annual fleet target practice. On April 13 aboard the battleship USS Kearsarge while she is just off Caimanera, Cuba, a fishing village on the western shore of Guantanamo Bay, an explosion occurred in her forward 13-inch gun turret. The explosion took place about 3:15 in the afternoon just after she had completed firing; three bags of powder were ignited as they were being sent below. Lt. Joseph W. Graeme the gun umpire was killed outright and the following men died later as a result of the explosion, Lt. John M. Hudgins, turret officer; Peter Norberg, gunner’s mate; Theodore Naegely, seaman; Anton O. Thorson, ordinary seaman; Julius A. Koester, turret captain first class; and Ellis H. Athey seaman. Ordinary Seaman W. King was also killed and recovery of his body was difficult. Once his body was recovered he was buried at Guantanamo.
The Maryland was ordered to come along side and receive the bodies of Lt. Joseph W. Graeme and Lt. John M. Hudgins for transportation back to Hampton Roads, Virginia. Also, the Maryland took aboard five sailors who were injured but survived the explosion, they were; Electrician’s Mate McArdle; Yeoman 2c W. R. Lydig; Gunner’s Mate M. J. Maher; Gunner’s Mate L. T. Nolan; and Seaman J. D. Shea. Maryland set sail for Hampton Roads and when about 500 miles from the Virginia coast she received a wireless message with orders to proceed to Tompkinsville, NY. While steaming from Cuba, Electrician’s Mate McArdle passed away from his injuries in the explosion. Maryland arrived at Tompkinsville on April 23 and anchored in the harbor where the naval tug Pawnee came along side and took the bodies of the dead officers and the injured men to shore.
The funeral of Lt. Graeme was held at 10:30 in the morning on April 23 at the Calvary Church located at 21st Street and 4th Ave. in New York. Some 300 officers, sailors and marines along with the combined bands from the Maryland, Pennsylvania and Colorado, escorted Lt. Graeme’s body. The Pennsylvania and Colorado had followed the Maryland from Cuba and had arrived a few hours after she arrived in Tompkinsville.
While the Maryland is moored at the New York Navy Yard on August 14, 1906, she was involved in a collision with a heavy dredging barge. The dry-dock in the yard was being dredged, which was nearby the moored Maryland, when the dredging barge that was attached to a tug had broken away and had drifted into the Maryland. Just as the clumsy barge was being turned around and was again just about to strike the Maryland for a second time the tug got control of it just in time. The Maryland only sustained an estimated $500 damage in a rapid-fire gun being dismounted and two stanchions from her deck being broken.
During the latter parts of the summer and early fall of 1906 the Armored Cruiser Squadron, under command of Rear Admiral Brownson sailed to Mediterranean waters. Brownson’s squadron consisted of the Colorado, Pennsylvania, Maryland and his flagship USS West Virginia. It was reported that on October 9, 1906 all 4 cruisers were anchored in the harbor at Port Said, Egypt having made their voyage there from Phalerum Bay, Greece. By the middle of September the squadron was sailing back out of the Mediterranean as noted on post cards showing the Rock of Gibraltar, which were mailed on the 18th of September on board the Maryland.
The boiler tubes of the Pennsylvania and her sister ship the Colorado, became part of a lawsuit levied by the United States Government on October 4, 1906. It was alleged by the Navy Department that thousands of boiler tubes were installed in the boilers of the Pennsylvania, Colorado, Maine and Georgia, and other un-named naval ships, were never subjected to government tests. Many of the tubes, which were installed in these vessels was done so after the manufacturer of the tubes had rejected them and this fraud may have started as early as 1898. A man named Frank L. Emmett, of Sharpsville, PA, brought this fraud to the attention of the Navy Department. Emmett was at the time in charge of the shipping department of the Shelby Steel Tube Company, located in Greenville, Pennsylvania. This scandal continued on for some time before charges were brought against the Shelby Company.
Three men of the Shelby Steel Tube Company, J. Jay Dunn, Charles L. Close and Frank L. Emmett were all charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States Government in connection with the defective tubes. United States District Attorney John W. Dunkle brought before Judge Nathaniel Ewing of the United States District Court on May 6, 1907 a lawsuit stating that these defective boiler tubes were alleged to have been installed into the following United States ships; Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Maryland, Charleston, Nebraska, Minnesota, Vermont, Washington, and Tennessee. Before judge Ewing, Frank L. Emmett pleaded guilty and waived a hearing. Emmett one of the three men charged had struck a deal with the prosecutor and turned State’s evidence against his former employer the Shelby Steel Tube Company and Dunn and Close, the other two men named in the suit. The specific charges against the three defendants involved the alleged furnishing of defective boiler tubes to United States naval vessels form the Greenville, Pennsylvania mill of the Shelby Steel Tube Company, by which the defendants were employed. During the trial over sixty witnesses from different sections of the country were subpoenaed to give testimony.
In February of 1907 Captain Ingersoll’s term of service as commanding officer of the Maryland was up and Captain Chauncey Thomas took command. Under Thomas’s command the crew consisted of 41 officers and 850 enlisted men, with Lt. Commander John M. Ellicott serving as the Executive Officer. During 1907 the cruisers Colorado, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the West Virginia formed the First Division of the First Squadron, Asiatic Fleet, Commanded by Rear Admiral Willard H. Brownson. The West Virginia served as Admiral Brownson’s Flagship.
During the summer of 1907, Maryland conducted a training cruise for Massachusetts Naval Militiamen, and then readied for transfer to the Pacific. Departing Newport News, Virginia she sailed, via San Francisco and Hawaii, for the Asiatic station where she remained until October of 1907. On September 2, 1907 all 4 cruisers of the First Division were at anchor in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Being away from the States the crew always like to blow off some steam when they get back to home port. Two such cases were reported in the Monday evening October 7, 1907 edition of the Oakland Tribune newspaper of some Maryland sailors who got into a little trouble while blowing off steam.
John A. Gough, one of the Maryland’s sailors went down to the Barbary Coast section of San Francisco to enjoy himself. The Barbary Coast was a red-light district during the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries, which featured dance halls, concert saloons, bars, jazz clubs, variety shows, and brothels. Sailor Gough went into one of the establishments and drank himself into a stupor. In the morning when he awoke from the evening’s events he found that he had been stripped of everything, even his entire uniform. Explaining that to the Chief when he returned back to the ship likely took a bit of convincing.
And still another Maryland sailor got a bit more than he paid for in one saloon. Seaman Martin Palmer was having a drink in a Pacific Avenue Saloon ran by James Griffin when Seaman Palmer was accidentally shot. The story was that Griffin the saloon owner, was examining a loaded pistol, which was unbeknownst to Seaman Palmer pointed in his direction, and somehow Griffin fired the gun striking Seaman Palmer who was just trying to have a peaceful drink.
Now that the “Big Four Squadron” consisting of the Maryland, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and the West Virginia had returned back to San Francisco Bay, desertions from both the Maryland and the Colorado were reported in the December 18, 1907 edition of the Oakland Tribune as “quite a number of enlisted men have deserted.” In the same article both the Maryland and Colorado were moved to anchorage in the lower bay, likely a move to reduce the number of desertions from the two ships.
During 1907 the Maryland had a dog as the ship’s mascot. This was a common practice in the navy at the time to have animals aboard the ship. The dog was named Adam and according to at least one unidentified sailor who wrote about Adam on the post card, “He is nine-years old. He does not like the ship and I do not blame him. He is a lover of cats.”
She then returned to San Francisco and for the next decade where she cruised throughout the Pacific. In early February of 1908 the Armored Cruiser Squadron and the Third Division of the Pacific Fleet held their target practice in preparation for the Annual “Battleship Trophy” for the best marksmanship of main guns on active cruisers or battleships in the combined American Fleet, which would be held in May. The Pacific fleet held their practice in Magdalena Bay, Mexico and the Atlantic Fleet held its practice in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
On February 3, 1908 the best 3-inch gun fired aboard the Maryland on the range at Magdalena Bay was recorded by E. Hewit with 7-hits on target in 20.5-seconds which worked out to be 20.5 hits per minute. And the second best 3-inch gun was fired by Belcher with 7-hits on target in 25-seconds which was figured at the rate of 16.5 hits per minute.
This is the photo taken of the winning 3-inch gunners at Magdalena Bay February 3, 1908.
During the month of March 1908, the Maryland loses two of her sailors to unknown reason as they are away from the ship. About February 27, 1908 Seaman Thomas Howard who was then 25-years old was off the ship and ashore. At an unknown date he in some way was drowned in the bay and on March 7 his body was found in the water just off from Fort Baker. Then on March 25 another Maryland sailor drowns. Napoleon Martin about March 16 had been given a short Liberty ashore, and again by unknown reasons accidently drowned in the bay. He had not been seen or heard from by the officers of the Maryland until March 25 when his body was found in the bay near the Mare Island Navy Yard.
During the spring of 1908, in San Francisco there was a smallpox plague and the Admiral gave orders that no navy personnel were to go ashore until properly vaccinated. One sailor onboard the Maryland, Albert Henderson wrote his mother from the Maryland which was anchored in Vallejo, CA on 1 April 1908 stating that they are under orders not to leave the ship due to the smallpox plague. During July the Battleship Nebraska was in quarantine in the harbor in San Francisco on account of some cases of smallpox among her enlisted men.
On the 18th of April 1908 Maryland went to the Bremerton, Washington Navy Yard to go into dry-dock there for routine repairs and she was still in the dry-dock on the 28th of April. She left Bremerton on 1 May, returning to San Francisco on May 8, 1908. There was a great armada of the United States Navy assembled in San Francisco Bay, which was reviewed by Navy Secretary Metcalf. There were 44 Battleships, Cruisers and Destroyers assembled and lay at anchor in four long columns’ just a short distance off of Goat’s Island. Captain Chauncey Thomas was the commanding officer of the Maryland at the time. On board the USS Yorktown, Commander J. H. Glennon transported Secretary Metcalf up and down the columns of warships where he reviewed each ship.
At the Mare Island Navy Yard Warrant Machinist Robert Thomas Scott receives orders detailing him for duty aboard the Maryland. Machinist Scott was in his ninth-year of service in the navy having already logged 7 of the 9-years at sea. Scott was born in Scotland and had entered the navy from Pennsylvania on August 23, 1899. Additionally, on the nineteenth of May 1908 Lt. Commander Ammen Farenholt, Surgeon, reported to the commanding officer for duty. Surgeon Farenholt was previously assigned to the USS Independence, the receiving ship at the Mare Island Navy Yard before being assigned to duty as the ship’s surgeon aboard the Maryland. Farenholt was born on December 9, 1871 in Virginia and had entered service in the navy on May 29, 1894.
President Teddy Roosevelt had called for a cruise of the Great White Fleet to sail around the world to show good will and also a show of force to the far reaches of the world. And in so he wanted to have an additional force of ships in the Southern Pacific areas just in case his Great White Fleet of Battleship needed assistance if hostile conditions warranted. The Navy Department also wanted to have a fleet of smaller Torpedo Boat Destroyers that would be based out of Samoa and gave orders for Admiral Swinburne’s Cruiser fleet to tow 7 of these ships out to Samoa from San Diego. The towlines were made of 10-inch ropes with a 1-inch steel cable embedded it the rope. Each towline was 450-yards long and the small destroyers during the tow would keep steam up in the boilers in case of an emergency, manned only with a skeleton crew. Once in Samoa they would be crewed with sailors and officers there.
Admiral Swainburne aboard his flagship the West Virginia towed the USS Preble, with the Maryland towing the USS Stewert, Pennsylvania towing the USS Perry, Tennessee towing the USS Hopkins, Washington towing the USS Hull, California towing the USS Truxtun and the South Dakota towed the USS Whipple. The USS Colorado was unable to join her sisters due to her still being repaired in Bremerton, Washington because of her recent grounding event of August 15 where she ran aground in Puget Sound at Lip Lip Point.
On 17 August 1908, Admiral Swinburne’s fleet of 7-cruisers towing their small destroyers for a cruise to Pago Pago, Samoa and Honolulu, left San Diego to start the cruise. On the 16th of September 1908 the Maryland crossed the equator on her way to Navigators Island (Samoa). The crossing was made at 166° 29’ West Longitude. One of the many on board the Maryland who were crossing the line for the first time was a 21-year old Yeoman named Francis Merle Waldron. Waldron was at the beginning of his naval career, and it had only been a few short years since he and his mother Katharine were living in a boarding house in Whittier City, California. Now he had joined the navy and was sailing the seven seas. Waldron would remain a Yeoman until sometime after 1914. By 1920 he had received a commission and was living with his wife Pauline on Capitol Street in Washington DC. Waldron would serve in the navy throughout WWII. In 1944 Waldron was still serving in the navy and was living at 4423 E. 2nd Street in Los Angeles, California. He would remain living in California until his death in San Diego in June of 1972.
After the Great White Fleet passed through the Southern Pacific areas the fleet headed eastward to operate in Central and South American waters. Fall battle practice for the cruiser fleet was then held off Magdalena, Bay, Mexico from October 23-December 4, 1908.
On January 15, 1909 a crewman, who purchased a post card while in Samoa, writes a quick note to his cousin Miss Ruth Joyce of Centralia, Washington. The sailor stated that he was well and, in his words, “not much news.” He stated on the card that the photo on the front was of the native Samoan village of Pago Pago. The card stated the Maryland was in San Francisco, CA on January 15th 1909.
Because Adam the “cat lover” the previous mascot of the Maryland, in the words of one of her crew, “…did not like the ship much” he did not last too long aboard ship, another dog took his place. By January of 1909 Buster was now the mascot of the ship. Buster had a much more masculine appearance and likely did not like cats too much either.
The Maryland was serving in South Pacific Waters off the west coast of South America with at least the West Virginia, which was Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet, RADM W. T. Swinburn’s flagship. This is known from a disciplinary letter written to the Captain of the Maryland from RADM Swinburn dated 8 February 1909 from Callao, Peru in regards to a general court-martial of GM2c Perry E. Ammon of the Maryland. GM2c Ammon was found guilty of “Leaving station before being regularly relieved.”
In the early months of 1909 the Maryland along with her sister ships, Colorado, Pennsylvania and West Virginia formed the Second Division and they were in the Galapagos Islands taking surveys and soundings of the islands for future coaling stations. This is known from a 14 February 1909 personal logbook from a Maryland crewman, Seaman Fred Sanford Rice in which he states; “We are to take surveys, some say the Government is looking for a good site for a coaling station.” The ships visited Charles (Isla Floreana) and Albemarle (Isla Isabela) islands but only the Maryland visited Indefatigable (Isla Santa Cruz) Island.
Maryland had returned back to the Navy Yard at Bremerton, Washington by mid-April of 1909. She was on April 24, 1909 in the Bremerton dry dock for repairs as seen from the above post card showing the stern of the ship with her name clearly visible on her stern. In the bottom center someone has marked on of the propeller blades and several men can be seen standing on scaffolding behind the blades of the propeller. By July she had moved south to Californian waters where she was anchored just off Hunters point in San Francisco. This is known from at least two post cards written by two different crewmen, one post marked 16 July and the other was post marked on 1 August 1909.
The new year of 1910 brought new changes to the Maryland as she underwent a refit and her original foremast was removed and replaced with a cage style mast, as did the other ships in her class. These new “cage style” masts were installed because they were designed to take several hits from an enemy and stay intact. Also, the additional height was used for better artillery observation of her main battery as targets had to be seen in order to aim for them in those days. On the down side these new masts were flexible enough to take several hits from an enemy shell they were also flexible enough to give the observers in the tower a “sporting ride” in rough weather and when the main battery was fired.
The cruiser squadron consisting of the USS Tennessee as flagship along with the Maryland, Colorado, California, South Dakota, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington, took a cruise to Chinese and Japanese ports. The Squadron left Manila in December 1909 and assembled off Yokohama, Japan on January 19, 1910 for the start of the return trip. During the cruise, it was ordered that no more than two of the ships of the fleet would be in port at any one time. The fleet reached San Francisco on February 1, 1910.
In the first week of February 1910 the USS Tennessee gave up her flagship status of the 8 ships of the Pacific Cruiser Fleet. Rear Admiral Uriel Sebree relinquished command of the fleet to Rear Admiral Giles B. Harber and he raised his pennant flag on the California as she took over flagship duties as the fleet was in Honolulu. On the 9th of February, the fleet of 8 cruisers sailed for the U.S. West Coast. The California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, West Virginia and Maryland sailed direct to San Francisco and the Tennessee and Washington sailed to the Bremerton Navy Yard for overhaul. The six cruisers arrived San Francisco about the 15th of February and the crews were given several days Liberty before the fleet sails south for Magdalena Bay, Mexico for scheduled target practice.
On February 13, 1910 Maryland was at sea heading for San Francisco where she made port on Valentine’s Day. RADM Harber announced that the fleet would leave San Francisco on March 1st for the Santa Barbara Channel for target practice. The six cruisers consisting of the California, Colorado, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and West Virginia, came in and anchored on March 3, 1910 lying just about 1,000-yards off the Potter Hotel in Santa Barbara. There they anchored for the weekend and then on Monday morning steamed out to sea to conduct target practice throughout the week. At the end of the week the fleet would return to the anchorage at Beecher’s Cove between Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands. This would continue throughout the month of March until the target practice was completed, and then the California, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Maryland returned to San Francisco but the Colorado and Pennsylvania proceeded on to the Bremerton Navy Yard for overhaul.
On the second week of target practice the Maryland on Saturday night March 12, 1910 was anchored just off Shunk Point on the southeast end of Santa Rosa Island, while the California was just off Frazier Point on the northwest end of Santa Cruz Island. The Pennsylvania and Colorado were anchored in Beecher’s Cove for the weekend.
In the first days of April 1910 the Maryland, West Virginia and Rear Admiral Harber’s flagship California, was together working on mine planting exercises in Monterey Bay just off Capitola, California.
On April 2, 1910 aboard the Maryland an accident occurred when a standpipe burst and killed Fireman 2c William Amberson. During Amberson’s watch in the boiler-room the standpipe filled with high pressure steam failed and let go filling the fire-room where Amberson was working at the time with scalding hot steam and much of the contents of the furnace. Amberson attempted to escape and was overcome by the steam, and falls to the floor plates, sustaining extensive burns. Horribly burned he is taken to the ships infirmary where he survived for 4-days. Fireman Amberson dies on the morning of April 6 of the burns he suffered and on April 2. The Maryland sent a barge ashore with the body of the sailor who had been killed. Once ashore the sailors with the barge reported little from the Maryland as to just what had occurred in the accident and the three cruisers sailed back to San Francisco before the story could be inquired about. On April 6 the Maryland, West Virginia and California came in and anchored in the lower bay for the night.
On April 25, 1910, the No. 3 steam launch from the Maryland is returning from the shore to the ship when an accident occurred. The launch under the control of Coxswain Robert Delmith had a cutter in tow from the USS California and was heading back to the quay wall where both ships were moored next to each other. But the launch with the cutter in tow got caught in the swift current, swinging it into the stern of the California. Prompt action by Coxswain Delmith brought the launch up along the side of the California where he could get his passengers to safety before the launch sank. The launch did sink from the damage inflicted by the crash but Navy divers were sent over the side of the California and located it where it was raised later. Coxswain Delmith was credited in keeping his passengers safe from loss of life. However, Delmith in a strange twist of fate would not be so lucky in another motor launch accident that took place within two months’ time.
Maryland was in the Navy Yard at Mare Island, California on the second day of May 1910 as the Federal Census was taken that day on board the ship. On the evening of June 10, 1910 there was held aboard the Maryland the Championship Middleweight Bout for the title of the U. S. Navy. Well over 3,000 sailors and marines crowded the decks of the Maryland and the surrounding rooftops of the Mare Island yard buildings near where the Maryland was moored. Frank McCool of the Maryland was slated against “Battling” Robinson a colored sailor from the California. It was in the seventh-round while McCool and Robinson were locked in a clinch that McCool’s head smashed into Robinson’s jaw. Robinson raised his gloves to his face and dropped to his knees finally collapsing onto his back in great agony. One of the doctors examined Robinson and declared him ok to continue but Robinson had had enough. The referee then declared McCool of the Maryland as the victor and Champion Middleweight of the United States Navy.
On June 26, 1910, a steam launch from the Maryland is motoring along in the bay with several sailors returning to the ship. The launch reaches the bow of the anchored Maryland where her launches are being secured, and makes fast the lines to the other launches tied there. At about 11:10 that evening the men are leaving the launch and making their way back aboard the Maryland. Coxswain Robert R. Delmith is stepping from one launch to another and being dark loses his footings and falls between the launches, and in the ensuing commotion Delmith is drowned. His shipmates in the launch do not see him come up and efforts to find him were not successful. Delmith is the same Coxswain who on April 25, was in charge of the steam launch that sank and was credited with keeping all in his launch safe with no loss of life. It was not until six days later on July 2 that his body washed up on the shore of Vallejo, California.
In the early fall of 1910 the cruisers USS West Virginia, Maryland and South Dakota had spent the greater part of the summer months stationed in San Francisco, California and soon would be deployed southward to Mexican waters for fall battle practice. According to a Post Card dated 11 October 1910, Maryland was still at the Navy Yard in San Francisco, CA. The West Virginia had just come from and extensive overhaul where she had a new foremast installed as did her sister ships during the same time.
Sailors of all navies like to celebrate and leaving for fall battle practice was as good of an occasion as any. A committee of two men from each of the three cruisers was selected to plan the banquet. The committee members from the West Virginia were H. O. Emmons and I. F. Tintsman; Maryland’s members were C. A. Albright and W. W. Cole; and the members from the South Dakota were D. E. Becker and Carl White.
The banquet was held at the Navy YMCA Auditorium, Thursday evening on October 20, 1910 at 8 O’clock. The evening’s menu was to be Vallejo Cod Croquettes, Roast Lamb, Cold Tongue, Mashed Potatoes, Salads, Olives and Pickles. With YMCA Rolls and Bread. Followed for dessert were Ice Cream, Apples, Oranges, Nuts, Raisins and Café Noir. On the back of the program card was the Spanish phrase “Hasta Otra Vista” which translated meant something “like see you later” or “until next time.”
C. A. Albright is Carson A. Albright born on September 29, 1890 in the State of Missouri. It is known that in April of 1910 Albright was then serving on the USS Independence as a Yeoman in the navy. Sometime between April and October 1910 Albright transferred to the Maryland. By 1914 Albright had been discharged from the navy and was living in Petaluma, California and was single at the time. By 1916 Albright was working as an inspector likely in the oil business then living in San Francisco County. At the beginning of 1920 he was working as a salesman for an oil company and was still single then renting an apartment on E. Philadelphia St. in Whittier City, California.
Sometime in the next 4 years Carson Albright married. In 1924, he and his wife Lois lived at 1626 E. Whittier Blvd. in Whittier, California where Carson now worked as a real estate broker. In the early summer of 1925 Lois gave birth to a daughter named Peggy. Carson, Lois and Peggy would live at 1626 E. Whittier Blvd until sometime between 1934-36 when they moved just down the street to 1500 E. Whittier. Around the beginning of WWII, he and Lois moved again to 530 N. Friends Ave in Whittier and there they would live until at least 1954. Carson would work as a real estate broker for the rest of his life. Carson Allen Albright would pass away on October 21, 1954 in Orange County, California.
W. W. Cole was in fact William W. Cole serving as an electrician aboard the USS Maryland. Cole was born in 1886 or 1885 in Michigan. He in April of 1930 was living in Oakland, California with his wife Jeannette. He at the time was working as an insurance salesman.
In late November 1910, the Japanese Imperial Navy was scheduled to visit the United States. The Japanese cruisers Asama and Kasagi were to enter the harbor in San Francisco on the 22nd of February coming from a stop in Honolulu. The United States Government wanted to pay respect to the Japanese Navy and also to have a show of superior force gave orders to have as many of our warships in port when the Japanese fleet came in. On the 21st of November, the day before the Japanese ships arrived the California, Flagship of the Pacific Fleet along with RADM Berry’s Cruiser Division with his flagship the West Virginia and the Colorado, South Dakota, Maryland and Pennsylvania entered anchorage at San Francisco to prepare for the arrival of the Japanese ships.
There was a special Thanksgiving Dinner given aboard the Maryland. The officers of the Maryland were hosts to the officers from the HIJMS Asama and on November 24, 1910 the Officers Ward Room aboard the Maryland was the site of the dinner for the Japanese officers. The main course of the meal was Rolled Boiled Fish and French Lamb Chop Cutlets and Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce. After the dinner, there was a band concert aboard ship with eleven selections from the band and ended with a march entitled “His Majesty, The Emperor” in honor of the Japanese Emperor.
In the 4 December 1910 edition of the Washington Post, under the Movements of Naval Vessels section the USS West Virginia, Maryland, South Dakota, California, Colorado and the Pennsylvania all arrived in port at San Diego, California. During December of 1910 at a target range off San Diego the Maryland’s gun crew scores 14 hits on the target at a range of 5 1/2 miles. This was an example of the Maryland’s marksmanship as during 1908 she won the combined fleet Battleship Trophy and in 1909 and 1910 she flew the Spokane Trophy Pennant as her gun crews had the best marksmanship of any cruiser or battleship in the Navy. Maryland was the second ship to win the Spokane Trophy and the USS Tennessee was the first ship to win the Trophy in 1908. The Spokane Chamber of Commerce in 1907 sent a letter to Victor Metcalf, then Secretary of the Navy in which the Spokane Chamber wanted to donate an annual award for Atlantic Fleet turret marksmanship. President Theodore Roosevelt and Secretary Metcalf decided that it should be awarded annually to the battleship or armored cruiser of either fleet that made the highest final merit with all of her turret guns. Trophy costs of $1,500 was paid for and donated by citizens of Spokane, Washington to be awarded to the best battleship or cruiser in the U. S. Navy Fleet. The Spokane Trophy has undergone several changes from 1908 and is still active today being awarded by CINCPACFLT to the surface combatant ship considered to be the most proficient in overall combat systems readiness and warfare operations.
Another early photo of the USS Maryland in the Dewey Drydock. You can see that the floor of the drydock is partially awash. Indicating that she was rising or lowering the Maryland. On the right side of the photo can be seen two smoke stacks billowing coal smoke, again showing the drydock pumping water to rise or lower the Maryland. This photo shows the Maryland with her original fore mast indicating this photo is before 1910.
|Maryland’s Bridge cleared for Action. She is underway steaming in the Target Range during a Pacific Practice during 1912.|
The Pacific Fleet cruisers held their fall battle practice under the direction of RADM Berry off the coast of California and it was reported that his Flagship West Virginia entered San Diego on the 19th of December followed with in a day or two by the Colorado and then within the week the remaining cruisers were to come to San Diego. Once assembled the fleet was to then sail north to San Francisco. Following arrival in San Diego the West Virginia and the Maryland conducted tests with different coal supplies. The Maryland is to use coal from the Pacific West Coast mines and the West Virginia will use coal from Eastern Coal mines. The Navy was experimenting with the different coal supplies to see if there were any performance differences between the two coal sources. The United States Bureau of Mines assigned one of their coal experts S. B. Flagg to be present during the tests. RADM Berry assigned Flagg to quarters aboard the Maryland for the tests.
During the winter of 1910-1911, the Maryland stood witness to a historic event in naval history and naval aviation history. In San Francisco Bay, young Seaman Joseph Seuffert stood on the deck of his ship, the Maryland and witnessed a plane that landed on a platform constructed on the afterdeck of her sister ship the USS Pennsylvania. At the Mare Island Navy Yard, California in January 1911 the Pennsylvania was fitted with a temporary wooden deck in preparation for Eugene Ely's airplane landing attempt. Upon completion of her flight deck the Pennsylvania cruised to San Francisco Bay, California, where she anchored for Eugene Ely's historic flight. Ely landed his Curtiss pusher biplane on board the ship on the morning of 18 January 1911, the first airplane landing on a warship. The landing deck, 120 feet long and 30 feet wide, was inclined slightly to help slow the plane as it landed and had a thirty-degree ramp at its after end.
Two days after Ely had flew his airplane off the deck of the Pennsylvania an event took place aboard the Maryland that would claim the lives of two of her crew. On the evening of January 20, 1911 at about 7:35 pm one of the Maryland’s dinghy’s is being hoisted aboard. Two men, Seaman Albert Charles John Begemann, and Ordinary Seaman Frank Reavis are in the dinghy as it is being hoisted out of the bay onto the deck of the Maryland. Suddenly without warning as the Maryland’s crane is hoisting the dinghy, the stern post of the dinghy let go, thereby dropping the dinghy dumping out Begemann and Revis into the bay several feet below. Both men were drowned in the accident.
Aboard the Maryland was a 46-year old Chief Boatswain by the name of Harry Reave Brayton. Chief Brayton was born on October 5, 1865 and was at the end of 1911 the 10th ranking Chief Boatswain in the navy. Brayton had joined the navy from Massachusetts on May 3, 1897 and was in his 14th year of service. He had spent over 9-years of sea duty and in January of 1911 he was given orders detaching him from the Maryland, with his present orders stating he should report to the Portsmouth, Navy Yard for duty there. In April, he was assigned to duty aboard the USS Ranger, which was then serving as the Massachusetts Nautical Training Ship at the Boston Navy Yard. USS Ranger was a gunboat of the United States Navy and was a screw steamer with full-rig auxiliary sail. Ranger was destined for a very long 65-year career, serving first as a U.S. Navy gunboat from 1876 to 1920, and later as a training ship with the United States Merchant Marine Academy from 1920 to 1940. On 26 April 1909, she was loaned to the State of Massachusetts as a school ship to replace the Enterprise at the Massachusetts Nautical Training School. The ship was finally scrapped in 1958, but her engine, which is the only one of its type known to be still in existence, was preserved and is on display at the American Merchant Marine Museum of Kings Point, New York.
The Maryland in June of 1911 was down in San Diego, California, and about June 25 she gets orders for her to move up to San Francisco. It was about 7 o’clock in the morning on June 30 the Maryland passes through the “Golden Gate” and about 6:30 that evening she is moored in the Navy Yard in San Francisco. Maryland spends the summer in the Navy Yard at San Francisco, while the crew chips paint and repaints nearly everything.
On Friday morning July 21, 1911, a work detail is working on the No. 6 gun along the starboard side of the Maryland. Seaman William Augustus Yeager is using an air chipper on the floor of the gun shelf, and about 11:00 that morning somehow lost his balance and falls from the gun floor into the bay and was drowned in the accident. Two divers were sent down to see if they could recover his body but they never found him.
While the Maryland, and the California are anchored at the Mare Island Navy Yard on October 13, 1911 one of the California’s motor launches was towing three other launches across the bay and had left the Mole in Oakland heading back across the bay to the anchored navy ships. During the day there was a reception party for President Taft who had been in the city and the sailors who had been in attendance were now returning back to their various ships. At about 6:48 that evening the California’s motor launch and the three boats in tow collided with another shore boat of the USS Virginia also moored in the bay. The resulting collision capsized the California’s launch. At the time there were nearly 150 officers and sailors from various ships in the launches and several were thrown into the bay. In the resulting panic all but one sailor was rescued. Musician 1st Class Jose Ramon Charliz, who was attached to the USS Maryland at the time was drowned.
The Maryland after being in the Navy Yard in San Francisco the entire summer of 1911 finally is heading out to sea for a short excursion and back to the Navy Yard. And then the crew gets to sea for an extended cruise out to Honolulu on November 11, 1911. Maryland anchors in Honolulu on November 28, 1911 where they would stay through Christmas 1911 and New Year 1912. It would not be until mid-January, 1912 that they picked up the anchor and steamed out to sea for Ecuador in South America.
As evening fell on November 14, 1911 the Pacific Fleet had just completed the Fall Target Practice. The First Division consisting of the Flagship California, South Dakota and the Maryland and the Second Division consisting of the Flagship West Virginia and the Colorado assemble in the harbor of San Diego on the morning of November 15. Rear Admiral Chauncey Thomas receives orders and at 5:30 that evening the First Division sailed out of San Diego just up the coast to Tiburon just past the Golden Gate in San Francisco Bay. The Second Division stayed just long enough to take on coal and stores and then left for Tiburon to join their fleet mates. The First Division anchored at Tiburon on the 17th of November and each ship coaled and then moved down the bay to The Navy Yard at San Francisco to take on stores and ammunition for an extended stay in foreign waters. As the Second Division anchors at San Francisco all men whose time had expired prior to April 1, 1912 were transferred from the ships of the fleet and replacements were taken aboard from the Independence, Pensacola and Oregon to fill out the ships crews.
On the afternoon of November 21 at 5:30 all five of the cruisers steamed quietly down the bay at the distance of 500-yards apart. The Maryland with her new recruits aboard sailed out past the Golden Gate and into the rolling sea. The fleet headed into a moderate sea at 10 knots which gave the new shipmates a bit of time to discover their sea-legs. But the new shipmates had nothing to be ashamed of as the moderate seas soon turned into heavy swells they found that there were a few seasoned sailors who had been called up from shore duties at the rails with them giving breakfast back to the briny deep. The crew aboard the Maryland really had to guess as to the destination of the ship. Fleet maneuvers were carried out while steaming at sea and on the 24th of November the passenger ship Wilhelmina requested permission to pass down through the fleet, which was steaming in columns of two abreast at the time, so as to give the Wilhelmina’s passengers a close in view of the fleet. On the afternoon of November 28 at 4:30 O’clock the Maryland arrives with the First Division and docks at Honolulu, Hawaii. With the fleet arrival in Hawaiian waters the Scuttle Butt of the trip was put to rest for sure.
As the Second Division anchors in Honolulu on November 29 the fleet starts to enjoy the warm sun of the Pacific Island. Liberty is granted to the fleet and baseball games abound ashore for the amusement of the fleet as well as the local population. On December 2, 1911, the ships of the First Division (California, South Dakota and Maryland) steams around the island of Oahu and anchored that night just off Waialua Bay. Admiral Thomas makes plans for each cruiser to visit Hilo Island to see the greatest wonder in the world of its kind, the Kilauea Volcano. The Maryland on December 5, 1911 is the first of the cruisers to go see the volcano. As Christmas Day came the men of the Maryland had a wonderful time ashore and had a good time with the day filled with sporting events with the men of the fleet. It was especially nice that while the fleet is in Hawaii they had two mail calls, one on December 22 and the second on Christmas Day.
The Maryland broke in the New Year with a challenge to the South Dakota with a boat race. The race took place on January 2, 1912 where the oarsmen of the South Dakota bested the Maryland’s boat crew. That evening at 11:30 PM a 25-year old Marine from the Maryland’s marine detachment goes AWOL, possibly wanting to forget the loss of the boat race from the South Dakota earlier in the day. His name is Private Albert S. Wilkerson, USMC and had joined the Corps on October 14 of 1909 from the Recruiting Office in St. Louis, Missouri. Wilkerson was not a model Marine as he had been sentenced to 3-days Bread and Water for an infraction when he was at the Marine Barracks of the Mare Island Navy Yard before joining the Maryland. This time he went AWOL from the ship for 4-days while the Maryland was enjoying the warmth of the Hawaiian weather. At 9:35 on the evening of January 6, 1912 Private Wilkerson reported back to the Maryland and was confined. He remained in confinement in the ship’s brig until January 11 when he was given a Summary Court Martial and then remained confined awaiting his trial, which took place on January 15. Private Wilkerson was sentenced to loss of pay amounting to $15. Command Authority approved this action on January 16 and he was released and restored back to duty on January 17, 1912. This would not be the last time that Captain Chandler Campbell, USMC, the Commanding Officer of the Maryland’s Marines, would have to deal with Private Wilkerson.
Anticipating an early departure from Hawaii back to the West Coast of the United States Captain Ellicott gave a farewell dinner and dance aboard the Maryland on the evening of January 3, 1912 for the officers and friends from Honolulu. The fleet believes that they will shove off on January 6 for the trip back to San Francisco but on the evening of January 5 they find out that the stay in Hawaiian waters will be extended.
Maryland was enjoying days of warmth and calm with the Pacific Fleet then in Hawaiian waters stationed at Honolulu. But the calm did not last long as on January 14, 1912 the Navy Department gave rush orders to Captain John M. Ellicott that the Maryland was to sail from Honolulu with all haste to Guayaquil, Ecuador to protect American interests and lives there due to the revolution then in progress in Ecuador. Captain Ellicott issues a general recall to the ship where all but 4 of the Maryland’s crew were returned to the ship. The next morning the 4 sailors showed up at the dock where their ship was moored the night before only to find a vacant dock. Maryland had coaled and taken on stores during the afternoon and evening and the next morning on the 15th she was underway at 5 O’clock in the morning. The gunboat USS Yorktown was already on station in Guayaquil and the Maryland was to join her there.
Steaming out-bound from Honolulu, the Maryland crosses the Equator for her seventh time on January 31, 1912. The crossing was made at longitude 87° 30’as they were bound for Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Secretary of State Philander Chase Knox was ordered to go to Nicaragua and Ecuador to help diffuse the tensions by diplomatic means, and Mr. Knox along with his wife Lillie (Smith) took transportation to the region on board the Maryland. He and his party departed the Maryland at Corinto, Nicaragua coming from Punta Arenas the day before. At Punta Arenas, there was assembled a large, friendly crowd gathered at the dock to see the Maryland off and as she got under way the ship’s band played “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and all on shore stood at attention and took off their hats to wish Mr. Knox a fond farewell. As Secretary Knox arrived in Corinto on the Maryland he was given a rousing approval by the crowds gathered there at 9 o’clock that evening of the 6th of March. Mr. Knox was to travel on to Managua by train and heavily armed soldiers numbering about 150 men escorted him. Once in Managua there was a large out-burst of Anti-American feelings and 50 of the leaders of the demonstrators were arrested as they held banners stating that they should “dynamite” Mr. Knox. They were arrested and held until after he left Managua.
During this time the Maryland cruises through the waters off Ecuador, Salvador, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. In the later days of March 1912, the Maryland was due back in port at San Diego, California after her Central American cruise to take part in the largest practice of the Pacific Torpedo Fleet held to that date, which was to take place about the 8th of April.
During the southern cruise with Secretary of State Knox an event took place where a diamond ring valued at $1,000 belonging to Lillie Knox, the Secretaries wife, was stolen. This theft may have taken place on or about March 6, 1912 as Private Albert S. Wilkerson was taken into custody for involvement in this theft. On April 3, 1912 Wilkerson was placed in confinement by orders from Captain Ellicott with charges of theft. Private Wilkerson was recommended for a General Court Martial on April 5 and held in confinement until such time the Navy Department could take action.
The Maryland returned to Mare Island Navy Yard with Private Wilkerson confined in the ships brig. On May 14, he was awarded a General Court Martial where his trial took place aboard the Maryland on 24-26 April. Acting as Private Wilkerson’s counsel was Lt. W. C. I. Stiles, USN. Once the trial was completed Wilkerson remained in the ships brig through July 6, 1912. Private Wilkerson was then transferred to the prison ship USS Nipsic moored at the Puget Sound Navy Yard. Transferred to the Nipsic under guard from the Maryland as a General Court Martial Prisoner, Wilkerson once arrived at the Nipsic on August 1, 1912 it was found he was sent there through some clerical error. Once the paper work was straightened out he was then sent to serve his sentence at the California State Penitentiary at San Quentin. He arrived at the gates of San Quentin on August 17, 1912. Wilkerson would serve his sentence at San Quentin and was released on February 26, 1915 and dishonorably discharged from the Marine Corps under the terms of his General Court Martial with Character “Bad”.
While some of the Maryland’s sailors are ashore on liberty in San Diego they showed great spirit of coming to the aid of a local police patrolman in his hour of peril. On the evening of the 3rd of April several sailors were in the general area of 4th Street in San Diego when a general riot broke out between San Diego Police patrolman Langford and a score of members of the Industrial Workers of the World where Langford was attacked with clubs. The sailors from the Maryland saw what was happening and went to patrolman Langford’s aid, but he sustained a terrible beating before the sailors got the best of the men from the Industrial Workers of the World. By then more policemen came to help Langford and the Maryland sailors. Then as quickly as it ended it started up again with the IWOTW men against the sailors, Langford and citizens trying to help the police and sailors. The IWOTW men drove the sailors and police back up 4th Street to the Plaza where the Maryland sailors made another stand and were joined by more police re-enforcements where they finally got the IWOTW men to disperse. This likely was a source of much bragging and great stories when the sailors got back to the ship that evening.
Some sailors on board ships always want to get off the ship for one reason or another. Sometimes this desire is too much and the occasional sailor deserts his ship, this however is a very serious offense and carries a very stiff sentence for the man who is caught. Even the best of men can fall prey to this desire like Seaman Sammy Trinkle the one-time Lightweight Champion boxer of the Maryland. Trinkle deserted from the Maryland while the ship was at Mare Island, and on April 12, 1912 was court-martialed. He was given a sentence of 18-months to be served at San Quentin prison, and upon his release was to be dishonorably discharged from the navy. He was remanded to the prison ship Manila during his court-martial.
Aboard the Maryland on April 19th the crew begins to hear news stories about the sinking of the RMS Titanic, which took place 4-days before in the Atlantic.
The navy was making attempts to use airplanes to aid naval artillery and on the 21st of April the Maryland was off the Coronado Islands 20-miles from San Diego taking part in an experiment with an airplane. Lt. Samuel McLeary of the U. S. Army Air Corps tested the effects of firing the Maryland’s 8-inch main guns on the stability of the airplane. Lt. McLeary was flying his airplane at an altitude of 5,000 feet and each time the Maryland fired his plane rocked with the turbulence created by the firing of the gun, but each time he was able to control his machine. Also, tested that day was a new type of range-finding device mounted in Lt. McLeary’s airplane. During a firing of the main guns Lt. McLeary would swoop down as close as he could to the Maryland and signal to the range-finding officer on the ship what the distance he determined the shell was from the new instruments he was testing.
On Tuesday night April 23, 1912, the Maryland took part in an exercise that was in hindsight somewhat risky and ill-advised. She was being used as a live target for a torpedo flotilla in the waters off Los Angeles, California during a war game exercise. The submarine Grampus fired a torpedo at the Maryland and the resulting impact left a nine-inch hole in the side of the Maryland. The Grampus was to fire special made torpedoes made with collapsible heads so as to prevent damage to the intended target ship but somehow it did not collapse or they fired the wrong type at the Maryland, and she had a hole put into her hull. At the time the Maryland was acting as a running target for the submarine Grampus and the torpedo boat Lawrence. Both ships fired torpedoes at the same time but due to the hole in the Maryland being some ten-feet below the water line on the starboard side it was supposed to have come from the Grampus and not the Lawrence.
The officers of the Maryland did not know she was hit and it was only until she took a decisive 5-degree list to starboard that they discovered the hole. The torpedo tore through her outer plates with flooding in one compartment, and she quickly anchored in the Los Angeles Outer Harbor to make temporary repairs to her hull. Officers who were interviewed kept a tight lid on what had happened saying that they would or could not comment on the actions that took place and the damage to the Maryland. But enlisted men who were allowed to come ashore during the repairs did tell that it was risky to the men as well as endangering the ship using her as a live target.
The Maryland anchored on the lee side of the Los Angeles Harbor breakwater in the area of San Pedro with a heavy starboard list where she has navy divers down on her hull most of the day making temporary repairs on a 9-inch hole, 11-feet below the waterline. Navy divers manage to attach iron plates to her outer hull, while inside a wooden cofferdam with cement filling the inside was constructed. Her pumps were able to keep up with the flooding and by days end the leak had been stopped.
At the time of the “accident” to the Maryland there was quite a bit of scuttlebutt talk that the “accident” was not an accident, but rather the work of some faction of Mexicans trying to keep the Maryland from sailing down to Mexican waters and remove American Nationals from Mexican shores. The American’s in Mexico were fleeing the unrest and civil war then going on in Mexico. The unknown suspected Mexican agents were said to have supposedly snuck aboard a United States support ship and tampered with the torpedoes that were used by the Grampus and Lawrence. But this theory of Mexican agents had no facts or evidence of such and there was no truth to the scuttlebutt going around.
The Maryland left San Pedro on the 24th of April escorted by the destroyer USS Whipple, and sailed for Mare Island where final repairs would be completed. On April 26, the Grampus along with the submarine Pike left with the naval tug Fortune for San Diego where a Naval Court of Inquiry would be held into the actions of the 23rd of April. Maryland arrived at the Mare Island Navy Yard on May 14, 1912 and went into the Navy Yard to complete final repairs from the accident with the torpedo.
As repairs are being finished up from the torpedo episode, the Maryland is anchored in the bay at Mare Island. The Maryland had the torpedo used against her in a training excersice that showed she could be mortally wounded from a torpedo attack. But the Maryland herself used the torpedo as an offensive weapon and she carried and had submerged torpedo tubes for launching. But by 1912 the torpedo used aboard armored cruisers and battleships had long grown obsolete. It seems that while still on the drawing boards the six armored cruisers, of which the Maryland was one, the Navy Department was still trying to figure out what to do with the torpedo as an offensive weapon.
During President Theodore Roosevelt’s Administration, William H. Moody was the Secretary of the Navy, and it would be Secretary Moody who oversaw the Roosevelt-era of expansion of the United States Navy. And as such, on September 21, 1903, Moody had requested opinions from the general board as to what characteristics newly built naval ships should have.
The board came back on October 17, 1903 with their list of ship characteristics. Among the several recommendations of the general board was that they had asked to have “submerged torpedo tubes, one on each side, or preferably two on each side.”
These recommendations were being considered for the new shipbuilding programs of the next several years, of which five new battleships and six armored cruisers then being planned would be the major recipients of these recommendations. Secretary Moody then convened a special mixed board to consider each point in the recommendations. The board would be headed by the Admiral of the Navy and the other members were the Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance, the Chief Naval Constructor, and two captains from the general board.
As to the subject of submerged torpedo tubes on battleships and armored cruisers at the time in 1903, there was not much favor in having them on these ships. As far back as April 10, 1901, recommendations to the Board on construction, a majority of the members who were seagoing line officers, recommended that; “…in the case of the six armored cruisers authorized by acts of March 3, 1899 and on June 7, 1900, torpedo tubes and outfits, be dispensed with, and that the question of providing submerged torpedo tubes and torpedo outfits for the five battleships also authorized by the above-quoted acts be deferred until experience with such tubes on the vessels of the Maine class shall have demonstrated the advisability of their installation on board other vessels.”
The Secretary of the Navy approved this recommendation of the special board, and necessary steps were taken to remove the torpedo tubes from the six armored cruisers then being built. The six armored cruisers of the 1903 building plan were the California Class, consisting of the California, West Virginia, Colorado Pennsylvania, Maryland and South Dakota.
To the question of why torpedo tubes, including fixed submerged side tubes, on battleships and armored cruisers, the answers lies partly in the thoughts of the time in naval circles. In the United States Naval War College exercises of the time, they assumed that battle ranges for fleet actions would be fairly short someplace in the 5,000-7,000-yard range. As such, the battleships were expected to fire broadside torpedoes at the opposing battle line.
Considering that the standard line-ahead formation of the time, was roughly 800-yard intervals between ships and if a ship fired blind into an opposing enemy formation you might have about a 10-15-percent chance of hitting another ship. Making that a worthy attempt, even with fairly crude aiming systems. Future new improvements in technology would improve on this percentage. But at the same time, the rapid improvement of fire control made the firing of torpedoes obsolete, but this change didn't become apparent to the Navy until after about 1908 so, any battleship or armored cruiser designed before then was likely to have had some form of torpedo armament. And secondly, even after the lengthening of combat ranges post 1908, having torpedoes was seen as useful for finishing off a disabled enemy ship.
This thought of finishing off a disabled enemy quickly came from the thought that if a ship commander found himself in a chase situation pursuing the enemy's fleeing vessels, having torpedoes available would make finishing off enemy cripples quick and easy, allowing him to keep chasing the other enemy ships. This thought was hard to shake off and stayed in naval circles into the World War Two years. As late as 1941 British Admiral John Cronyn Tovey ordered HMS Dorsetshire to use torpedoes to finish off the SMS Bismarck. So, it seems at the time there were reasons to have torpedoes on battleships and armored cruisers.
But by 1902 the question of having torpedoes on armored cruisers came up again and the board on construction was asked to reaffirm their decision for not having torpedo tubes on the new class of armored cruisers. In a written response by the board they stated;
“Assuming perfect discharging apparatus, and considering the probable conditions of battleship actions and the present and prospective effective range of torpedoes, and especially the limitations of underwater discharge, it is a grave question whether it is advisable to sacrifice any important feature on a battleship or armored cruiser for the installation of a secondary weapon of remote value, and which requires tactics differing entirely from those best adapted to the gun, the primary weapon of such vessels.”
And again, Navy Secretary Moody took steps once again to keep the torpedoes out of the new building program of the battleships and armored cruisers. But the “Torpedo Tube” question just wasn’t going away and in the summer of 1903 the torpedo question was again being discussed. The Bureau of Navigation was now in favor of torpedo tubes stating that, “The range, speed, and accuracy of torpedoes have so greatly increased within the last year or two that at the present time the torpedo may be considered a weapon of offense to be seriously reckoned with up to 3,000-yards, and even more. Since gun fire, in order to result in a decisive action, must be delivered at a range not greatly exceeding 3,000-yards, it follows that the tactics of fleet actions will hereafter be influenced by the presence or absence of torpedoes.”
There had been a change in the Chief of Bureau of Construction and Repair on November 1, 1903 and the new Chief was a bit more open to the idea of the use of torpedoes. And after full consideration there was now a recommendation that submerged torpedo tubes be included into the six new armored cruisers then being designed and built. At the time all ships of the United States Navy were coal fired and now with the addition of the torpedo and its associated equipment and stowage of torpedoes, Coal bunker space lost out. Something that ship commanders were not too keen on.
In later years with the case of the newest class of armored cruisers, the four Tennessee Class ships, the addition of the torpedo tubes was seen as a serious ship design defect in that it reduced the coal bunker and or the magazine storage capacity, thereby reducing the ships cruising range and or the ammunition capacity. Both of which as seen through a ship commanders’ eyes was a serious defect in design.
On the USS Oregon and the USS Maine, the torpedo tubes were not submerged below the waterline, but above the waterline. This allowed for a trainable firing of the torpedo, but the ships such as the armored cruisers that had the submerged torpedo tubes they were fixed and not moveable. This meant that the aiming of the torpedo was done from observations of the intended target from fire-control stations up on deck and relayed to the torpedo crews below deck who set the gyro-compass inside the torpedo, and then fired.
But launching a torpedo below the water on a moving ship brought with it a set of challenges to be overcome. First the most obvious issue was that the hole the torpedo was launched through was in effect a hole in the ship’s watertight integrity. If the hole was opened improperly an 18-inch stream of sea water would rush in and quickly sink the ship if not taken care of. Another issue was with the launching of the torpedo into the swiftly moving water as the ship moved forward. As the torpedo was thrust at a right angle into the powerful force of the moving seawater, the force of the water would possibly pin the torpedo against the back side of the tube, and or knock it off its intended course, both of which could be dangerous to the ship.
To overcome the force of the flow of the water naval engineers came up with a bar system that was extended out the hull of the ship before the torpedo was launched. The bar was about the length of the torpedo and supported it from the flow of the water coming off the hull of the ship, and then would be retracted when the launch was completed. Some early models did not have a drain and after the torpedo was fired the chamber of the tube was full of sea water. When the outer door was closed and the inner door was opened all the seawater poured into the torpedo room and the men worked knee deep in seawater.
And so, in the end the submerged torpedo tube faction won out and they were included into the six California Class and the four Tennessee Class armored cruisers. Later after all 10 of the armored cruisers had been built and were in service, one unnamed officer who had been a member of the special board that recommended to use of these submerged tubes who was now in command of one of the armored cruisers gave a carefully prepared report to the Bureau of Navigation where he stated, “…I am unable to imagine any probable condition in action in which the submerged torpedo tubes of this ship could be effectively used.” And he further went on to say that the amount of space taken up by the torpedo room could have been better used by coal bunker or magazine storage space.
In 1904 this addition of the torpedo tubes in the armored cruisers was valued at $1,000,000 in increased expenditures in the construction costs. In less than a span of five years the navy had had a complete turnaround from what they thought was a necessary weapon to one that was useless.
For her crew the ship is home, but sometimes just getting on board was precarious. Such was the case on Wednesday June 14, 1912 for one sailor. Seaman Petronilo Alvaredo Valles who was returning to the ship from liberty at about 11:30 that night, was being transported out to the Maryland in a shore boat. Once at the Maryland Seaman Valles attempted to get out of the shore boat onto a floating gangway and up to the deck of the ship. Somehow in the darkness, and possibly a bit drunk, missed the gangway and fell into the bay and was drowned.
Maryland received orders to sail upon completion of repairs to take on a load of coal from the state of Colorado. This coal was to be tested for quality before she was to report to Puget Sound on the ninth of July. On her way up to the Bremerton Navy Yard, Maryland makes stops in Portland, Oregon, Astoria, Oregon, and Tacoma, Washington before finally entering the Bremerton Yard. On Thursday the twenty-third of May, 100 sailors are transferred from the Mare Island Receiving Ship Independence to duty aboard the Maryland. Two days later on Saturday, May 25, 1912 the Maryland is taken undertow from the tugs Iroquois, Unadilla and Active from the Navy Yard at Mare Island for the lower bay. The 100 sailors taken aboard from the Independence two days before were put to good use as nine train-car loads of Colorado coal awaited the Maryland to load in her empty holds. Once loaded with this coal Maryland was to move to the Santa Barbara Channel to begin her steaming tests.
In the years from 1900 through the beginning of the First World War, the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet was dependent on coal for its very existence, and the weakest link was the supply of a suitable and reliable source of coal. At the time the United States saw Alaska as the strongest safeguard to this supply of coal. In a testimony given to the Senate, former Secretary of the Navy, Meyer stated that the Pacific Fleet needs about 300,000 tons of coal per year to maintain itself. And if a state of war broke out the fleet would need an estimated 200,000 tons of coal per month. Meyer went on to say that if war did break out within seven weeks’ time the Pacific Fleet would run short of coal. At that time the Navy bought its coal from Australia and Japan for the Pacific Fleet and if war did break out the coal from these Nations may not be available to use. If this were to happen the entire Pacific Merchant Fleet would be forced to give up its coal in order to keep the warships supplied, and merchant ships almost entirely do the transportation of the coal for the Navy. This would bring Pacific merchant commerce to a halt.
Coal from Eastern United States mines could be transported by land on rail cars to the U.S. West coast but this would be at a very high cost. And this coal would be nearly useless to the navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii as there would be no merchant vessels to transport it there. The nearest available coal fields for the Hawaiian Islands would be the Alaskan Coalfields. This was why the Maryland was sent there in 1912 and 1913, to scout for suitable coalfields.
In a test that the Maryland conducted in 1914 with coal from the Great Matanuska Coal Field near Seward, Alaska she found that this coal was 98 percent efficient, or equal to the famous Pocahontas Coal Fields of West Virginia. This coal was shown to have a very low Sulfur content and to have a superior heating quality. Both the Matanuska and the Bering Coalfields are within a few miles of deep, ice-free harbors. Additionally, Alaska could be developed agriculturally and then would provide food and supplies for the fleet and army of the Pacific forces. And so, it was that Alaska was looked upon as having a great impact on the defense of the nation at that time.
During July, 1912 the Maryland departs the Bremerton Yard steaming for Sand Point, Alaska and Prince William Sound and then on to Naked Island before returning back to the Bremerton, Washington Navy Yard in August. On August 9, 1912 Maryland returned to Seward, Alaska from Cordova during the night. She was picking up a party of officers and men she had left there on August 1 who were under orders from Washington DC. The shore party was to inspect the Coal Fields at Matanuska and then to meet the ship upon her return. The Maryland was likely in San Francisco at Mare Island during the middle of August 1912 as a crewman named Dick on August 20, 1912 writes to friends on a post card, “Just got back to the ship and thought I would drop you a line…” he goes on to say “We leave here for Seattle this Thursday. We play the Colorado a game of ball tomorrow.” He ends his note to Mrs. E. J. Pelkey of Sash Point, Washington with this, “I will remember you while in Japan…” So, by this note the crew must have been aware that they would be sailing within a few days to take Secretary of State Philander C. Knox to Japan.
Admiral Reynolds arrived aboard the Maryland on August 21, 1912 while at the Bremerton Yard and he was given a 13-gun salute by the Maryland’s saluting gun as he boarded the ship. After the Admiral left the Maryland was preparing for a cruise to Japan.
On August 30, 1912 at 4 o’clock in the morning the Maryland left San Francisco carrying Secretary of State Knox bound for Tokyo, Japan for the funeral of Emperor Tenno. Emperor Meiji Tenno was born 3 November 1852, in Kyoto, Japan and died 30 July 1912, in Tokyo, Japan. He was the 122nd Emperor of Japan and from 1867 to 1912, whose accession to the throne marked the beginning of a national revolution known as the Meiji Restoration. During his reign, Japan became an industrial power able to compete with the nations of the West.
The Maryland reached the harbor at Yokohama, Japan on the afternoon of the 10th of August 1912. The Maryland was escorted into the harbor by the Japanese battleship Fuji and the armored cruisers Iwate and Tukiawa. The American ambassador to Japan, Charles Page Bryan was the first person to board the Maryland, where he spent half an hour speaking with Mr. Knox. Shortly thereafter Baron Kutino, the Japanese ambassador to France, accompanied with representatives of the Imperial household and members of the Japanese Army and Navy went aboard the Maryland to greet Mr. Knox. Following the shipboard ceremonies, Mr. Knox was given a reception by a group of Yokohama residents, which was followed by the Imperial party leaving by train for Tokyo.
On the Maryland's return trip from the funeral of Emperor Tenno she made a stop in Honolulu, Hawaii as stated in a post card dated 11 October 1912 from a crewman named Jerry on board the Maryland. He writes the letter with this heading "USS Maryland, at sea, Oct. 10, 1912" and states that he has sent a letter home to Portland, Oregon (from Honolulu) before they departed Honolulu and wants a return letter sent to him before they sail again from the next port of call, which may have been San Diego, California. Toward the middle of October, the Maryland was at Mare Island undergoing some repairs from her recent trip to Japan. While at anchor just off the Mare Island Lighthouse she receives orders on October 22 to get under way and sail for Corinto, Nicaragua and she sailed the next day on the 23rd of October. While on her cruise southward to Corinto, Maryland makes stops in Acapulco, Mexico. On the 2nd of November a crewman identified only as “G” writes to the folks back home in Georgia: “Acapulco, Mexico, Dear friend we are having plenty of rain and hot weather. Will be in San Diego the 20th of next month. Good Bye.”
By the middle of November things had calmed down enough that on November 12 the last of the fleets forces in Nicaragua had returned to their respective ships. On November 14 at 4:15 in the afternoon the fleet consisting of the California, Colorado and Maryland sailed from Nicaraguan waters for San Diego. Rear Admiral William Southerland’s force along with Colonel Pendleton’s Marines consisted of 89 Marine Corps and Naval Officers and 2,282 Navy Bluejackets and Marines ashore in Nicaragua. During these actions in Nicaragua the Marines suffered 5 killed and 7 wounded. The Navy Bluejackets had 2 killed and 4 wounded. Among the officers 2 were wounded.
Now back in San Diego after being in the waters off Nicaragua the Maryland readies for target practice. In December 1912 the Maryland is in the waters off Coronado Bay firing on the Target range. But by Christmas 1912 the ship is at the Mare Island Navy Yard.
Late in 1912, a newly minted Ensign from the Naval Academy Class of 1912 reported for duty to the Commanding Officer of the Maryland. The Ensign was Thomas L. Gatch, who during WWII earned a reputation as a hard charging Battleship Commander and would retired from active service at the rank of Vice-Admiral. Ensign Gatch served aboard the Maryland from 1913 through 1916 when he was transferred to duty aboard the gunboat USS Princeton then at the Bremerton Navy Yard. On March 20, 1942, Captain Thomas L. Gatch took command of the newly commissioned battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57), and by October 26, 1942 at the battle of Santa Cruz Island in the Pacific, Gatch had the guns of the South Dakota inflicting damage to the Japanese Navy for the first time.
Maryland began the year 1913 at Mare Island and she was there on the 13th of January as stated by remarks made from crewman on a post card dated on the 13th of January. She was still anchored in the bay at Mare Island on January 22 when another accident claimed the life of one of her crew. It was about 3:50 in the afternoon on January 22 that the No. 2 steam launch of the Maryland collided with a coal barge then being ferried across the bay. The tide at the moment was running hard and Fireman 2c William Chester Bennett, who at the moment of the collision, was tending the boiler fire, jumped overboard to save himself from the fire of the steamer. The swiftly running tide was too much for Bennett and he was drowned. He was the only casualty from the collision.
Officers of the Maryland, January of 1913:
|Captain John M. Ellicott, Commanding
Commander Benjamin B. McCormick, Executive Officer
Lt. Cmdr. Mark C. Ellis
Lt. Cmdr. Ralph E. Pope
Lt. Milton S. Davis
Lt. William L. Calhoun
Lt. (jg) Emil A. Lichtenstein
Ensign Walter K. Killpatrick
Ensign Howard B. Mecleary
Ensign Allan G. Olson
Ensign Herbert W. Underwood
Ensign Frederick C. Sherman
Ensign Donald B. Beary
Ensign James T. Alexander
Ensign Timothy A. Parker
Ensign William E. Baughman
Ensign Ole O. Hagen
Ensign Harry W. Hill
Ensign Norman L. Kirk
Ensign Marritt Hodson
|Ensign James A. Cruthcfield
Ensign Harold W. Scofield
Ensign Thomas L. Gatch
Ensign John P. Bowden
Passed Asst. Surgeon John D. Manchester
Passed Asst. Surgeon Harry A. Garrison
Paymaster Eugene C. Tobey
Captain Chandler Campbell, USMC Commanding
Boatswain William DeFries
Gunner John K. Thompson
Chief Machinist Fred F. Ingram
Chief Machinist Frederick F. Krainek
Chief Machinist Francis G. Randall
Chief Carpenter Arno W. Jones
Paymaster Clerk Otis F. Cato
Paymaster Clerk Josiah Merritt
It was about noon on the twenty-ninth of April, 1913 that the No. 3 steamer of the Maryland, then at anchor just off of Venice, California, had set off to off load her passengers. But as it was being tied up it broke loose and drifted into the heavy breakers that were coming in at the time. The No. 2 steamer of the Maryland saw what was going on seeing that the men in the steamer were in distress, came near as it could but was unable to give assistance. In the No. 3 steamer, Painter Second Class Clark F. Crippen grabbed a 2-inch manila line threw it over his shoulders and swam to the No. 2 steamer through the hard pounding breakers. Crippen succeeded in making it, and the steamer was hauled out to where it could use its engine. This was all well until the 2-inch line Crippen had used got fouled into the propeller of the No. 3 steamer. Quickly the line was cut but the boat had drifted once again into danger of the pounding breakers. All at once three enormous breakers in rapid succession covered the steamer and she sank turning over.
Ensign Scofield, who was in charge of the No. 3 Steamer, made a heroic effort to save a young newsboy who was in the steamer when it overturned. Scofield without thought of his own safety kept the young boy above water until he could hand him into a lifeboat, which about the same time Ensign Scofield had nearly drowned and had to be rescued. But just then another giant breaker knocked the young boy from the hands of the lifeguard that Ensign Scofield had handed the boy to. The newsboy was unable to be rescued before he had drowned. Ensigns Herbert W. Underwood and Kinchen L. Hill of the No. 2 steamer rendered every possible aid they could and stood by the overturned No. 3 steamer until the remainder of the men were saved. Six of the men were rescued by local beach guards and resuscitated back to life. Seaman Owens was feared dead but Passed Assistant Surgeon John D. Manchester of the Maryland would not give up on the sailor and brought Owens back to life after quite a bit of time had passed and it seemed like he would not make it. Sadly, in the end the only death was the young newsboy. Ensigns Scofield, Underwood, and Hill and Painter Second Class Crippen all received letters of commendation from the Secretary of the Navy for gallantry and heroism that day.
On Monday the fifth of May the Maryland receives aboard a draft of 100 men from the Mare Island Receiving ship. And later in the month there began an outbreak of measles and mumps aboard the California and the Maryland while both ships were in the Mare Island Navy Yard. By April 1 there were 26-men from both ships who were taken ashore and put in quarantine. On board both ships the personal effects and bunks of the sick sailors were fumigated and removed from the ships.
Detailed to go to Alaska to undertake survey work for coaling docks and to test Bering River coal the Maryland steams north in mid-June. The Maryland arrived in Controller Bay, Alaska on June 14, 1913 making her the first vessel of any size to enter any of the Alaskan ports. As soon as the anchor was let go and hit the bottom of Controller Bay there were a half dozen fishing lines in the water off the deck of the Maryland. After the first few five to ten-pound Cod and Halibut were hauled aboard more fishing lines came out and before they knew it there was enough fish caught that they had fish for dinner that night.
Boat parties were arranged with several making off for Wingham Island to fish and go ashore. Those who went fishing were catching Cod and Halibut about as fast as they could be hauled in. Those who went ashore climbed up the ridge to the top of the island. The island was covered in high grass and scrub alder bushes, with many wild flowers growing, which the crew thought was like some places in sunny California.
The coal reconnaissance party, the reason the Maryland was in Alaska, had made their way up the Bering River to the coal fields. Seven-hundred tons of this Bering River coal was then being sent down to the shore for testing aboard the Maryland. It was slow work getting this coal down river on sleds across the snowpack. There were two officers and a working party of 43-men left there to get the coal down river.
The detail of men from the Maryland that were tasked with bringing the coal down river and getting it aboard the ship was under the command of Commander Mark St. C. Ellis. He was the former naval magazine officer at Mare Island and was the inventor of the Ellis self-scoring target. Aboard the Maryland Commander Ellis was serving as the ships engineering officer.
Commander Ellis and his men had to travel from Controller Bay up the Bering River 25-miles to the coalfields where they had to construct sleds to haul the coal down river to Controller Bay to be loaded aboard the Maryland for testing. Ellis’ men took on the task of transporting the coal with the same spirit that they had used under Ellis’ command aboard the ship that earned them several engineering trophies.
The men were able to get the entire amount of coal, nearly 700-tons, transported across the snowfields in twenty-four days’ time. And during the same time also constructed twenty-one boats, which were used to transfer the coal from the shore of the bay out to the ship in deeper water. This was considered to be a great accomplishment in the transportation of the coal from the coalfields 25-miles upriver and onto the ship and without a man being injured.
Meanwhile the Maryland got underway for Chignik Bay where they arrived on June twenty-fourth. At Chignik Bay there are two salmon canneries capable of canning 40,000 cans of salmon each daily. Near the canneries are native villages of the Siwash Indians and Eskimos. Their huts are part in the ground and covered with a moss covered earthen roof.
On Augustine Island in Iniskin Bay some of the sailors went hunting for grouse with shotguns, while another hunting party took rifles and went for brown bears, but no bears were taken.
For the Fourth of July the Maryland was in Seward, Alaska. There they were to scout out a suitable location for a railroad terminal. But to celebrate the holiday there were 12-oar boat races in the bay and also, they marched in the parade in town.
After Seward the Maryland went to Valdez and then to Cordova. At Cordova a train on the Copper River & North Western Railroad took a bunch from the Maryland up sixty-miles to Child’s Glacier which cost five-dollars each to make the trip. The comments about seeing the glacier was that it was better than seeing Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii last year.
By July 30 the Maryland had left Cordova and was back again in Controller Bay the next morning. There they were to load the coal brought down the Bering River, which was now waiting on them. Issues arose in getting the coal aboard but this was managed with “Maryland Spirit” and all the coal was aboard by August 4. As soon as the bunker hatches were buttoned up steam was up and the Maryland was on her way south with Alaska in her wake. San Francisco was reached on August 11, 1913, where preparations for target practice was begun.
The report from the testing of the Alaskan coal proved to be unsuitable for steaming purposes. Officers aboard the Maryland reported that the Alaskan coal was the dustiest and dirtiest they had ever handled. It was deemed inferior to that coal they were using from Oregon and Washington State. The Alaskan coal brought aboard for testing by Commander Ellis and his detail, came from the Cunningham claim on the Bering River and was reported to clog boiler tubes worse than any other coal they had ever seen, causing blow-outs which seriously impaired steaming efficiency.
The navy routinely retires officers and in July of 1913 the navy’s “Plucking Board” met and announced a list of 14 officers who would be retired on the mandatory list. The Naval Personnel Act of 1899 established a new “plucking board” that was designed to review the records of Captains and to “select out” those who did not merit the potential for promotion to the Flag ranks. It was the first introduction of a merit-based promotion system. While the system held promise in the fact that it at least tried to do something, its practice was less than optimal.
On July 2nd the board selected Captain John M. Ellicott, who was then in command of the Maryland, then on station in Alaskan waters making reconnaissance surveys for coal deposits and anchorages, to be among the 14 officers selected for mandatory retirement. On the 3rd of July, it was announced that Commander Phillip Andrews would be the Maryland’s next skipper. Commander Andrews was currently the commanding officer of the USS Montana serving with the Atlantic Fleet then at the Portsmouth, NH Navy Yard. Commander Andrews had previously served as the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation with the temporary rank of Rear Admiral before his command of the Montana. He was returned to rank of Captain when assigned to the Maryland in order that he could have more sea service in his present grade.
Aboard the USS Montana, then at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, orders are handed to the Montana’s commanding officer, Commander Philip Andrews. His orders state that he is relieved of command of the Montana and is to proceed to Alaskan waters and assume command of the USS Maryland from Captain Ellicott. At about the same time as Commander Andrews received his orders; Captain Ellicott aboard the Maryland also receives orders, which are not welcomed by Ellicott, but orders were orders and he had to act in accordance with them. On the 24th of July 1913 Captain Ellicott relinquished his command of the Maryland to Captain Andrews at Seward, Alaska. Captain Ellicott left Alaska on the steamer Northwestern for transportation to Washington, DC where it was reported that he would lodge a protest against the Plucking Board’s decision of his retirement.
While she was at anchor on August 15, 1913 Seaman Frank Ficknor serving on the Maryland’s 12-4 A.M. watch takes time to write to his mother in Spearfish, South Dakota. Frank writes: “Dear Mother, I was looking back on my 5 years diary and found I left [home] just 2 years ago yesterday. Two more years and I will be back. Frank”
The photo on the left is of the Maryland sometime after her 1910 rebuilt foremast. On the back it is identified as Seattle, Washington and is likely to be 1913. This and the photo on the right were taken at the same event. Both photos were taken in Seattle, Washington likely in 1913. This photo shows her port side as many locals come aboard for a tour. It looks as if she is in a river or inlet off Elliot Bay, Seattle’s main harbor as many factories can be seen in the background. Note the folks on the shore in the foreground. I believe these two photos were taken at the same event, but from the opposite side of the bank. It is likely that these two photos were taken during the Potlatch Celebration held annually in Seattle. The Potlatch celebrations were weeklong festivals that began in 1911, two years after the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific-Exposition. The term Potlatch comes from large Native American festivals of the Pacific Northwest, and the Seattle Golden Potlatches mingled themes of the Alaskan Gold Rush with Northwest Coast imagery. There were one or more large parades with elaborate floats each day and the U.S. fleet often participated in some way. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels attended in 1913 and made an inflammatory speech against labor radicals in the Northwest that helped to spark a night of rioting. That and WWI helped shut it down until it was revived in the 1930's sometimes held with a "Fleet Week" theme, until WWII. After WWII it was revived as "Seafair" and continues today, usually with at least a half-dozen Navy ships to tour.
She steamed off the Central American coast to aid, if necessary, Americans endangered by political turmoil in Mexico and Nicaragua (1913, 1914, and 1916); and made numerous training cruises to Hawaii and the South-Central Pacific.
In early 1914, the Maryland is scheduled for a major overhaul, and at the Mare Island Navy Yard new parts begin to arrive at the Yard getting ready for when the she arrives. On January 6, 1914, some of her new guns arrive from the east coast and are stored until she arrives later in February once her target practice with the California was completed. The overhaul would take at least a month to complete, where all of her 8-inch main guns, and 6-inch and 3-inch batteries would be changed out.
At the Mare Island Yard office, orders are received that the Maryland will be taken out of the dry dock by the end of the month. Her new 8-inch gun installation would be finished by then and then the yard workers would start on removing her portside crane, which needed repairs. The crane alone was estimated to weigh about 10-tons.
In the 25 January 1914 issue of the Washington Post, under the section Movements of Naval Vessels, the Maryland was listed as arriving at San Diego and then to San Pedro, California on her way to arrive at the Mare Island Navy Yard. She arrives at Mare Island sometime on February 26 and her overhaul begins.
During this time the popular Executive Officer, Lt. Commander Mark St. Clair Ellis was detached from duty with the Maryland and ordered to take command of the USS Cleveland.
At 8 o’clock on Saturday morning March 7 the Maryland enters the dry dock at the yard and is raised out of the water. It has been more than a year since her hull has been out of the sea and yard workers expect her hull to show it, but they report that she was in remarkably good condition. Yard mechanics begin the heavy work of removing her 8-inch main guns from the turrets in the afternoon.
Towards the end of March 1914, the Mare Island Yard is instructed to have the Maryland ready for sea as soon as they can, because she has orders to again test Alaskan coal. But as she is being made ready on March 31 during a test of her engines and accident occurs and one of the steam pistons is blown. The yard then began the process of making repairs and puts on an extra force of men just to undertake this repair. A new piston was located and throughout early April the Maryland remained in the Mare Island Yard while her engines were repaired. Her testing of Alaskan coal was scheduled for early May and the Yard was doing their best to maintain that schedule.
As the work continued, the crew had time for sporting events ashore. On April 1, 1914, the Maryland’s baseball team played the Mare Island Yard team at the diamond on the Yard, but the score and victor are not known today. And there was enough time for the crew to host a dance. At the San Pablo Hall on April 15 the crew of the Maryland put on a dance with music provided by a 12-piece orchestra from the ships band. This was said to be a big social event in the bay area and was by invitation only with no tickets to be sold at the door.
But while the Maryland is finishing her repairs and her crew enjoys some relative quiet days, thousands of miles to the south in Mexico trouble stirs. The State Department sends orders to the Mare Island Navy Yard on April 20, 1914 for them to have the Maryland finished with her repairs at the soonest date they could. Her orders were to sail south to Mexican waters as soon as she could with stores and 300 Marines for duty should they be needed in Mexico. The South Dakota came into the Mare Island Yard on April 21 and loaded stores and a Company of 300 Marines. The Collier Jupiter also took on another Company of 300 Marines and additional stores. Both the South Dakota and Jupiter steamed out of Mare Island at 8:17 in the morning of April 22 bound south to Mexican Waters.
The Maryland was then moored to the seawall at Mare Island nearly finished and ready for sea. April 22 was a busy day for the crew of the Maryland as they began loading over 800,000 rounds of ammunition, and the crew knew that they were not just loading them for target practice.
By April 23 the Maryland is finally ready for sea with stores and her extra Marines aboard, and she steams out of the Mare Island Yard down the bay to the coaling station in California City. The entire crew worked throughout the day and night coaling the ship with over 2,000-tons of coal. The crew had just loaded extra coal, took on extra ammunition and had an extra Company of Marines aboard ship they well understood what they were going south for. But Captain Andrews has orders in hand to only steam south when ordered to do so from the Navy Department. It was likely that the crew felt they were all dressed up for a dance but there was no one to dance with…yet.
Finally, on Friday morning at 11:21 AM Captain Andrews after receiving orders from the Navy Department, gives orders to his Executive Officer Lt. CMDR James Joseph Raby to steam out from the bay and turn south. Two days later on April 25 the USS Cleveland also left Mare Island with Marines and the USS Buffalo would follow a few days later.
Now in Mexican Waters just off Mazatlan, Mexico the Maryland receives some American refugees aboard. Walter Neal, a civilian who had been working at a mine near El Favor, Mexico was in danger as rebels attacked him and his family and co-workers. The raid took place on April 26 and during the attack Walter Neal was wounded, and fellow American C. B. Hoadley and E. G. Williams who was a British citizen, were killed. But Neal and his family survived and made their way to American officials on Mexican soil and were finally brought aboard the Maryland for safekeeping.
On July 1st 1914 the Maryland is at anchor in the harbor Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico, where she is paying a goodwill visit to that city. There are festivities held aboard the deck of the ship that evening, with locals invited to come aboard as the band of the Maryland held a musical and a dance. Among the invited guests were Antonietta Genoveva Lorca who was a local singer and dancer and her instructor Edmundo Vidal.
Musical and Dance Program held aboard the USS Maryland, July 1st, 1914
1. The soul of Andalusia Double Time
For her service in Mexican Waters the crew of the Maryland are entitled to wear the Mexican Service Medal for her service there from April 28-September 19, 1914.
Back in Alaska the Maryland was to have tested another lot of coal, but due to the issues in Mexico her mission was changed. So, on a cold and lonely beach in Enik, Alaska sat over 900-tons of test coal from the Matanuska mines. The Navy Department not knowing how long it would be before the Maryland would be able to conduct the test decided they needed to bag the coal and transport it to a controlled environment so it would not deteriorate. A contract was given to the steamship Admiral Sampson and she went to Enik and loaded the coal in her holds and brought it to the Bremerton Navy Yard where it was stored in Navy Bunkers on June 2, 1914.
By July of 1914 the issue in Mexico has eased to the point that the Maryland is not needed any longer on that station and steamed north for home at the Mare Island Navy Yard. Aboard the Maryland Fireman Second Class J. McCollen passed away the reasons, which are not known, but his funeral was held at the Mare Island Yard and he was buried in the Mare Island Navy Yard Cemetery on July 18, 1914.
The Mare Island Yard is notified that about October 20, 1914 the Maryland would be scheduled in to finish repairs left undone from April when she was rushed to Mexican waters.
On October 9, 1914 stores and supplies were taken down to the lower bay in San Francisco for the Maryland and the gunboat Annapolis. The Mare Island water barge with the stores for both ships anchored and awaited the arrival of the two ships to begin off-loading. Meanwhile ashore in Vallejo on October 9th the Rev. D. A. Mobley, the pastor of the Presbyterian Church married Quartermaster L. Bradley of the USS Maryland to Miss Fay Iden in her home at 1020 Louisiana Street.
At the Mare Island Navy Yard, the Maryland enters Dry Dock No. 2 at 1:15 in the afternoon of October 20, 1914. She was to be docked for at least 4-days’ time where she would have her bottom scrapped and re-painted and her propeller blades were changed out. Once completed the Maryland was ordered to steam north to the Bremerton Navy Yard to finally conduct coal tests of Alaskan Coal.
During November of 1914 the Maryland conducted four separate tests of the Alaska Coal from the Matanuska Coal fields. When the Matanuska coal was delivered to the Puget Sound Navy Yard it was stacked on the docks under cover to await the arrival of the Maryland. All the test coal was bagged and a few of the bags had become rotten and spilled some of the coal onto the dock. The coal was inspected and found to be fine and dry. Under the direction of Ensign John P. Bowden, a work detail was sent to the coal sheds to load the coal on lighters. Each bag was weighed and inspected. In all 586-tons were loaded for the trials. Once the coal lighters were alongside the Maryland the task of stowing it away in previously swept clean bunkers was undertaken. During the tests, Mr. S. B. Flagg and engineer of the Bureau of Mines was onboard the Maryland during each of the tests. He assisted the ships officers and men in obtaining the most efficient combustion of the Matanuska Coal. This was his second time aboard the Maryland as he was present for another coal test held aboard the ship in late 1910.
The first test was a seven-day test conducted while she was at anchor in the Navy Yard in Puget Sound, Washington. From November 7, through November 14, 1914 the Maryland's No. 8 boiler was fired for one week on the Matanuska Coal. The usual auxiliaries were run on the ship and her evaporators and condensers also ran. Data of the coal was kept by the watch officers and entered into reports. The work of firing this coal was said to have been easy to keep according to the Maryland's firemen.
In the second series of tests the Maryland conducted a four-hour full-power test run on November 14, 1914 off Puget Sound and in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. She was to have gotten under way at 8:30 that morning but due to heavy fog this was delayed until 11:19 that morning. Her speed was slowly worked up to 120 turns on her shafts, which she made under forced draft at 1:30 that afternoon. This speed was reported to have been made easily, and the men in the fire-rooms were questioned and reported that it was the easiest twenty-knot run they had ever made.
On the 15th she made her third test in the series. This was a 24-hour three-quarter-boiler power run held in the Straits of Juan de Fuca and in the open Pacific en route to Mare Island, California. At 10:00 am on the 15th she got under way with 12 boilers fired on Matanuska Coal. By 10:45 she had made 85 turns on her shafts, which was the required speed of 15-knots. It soon became evident that the boiler power was more that was needed for the speed required for the 15-knot test. It was decided that she would only need eight boilers to maintain the 15-knot speed. In general, the comments made were that the Matanuska Coal was easier to handle than the Pocahontas Coal from the east coast.
The fourth test was held on November 16 and was to be a 48-hour ten-knot run in the Pacific again bound south to Mare Island. At noon on the 16th and again as on the previous test more boilers were lit than were needed to produce the steam needed. Six boilers were started but only four were used during the test. After running 40-hours on the Matanuska Coal it was discovered that only three-tons remained so it was decided the test was considered completed at that point.
This series of four tests showed that the coal from the Matanuska Coal fields was equal to the Pocahontas and Bering River coal, which had been tested during 1913.
In early November 1914, the cruiser USS New Orleans is towing a large coal barge loaded with $15,000 worth of coal from the Bremerton, Washington Navy Yard to San Francisco Bay. But on November 14 in the afternoon the big coal barge broke loose from the New Orleans and was adrift in the ocean near the mouth of the Columbia River causing a hazard to navigation. The Navy Yard gave orders to the Maryland to leave Bremerton and assist the New Orleans in searching for and securing the coal barge.
Life aboard the Maryland was not always navy business, as there was time for sporting events, football was one such sport. The Maryland's team of 1914 was said to be one of the best in the San Francisco Bay area. It really did not matter what ship's team was playing, for when a navy team was playing a civilian team it seemed like the entire navy and marine corps turned out to support the men in uniform.
The Maryland's team was of 1914 consisted of Johnson at center as the team captain, the quarterback was McKeekin, left guard was Linthwaite, right guard was Zickle, left tackle was Keesing, right tackle was T. Johnson, left end was Thomas, right end was Danowsky, halfback was Kiser and Harrison was the fullback.
Sunday December 13, 1914 promised to be a red-letter date for the Maryland's football team as they were to take on the favored team of the Oakland Originals at the 10,000-seat Cycledrome Field in Vallejo, California. The Oakland Originals had not been scored upon this season and if they were to beat the Maryland team then they would be playing the All-Vallejo team for the championship.
But this game was a rematch of last year’s February 1913 game where the Maryland team beat the Originals 7-0, with Ensign Hill scoring the winning touchdown for the Maryland team, so revenge was on the mind of the Oakland team. But once again the men from the Maryland gave the Oakland team another thumping in beating them once again. Unfortunately, the score of the game was not known.
Chief Gunner Charles L. Bridges the Chief Gunner of the Mare Island Navy Yard Electrical School was re-assigned in late December of 1914. On December 27 aboard the Maryland Chief Gunner Allan Scott McKenzie receives orders to proceed to Mare Island where he will relieve Chief Bridges as the gunner-in-charge of the electrical school. Meanwhile at the Bremerton, Washington Navy Yard Chief Gunner Herman Jorgenson also receives orders detailing him to proceed to the USS Maryland to relieve Chief McKenzie and take his place as the Maryland's Chief Gunner.
Captain R. J. Paulsen, master of the SS Colon an American-Mexican Steamship and Trading Company cargo-passenger liner is outbound from San Francisco on January 16, 1915 to points south with a general merchandise cargo, she carried a crew of about 20 and had no passengers aboard. On February 5, 1915 while trying to make port in Topolobampo, Mexico Captain Paulsen encounters a very rough northwest gale and strikes the southern spit and grounds his ship on the rocks. He reports by wireless radio his position and situation calling for help. Off the Mexican west coast is the cruiser USS San Diego, and her radio operators intercept the message from Captain Paulsen aboard the Colon. The San Diego relays the message of help and the closest ships are the cruiser Maryland and gunboat USS Annapolis. Both ships rush to the aid of the Colon. The Colon was a steam schooner of 1,630-tons and carried a crew of about 20, she was said to have aboard about 6 passengers at the time of the grounding. The Colon was the former Ramon Corral of the Naviera del Pacifico Company of South America.
Once the Maryland arrived Captain Paulsen sends another message to his home office where he states: “On entering Topolobampo with pilot aboard struck at the outer portion of the south spit. Strong northwest wind prevailed with sea. Ship in bad position. Will try to land people with aid of cruiser Maryland, Paulsen.” When the Maryland arrived on location the waves were breaking over the decks of the Colon. Boats were sent out from the Maryland and took the Colon’s passengers and crew back to the Maryland to safety and then took them ashore where there was no loss of life during the accident.
By February 13 the Navy Department reports that the Maryland along with the refrigerator ship USS Glacier were reported as steaming in the Gulf of California and had now reached the harbor in La Paz, Mexico. Once this southern cruise was completed she steamed back to the Mare Island Navy Yard.
The U.S. Navy suffered the loss of its first submarine on March 25, 1915. The USS F-4, a 330-ton “F” class submarine was conducting routine dives just off Honolulu with Lt. (jg) Alfred L. Ede in command and Ensign Timothy A. Parker as his executive officer and a crew of 19 enlisted men. That morning the F-1, F-3 and F-4 all were on a training dive. The F-4 dove first then the other two submarines. After the prearranged maneuvers the F-1 and F-3 returned to base but the F-4 did not show. A search was soon undertaken and later in the day an oil slick was observed and was followed six-miles to where it was thought to originate from. At that spot the depth was 55 fathoms of water, although hope was not lost because the F-1 had made successful dives to 280-feet and the depth at this spot being 305-feet. The thinking was that the F-4 could survive at that depth, but there was at the time no way to get to her. If her hull was not breeched the crew could still be alive.
Once the F-4 was located the Navy Department gave rush orders for several deep-sea divers then at the New York Navy Yard to proceed to Honolulu. But by this time the rescue of the men had turned to the realization that the rescue operation would be one of a salvage operation. The coming salvage operation that was about to be undertaken would stretch the limits of the deep-sea divers and the equipment of that time.
The divers were George D. Stillson, Frank Crilley, William F. Loughman, Frederick C. L. Neilson and Stephen J. Drellishak and Assistant Surgeon George R. W. French was also requested. These men took transportation to the Mare Island Navy Yard where they were loaded onto the USS Maryland with their equipment. Deep-sea diver S. J. Drellishak had at the time held the world’s record deep-sea dive of 274-feet, but the depths that the F-4 lay at would stretch his limits to the extreme. Once the divers, and physicians are aboard the Maryland she steams out of the Mare Island Yard at 5 o’clock in the afternoon of April 5th bound for Hawaii. To the officers of the Maryland this sinking has a real connection with them because one of their own former officers, Lt. Timothy A. Parker, USN was the executive officer aboard the F-4 when she dove and never came up and was presumed dead with the crew.
Maryland makes a quick dash from Mare Island, California to Hawaii and off loads the navy divers and physicians. On April 15, the Court of Inquiry into the accident of the sinking of the F-4 was begun aboard the Maryland. The navy divers were taken out to the wreck site and an evaluation was made by the divers where it was determined that large pontoons would be needed to raise the sunken F-4. Back across the Pacific again from Hawaii the Maryland steamed to the Mare Island Navy Yard.
At 9:30 in the morning on July 21, 1915 the Maryland arrived at the Mare Island Navy Yard. She was to pick up 6 specially constructed large wooden and steel pontoons built by the Mare Island Yard and transported back to Hawaii to be used in the raising of the sunken submarine F-4. The Yard workers would not be completed with the construction of the Pontoons until August 1, and then they would be loaded aboard the Maryland, four being lashed on the after deck and two pontoons on her foredeck and taken back to Pearl Harbor. The Hull Department at Mare Island was given the task of constructing these pontoons, which Naval Constructor Julius A. Furer had designed specifically to raise the F-4. The first pontoon was finished and was tested in dock No. 2 at Mare Island on July 15 and passed its test, giving a green light to the construction of the remaining pontoons. Once the pontoons were finished they were loaded onto the deck of the Maryland, 4 on her fantail and 2 on her foredeck.
Maryland left Mare Island on August 5, with the pontoons, and steamed once again across the Pacific for Honolulu where she arrived on August 12, 1915. The plan was to sink the pontoons alongside of the sunken F-4, string large chains under the hull of the submarine, then tighten and attach the chains to the pontoons and then pump air into the pontoons thereby raising the hull of the submarine suspended between the pontoons.
On August 29, 1915 the hull of the F-4 finally was raised to the surface. The bodies of the crew were removed and sent for burial and the investigation showed that the crew had made movements to take control back as the diving planes were set in the rising position. Additionally, it was determined that 15 of the crew had escaped to the engine room and shut themselves in, but once the sub reached the depth where the hull imploded all 22 of the crew drowned.
It would not be until the early fall of 1915 that the Court of Inquiry would announce their probable cause for the sinking of the F-4 on March 25. Once the F-4 was brought to the surface and back to the dry-dock in Honolulu and a comprehensive inspection took place, which showed several probable causes. There was a very large implosion hole into the side of the F-4’s port side hull which was likely the cause of the death of the crew, but they also found that there was corrosion of the batteries. The lead lining of the battery tank had allowed seepage of sea water into the battery compartment thereby badly corroding the lead plates, with some plates were completely corroded through and starting to corrode the steel around the compartment, causing loss of electrical power while submerged. There were also issues with the ballast tank valves that contributed to the loss of air supply to the ballast tanks. With these combined issues of the F-Type boats the Navy Department took them all out of service and had them all return to the Mare Island Navy Yard for modifications and inspections.
During the time the Court of Inquiry was taking place aboard the Maryland, which began on April 15, there was time for the crew to take part in some athletic competitions with some of the boys from the Army stationed in Hawaii. During an evening of boxing before a crowd of more than 3,000 assembled at the Naval Warf in Honolulu the Navy boys from the Maryland took 6 bouts and held them to a draw in the other two fights, with the Army boys. It was said by the Navy boys that the soldiers would be safer in the barracks or in the saddle, “but fooling around with boxing gloves with them husky Navy boys was no business for them soldiers.”
In the first event of the night “Spike” Austin from the Alert, took two straight falls from “Spud” Ryan of the Maryland. “Spike” lasted only 30-seconds on the first fall and then he managed to last one-minute, fifty-nine seconds under the gloves of “Spud” Ryan.
The second fight was between “Chum” Motheral, the Maryland’s new light-weight, and “Kid” Cooper of Troop B, 4th Cavalry. Being a new boxer “Chum” was a bit wild, but “Chum” put “Kid down to the mat eight times before Ensigns Baughman and Kessing who were officiating stopped the fight.
The third fight was between “Whitie” Michaels, another of the Maryland’s star boxers, and “Soldier” Neuman. “Whitie” in the second round put the cavalry lad to the deck with a right arm to the ear. He hit the deck with a dull thud and lay there blinking as the referee gave him the 10-count.
In the fourth fight of the evening “Swede” Hansen, of the 2nd Infantry gave the Maryland’s “Bump” Natusch some real “Swedish” exercise. The “Swede,” who out-weighed Natusch, took him for 30-minutes before the referee called the match a draw. Hansen was the stronger, but “Bump” showed him what the Navy boys were like by holding him even.
The fifth fight was between Mike Coutomanos, the little boy with the big name from the Maryland, and Bobby Moore of the 1st Infantry. It was looking to be another draw until the third round when Coutomanos clipped Moore on the chin and sent him to the deck. After that it was smooth sailing for Coutomanos who won that fight.
In the sixth fight the Maryland’s carrot top “Pinkey” Crosby drew Soldier Theo Silling of the Army’s Hospital Corps. Silling was touted to be a good boxer but “Pinkey” sent him packing in less than half a round. “Pinkey” never even broke a sweat.
The seventh fight between Hy Spencer and Soldier Wharton ended in a draw.
And the main event of the evening was between the Maryland’s “Big” Michaels, whose brother was “Whitie” Michaels from the third fight, and Vic Miccio the middleweight from the 4th Cavalry. “Big” Michaels gave Vic an artistic beating, but in the second-round Vic swung a wild punch and connected with “Big” and threw him for a loop for a few seconds. “Big” had had enough of Vic and in the third round came back like a wild bear. Finally, in the fourth round “Big” gave Vic a right to the chin and dropped him to the ropes where he got the full count and it was curtains for Vic.
About 4 o’clock in the afternoon of November 28, 1915 the Maryland under the command of Commander Sumner Ely Wetmore Kittelle arrived at the Navy Yard at Mare Island. The Maryland arrived towing the submarine F-2 from the Hawaiian Islands. The tow lasted 14-days and the F-2’s crew struggled to keep the sub afloat while being towed by the Maryland. Rough seas, broken tow cables, and very little sleep added to the arduous journey across the Pacific. It was said that the Navy Department was taking the “F” type boats out of active duty due to the frailness of the boats, and the recent loss of the F-4 during a dive off Hawaii months previous, but they were still considered somewhat useful for coastwise operations. All three remaining F boats, F-1, F-2, and F-3 were brought back to Mare Island from Hawaii.
The Maryland was then moored alongside of the USS Prometheus in the Mare Island Yard where she began her repair period prior to being placed in reserve status. She would undergo a period of about 2 months of repairs to her hull and machinery, which was said to be about $20,000 in repairs. As her status was changed to reserve many of her crew were transferred to the USS St. Louis, which was then serving as the Receiving Ship at Mare Island. Another large group of the crew was transferred to the Navy Transport ship USS Buffalo, which was then under command of Commander Mark Ellis, as they were fitting out for sea duty.
Maryland was known to have been at San Diego, California about the end of April 1916 as Seaman, "Tommy" Harrington wrote to his mother stating that he had been transferred off the USS Maryland which, was in San Diego at the time, and sailed on the USS Charleston to the canal Zone. Maryland was assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force, United States Atlantic Fleet, which was under the command of Rear Admiral Albert Greaves, on July 1st, 1916.
In the summer of 1916 a young Ensign who had just graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis reports for duty aboard the Maryland for his first sea duty. Ensign John Wilkes would serve the next 3-years aboard the ship and would make many crossings during escort duty with the Frederick during WWI. On the basis of a combat award Wilkes was advanced to the rank of Vice-Admiral upon retirement in June 1951. Vice Admiral John Wilkes died at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, Maryland, on 20 July 1957.
Again as in 1914 the Maryland spends time on station off the coast of Mexico providing support for American forces in the area during another time of unrest in Mexico. Again, her crew is entitled to wear the Mexican Service Medal for her service from June 28-November 28, 1916.
The Maryland was renamed Frederick, 9 November 1916, so that her name could be used for a new class of modern battleships being built.
The Frederick was at sea en route from Puget Sound to San Francisco on 6 April 1917 when the news was flashed to her that America had declared war on Germany. The ship immediately put in at San Francisco to take on coal and loaded shells and powder. While at San Francisco a change of command took place on the Frederick on April 10, 1917 as Captain William C. Cole assumed command of the ship. Just as the Frederick was replenished Captain Cole was given orders to steam for the Cerros Islands, in Mexican waters where the Collier Brutus had been beached in a fog. After 10 days they dragged her clear and then towed her to San Diego, where they took on more coal and supplies and sailed for South America.
During the Frederick’s salvage operations to free the Brutus, Lt. J. P. Jackson and Lt. Culp of the Frederick both took very active parts. Captain Cole made a special report commending his two officers for the outstanding work they performed. The Captain writes the following in his report, “It appears desirable to invite the attention of the Commander-in Chief to the cheerful, intelligent and almost continuous executive work carried out by Lt. Jackson and Lt. Culp, the former for work having to do with the salvage, and the latter for work having to do with the ship’s routine.” The Frederick began working to free the Brutus on April 24, and finally got her free on May 1.
On 20 May 1917 the Frederick along with the USS South Dakota entered the Canal at Balboa transiting to join the Atlantic Fleet. USS Frederick along with the USS Pittsburg, USS Pueblo and USS South Dakota then proceeded to the South Atlantic for patrol duty operating from Brazilian ports. From May 1917 through January 1918, she patrolled the southeastern Atlantic off the coast of South America. On 1 February 1918, she was assigned to escort duty in the North Atlantic and until the signing of the Armistice she convoyed troopships east of the 37th meridian.
The Frederick is traveling eastbound in an 8-ship convoy and at noon on April 5, 1918 the westbound transport USS Pocahontas (formerly the German Princess Irene) steaming from St. Nazaire, France makes contact with the eastbound convoy. Captain Hellweg aboard the Pocahontas gives his recognition signal but aboard the Frederick, Hellwig’s signal is misread. The Frederick quickly fires a shot across the bow of the Pocahontas, which Captain Hellwig orders his ship slowed to one-third speed. The Frederick then stood over toward the then unidentified ship and makes positive identification. By 1:10 pm all is made good and Hellwig orders the Pocahontas back on course for the States. Aboard the Frederick likely the talk was ‘better to be sure than be wrong’ among the crew.
On May 10, 1918, the Frederick was lead escort ship of the 35th United States Convoy to Europe. Two groups of ships consisting of the American transports Lenape, Pastores, Wilhelmina, Princess Matoika, Antigone and Susquehanna along with the British steamer Kursk and Italian Duca d'Aosta had arrived in New York to join with the smaller group of American ships consisting of the President Lincoln, Covington, Rijndam and British trooper Dwinsk and Italian steamers Caserta and Dante Alighieri. At 6:30 on the evening of May 10 the convoy of 14 troopships left the harbor at New York eastbound across the Atlantic under the watchful eye of the Frederick. Ten days into the trip on May 20 the Frederick spots and fires on a suspected target thought to be a German U-boat. After a few shots it was found that the target was a bucket bobbing harmless in the open ocean. The next day on the 21st of May at 3:30 in the morning the Frederick meets the relief escorts consisting of nine destroyers at the rendezvous spot 3-days steaming time from Brest, France. The Frederick turned over the convoy to the destroyers and headed back west to the States to pick up her next eastbound convoy.
By June 16, 1918 the Frederick along with her sister ship the North Carolina, the battleship USS Texas and destroyers Stevens and Fairfax were escorting a 13-ship convoy eastbound from New York to France. A few days into this convoy another floating object was mistakenly thought to be a U-boat. This time the offending debris turned out to be a wooden barrel likely from a victim of a German U-boat. But by the afternoon of June 27 the convoy had reached Brest, France unharmed.
At sea on June 30 Frederick is escorting a westbound returning convoy to the States from France, some of the ships in the convoy are the Henderson, Mongolia and the Von Stuben. While still at sea with the convoy on July 4th, 1918 Frederick fires a 21-gun salute in honor of the nation’s birthday, which was promptly followed by all the other ships in the convoy breaking out the colors in celebration. Her next convoy left New York in early September 1918 consisting of 7 ships. Escorting this convoy along with the Frederick was the destroyer Colhoun (DD-85).
USS Frederick was assigned to Cruiser Force, Squadron One, Division Two, under the command of Captain W. C. Cole. Frederick was only utilized as Convoy escort group flagship during 1917 and 1918. She did not transport any troops herself during this period. On September 23, 1918 Captain Cole was detached from the Frederick to take command of the USS Nevada (BB-36). Cole’s replacement was Captain William Pitt Scott and by 20 November 1918, Frederick was attached to the Cruiser and Destroyer Force.
By early October 1918 the Frederick was in need of some routine dry dock time for maintenance. She puts into Portsmouth, N. H. Navy Yard and enters the dry dock there. During this time many of her crew takes advantage of some needed liberty. Once such man is Chief Fred Lentz a member of the Frederick's band. Chief Lentz takes 10-days leave and travels home on October 11 to Jonesboro, Illinois to visit his mother Mrs. H. C Lentz. On a previous liberty from the Frederick in January of 1918 as she was in Halifax, Lentz visited the parents of his wife Mr. and Mrs. George L. Spire. Fred Lentz had joined the navy in July of 1917 as a musician and had sailed to South American waters aboard Collier USS Orion to join the Frederick then patrolling the waters off South America. He had been aboard the Frederick for 10 trips across the Atlantic.
On Thanksgiving Day 1918 the ships officers under command of Captain William Pitt Scott were:
Captain William Pitt Scott, USN, Commanding
Commander Stephen Clegg Rowan, USN, Executive Officer
Lt. CMDR W. B. Allison, USNRF, First Lieutenant
Lt. CMDR Walden L. Ainsworth, USN, Gunnery Officer
Lt. J. P. Dalton, USN, Navigator
Lt. R. A. Silent, USNRF, Senior Engineer Officer
Commander Curtis B. Munger Medical Corps, USN, Senior Medical Officer
Lt. CMDR Edwin M. Hacker, Pay Corps, USN, Supply Officer
LT. John Wilkes
Ensign C. F. Eddy
Ensign M. E. Earle
Lt. Earl Richison, Medical Corps
Boatswain L. King
Upon the end of hostilities, when shipping space was scarce and fast transports were required to return the AEF to the United States, the Cruiser Force was assigned to aid in this task. Thus, on January 2nd, 1919 Frederick began the first of 6 turn-around trips to Europe to return US Doughboys to New York. On January 17, 1919 she is anchored in the harbor at Brest, France loading troops for home. Among those first troops loaded aboard was Pvt. Rothhammer of the 330th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Division. Excerpts of Pvt. Earl Pliny Rothhammer's letter to the folks back home where he talks about the Frederick.
Camp Merritt, N.J. Feb. 1. 1919 Dear Folks:
"... We left Brest, Jan. 17. (ed: 1919) We were there 17 days and it was detail every day and many of the nights, rain or shine, and it was mostly rain. My shoes were not dry during the 17 days and many times I went to bed soaked from my knees down. I don't see how we kept out of the hospital.
The hike to the boat was the hardest hike we ever made. We came over on the USS Frederick, formerly the Maryland. It’s a cruiser, built in 1902. I was sick the first day or two but after that I enjoyed the trip. We took a southern route and it was warm all the way. We could lie on the deck all day and during the evening and be comfortable. We had a band on board that played once or twice a day and fine meals. We bought fruit at the canteen. We would buy about 10 cans of peaches, 6 cans of pineapple, 10 lemon snaps and when they sold out of fruit we bought peanut butter and catsup, 6 at a time. I remember one night I was almost crowded out of bed by the canned goods & lemon snaps.
At 6 A.M. it was “Heave out and trice up your bunks”. Breakfast at 8, dinner at 12, supper at 6. Between meals we would loaf on deck or play pitch. We certainly had some games too. Most of the time we would keep our hands on the cards to keep them from blowing away. Also had a library on board and we could read if we liked.
When we came into New York Harbor, early Thursday morning, the Mayors welcome committee greeted us. After we landed the Y.M.C.A., Salvation Army & Red Cross gave out gum, candy, chocolate candy, post cards, coffee & buns & cigarettes. We loaded on the train for Camp Merritt at 12:10 and were put in barracks close to the place where we were in November… Hoping to be home soon, I am, Regards to all, Your Son Earl P. Rothhammer Co. C. 330th Inf., 83rd Division
P.S. Part of the 83rd Paraded N.Y. City and we may be called on to walk the streets of some Ohio city before we don civilized clothing again.
On February 2, 1919 the Frederick headed out east bound across the Atlantic to pick up her next load of troops in France. She steamed out of Brest, France west bound on February 19, 1919 and the Frederick had aboard the 95th and 103rd Aero Squadrons along with some other army troops. When the Frederick cleared Brest, France the trip seemed to be routine but during the trip the ship sprang a leak, which likely caused some real worries for the army troops aboard. The leak was bad enough that some of the army troops were employed in helping pump out the flooded compartments. On March 1, 1919 the Frederick reached Hoboken, NJ safely albeit a bit wet in a few places.
Another of these trips was on 22 April 1919 where the Frederick left Brest, France this time with the 119th Field Artillery aboard and reached Hoboken, New Jersey on May 3, 1919. In all, the Frederick returned 9,661 men to the USA, completing her last trip on July 12th, 1919, and returning to the Fleet on July 14th, 1919. Detached from that duty, she entered the Philadelphia Navy Yard where she was placed in reduced commission. Captain Scott was still in command of the Frederick in January of 1920, which the Frederick was still at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in reduced commission with a reduced crew of 209 officers and enlisted men. Captain Scott’s executive officer at the time was Lt. Commander Stephen B. Robinson.
By the spring of 1919 the navy again was trying additional radio experiments in its ships. General Electric built a special vacuum-tube transmitter for two-way radio tests on board the USS George Washington. Later that year in December there was an unsuccessful attempt to broadcast a speech made by President Woodrow Wilson, who was a passenger on the George Washington headed for the Peace Treaty Signing in Paris. During the first part of March 1919, the Navy Department asked the Research Laboratory of the General Electric Company to install a radiotelephone transmitter on the USS George Washington, to work in connection with the New Brunswick station, so that the President would be able to get into telephonic communication with Washington D.C. while still on the high seas. On April 14th, radio operators on the George Washington talked to the USS Frederick, at that time about 150 miles ahead of the George Washington, and they reported: "Phone loud and strong, easily understood." On April 16th, the log of the George Washington reads: "Before beginning the 3:00 p.m. schedule a broadcast message was sent on the George Washington's spark transmitter at 600 meters and at 952 meters asking all ships to listen for the Washington’s radiophone on 1800 meters and report how they received us and giving their position." About a dozen ships sent in reports. The ship farthest away that reported was about 320 miles from the George Washington. They reported "Phone fine on crystal with Marconi type receiver." The USS President Grant, about 150 miles from the Washington, reported hearing our radiophone 75 feet from the head phones using a four-stage amplifier. During these tests radio transmissions could be heard and sent from 800-1300 miles distant, a moderate improvement over the radio sets that were used in the first radios used in 1906, which gave 550-600 miles distant.
Frederick crossed the Atlantic again, carrying part of the U.S. Olympic Team to Antwerp, Belgium in July of 1920. The Frederick had been in reduced commission with a crew of about 200 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, which was not enough of a crew to take her to sea for the Olympic cruise. So, on July 15 a draft of Naval Reserves came on board to bring the crew up to strength required for the trip to Antwerp.
USS Frederick during her Olympic cruise
One such Naval Reservist was J. Roy Parker (1895-1957). Parker was a Yeoman second class and had been in the navy during WWI but had never gone to sea during the war. He spent the war years on land at Hampton Roads Navy Yard. Parker’s job on the Frederick during the Olympic cruise was in the personnel office tucked away deep within the ship. This was Yeoman Parker’s once in a lifetime chance to go down to the sea. He had served during the war, married shortly after the war and then lost his wife to the flu epidemic after the war. Yeoman Parker ran a small newspaper back home and so he wrote many letters and articles of his trip on the Frederick. The Olympics of 1920 did not get much mention in his writings but much was written about visiting the battlefields in France and meeting the Parisian ladies in the gardens of the Louvre in Paris. It seemed that Paris, the city of lights held more interest to many of the sailors than the sporting events of the 1920 Olympic games did. Until the day he passed away, one of Parker’s favorite things to do was to tell stories of that long-ago summer Olympic cruise on the Frederick.
The new crew only had one day to secure the ship and get ready for sea as on July 17 at 30 minutes past noon she got under way for Hampton Roads. The weather at sea on July 18th was stormy and as such one of the paravanes had become fowled and hung to the keel of the ship. Diving gear was ordered and divers were ready to go over the side but grappling hooks at the last moment finally brought the paravane to the surface. As Benjamin Kish, BM1c was attempting to place the cable back into the wheel of the crane something happened and all four of his fingers were cut off.
Now at Hampton Roads coaling the ship was the order of the day on the 19th. When coaling the ship with the “Black Diamonds” as referred to by the crew, all hands were required to help. As the coal lighters came alongside the men eagerly dug in and finished coaling in good time. The next day on the 20th was mail day and was spent in cleaning the ship and holystoning the deck after the coaling of the previous day.
The Frederick was to steam to Newport, Rhode Island in order to pick up the athletes she was to transport to Antwerp. Men from both the Navy and the Army dominated the Olympic games of 1920 for America. Among the Navy Olympic Wrestling team was a young engineer officer by the name of Daniel Vincent Gallery, Jr. He was attached to the Frederick during the summer of 1920 for participation in the 1920 Olympics. Later in WWII he commanded the escort carrier USS Guadalcanal, which captured the German U-boat U-505 and its secret code machine known as the enigma machine. Thus, helping to break the German cipher code and helped to gain the upper hand on the Germans during WWII.
As shipping was scarce after the war the Army and Navy were called on to transport the American athletes to Antwerp. It was decided that the Navy would carry those athletes affiliated with the navy and the Army and civilian athletes would be transported on an Army Transport ship. The Frederick was chosen along with the USS Northern Pacific. But at the last moments the Northern Pacific was not able to make the journey and a last hour stand in was chosen. She was the USS Princess Matoika, a former German ship that had been used to carry troops to France during the war. By now the old Princess was a rotten ship, a veteran of many crossings with troops. So rotten was the ship that the athletes nearly carried out a mutiny aboard. During the war the Frederick had escorted the Princess Matoika across several times.
On July 21 at 7:00 am Frederick got under way from Hampton Roads but within an hour and a half she had to drop anchor due to the very dense fog. But within another hour she was again on her way. July 22nd was payday on board the Frederick and several sporting events were held for the ships company on the voyage to Newport. At 5:00 in the evening the Frederick dropped anchor in the harbor at Newport, RI. Liberty parties were given for the ships company.
On the 23rd seven swimming and running athletes reported aboard ship with the Band. But it was not until the next day on the 24th that the balance of the athletes came on board. At 6:30 in the evening the destroyer USS Thomas (DD182) came along side and transferred the athletes to the Frederick. As the athletes settled into their quarters aboard ship reporters came on board to record the events. On the 25th several more reporters were on board the ship to take pictures of the athletes during training and the Frederick’s crew watched and cheered them on for the reporters as they took pictures. There were about 100 athletes and several coaches and trainers aboard the Frederick for the cruise. One of the coaches was Richard A. Glendon who was the coach of the Navy rowing team. Glendon coached the Navy Crew from 1904-1923 and again from 1927-1931. Under Glendon’s hand the Navy Crew won the Gold Medal beating England in the 1920 Olympics. Finally, on the 25th of July at 1:45 in the afternoon the Frederick with her athletes got under way for the trip to Antwerp. Later that evening at sea there were movies shown on the quarterdeck.
The first full day at sea started at 5:30 in the morning as the athletes awoke to the sound of revile. The ship’s crew was busy airing bedding and routine work of a ship at sea. But there was not work all the time as a band concert was held on the quarterdeck. On July 28, Quarters were sounded and the athletes were assigned to their abandon ship station. And on the next day there were abandon ship drills and a bag inspection held at 2:00 in the afternoon. And by 8:00 that evening the band held another concert.
As the voyage progressed across the Atlantic the routines of the ship set in. July 30 was one such day as the Captain held an inspection of the ship and on the 31st the Captain held a crew inspection at 9:30 in the morning. But there was time for sporting events as boxing bouts were held on the quarterdeck and band concerts and movies in the evening. August 1st was on a Sunday and this was declared recreation day. There may have been several quartets of sailors aboard who thought they sounded well but as one sailor recounted in his log, that may have not been the case to everyone… “One of the many ‘Agony Quartets’ exercised at the piano most of the day.” And like most evenings there were movies shown on deck. And the next two days were filled with as much routine as the previous days such as Fire and Collision drills on Monday and airing bedding on Tuesday. Also, on Tuesday the 3rd of August the entire crew was vaccinated for smallpox..
On Wednesday rumors ran wild among the crew as it was being reported that five or more days’ leave would be permitted while the Frederick was in Antwerp for the Olympic games. But before there would be any leave the Frederick needed to look spotless. So, work parties were ordered and chipping paint and painting was the order of the day. All work stopped at 8:00 that evening as the first rough weather was encountered on the trip. On August 5 land was spotted for the first time in ten days, as all hands were busy painting the ship.
At 4:00 in the morning on Friday August 6 the Frederick stopped and took on board the local river pilot. As revile was being sounded most of the men were already up and looking at the city of Flushing, Holland. As the river pilot guided the Frederick towards the Scheldt River they dropped anchor at 6:30 that morning to wait due to their arrival was at low tide in the river. Antwerp was another 45 miles down the Scheldt and at 3:30 that afternoon the Frederick was again on her way, and by 7:00 that evening she was moored at the dock in Antwerp. The normal naval courtesies were exchanged when the Frederick was tied up. The trip from Newport to Antwerp was 3,385 miles.
The Frederick remained at the dock for the rest of the month and the crew enjoyed many liberty parties in and around Antwerp and some went as far as Paris and also to visit the battlefields and pay respects to fallen comrades. She remained there until August 30 when the State Department requested that the Frederick be present in Rotterdam, Holland to help the Dutch people celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the “Pilgrim Fathers” which is a celebration held in high regards of the Dutch. At 3:30 in the morning on August 30 Frederick started her journey to Rotterdam and by 5:00 that evening she was tied up on the Holland-American Steamship dock. The next day was August 31, which was Queen Wilhelmina’s birthday and the city was alive with celebrations and the Frederick was fully dressed for the occasion. On September 1, a large number of the crew were given “one o’clock Liberty” as many wanted to visit “The Hague” and orders were read out to the crew that no fares were required to travel about the city on the trolley cars. During this time, the Frederick was host to a great many Dutch visitors who came on board. On September 3, Liberties were stopped as the Frederick was making preparation for sea again. And on September 4 at 3:00 in the morning she steamed out of Rotterdam where she arrived back in Antwerp at 7:00 that evening.
At 10:20 on the evening of September 9, 1920 the Pittsburgh ran aground on some rocks 3-miles off the port of Libau near the breakwater. This is the present-day city of Liepaja, Latvia and Libau was the name used during the German occupations of WWI. In a dispatch from Admiral Huse the Pittsburgh was in “no immediate danger” but several sections of her double bottom were flooded. As soon as the Navy Department was advised they sent a dispatch to the USS Frederick, which was then stationed in Antwerp, Belgium. The Frederick was to disembark her Olympic passengers and precede at best possible speed to render assistance to the Pittsburgh. Frederick got underway at noon on the 10th of September heading down the Scheldt River. On September 11 at 4:30 in the evening she picked up a German Pilot at the mouth of the Elbe River and at 6:30 that evening she dropped anchor at Cruxhaven, Germany to wait for high tide. She was again underway at 10:30 that evening and by midnight she was at anchor on the western end of the Kiel Canal at Brunsbuttel, Germany. On September 12 at 3:30 in the morning she passed through the locks and continued on down the Kiel. But about 7:00 that morning while she was passing under a railroad bridge across the Kiel Canal, she was taller that the height of the bridge. Both topmasts crashed into the bottom of the bridge and fell to the deck ripping off the wireless antenna. This created a commotion among the crew but the Frederick carried on just the same and by 4:30 that afternoon she passed out of the Kiel Canal. Now on September 13 she was steaming in open water at 14 knots with her “Burney Otter” paravanes over the side as she was passing through an area of German Mine fields.
At 7:30 on the 14th of September the Frederick was just outside the breakwater off Libau where she found the Pittsburgh afloat with the HMS Dauntless standing by her. On the 18th the Pittsburgh off loaded her ammunition to the Frederick. That evening at 8:00 PM a smoker was held on the deck of the Frederick in which Vice Admiral Huse and his staff were the guests. Two three-round boxing bouts were held and the final bout was a six-round bout of Browne vs. Crosby, both of the Frederick’s engineer force. Crosby was the winner. Movies were then shown on the quarterdeck. On the morning of the 19th of September at 7:30 the Pittsburgh got underway steaming at 8 knots with the Frederick following astern acting as her escort. Both ships steamed to Sheerness, England where the Pittsburgh went into dry-dock for repairs. On the 21st both the Pittsburgh and the Frederick were waiting at the eastern end of the Kiel Canal anchored at Holtenau, Germany. By 9:00 that morning with German Pilots at the wheel both ships passed into the canal. By 8:30 that evening they were at the western end of the Kiel Canal at the locks at Brunsbuttel, Germany finally into the open waters of the North Sea.
Pittsburgh and Frederick reached the mouth of the Thames River at 5:00 in the morning of the 23rd and reached Sheerness at 10:00 that morning. Frederick was moored to a buoy as the Pittsburgh was tended to. Frederick remained moored to the buoy from September 23 through September 30. While she was there Liberty parties were taken to London and Chatham, England. Also, during the stay Frederick re-coaled. During the stay in Sheerness one of the Frederick’s crew, Charles W. Cadel, MM1c died while in the Naval Hospital at Gillingham, England. His body was returned to the Frederick and would be transported back on the ship.
At 3:30 on the afternoon of September 30, 1920 Frederick got underway from Sheerness bound for the States. For the next 5 days the weather was horrible and made for little or no progress of the Frederick to her destination. Finally, on October 13, 1920 Frederick arrived at the Philadelphia Navy yard. The Naval Reserves who were brought on just for this cruise were then paid off and so ended a summer of a lifetime.
At the end of that year she returned to the Pacific Fleet. Serving as flagship of the Train, Pacific Fleet, for the next year, she conducted only one lengthy cruise, to South America in March of 1921.
For Memorial Day of 1921 the Frederick was back in San Francisco. Aboard the ship on Monday May 30, 1921, a special Memorial Day celebration is held. Local citizens and several Civil War Veterans are invited aboard the Frederick for a wreath laying ceremony. Among the distinguished Civil War Veterans are Joseph Balthasar Niderost and James H. Riley, who were among the honored guests that cast the wreaths into the sea to Honor the departed Heroes of our Nation.
Joseph Balthasar Niderost was born in 1846 in Switzerland and came to America in 1864, serving as an Ordinary Seaman in the Union Navy serving under Rear Admiral David G. Farragut. In 1864 as Farragut was lashed to the rigging of his flagship the USS Hartford during the battle of Mobile Bay, Farragut shouted his famous words, "What's the trouble" shouting through a trumpet to the nearby USS Brooklyn. "Torpedoes", was the shouted reply. "Damn the torpedoes" came back Farragut’s famous reply. Niderost died later that year on December 18, 1921 and was buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery.
James H. Riley also served in the Union Navy during the Civil War and served with Commodore Matthew Perry, USN during the opening of Japanese ports to American trade in 1852-1855. Riley would pass away on April 17, 1922 and was buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery.
|Photo taken aboard the USS Frederick May 30, 1921 during the Memorial Day Celebration held on the stern under the canopy.||Crew of the Frederick firing salutes from the Frederick’s saluting gun.|
|Honored guests preparing to toss wreaths into the sea in honor of our departed National Heroes.||This is a photo of Joseph Balthaser Neiderost, Civil War Veteran laying a wreath into the sea.|
|Civil War Veteran James H. Riley, laying a wreath in honor of America’s Heroes.||An unidentified man with a woman wearing a black veil tossing a wreath into the sea.|
In June of 1921 Photographer Amy Engan takes a few photos of the Frederick as she is standing in the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon during the annual Rose Festival celebration. Engan photographs the Frederick in the river and also goes on board and takes several on board photos.
During the summer of 1921 the Frederick was used as a film set. The movie was a silent film named “A Sailor Made Man” and was the first full-length film of the famous actor Harold Lloyd. Fred C. Newmeyer directed the film, and the cast starred Mildred Davis, Harold Lloyd, Hal Roach, Dick Sutherland and Noah Young.
In this film, Harold Lloyd plays a rich playboy who falls for Mildred Davis (who became his wife in real life). Mildred's father says he must prove himself worthy of her and so he joins the US Navy. The shipboard scenes on the Frederick used the real-life crew as extras. Noah Young plays a tough sailor named Rough House O'Rafferty who Harold shares a cabin with. Rough House O'Rafferty, gets angered by Harold and chases him round the ship. Some sailors are dancing on deck and O'Rafferty takes hold of Harold and starts shaking him by the neck. Harold gets away from him and O'Rafferty is about to grab him by the neck again when the Captain steps in. O'Rafferty backs down very meekly. Harold continues running around the ship and passes the ships boxing champion at sparring practice. A crewman who has been swabbing the deck has left a cake of soap lying on the deck. Harold slips on it, his fist goes flying out and he inadvertently knocks out the boxing champion. O'Rafferty sees the champion lying flat out on the deck and he's so impressed at the idea of Harold knocking out the champion he becomes Harold's friend and they go on shore leave together. The rest of the film mainly concerns Harold rescuing Mildred from an evil Maharajah.
In the October 29, 1921 issue of the Camera (Vol. 4 No. 29 pg8), a trade publication, there is a mention of the showing of Harold Lloyd's latest comedy, “A Sailor Made Man,” on the deck of the USS Frederick, which was followed by a dinner party given by the officers of the Frederick. Attending the dinner party were Mr. and Mrs. Hal E. Roach, Harold Lloyd and his mother, Mildred Davis and her mother, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Newmeyer, Mr. and Mrs. Jean Havez, Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Walker, Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Crizer and "Red" Golden.
Operations off the west coast took up the remainder of the Frederick’s active duty career and on 14 February 1922 she decommissioned and entered the Reserve Fleet at Mare Island. She was struck from the Naval Register 13 November 1929 and sold 11 February 1930.
When the USS Frederick was scrapped her great bronze bell that hung outside the bridge was removed and saved. This bell was cast in 1903 and inscribed with her former name of USS Maryland. This bell was stored by the Navy and set awaiting a new life. On 28 July 1942, a new ship was launched, which carried the name USS Baltimore (CA-68). The Baltimore was a new heavy cruiser being launched from the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard on the Fore River in Massachusetts. As the Baltimore slid down the ways she carried mounded on her bridge the ships bell from the USS Maryland. As the Baltimore was completed and commissioned on 15 April 1943 she carried the bell of the Maryland into battle first in the invasion of Makin Island in November of 1943 and then 11 more separate actions in the Pacific during 1944. The USS Baltimore was awarded nine battle stars during World War II and had the honor of transporting President Franklin Roosevelt to Hawaii and Alaska during July and August of 1944. Following the end of the career of the Baltimore she was decommissioned in 1956 after a long and distinguished service. Again, as the Baltimore was being scrapped the great bronze bell of the USS Maryland was again saved and in 1984 it found a new home. U. S. Senator Charles Mac Mathias of Maryland and Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaeffer obtained the bell and placed it in the University of Baltimore. It has now been moved again and now resides in the northeast corner of the main floor in the Langsdale Library on the University of Baltimore campus and can be seen through the glass from both Maryland Avenue and Oliver Street.
The Maryland’s bell was not the only thing that was saved from the Frederick when she was broken up. Charley Carter of Alameda, California for over 31-years worked on building the ship of his dreams. She was a 72-foot wooden hull schooner named Talofa. Carter lived the seafarer's life in the Navy during World War I, and under sail for years before that as a youngster, and as a tug-boatman. Charley and his brother Chester Carter modeled the Talofa after a Gloucester fisherman's type of sailing craft, and the Carter brothers began the Talofa, a two-master, in January of 1928.
On July 29, 1959 the un-masted hull lay moored to the Jesse (Tiny) Hembree yacht harbor at 1721 The Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. Charley Carter had run out of money and his dream ship the Talofa was being sold as a Sheriff’s Sale. Deputy Sheriff George Mahi read without emotion from official documents and called for bids. Jesse Hembree gave the one and only bid of $3,278.48 for the unfinished hull, the hull that had been Charley Carters home for the last 31-years. When his bid was accepted, Hembree placed a big palm on Carter's bowed shoulder and said, “Well, you can stay home now and not worry.”
“If some stranger had got her,” Carter mused, rubbing a hand over the teak railing he had fashioned, “I'd have to get off. Now I can really relax.” He pointed to the, succession of turned stanchions that girdle the commodious cockpit. “A lot of hard work in those. Made from timbers we got when they broke up the old USS Frederick, not far from here. The companionway teakwood's from her, too.” “Yes, she's Estuary-supplied, Estuary-born, never left the Estuary in all these years.” Carter shook his head.
It was to be fulfillment of a childhood dream for the brothers who had spent most of their lives at sea. Since their earliest days before the mast, they had planned and talked of the day when, at the helm of their own vessel, they would cruise the Pacific. They would catch sharks and go trading across the broad seas. Their plans, aired during the depression days, attracted a number of willing helpers. The helpers gave time and money to the Talofa effort, but she grew too slowly for youthful horizons, and for limited funds. She never sailed—except on hopes. But for Charley Carter, the hopes of the Talofa and her hull was his home. Even though the re-cycled timbers from the Frederick never sailed on the seas again in the Talofa, they did give rise to many dreams of sailing the high seas to those who gazed upon her stately form.
The bell of the USS Maryland 1905.
This bell served both the USS Maryland/Frederick and the USS Baltimore and has traveled to many distant oceans. Every man who has served on the Maryland/Frederick and the Baltimore knew the sound of this bell. The bell now sets silent but the stories that have taken place where the sound of this bell has rang should never be silenced. Robert Shindle, Project Archivist at the Langsdale Library, University of Baltimore took this photo of the bell.
Written while under the command of her plank holder Captain R. R. Ingersoll. It was written by Helen R. Raymond, and dedicated to the ship, probably on the occasion of her commissioning in 1905.
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
|The ship we love! we'll drink to thee,
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
The bravest ship that sails the sea,
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
By all we love and hold dear,
Oh! bonnie ship we pledge thee here,
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
In time of war, we'll ever be
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
Where thou dost lead to victory,
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
And where thy waving banners fly,
We'll bravely stand or bravely die,
Giving to thee our last goodbye,
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
|But when the stress of war shall cease,
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
May we be here to welcome peace,
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
The battle o'er, we'll gaily sing
A song to make the good ship ring,
While to the breeze our flag we fling,
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
The bugle's stirring call shall sound,
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
And with the echoes swift rebound,
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
From bow to stern the notes shall leap,
While cradled on the rolling deep
Our faithful watches still we keep,
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
The ship we love, we pledge thee here
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
By all we love and hold dear,
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
And still wherever we may be,
Our Loyal hearts will turn to thee,
The proudest ship that sails the sea,
MARYLAND! OUR MARYLAND!
Written by Helen R. Raymond
Photo of the USS Maryland in January 1915, coaling at Bremerton, Washington.
The Maryland's Mascot
The USS Maryland in Dry-Dock 1, at the Charlestown Navy Yard. The Charlestown Navy Yard is located on the Charles River in Boston Mass. Both of these are colored post cards and I believe that this was in 1906 just before she was released from the Atlantic Fleet and transferred to the Pacific Fleet. Established in 1800, Charlestown Navy Yard served the fleet with distinction, especially proving its worth in each of the nations wars, until its closing in 1974. Dry Dock 1, was one of the first two dry docks constructed in the nation.
As I find names of men who sailed this ship I will add them here with what I know of each. If you know additional facts about these men or others who were crew of the USS Maryland/Frederick please e-mail them to: Joe Hartwell
I have had so many profiles of former Maryland/Frederick crewmen that I have had to put them on a second page. Below are the names of each man profiled on the USS Maryland/Frederick Ships Muster page. Each link will take you to the profile of each man.
Robert Restad, USS Frederick Crewman during WWI
Wesley P. Kerr, Fireman 2c, USS Frederick Crewman during WWI
Musician Mario Principale, USS Frederick Crewman during WWI
GM2c Perry E. Ammon, USS Maryland Crewman, 1909
GM2c Walter R. Holdridge, USS Frederick Crewman during WWI
Radioman, Andrew Louis Romagosa, USS Frederick Crewman, 1921
Lt. Charles Doyle Leffler, Jr., USS Frederick Officer during WWI
Seaman Allan Charles "Tommy" Harrington, USS Maryland Crewman, 1914-1916
Quartermaster Fred Sanford Rice, USS Maryland Crewman, 1909-1910
Seaman Joseph Seuffert, USS Maryland Crewman, 1910
Seaman 2c, Ralph DeVille Gummerson, USNR, USS Frederick Crewman during WWI
Commander Stephen Clegg Rowan, USN, Executive Officer of the Frederick during WWI
Gunner's Mate Melver W. Reavis, USS Maryland crewman 1910
Sgt. Joseph L. Doll, USMC, Served aboard the USS Maryland 1911-1914
First Class Musician, Fred L. Larson, USMC, Served aboard the Maryland 1910-1911
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