The History of the USS Radnor
The USS Radnor (Id. No. 3023) was a typical cargo ship used to form the bridge of ships from America to Europe during World War One. She was not a glorious ship nor did she engage the enemy in any great fashion but what she did was just as important as any combat vessel. She carried within her hull the vast amount of cargo for the unnamed men in France to fight for Freedom on the Battlefields of the First World War. This is the story of that typical ship, and the men who gave her life and treated her as their home on the many crossings of the Atlantic in war and in peacetime. The study of a ship such as the Radnor or any other ship is a dual study, it is the study of the mechanics of the ship, its engines and weapons and the like but also it is a study of the men who sailed that ship. For to know whom the men were, where they came from and how they lived also tells the story of the ship. One cannot know the complete history of a ship unless you also know her men who made all the parts of that ship function as one unit.
Radnor was the third ship to be built by the Sun Shipbuilding Company in Chester, Pennsylvania, and the first ship not built for the Sun Oil Company. The Sun Shipbuilding Company was formed in 1916 to build tanker ships for the Sun Oil Company and would one day grow to be the largest shipyards in the United States. Planned to be a passenger/cargo ship for the Cunard Steamship Company her keel was laid down on April 19, 1917 and the number 3 keel was then named War Indian. While on the building ways her form took shape quickly and she only took 387 days to complete. She displaced only 11,590 tons and was 450-feet in length with a beam of 57-feet, 6-inches. She drew 28-feet, 2-inches of draft and her single screw would give her a speed of 10.5 knots. Due to the fact that America had now declared war and was in extreme need of shipping tonnage the United States Navy requisitioned the War Indian on April 11, 1918. The Navy then changed her name from War Indian to USS Radnor and she was launched on March 23, 1918. Radnor was named after Radnor, Pennsylvania, which is a town in southeastern Pennsylvania. Radnor was completed and delivered to the navy on May 11 and was fully commissioned as a U. S. Naval vessel at Philadelphia on May 13, 1918, with Lt. Commander Marcus S. Harloe, USNRF, in command. Radnor was assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service and was used as a cargo ship carrying Army munitions and supplies overseas during World War I.
On Saturday March 23, 1918 the wife of Sir Ashley Sparks, the Chief Officer and General Manager of the Cunard Line in the United States, bestowed the name of USS Radnor onto the new merchantman as she slid into the water of the Delaware River for the first time. As the Radnor gracefully slid down the ways her christening was a simple and private event. Thousands of onlookers were turned away likely due to the nearness of the possibility of America entering the war. There were however assembled several army and naval officers at the launching platform. Among the invited guests were Mr. and Mrs. William Potige of Philadelphia; Sir Frederick Black and Lady Black; Mr. and Mrs. J. Howard Pew; Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Pew, Jr.; and Major Boch of the Canadian Army.
She had a four-inch gun mounted to her fore deck, and a five-inch gun was mounted to her aft deck. She also carried with her extra lifeboat capacity for use in case of an attack by an enemy submarine. She had six 26-foot lifeboats, two life rafts and one working boat. She had ample holds for cargo and once her new engines were completed they would give her an abundant 2,600 indicated horsepower able to propel her at a speed of 10.5 knots.
|This photo of the Radnor was taken as she meets the water for the very first time, at her launching at the Sun Shipbuilding Company on March 23, 1918 . The photo shows some superstructure in place, but clearly she is not fitted out yet. On the original photo you can see clearly her name in white letters on her bow. Many men can be seen waving to the camera as she slides from the ways into the water.||
Port side bow on photo of the Radnor in her wartime “Dazzle Paint” from the collection of Lt. (j.g.) George Comer. On her bow can be seen the platform where her forward gun was mounted. This looks to be the smaller gun as the 5-inch deck gun was likely mounted on her stern. Also in this view her fore and aft mast are stowed in the down position and only her amidships mast with the radio antenna is visible.
Photo Copyright Mystic Seaport®.
She normally carried a crew of 75 officers and men to navigate, run her engines and give life to her cold steel. Normally not armed but during the war she carried one 5-inch deck gun and one 6-pounder gun, which were manned by Naval Armed Guard crews. The only other arms she carried was what she had in her small arms locker, which consisted of; 23 Colt 45 USA model 1911 pistols; 23 Holsters & Belts for same; 12 Springfield Rifles model 1913; 11 Belts & Bayonets for same and 10 Canteens. If on the high seas the captain ever ordered ‘away boarding party’ on an enemy ship they would hope for little resistance from the enemy.
Radnor was at the start of May 1918 fitting out for her first crew and voyage. She now had her hull painted in a custom designed ‘Dazzle Paint’ scheme. This was thought to confuse an enemy submarine commander while looking at her through a periscope. Each design was different and usually consisted of 3-4 dark and light shades of white, gray, blue and black being the typical colors used. Among her first crew was a seaman named James A. McLaughlin and according to notes from his personal diary he was assigned to the ship on May 16, 1918 and was one of the 85 men of her first crew.
Among the officers who reported for duty aboard the Radnor were several young officers. Once such officer was Ensign Leslie Adamson, who was in his junior year at Wesleyan University at Middletown, CT. He had quit school and joined the Naval Reserve Force and was commissioned as an Ensign in February of 1918. He served aboard the Radnor through out 1918 and in December 1918 was promoted to Lt. (j.g) and was then serving as the Radnor’s navigator. By September 1919 Lt. (j.g.) Adamson was back at Wesleyan University after serving his Country during the war. Adamson earned his B. S. Degree in 1920 and went to work for the Zinsser & Company of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. Adamson was born on October 17, 1896 in West New Brighton, New York.
She departed Philadelphia about May 16 and steamed to Hampton Roads where she arrived on May 18. A day later she moved to Newport News, Virginia on May 19 loading with a full Army Cargo. Some of her crew took shore leave and on May 25 she got under way for Baltimore where she then left on her first voyage.
Once delivered to the navy they made one modification from her builders, which was to lengthen her port side King Post just behind the bridge and wheelhouse. This was done to be used as a radio mast, which would be put to good use because on her first voyage on June 3, 1918 just off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina Radnor’s radio operators pick up reports of German U-boats active in the area but they make no contacts. By June 10 Captain Harloe has his ship entering into the east side of the Panama Canal. The crew enjoys the warmth of the Canal Zone and stand at the rails to see the sights as she eases through the locks and cuts of the canal.
Once she reached the west side of the Canal Captain Harloe gives orders to his navigator Lt. (jg) Comer, who was also a qualified ship master, to take the Radnor out of Balboa and steam across the Pacific for the first time bound for Honolulu. She makes good time and arrives in Honolulu safe on her first port of call in the vast Pacific. Her crew enjoys only a few shorts days in the Hawaiian paradise as she is quickly loaded with Pineapples and the navigator next plots a course for Callao, Peru. On that trip the Radnor would have crossed the Equator for the first time and the ancient rites of the crossing would have been celebrated aboard ship. King Neptune came aboard and held court for the Radnor’s Pollywogs. The seasoned Shellbacks would christen their new brothers into King Neptune’s realm. Radnor made port at Callao, Peru on June 24, 1918 unloading her cargo of Pineapples. According to the crew other than crossing the line the trip was not real exciting.
By the end of June Radnor makes her southern most stop on Chiloé Island located in southern Chile and then steams north again to Antofagasta, Chile. Antofagasta lies in the Atacama Desert, which is among the Earth’s driest region. According to weather records annual rainfall in Antofagasta averages less than .2 tens of an inch of rain and there have been periods that no recorded rain fell for 40-years. Antofagasta’s economic development has been built around the mining of raw materials such as potassium nitrate and copper and that may have been why the Radnor was heading there, to load these raw materials for the war needs. But once Captain Harloe gave orders for all stop on his engines in the harbor of Antofagasta he had found that the Germans had gotten there first. It was on the 28th of June that the Radnor made port in Antofagasta, but due to she being a US Navy ship tensions were high in Antofagasta and the Radnor was ordered out of the harbor by the German ambassador or she would be interned in port. Captain Harloe radioed for help and the armored cruiser USS Pittsburgh and the battleship USS Vermont answered the call for help. The two warships had been patrolling the waters off Chilean protecting American interests and preventing Austrian and German ships from sailing. Radnor readied for sea in a hurry and Vermont and Pittsburgh arrived and escorted Radnor to safety before hostilities started. Shortly after the dust up in Antofagasta the Radnor picked up several men in the water from a ship called the Eastern Sun and helped them out of the water.
After the quick departure from Antofagasta Radnor on July 26 makes port at Balboa on the western side of the Panama Canal. Captain Harloe has special orders given to him to take the Radnor through the Panama Canal during the night. When she clears the eastern end of the canal she heads out into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
On July 30 Radnor’s alert lookouts spot a submarine off the port beam but the sub made off with out firing. Two days latter on August 1 Radnor is off the coast of Florida and can see the lights of the coast at night. These same lights make a nice silhouette of the Radnor for a German U-boat’s captain peering through the lens of a periscope, which was always lurking in the blackness of the night waiting for just the right occasion. The very next day, August 2, 1918, at 02:35 in the morning Radnor detects a U-boat close astern and the aft gun opens up firing on the sub at a very close 50-yards distant but missed. The U-boat apparently thought that was close enough and dove away. Within a short time the radio operators on the Radnor begin to pick up S.O.S. flashes from other ships near by hit by a U-boat. Clearly they were steaming in U-boat infested waters just off the American east coast. Again on August 3, another U-boat is spotted by the now jittery lookouts at about 1,000 yards distant. Radnor’s Armed Guard crews opened fire and the U-boat got off one shot at the Radnor but missed. As the gun crews fired back no one was sure if they hit the U-boat. August 4 brought still more attacks and Radnor picks up a radio flash from the SS O. B. Jennings reporting the she was being shelled from the same spot the Radnor had been in earlier in the morning. The Jennings was a 10,289-ton tanker and was sunk by the U-140 by shellfire. Two men aboard the Jennings were killed and the U-140 took one man as a prisoner. That was a situation the men aboard the Radnor might have been in hours earlier, a fact that likely every man aboard the Radnor knew but did not say so out loud.
During 1918 the Radnor’s Paymaster was Asst. Paymaster A. P. Roos, USN. Around the middle of October Radnor is at Gibraltar at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea, while there she adds to her crew Seaman Francis Hathaway Cummings who is an Radio Electrician’s Mate 3d Class. Seaman Cummings would go on to graduate from Harvard with the class of 1921 when he was discharged from the Navy. Cummings had enrolled in the Naval Reserve Force on April 28, 1917 and assigned to the Naval Radio School in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 5, 1917. Once finished at the Radio School Cummings was sent to the Boston Navy Yard on June 24, 1917 until September 1, 1917 when he was released from active duty to attend college. Recalled to active duty on June 18, 1918 with the rating of Quartermaster 3d Class, Cummings was then assigned to the USS Dyer where he sailed on July 9, 1918. Once released from the Dyer he was sent to U. S. Overseas Naval Base 9 at Gibraltar where he picked up the Radnor. In the third week of November 1918 Radnor is back in New York and Cummings is then transferred to the Receiving Ship at the New York Navy Base on November 18, 1918. On the 25th he is sent to the 1st Naval District at Boston and then subsequently released from active duty with the navy on December 23, 1918.
Around the end of November 1918 Radnor moves to Philadelphia and while there adds to her crew Roland Bendel as an Engineer. This would be Bendel’s training cruise and would be on the Radnor until March 4, 1919. Engineer Bendel would supervise general repairs to the Radnor’s machinery, and operate her pumps, blowers and water tending duties. He would get hands on experience running the ships evaporators and ice plants and he would handle her engines.
Radnor later joined two convoys to France the first arrived at Marseilles 19 September 1918 and the second reached Quiberon Bay, France January 4, 1919. During the war she carried no troops but only cargo. She sailed from the Azores in the eastern Atlantic on February 14, 1919 westbound for New York where she arrives on March 2, 1919. Radnor was transferred to the Cruiser and Transport Force March 7, 1919 and was subsequently converted into a troop transport in New York and was ready for this duty about April 22, 1919. During this assignment, she made four round trips to France, returning home with a total of 5,876 veterans.
On March 25, 1919 and new Baker reports aboard ship for duty. His name is John Vincent Beckman of Galesburg, Illinois. Beckman was born in Galesburg on July 18, 1897 and enlisted into the navy on July 20, 1918 where he trained at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, and then was assigned sea duty on the Radnor as a Baker.
As of April 1, 1919 officers serving aboard the Radnor were as follows;
Lt. CMDR Marcus S. Harloe, Commanding Officer, USNRF
Lt. Charles F. Norton, USNRF
Lt. Edward J. O’Brien, USNRF
Lt. (jg) Richard A. Baerwald, USNRF
Lt. (jg) Jay S. Milbourne, USNRF
Lt. (jg) Karl A. Wallstein, USNRF
Ensign Leslie Adamson, USNRF
Ensign William R. Anderson, USNRF
Ensign Edward E. Hahn, jr., USNRF
Ensign John E. McQuigg, USNRF
Ensign William Allen Neilson, USNRF
Ensign Andrew P. Roos, Pay Corps, USNRF
Pay Clerk Leroy H. Brown, USNRF
Additionally in April of 1919 the following officers were assigned to duty aboard the Radnor: Lt. F. D. McCullock, Pay Corps, USN, assigned as the Supply Officer. Lt. H. J. Parker was detached from the transport Agamemnon and took his new assignment as the Executive Officer of the Radnor under the command of Captain Harloe. Lt. (jg) E. H. Prescott, Medical Corps was detached from the Naval Hospital at Paris Island, South Carolina and assigned sea duty aboard the Radnor. Lt. A. H. Pierson and Lt. A. H. Dearing both of the Medical Corps were detached from the Receiving Ship, New York Naval Yard and assigned sea duty aboard the Radnor.
Captain Harloe has the Radnor standing in the Gironde River at Pauillac, France, near Bordeaux on May 19, 1919 ready to head back west across the Atlantic. On board are 1,889 returning troops and among the troops on board is the 26th Ordnance Casual Company under the Command of Captain Allen J. Robinson, USA. These men were all Ordnance Department men who during the war were in Ordnance Detachments in various artillery regiments many of whom were on the front. All Ordnance men after the war were routed through Mehun, France at the Ordnance Repair shops and then Casual units were formed to bring back these men when transportation allowed. Also on board for that trip were the 812th Infantry under command of Major C. E. Rex, USA and the 312th Infantry who fought at Grand Pré on October 23, 1918. That unit fought gallantly and 50 of her men had been awarded the Croix de Guerre. Radnor finished that trip off-loading her troops at Brooklyn, NY on May 24, 1919.
On one typical eastbound crossing Captain Harloe makes an official report to the United States Weather Bureau about a Mirage he and his crew noted while at sea. On July 3, 1919 the Radnor is positioned at 40° 26’ North Longitude 64° West Latitude and the ships time was 04:00 PM. The conditions at the time were light easterly wind with smooth seas. Barometer at the time was reading 29.94-inches, although Captain Harloe noted his personal barometer read 30-inches. The air temperature was 59° by wet bulb and the sky was overcast with cumulus clouds. At that time the crew then on the bridge notes strong mirages all around the Radnor. Four other ships were in sight at the time and these vessels appeared at times to be steaming along at the top of a huge wall of ice. At other times the crew observes these ships raising out of the water at least twice their height. The visible horizon had all the appearance of a long rugged coastline. The report was signed by Captain Harloe and submitted to the Army Signal Corps and U. S. Weather Bureau.
After the mirage sighting Radnor landed in Brest, France and loaded the 7th Engineers on July 15 en route to Hoboken, NJ. She sailed from Brest on July 16, and arrived at Hoboken on July 28, 1919. Radnor’s last trip ferrying troops back home began on September 10, from St. Nazaire, France where she had among her passengers the 408th Telegraph Battalion. Radnor unloads her passengers in Brooklyn on September 23, 1919.
Radnor was detached on September 25, 1919 from the Cruiser and Transport Force and turned over to the USSB (United States Shipping Board), on October 24, 1919. Once relinquished from military service her U.S. Navy crew was removed and was replaced with a civilian crew and master. Now a civilian vessel she gave up the name of USS Radnor and was now the SS Radnor.
In 1922 the United States Shipping Board, the controlling body of all United States shipping vessels at the time, intended to improve shipping services to Manila, Philippines by creating sailings from North American ports direct to Manila. On November 7, 1922 the USSB announced that the direct sailings would begin with two ships. The first ship was the MS William Penn, which began sailing from ports along the North Atlantic seaboard direct to Manila on November 16, and the SS Radnor as the second ship, began direct sailings from Gulf ports to Manila in December. The managing agent for the William Penn was the Barber Steamship Line and the Radnor was managed by the Tampa Inter-Ocean Steamship Company. The Radnor’s ports of call on this route were: New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Panama, Honolulu, Manila, Iloilo, Shanghai, Nagasaki, Kobe, and Yokohama.
New crewmen were always coming and going from the crew of the Radnor, and the sorts of men who came and went were tough grizzled men. An example of one such man was a boatswain by the name of Hans Peterson who came to the crew of the Radnor on the 16th of July 1924.
Peterson presented himself before the master of the Radnor asking for work, and stated he had previously worked as a boatswain aboard the steamship Madison. Peterson also told the master of the Radnor that his jaw was broken and wired shut, which had happened while employed on the Madison. Peterson stated that while ashore in the port of Santa Ana, he and a friend were at a dance hall, and some sort of “difficulty” occurred where the friend was killed and Peterson’s jaw was broken in the fight. Peterson stated that he had been in a hospital for about a week but was fit both mentally and physically to carry out his job. The doctor of the Radnor examined Peterson and remarked that although it appeared that he had some swelling on one side of his face, possibly due to some infection, that he should have no troubles in his duties. Peterson who was a good sized man, young and strong was hired as a boatswain on the Radnor on July 16, 1924 as the ship was in Manila. It was noted that while on the Radnor Peterson had no troubles carrying out his duties and bossing his work gangs, as he talked like a Scotchman with his teeth together.
But on July 24 while at sea the Radnor is sailing in rough waters, and as Peterson was going between decks to check on some cargo of oil cases that had tipped over, he was tossed into a post and re-injured his jaw loosening the wires holding his jaw shut. For the next two days Peterson toughed it out and when the Radnor reached Hong Kong he reported to the master that he needed to see the doctor. The ships doctor looked at Peterson and concluded that he needed to be seen in a hospital ashore, and so on July 26 Peterson was taken to the hospital in Hong Kong where he remained until August 7.
But the Radnor still needed her boatswain, and reports from the doctors at the hospital stated that Peterson could not chew anything for some time and could only drink soup. The broken jaw would not keep Peterson from working, but his inability to work would result from his lack of eating solid food. But the Radnor had her schedules to keep and she would not wait for her broke jaw Bosun to get out of the hospital and sailed with out him. Peterson was left in Hong Kong but he was not officially dropped from the ships roster. Once Peterson was released from the hospital he found the Radnor gone but had left his wages of $26 with the American Consulate. His job on the Radnor it seems had sailed away, and he did not return to work on the Radnor again.
But that was not the end of the broken jaw story, for a little over two-years later on April 26, 1928 Hans Peterson sued in court for his wages. Peterson was seeking his full wages from the time he came aboard on July 16, 1924 until that voyage of the Radnor ended in New Orleans on October 26, 1924. The court ruled in favor of Peterson, and found that he was telling the truth as the circumstances corroborated his story.
While still on the Manila and Far East routes the Radnor ran aground. It was reported in the March 31, 1925 edition of the Oakland Tribune that the Radnor had been outbound from Manila carrying a cargo of hemp and ran aground just off the Philippine Province of Masbate. Masbate is an island province made up of several smaller islands in the central Philippines region between the Sibuyan Sea and the Visayan Sea. The Radnor was re-floated in a short time but she had a small leak in one compartment. Her master thought she was seaworthy enough to make it back to Hong Kong where she went into the shipyard for repairs.
But not all the men who came to the Radnor were tough grizzled men like Hans Peterson the Boatswain with the broken jaw, some were meek and learned men like a writer named Ed Snow (1905-1972). He was a young man from Kansas City who had went to the big city of New York to become a famous writer, and join his brother Howard who was already living in New York City.
Snow had been working for the Medley Scovil Company, a small advertising agency specializing in accounts with the financial houses, as a copywriter starting in the summer of 1926. But by the beginning of 1928 Snow was becoming increasingly restless and dissatisfied with his work. By February 1928 Snow had taken steps to change his life, his office overlooked the docks and ships of lower Manhattan, and as he saw all the ships coming and going to places around the world, Snow had the calling to see the world for himself, and also too, advancing his writing skills from his travels. And so in one swift move he quit his job as copywriter and took a job as a deck hand aboard the SS Radnor, then operating for the Roosevelt Shipping Lines.
Snow had gotten this job aboard the Radnor from personal contact with the president of the company, Kermit Roosevelt who was President Theodore Roosevelt’s son. Kermit gave Snow personal letters of introduction to many American Consulates overseas and had asked Snow to keep this from the knowledge of the crew and master of the Radnor. Snow had also planned financially for this new adventure from his contacts he made from the banking industry, and in the months before joining the Radnor made a killing in the stock market. Snow had a nest egg of $800, which he figured would provide him for at least a year’s worth of travels around the world.
Snow had written a letter to the folks back home detailing his plans and actions for world travel, but by the time the letter reached home he was already at sea. In his letter to his folks he stated he would be paid a “prodigious sum” of $25 per month aboard the Radnor, and he would work aboard until they reached Shanghai where he would leave the ship. Snow commented in the letter he would be “vagabonding and tramping in whatever way most happily offers itself.” The Radnor was then outbound from New York for the Panama Canal, and then on to Hawaii, Manila and China. Snow had also coaxed another Kansas City friend named Alvin Joslin to sign on to the Radnor deck crew with him, and he assured his parents that he would have the friendship of a boy of his own class, and that they had been inoculated against all diseases of the Orient and were “civilized enough to escape any corrosions of a venereal nature.”
Snow was aboard the Radnor in Brooklyn on February 24, 1928 as she steamed out of the harbor and turned south to Newport News, Virginia. This was his first trip aboard and although he was leaving his former writing job he had also secured a writing job he could take along with him aboard the Radnor. Snow had worked out an arrangement with the Kansas City Journal-Post to be a sort of roving correspondent as his travels took him through the Orient. The Radnor on the25th of February was in port at Newport News and would be leaving in the early morning hours of February 26 well before the sun rose. Snow was eager to see his first sunrise at sea, and as they were steaming along at sea the young Snow stood on deck in the cold crisp air that morning watching the sun come up on the sea horizon. Snow wrote in his diary his thoughts of that morning at that sunrise, “looking like a great golden button. I had the sensation of thrilling poignancy. This is the dawn of another life for me.”
As the days aboard the Radnor began to add up Snow, who was a keen observer of words, figured out that his crewmates used nearly 1,000 words in their vocabulary of which 400 some were expletives. And he further estimated that two of the expletives were used in eight of every ten sentences. But when it came to work it was his crewmates who had a thing or two up on Snow, the expert wordsmith. He wrote that in manual labor one could find the same pride in a good job of sweeping the deck as in any other type of business. Additionally Snow, observing his shipmates, found them an interesting study noting they were an unselfish, generous and simple-soled lot. When the Radnor sailed through Panama, about half the crew jumped ship, which he attested to the wretched morale and personnel of the American merchant fleet.
It was through the depletion of the crew that he was promoted to Ordinary Seaman, and then to Able-bodied Seaman, even as he still barely knew the difference between a winch and a wrench. Just for the fun of it while the ship was transiting the Panama Canal Snow somehow talked the Radnor’s First Mate into letting him take the ships wheel while they were steaming along through the Canal. Ashore in the Canal Zone Snow and some of his shipmates went into a bar where he had his first legal beers. Snow wrote that it was only from his dread of disease that saved him from the attractive Spanish prostitutes that were lining the streets.
Soon enough the Radnor headed out westward into the Pacific away from the Canal Zone steaming towards that magical Hawaiian paradise. But when the Radnor finally tied up to the pier in Honolulu her boilers were leaking so much they estimated it would be a six-week repair job. Now stranded in this tropical island Snow thought this would be a great place to begin his roving correspondent duties. Snow was paid $100 for an article he wrote in Harper’s Bazaar entitled “In Hula Land.” Snow felt that while the Radnor was laid up this would be his time to jump ship, so he and his boyhood friend Al Joslin did just that.
Snow wanted to get to the Orient but could not find another ship headed that way. A bit low on cash Snow and Joslin started a pineapple stand to get some spending money. This was where Snow and Joslin parted ways, Joslin returned to the States and Snow finally found his way to Japan. Snow had gotten to know a fellow by the name of Dan Crabb who had first-class tickets to sail aboard a Japanese liner named Shinyo Maru, and Snow talked him into stowing away in his cabin for the journey to Japan. It was nine days after leaving Hawaii that Snow got off in Yokohama on June 22, 1928. Snow did not let the nine days go to waste as he wrote a story called “A First Class Stowaway” which he got published in newspapers back home. Snow stayed on in the Orient and turned out to be one of the most notable American journalists in the orient of the time.
In 1930 Radnor was sold to the Luckenbach Steam Ship Company and was renamed the SS Jacob Luckenbach. She was the third ship in the Luckenbach Line to take the name of SS Jacob Luckenbach. In 1947 she gave up this name when she was sold from the Luckenbach Line to the Chinese Maritime Trust Ltd. of Taiwan. The third and fourth ships named Jacob Luckenbach today are sometimes confused with each other but the fourth ship to have the name of SS Jacob Luckenbach was sunk off the coast of California in a collision with another ship in 1953. Today that SS Jacob Luckenbach is leaking oil from her holds and has been an environmental issue for the waters off California.
After WWII China began to export goods to more of the world. Shipping would play a major part in this expansion and the Chinese Maritime Trust Ltd. of Taiwan owned by Mr. C. Y. Tung began to look for suitable ships for his new line. In August of 1946 Tung began to purchase ships, the first ship was named SS Tien Loong and was the first Chinese owned ship with an all-Chinese crew to sail to Europe. Tung then purchased the SS Jacob Luckenbach in 1947 and changed her name to SS Tung Ping. In 1948 the Tung Ping was the first Chinese vessel to visit Latin America. From this simple beginning of these two ships his company has grown into one of the largest fleets in the world. From 1947 through 1950 the SS Tung Ping hoisted the “Blue Sky and White Sun” national flag of the Republic of China to many ports in the Americas carrying cargo and trade.
Just three years later in 1950 the company had outgrown the ship and she was again sold. In 1950 the Pacific Union Marine Company of Panama purchased the SS Tung Ping and she was renamed SS Pacific Dragon. Then within another five years time in 1955 she was again sold to the Pacific Bulk Carrier Inc. located in Panama and renamed SS Oceanic Justice for the sixth and last time. She kept this name for the rest of her working days and was finally scrapped in Tokyo, Japan in 1959 at the end of a 41-year career of life on the ocean.
Marcus Sparks Harloe Jr. was born February 14, 1872 in San Francisco, California. His father Marcus Harloe Sr. was born in Ireland about 1832, and at an unknown age came to America like so many of his countrymen. It may have been the trip on the ocean when coming to America that gave the “call of the sea” to his father or it may have just been in his blood but Marcus Harloe, Sr. made the sea his life. At the age of 48 Marcus Harloe Sr. was married and living in the county of San Luis Obispo, California in a town named Huasna. He had by this time been at sea many years and was in June of 1880 already a Sea Captain. His wife’s name was Flora M. and she was a native Californian born about 1847.
In June of 1880 the Marcus Harloe, Sr. family consisted of eldest daughter Fanny E. born about 1869, son Marcus S. born 1872, son Archibald born about 1876, son W. George born about 1878 and youngest son J. Daniel born in November 1879, all 5 children having been born in California. Marcus, Sr. must have provided a good living for the family as a sea captain as also living in the home was a 19-year old female servant named Josefa Ayala. She was born in California and was also a nurse.
On June 26, 1902 at 30-years of age, Marcus S. Harloe, Jr. married Ellen Mary “Nellie” Harrington of Kalamazoo, Michigan. She was born on January 29, 1879 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In 1910 Marcus and “Nellie” lived in a rented home on the San Luis Obispo County Road in Arroyo Grande Township in San Luis Obispo, County, California. Marcus S. and “Nellie” in May of 1910 did not have any children and Marcus was working as a Surveyor for the Asia Oil Company at the time.
It is not known when, but like his father before him Marcus S. Harloe Jr. also felt the call of the sea. He would have already spent many years at sea for on 13th of May 1918 he was given Command of the newly built Transport Cargo Ship USS Radnor. Lt. Commander Marcus S. Harloe was in the Naval Reserve Force suggesting that he had been in the Navy years before. Lt. Cmdr. Harloe was master of the Radnor and made many trips to South America and across the Atlantic returning doughboys from France. He was still the captain of the Radnor in January of 1920. Lt. Cmdr. Harloe’s home in January of 1920 was on Greene Street in Providence, Rhode Island where “Nellie” his wife lived. Marcus and “Nellie” did not have children of their own and on the Federal Census of 1920 it shows no children living in the home, but sometime in 1918 they adopted a little girl named Alice. The Harloe’s adopted little Alice when she was 6-years of age in 1918. Alice was left on the doorstep of a Catholic Church in Kalamazoo and the nuns named her Alice with a birth date of March 21, 1912. The Harloe’s gave Alice her middle name of Mary after her adopted mother’s middle name.
After Lt. Cmdr. Harloe was relieved from command of the Radnor in 1920, he was assigned to duty in Japan with the United States Shipping Board as traffic passenger agent. Marcus, “Nellie” and Alice moved to Japan and lived there until 1926 when this duty ended. Young Alice learned much about the Japanese culture and spoke perfect “street” Japanese.
Marcus retired from the Navy at the rank of Lt. Commander, but was still sailing until his death. After he left active duty with the U.S. Navy he was master of an American Scantic Line cargo ship named SS Argosy. The Argosy was a 5,620-ton cargo ship built in 1920 by the American International Shipbuilding Corp., Hog Island, Pennsylvania for the United States Shipping Board. In 1926 she was transferred to the American Scantic Line for service on the New York, Copenhagen, Helsinki route.
According to Jill Scott, the granddaughter of Marcus Harloe, who has a Copenhagen, Denmark newspaper article dated May 11, 1926, that tells how the Argosy became ice-bound for 100-days in Husum, Sweden when Marcus was aboard. The Argosy had stopped in Husum for a load of wood pulp and the ice quickly surrounded her. Eventually the ice became 12-feet thick before the Swedish Navy broke her loose of the ice and she sailed on to Philadelphia. On the return trip of the Argosy, Marcus Harloe became sick with septicemia (blood poisoning) and died at sea on July 13, 1926. Jill Scott has a newspaper article of this event and it only states, that “he died suddenly.”
The event of the 100-day stay in Husum, Sweden by the Argosy left a lasting impression on the small town of Husum, and is told by one of the residents of the town. Stig Nordström, of Husum, Sweden tells of the Argosy incident of 1925-26. Stig’s father and others in Husum have told him about the Argosy. This is what happened according to Stig.
Husum, Sweden is a community located in the northern part of Sweden, and back then the people who lived there had probably never met visitors from across the Atlantic. "The inhabitants of Husum talked about the cold winter of 1925-26, for many years, not because it was a lot of snow and very cold but because the American cargo ship SS Argosy that had become ice-bounded at Husum paper-pulp mill."
The SS Argosy from Philadelphia, PA, was the last boat for the year to load pulp at the Husum Pulp Mill and just as she was finishing loading, hard weather blew in from the northeast with the winds pushing the ice towards the mill area. And due to the extreme coldness of the storm the pack ice began to build and form an impenetrable barrier thus freezing the SS Argosy in the ice at the spot she was moored to the mill. Even the newly built icebreaker Atle could not managed to break loose the pack ice.
Thus began an extremely interesting and exciting time for the young people of Husum. The crew of the Argosy was approximately 35 people, and 35 Americans in the small community of Husum was something special. When the inhabitants of Husum came to the bank or store, they could hear the English language, which had never been heard before in Husum. The crew of the Argosy became welcome guests with the Husum families, they spent many evenings together, and the crew took part in the activities and meetings that were offered in the small town of Husum.
The SS Argosy on the left icebound with the Husum Pulp Mill in the background. The Ice Breaker Atle is on the right of the photo.
Photo courtesy of Stig Nordström
A close up of the Argosy with several men out on the ice with horse drawn sleds loading supplies. The Husum Mill can be seen directly to the Argosy’s stern.
Photo courtesy of Stig Nordström
Some young people took the chance to earn extra money by performing various jobs for the crew of the Argosy. Vilhelm Hansson from Husum got a job as a Dunky-man, and Hilmar Häggblad and Ingemar Andersson got work as mess boys. "My father Rudolf Nordström was born in 1919, he remembered that there was an Indian among the crew, and the people of Husum had only heard about the Indians in books. Stig’s father told him, that when that Indian from the crew of the Argosy would go to town to do an errand he would run, all the others walked, but the Indian would run."
Denim blue jean pants were something that previously did not exist in Husum, but the Argosy crew introduced these denim pants to the young people in Husum and so also did the American shirts with their special designs became popular with the townsfolk.
Finally warm winds brought the deep freeze of 1925-26 to an end and the icebreaker Atle could finally help the ice entombed Argosy, and thus return home to America. But during the Argosy’s stay in Husum there were more than a few romances going on with the local women. At least two women, Bertha Hansson and Hildur Edlund, came over to America and married two men from the crew of the Argosy making the Argosy a part of Husum for evermore.
Marcus and “Nellie” at the time of his death lived on Lincoln Blvd. in the Presidio in San Francisco, California. Lt. Cmdr. Marcus S. Harloe was then buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery, Section Os, Row 9, Site 7, after serving his Country in the navy for many years. During a trip from California to Kalamazoo, Michigan “Nellie” passed away on June 5, 1942. “Nellie” is buried in a cemetery in Kalamazoo.
Alice Mary Harloe was married to Jack Blair Ellsworth on June 17, 1933 in San Francisco, California. Together Alice and Jack had 3 children, Jack, Judy & Jill (Scott). Alice’s youngest daughter Jill Scott tells how in 1945 Alice and Jack and the 3 kids moved from California to Idaho Falls, Idaho where Jack Ellsworth and his two brothers opened a Dodge auto dealership that they ran for 52-years. Alice Mary Ellsworth, the adopted daughter of Marcus and “Nellie” Harloe passed away on March 26, 1995 in Escondido, California.
|Photo of Lt. Cmdr. Harloe with his adopted daughter Alice and wife “Nellie” visiting aboard the Radnor in July of 1919. This view is looking aft just outside of the wheelhouse on the port side of the ship. Alice proudly holds her fathers hand as “Nellie” looks on. Captain Harloe stands smartly, and has two service stripes on his left sleeve of his uniform and in his right hand he is holding a cigar. The wheelhouse door is swung open back against the wall of the wheelhouse. Just behind “Nellie” over her left shoulder can be seen the base of the Radnor’s King Post, which also held the radio mast.||Lt. Commander Marcus S. Harloe headstone in the San Francisco National Cemetery.|
George Comer was born in Quebec, Canada in April of 1858 an immigrated to the United States in 1860 with his parents. His father was a man of the sea and during an unknown tragedy at sea lost his life, this is assumed to be after they an immigrated to the States. His mother was then left to care for the family and she eventually could not support the children and young George Comer at an unknown age spent some time in an orphanage and finally was placed as a foster child with a family in East Haddam, Connecticut, the town he would live in for the rest of his life.
During 1875 George was in his seventeenth year when he like his father felt the calling of the sea. George walked a distance of 25 or so miles from East Haddam to New London, Connecticut to take a job on a whaler. This would be the start of a life long journey on the seas for George as the next 44 years saw George at sea all of but 3 years.
George learned the whaling trade and worked his way up to becoming Master and in 1895 became Master of his first ship. Comer was Master of the Whaling/sealing schooner Era from at least 1897-1906. The Era was based out of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Comer was also the Master of the Whaling/sealing schooner A. T. Gifford of New Bedford, from 1907-1912. Artic whaling was what he specialized in and a typical Whaling voyage would last about 27 months. About 16 months of this would be spent in the winter anchorages being completely frozen in the ice. The whaling parties would be virtually cut off from the outside world and their survival depended on what they brought with them. Fresh meat only came from deer and salmon that they could trade from the local Inuit peoples. During those times the Inuits would make camps near the whaling vessels and would interact with the men on the whaling ships. This is where Captain Comer came to learn and respect the Inuit people. Captain Comer considered himself to be an amateur Artic explorer and with the help of the local Inuit learned about the Hudson Bay and the Inuits. Comer even collected items for several well-known Natural History Museums worldwide. Comer would eventually become a leading authority in the live and ways of the Inuit people and the Hudson Bay region. After 1912 Comers whaling career was winding down and still he took part in several Artic expeditions for the American Museum of Natural History.
On 7 November 1903, Captain George Comer of the American whaling schooner Era recorded on a phonograph a few songs of the Aivilingmiut and Qaernermiut in northwestern Hudson Bay. These appear to have been the earliest sound recordings ever made among the Inuit of Canada and Alaska.
Comer completed six whaling and trading voyages to Hudson Bay between 1875 and 1919. Though his main purpose was to secure whale oil, baleen, and skins, he became under the tutelage of the anthropologist Boas an active collector of scientific information and material culture from the region. In 1911 Captain Comer obtained a major Iglulik Eskimo collection from central Canada.
The American Museum of Natural History commissioned him to do considerable amount of work in anthropology and ethnology as well as in natural history. His records of geographical and topographical information were outstanding and he was made a fellow in the council of the Geographic Society. Comer made more than three hundred plaster casts, or life masks, of Eskimos, which are now in museums in Germany, Canada, and in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. In the American Museum of Natural History in New York City is the Comer Collection of skins of various Arctic animals, geological specimens, birds, bird's eggs, and other interesting specimens.
Comer was as familiar with the Antarctic as with the Arctic, although he spent more years in the northern than the southern zone. He was in the Arctic when Peary made his dash to the North Pole and when Capt. Cook made his claims to discovery.
In the later part of his life Comer ceased to travel to the North, but he still kept up his correspondence with his scientific and sporting friends and also with his Eskimo friends. Comer was much in demand as a lecturer on whaling, and the Arctic and Antarctic lands and people, and he illustrated his lectures by many interesting photographs which he had himself taken and transferred to slides.
As America was feeling the pull into the First World War Comer felt the call to serve his Country and at age 59 enlisted in the Navy where his skills could be of good use. Comer was assigned to the USS Radnor, which was assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service and was used as a cargo ship carrying Army munitions and supplies overseas during World War I. As the Navigation officer on the USS Radnor, Lt. Jg Comer may have been on the first crew of the Radnor as she was launched in May of 1918. At some point prior to August of 1919 Lt. Jg Comer was transferred to the USS Wyska, a 12,185-ton freighter. Not much is known about this ship and her name may also have been the USS West Kyska ID# 3701 and she was based out of Cristobal in the Panama Canal Zone. Comer was then promoted to Lieutenant and transferred to the Shore Patrol ship USS Elinor as 2nd Officer. The Elinor was an 8,785-ton freighter with the Navy ID # 2465. She was formerly named General de Castelnau. Lt Comer served on the Elinor from February through April of 1919. Comer was then made Master of the Auxiliary schooner USS Finback from July through September of 1919.
After discharge from the Navy Comer involved himself in more trading and explorations in to the Hudson Bay areas. His last visit into the regions was in 1919 at age 62 to say fare well to his life long Inuit friends. Finally returning to his home and family in East Haddam, Connecticut for the remainder of his life where he was regarded as a local person of interest and fame. Comer married his wife Julia L. at the age of 19 in 1877. Julia was 20 at the time and was born in Pennsylvania and together they had a daughter named Nellie G. born in April of 1878 and a son named Thomas L. born in April of 1886. Both children were born in East Haddam.
Comer even served a term in the Connecticut State Legislature. In declining health due to his years at sea and Artic explorations Comer died in 1937 at the age of 79.
Lt. (jg) John Ewart McQuigg, USNRF
John Ewart McQuigg served as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the United States Navy during World War One.
McQuigg entered the navy at the Municipal Pier in Chicago, IL during February of 1918. His first rating was a Seaman 2c and was later promoted to Quartermaster 1c. McQuigg was seen as a leader of men and as such the navy saw fit to transfer him to Pelham Bay Naval Training Station in New York where he was given his commission as an Ensign.
Ensign McQuigg was first assigned to duty aboard the USS Kittery, which had been the German vessel SS Praesident that had been taken over by the US Navy at the outbreak of America’s entry into the war. Re-named USS Kittery and under the command of Lt. Cmdr. Charles Geddes, USNRF, she was assigned to cargo and transport duties between the United States and the West Indies. McQuigg aboard the Kittery would have made several trips between Charleston, South Carolina and the West Indies as the Kittery was on a monthly run schedule. Ensign McQuigg served aboard the Kittery until March 28, 1919 when he was assigned to the USS Radnor then serving as a troop transport, returning soldiers from France.
While with the Radnor McQuigg was advanced to Lieutenant, Junior Grade. Aboard the Radnor, under command of Lt. Cmdr. Marcus Harloe, McQuigg served as watch officer in the wheelhouse and made at least five crossings to France, returning troops. Lt. (jg) McQuigg typically would stand two watches during a 24-hour day during the crossings. Life aboard the Radnor on the high seas was fairly mundane as the war was over, but sometimes during his watches there was the occasional event that would break up the time. Once on May 5, 1919 during a crossing from New York to Brest, France during McQuigg’s Noon to 4 PM watch there was a Captains Mast held where Seaman Mulcare and Clancy were awarded 12 hours extra duty for their infraction where Captain Harloe excused and warned them. Then it was back to the relative low in activity as McQuigg notes on the ships log “Overcast and Smooth seas.” McQuigg had the Radnor steaming along with 74 revolutions on her shaft making a smooth 10 knots speed.
On May 12, 1919 the Radnor has loaded with troops and is headed back from France to New York. On the 8:00 pm to Midnight watch McQuigg is the watch officer. At 10:00 PM that evening McQuigg puts Seaman A. J. Davis on the binnacle list as he is caught loafing in the ventilator at Hatch No. 3. Then on the 8:00 AM to Noon watch on the 16th of May on McQuigg’s watch 9 men are put on the binnacle list, 5 crew and 4 troops, likely from a fight.
Such was life aboard the Radnor and McQuigg would make a total of 5 such crossings of the Atlantic during 1919. On October 25, 1919 Lt. (jg) McQuigg was mustered out of the navy as the Radnor had completed her service of returning troops.
John Ewart McQuigg was born on August 24, 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan to Moore and Elizabeth McQuigg. John’s father Moore was born in Ireland in October of 1865 and had come to America in 1886. Elizabeth, John’s mother was English being born in January of 1866. Elizabeth had come to America in 1895. At the turn of the century the Moore McQuigg family lived at 724 Eleanor Street in Kalamazoo, Michigan where Moore worked as a carpenter. The family in June of 1900 consisted of Moore and Elizabeth along with eldest daughter Winifred being born in August of 1891 and son John Ewart.
Ten years later in 1910 the McQuigg family had now grown to include Elizabeth born about 1901, Mary Eleanor born about 1903 and Edith born about 1905. Moore McQuigg still was working as a house carpenter and they still lived in the same house at 724 Eleanor Street. This would be the home that would support the McQuigg family well and they lived in this home well past 1920.
After John Ewart McQuigg was discharged from the navy after the First World War he returned to Kalamazoo and back to the house on Eleanor Street where all his sisters and mother and father still lived. Moore who was now 54 still worked as a carpenter and at the beginning of 1920 his son John was also working with him in the construction trade.
At age 33 in 1927, John McQuigg married. His wife’s name was Marion, she being born in Michigan sometime in 1895. John and Marion lived in Kalamazoo at 318 Sprague Avenue in a home that John and Marion owned. About June of 1929 Marion gave birth to the couples first child a daughter named Nancy. John was working as a contractor to support his family. John and Marion would live in this house for many years and were living there well past 1945. John worked as a contractor all his life and he would pass away in Kalamazoo in September of 1968.
I was contacted by a Mr. Bill Murphy who's grandfather James A. McLaughlin, was a crewman of the USS Radnor and was assigned to the Radnor on May 16, 1918.
James A. McLaughlin enlisted June 14th, 1917 at Philadelphia and was assigned to the USS Radnor on May 16, 1918. Seaman McLaughlin would have been aboard the Radnor on her first voyage when she departed Philadelphia 31 May 1918 for Cristobal, in the Canal Zone. Mr. McLaughlin died in 1932.
Bill had contacted me and told me about a diary of his grandfather that he had found. He was kind enough to give me selected excerpts from this diary. Below is what was in the diary about the Radnor.
Sections from the diary of James A. McLaughlin of the USS Radnor
Assigned to USS Radnor May 16, 1918 and proceeded to Hampton Roads, VA with a crew of 85 men, arrived May 18th, 1918, then ordered to Newport News, VA.
May 19th, 1918: Shore leave.
May 25th, 1918: Proceeded to Baltimore.
June 3rd, 1918: Reports of Subs off coast of the Hatteras. But no contact.
June 10th, 1918: Started through the Panama Canal. He said it was really beautiful and enjoyed the ride.
June, 1918: Left port of Balboa en route to Honolulu and left Honolulu with a cargo of pineapples and headed for Callao, Peru.
June 24th, 1918: Arrived in Callao Peru, trip was not real exiting.
June 1918: Last stop Cliloe, southern end of Chile around end of June. Now in Antofagasta, Chile but ordered out of the harbor by the German ambassador or be interned in port. Left harbor in a hurry radioed USS Vermont and USS Pittsburgh in case of trouble. They arrived to escort the Radnor away.
June 1918: Picked up men over board from a ship called the Eastern Sun and helped them out of the water.
In the diary there is mention two men John McCormick and O'Neil of the gun crew.
July 26th, 1918: Back at the Panama Canal. Radnor went through at night under special orders. James A. McLaughlin was assigned to the fire control station aboard the Radnor.
July 30th, 1918: Submarine was spotted off the port beam but made off with out firing.
Aug. 1st, 1918: Radnor along the coast of Florida and can see lights of the coast.
Aug. 2nd, 1918, 2:35 am: Radnor fired upon by sub 50 yards off stern but missed. Started to receive messages (S.O.S.) from other ships hit by the submarine.
Aug. 3rd, 1918: A sub is spotted out about 1,000 yards, fired at us but missed. We fired back not sure if we hit it.
Aug. 4th, 1918: S.O.S. from Jennings being shelled from the same spot we had been in the morning.
Last entry: Looking forward to liberty next day.
The diary is about 67 pages long and is very hard to understand his writing but I do enjoy reading it as I never knew my grandfather. He does not mention much of the cargo other than the pineapples. He also does not mention many of the men by name. After the last entry Aug. 4th, 1918, I do not know if he stayed on board or what. I also wish I could find more info on him or the ship. Many of the places they stopped on this ship the crew did seem to have a good times in the towns.
Bill Murphy, grandson of USS Radnor crewman James A. McLaughlin
PhM2c Glenn Frank Batchelder, USNRF
In north-eastern Nebraska in Burt County about 12 or so miles from the Missouri River a water-station was set up along the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway line. This water-station would come to be known as the village of Craig and was laid out in 1881. Sixteen years after the village of Craig was laid out John and Emma Batchelder are living on a farm near Craig, and on February 3, 1897 Emma gives birth to her fourth child, a son named Glenn Frank Batchelder.
John Batchelder was from the Kalamazoo, Michigan area and was born in February of 1851, his wife Emma was a Nebraska native and she was born in February of 1863. John and Emma were married sometime about 1881, and started their new lives in the Craig, Nebraska area, while John was farming to support his new wife. They had their first child a daughter Edith M. who was born in May of 1883 followed by a son Dean J. born in August of 1889, Earnest E. born in November 1891, and lastly Glenn Frank who is the subject of this history.
Interestingly the Batchelder family in June of 1900 when the Federal Census was taken lived next to William S. Craig’s place. He was the early settler of that area and was the man who donated the land on which the town of Craig was laid out and built on in 1881.
By 1910 John Batchelder who was 59 years old at the time was now a retired farmer and the family had moved into the town of Craig, living in a home on High Street. Support of the family now fell to the three eldest children. Edith was working as a school teacher and Dean and Ernest were working as day laborers, Glenn was still in school. Additionally the family had grown with the addition of youngest daughter Ruth who was born about 1901.
Between the years 1910 and June of 1918 little is known of Glenn Batchelder except that on June 5, 1918 he was living in Evanston, Wyoming. On that day Glenn registered for the Federal Draft during WWI. At the time he was self-employed and was single, he had listed his mother, Emma as his next of kin on the draft form. Glenn was a 21-year old man with Blue eyes and Lt. Brown hair. What he was doing living in Wyoming is not known, but it can be surmised that he was living with his brother Ernest who was a chiropractor in Evanston. It can be also surmised that Glenn may have been working for his brother learning the skills of a chiropractor.
July 13, 1918, a little over a month after Glenn had registered for the draft he enlisted into the United States Navy. That day at the Salt Lake City, Nevada Recruiting Station he became a sailor. His first assignment was at the Puget Sound Navy Yard in the state of Washington. There he boarded the receiving ship USS Philadelphia and began his training.
It may have been his background working with his brother as a chiropractor that the Navy saw fit to use his skills. By January 19, 1919 Batchelder who then held the rating of Pharmacist Mate Second Class, was re-assigned to the Navy Yard in New York. PhM2c Batchelder was then assigned to the crew of the USS Radnor, which was then detailed in transporting troops back from France after the war. PhM2c Batchelder would serve aboard the Radnor until he was mustered out of the Navy in July of 1919 and Honorably Discharged.
Now back in civilian life Glenn returned back to Evanston, Wyoming where he again lived with his brother Ernest. Earnest was a chiropractor and had a local office there in town. Ernest and his wife Ethel lived in a home on Summit Street in Evanston, and had five children. By January of 1920 Glenn was working with his brother as a chiropractor.
Sometime during 1921-23 Glenn Batchelder met and fell in love with Ruth Murphy of Cheyenne, Wyoming. She was at the time a Deputy Clerk for the city of Cheyenne, and was about the same age as Glenn. Ruth Murphy’s family had lived in and around the Cheyenne area for many years, and Ruth’s father Richard Murphy, worked as a freight handler for the local railroad depot in Cheyenne. Glenn and Ruth were married likely in 1923 and possibly around that time Glenn and his brother’s set up a new chiropractor’s office in Cheyenne.
It is known from the 1926 Cheyenne, Wyoming City Directory that Glenn and Ernest’s office was located in the Hynds Building in Cheyenne, and was then known as Batchelder and Batchelder.
By April of 1930 Glenn and Ruth were living at 3422 House Avenue in Cheyenne in a home that he owned. They had at the time three children; Richard M. born about 1924, Edith May born about 1925, and Dean L. who was born about 1927.
By about 1931 Glenn and Ernest had moved their practice from the Hynds Building to a new office located in the Majestic Building in Cheyenne. Sometime there after Glenn and Ruth moved their family to another home located at 206 West 3rd Avenue in Cheyenne. There they would live until at least 1958.
Later Glenn’s brother would retire from practice and Glenn took on another chiropractor, Vera M. Winters. In 1945 Glenn and Vera would be two of five chiropractors working in the city of Cheyenne.
Glenn and Ruth’s eldest son Richard would follow in his father’s footsteps in serving in the U.S. Navy. It’s not known for sure when Richard joined the navy but it is known that in 1954 Richard was serving at that time. Later about 1958-59 Glenn and Ruth moved from Cheyenne to San Diego, California to be near their son Richard while he was serving in the Navy. Glenn would have been 61 years old or so at the time and likely may have retired from practicing. While living in California Glenn and Ruth lived at 232 Rosemont Street in La Jolla along the coast, in fact from their driveway you can see the ocean. Richard and his wife Dorothy lived at 3420 Xenophon Street in San Diego not far from the Navy Base. Glenn and Ruth would live there on Rosemont Street for at least two years.
Now in the remaining years of their lives Glenn and Ruth would retire to Sun City, Arizona. Glenn Batchelder would pass away in July of 1972 at the age of 75, and his wife Ruth would live on in Sun City until she passed away in March of 1985 at the age of 88.
Charles Wilson was a Baker aboard the USS Radnor for a time during WWI. He was the son of Elmer E. and Mary Wilson of 1727 S. Spring St. in Springfield, IL. Born on November 4, 1898 in Springfield he enlisted into the navy in his hometown on May 27, 1917. He took his training at the Newport News Naval base and also at the Charleston Navy Yard. Wilson likely was among the first crew of the Radnor and later he also served on the USS Henderson.
Along the southern coast of Maine is the town of Scarborough, which its history goes as far back as 1639 when John Stratton first established a trading post in Saco Bay just off the shoreline from the present town of Scarborough, lived a family with the name of Dearing. At the turn of the last century in 1900 in Scarborough live the Fred Eugene Dearing family. His wife was Annie L. Hunnewell. Fred Dearing and his wife Annie were both Scarborough area natives and Fred was a house carpenter for his entire life. In June of 1900 the Dearing family consisted of Fred and Annie, along with their eldest son Arthur Herbert, born on April 23, 1893, and daughter Gladys J. who was born about April of 1900. Also in the home was Annie’s father Melville P. Hunnewell who at the age of 63 was widowed and was still working day labor jobs.
This history is about the eldest son Arthur Herbert Dearing who would become a career Naval Officer obtaining the rank of Rear Admiral and was also a Medical Doctor. His roots come from hard working Maine families and being that they lived near the ocean the sea life was also part of young Arthur’s formative years. It is not known how Arthur got the calling to be a medical doctor but through hard work and many hours of study Arthur Dearing graduated from Harvard Medical School with the class of 1917.
Upon his graduation he was appointed on April 23, 1917 as a Lieutenant (junior grade) in the United States Naval Reserve Force in the Medical Corps and was assigned to duty at the Naval Hospital in Chelsea, Massachusetts. About the same time Lt. (jg) Dearing was married, her name was Frances Venita and she was born about 1892 and was a Maine native.
By July 17, 1917 Lt. Dearing is assigned to sea duty aboard the USS America then assigned to transport duty. On August 1, 1917 while serving aboard the America he was promoted to full Lieutenant. He would serve in the ships medical department where he made two trips across the Atlantic, one in October of 1917 and the second in January 1918, until he was again transferred on February 1, 1918.
Now he was assigned to duty aboard the Receiving Ship at the New York Navy Yard awaiting new orders. Orders arrived and on August 17, 1918 Lt. Dearing was assigned to the USS Antigone on transport duty. He served aboard until September 18, when he was again assigned back to the Receiving Ship at the New York Navy Yard. His next ship he was assigned to was the USS Radnor on April 4, 1919 where he would serve in the ships sick bay. He would only remain aboard for 8 days when on April 12 he was again transferred to duty at the Naval Medical School in Washington DC where he completed courses in surgery and orthopedic surgery.
On October 1, 1919 he was assigned to duty back at the Naval Hospital in Chelsea, Massachusetts. By January of 1920 Lt. Dearing was still serving in the Navy as an Assistant Surgeon, but now was living at least part time with his parents who lived on Brown Street in South Portland Maine.
By 1922 Lt. Dearing was a Passed Assistant Surgeon meaning that he had served at least 2-years sea duty and had been examined and passed by the Board of Naval Surgeons. But just passing the Board did not automatically mean that he would be advanced to full Surgeon, there had to be a vacancy in order for him to be advanced.
From July through September 1921 Lt. Dearing served in the base hospital at the Naval Station on Guam in the Pacific. He was advanced in rank to Lt. Commander on June 4, 1925 and by 1931 was on staff at the Naval Hospital in Washington DC. On July 1, 1941 he was advanced in rank to Captain, and held the rank of Surgeon.
About February of 1926 Dearing and his wife were expecting the birth of the couples first child, which turned out to be a girl they named Frances P. She was born in the State of Connecticut. Between the birth of Frances P. and the birth of the second child, a son named Arthur H. Jr. who was born in November of 1928, the Dearing’s must have been serving in the Panama Canal Zone as Arthur, Jr. was born in Nicaragua.
Within a year and a half of the Nicaragua service Commander Dearing was back in the States living in April of 1930 on 39th Street in Washington DC. This was a rented home, in which the monthly rent was $85. Also living in the home with the Dearing’s and the two children was 24-year old Grace Eaton who worked as a servant, she would become almost as family and would travel with the Dearing’s as his Naval assignments took him for several years.
By 1935 the Dearing’s were living in Annapolis as Commander Dearing may have been serving at the Naval Academy for a time. But Navy life is a life of moving from one duty station to another and so by the spring of 1940 the Dearing’s had moved to Long Beach, California. When the family moved from Annapolis to California Grace Eaton, the Dearing’s long time servant also went with the family to California. When America went to war in December of 1941 Captain Dearing was ready and willing to serve his Country again for the second time in war.
By 1942 Captain Dearing was then serving in the Pacific Theater of Operations aboard the USS West Point (AP-23) in the ships Medical Department. While on the West Point Captain Dearing would have been aboard the ship when they were asked by British Government to evacuate British citizens and troops from Colombo Harbor in Ceylon to Bombay, India. The West Point took on board eight men, 55 women, and 53 children, as well as 670 troops, for passage to India.
After offloading her evacuees at Bombay, West Point proceeded to the Suez zone where she picked up Australian troops who were being withdrawn from the North African Campaign to fight the Japanese in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, one disaster after another had plagued the Allied forces where Singapore fell on February 15, and Java on March 4, 1942. West Point carried her embarked troops to Australia and disembarked them at Adelaide and Melbourne before heading across the Pacific toward San Francisco.
As the Allies built up for the long road back, West Point participated in the effort to aid America's allies in the southwest Pacific with massive contingents of troops. Accordingly, the transport carried men to Wellington, New Zealand, and arrived on May 30. There, she received orders to return to New York getting underway from Melbourne on June 8, bound for the Panama Canal. She entered the Atlantic on June 26 and arrived at New York on July 2, 1942. Captain Dearing on July 15, 1942 was advanced to his final rank that of Rear Admiral.
After the war was over the Dearing family moved back to Alexandria, Virginia where Rear Admiral Dearing was assigned to duty in the area. During the Korean War Admiral Dearing again for the third time in his career served his Country during wartime.
The Dearing’s son, Arthur H. Dearing Jr. (1928-2014) during the Korean War followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Navy serving as a Hospital Corpsman. HM3 Dearing would sail from San Francisco to Guam aboard the UNSN General Daniel I. Sultan (TAP-120), which was a transport ship on regular service to Far Eastern and Pacific ports in Japan, Okinawa, Guam, Formosa and the Philippines during the Korean War. It was not known if HM3 Dearing was attached to the ship or was attached to a Marine Infantry Combat Unit. At the time Admiral Dearing and his wife Frances were living at 203 North Wabash Ave. in Chicago, Illinois.
In June of 1953 Rear Admiral Dearing would retire from Active Service with the navy bringing to a close a 36-year career of service to his Country and fellow men. On January 31, 1964 Admiral Dearing’s wife Frances Venita Dearing would pass away. Then in 1970 Admiral Dearing would loose his eldest daughter Frances P. Dearing. The Admiral would live on until his death on May 8, 1973. Today the Admiral and his wife lie buried in the Golden Gate National Cemetery in Section 2E, Site 1131.
The above photo was supplied to me from David Clifford from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Dave owns a print shop named Black Stone Press in Vancouver. Dave had told me this story about the photo which measures 13 inches long. One day he was taking out the trash in the building he lives in and saw this and some other old items in the dumpster. Being that he liked ship pictures he took it out of the trash. It seems that a family in the building, when the mother died the son threw out everything in the dumpster. What a sad ending to a piece of history. I'm very grateful to Dave for rescuing this photo. Dave then did a search in the web for information on the Radnor and came to this page. He e-mailed me to see if I was interested in this photo. My answer was YES I WAS! Thanks very much Dave! This photo shows the Radnor moored to a dock probably in New York. I would say that this is sometime in 1919. If you look close you can see another ship on the other side of the dock. The caption reads" The ship that brought us home USS Radnor". This was probably a photo that was sold to the servicemen who sailed home on her as a souvenir.
|The above photo shows the Radnor in 1919 loaded with troops returning from France. This photo was provided by Elizabeth Brown who's father returned from France aboard the Radnor. Cpl. Harry A. Lundmark was in the 681st Motor Transport Company and was discharged in August 1919.||An undated photo of the Radnor, but likely is sometime in 1919. The pier the Radnor is alongside is Pier 16 South Wharves, near the foot of what was Dock St., in Philadelphia. The bunker barge alongside is an Atlantic Refining vessel, possibly named ARCO something.|
A stern shot of the Radnor being moved to a dock and clearly seen on the stern is "USS Radnor". This is most likely the Hudson River looking from Hoboken, New Jersey side across to the New York side. If you look at the left or port side of the Radnor you can see the smoke stack of a tugboat. The tugboat is flying an American flag, which is an indication that this is in the USA and not in France. The Radnor was known to dock at Bush Terminal, Pier #4 in Hoboken, NJ, so this could very well be that. In the distance at the extreme right side of the photo can bee seen under high magnification, taller buildings. If this is Hoboken then this area (the extreme upper right) should be that of lower Manhattan, New York. Many Army troops can be seen on the decks of the Radnor. All the men on the rails on the stern of the ship are Navy men. Possibly this area is "Navy Only" and may have been off limits to the Army troops. The Radnor's rudder can be clearly seen and at her bow is a line to the dock.
The crew of the Radnor poses on her starboard forward quarterdeck. This photo was taken in New York in May of 1919 after one of her voyages returning troops. Captain Marcus Harloe is standing in the front row of officers, 8th man from the left. The 5th officer from the left standing just behind the 4th and 6th officer is Lt. (j.g) John E. McQuigg. The Lord families of Noroton and Stamford, Connecticut shared this photo.
[ Return to Site Map ] [ Return to Ships History Page ]