USS Galveston, C-17

USS Galveston

Cruiser No. 17, "Peace Cruiser"

Length: 309 feet. Breadth: 44 feet. Mean Draft: 16 feet. Displacement: 3,200 tons. Machinery: Babcock Boilers, Vertical triple-expansion, two sets, twin shaft 4,984 IHP. Speed: 16.41 knots. Coal Bunker Capacity: 467 tons normal, 741 tons maximum. Cruising range 7,000 miles at 10 kts. Batteries: Main Battery: ten 5 inch, 50 cal. model 1899 guns, Secondary Battery: eight 6 pounders, two 1 pounder landing guns, four .30 cal Machineguns. Armor: Harvey-nickel 2 1/2" Decks (on slopes) 1/4" on flat. Hull was sheathed with pine and coppered for long service in tropical waters. Complement: 339. Built by: William R. Trigg, Richmond, VA Launched: July 23, 1903. Class: Denver. Six ships in this class of "peace cruisers" featuring endurance over armament and protection. Hull was sheathed with pine and coppered for long service in tropical waters. Construction problems caused her to be towed to Norfolk for completion at the Navy Yard. All ships in this class were remarkably good sea boats.

The first Galveston was laid down on January19, 1901 by the William R. Trigg Company of Richmond, Virginia, and launched on July 23,1903. The Galveston was sponsored by Miss Ella Sealy of Galveston, Texas. USS Galveston was commissioned into the navy at the Norfolk Navy Yard on February 15, 1905 with Commander William G. Cutler in command as her first commanding officer.

The Galveston was what the Navy referred to as a “Peace Cruiser” which the name comes directly from the Peace gained from the end of the Spanish-American War.

After the end of the Spanish-American War, America had become a world power and now was enjoying a "Peace Dividend" from the outcome of this war. The United States Navy found that this new power had greatly expanded the naval budget, and it was the US Navy, not the Army, that had been the star performer during the short war with Spain. Both at Manila Bay and Santiago the US Navy had crushed the opposing Spanish squadrons. The public was clueless that on both occasions the US forces were greatly superior in quality as well as quantity over their Spanish forces. But to the public, as well as the politicians, the US Navy had performed wonders and could do no wrong. With the conclusion of the Spanish-American War the United States became a colonial power. The United States had always condemned colonialism as exhibited by the European powers and now in the last year of the 19th century the United States had its own colonies. It was now an Imperial Republic. The Spanish-American War also marked the entrance of the United States as a world power. Again, prior to the war, the United States had always remained aloof from the affairs of Europe but this changed a great deal after the war. Far removed colonies bring great vulnerabilities with their possession, and they are always vulnerable to being seized by a power that is much closer. Money has to be spent on ships and facilities for their defense. Two prime examples are the United States pouring money into the Philippines and Great Britain pouring money into Singapore before the Second World War. Both were easily seized by the Japanese because they were too far removed to be defended.

The US Navy now needed additional ships, and as a new world power they needed a quantity of new ships with higher quality to keep up in the game of international powers. To maintain their new standing as world power they needed new ships to show the flag across the Pacific, in the Caribbean and along the coasts of South America. With the expansion of the navy in 1899 a new type of cruiser was ordered.

Referred to as a “Peace Cruiser,” this design was not for working with the main battle fleet, nor was it designed to scout for the main fleet. It was specifically designed to show the flag on the world's oceans with another unusual twist. Characterized by light armor, light ordnance, medium speed, they were given large, spacious hulls, which could accommodate soldiers or marines. In a way they were actually given a secondary mission as an amphibious warfare ship. Six such “Peace Cruisers” were built and are called the Denver class, after the lead ship of the class. The Denver class was composed of Denver C14, Des Moines C15, Chattanooga C16, Galveston C17, Tacoma C18, and Cleveland C19.

These cruisers were almost 309-feet overall and 292-feet in length at the waterline and had a normal displacement of 3,191 tons. When compared against other cruisers of similar size, they cut a sorry figure because they were much slower and had weaker armament. However, that assessment ignores their mission. They were specifically designed to cruise the Pacific, the Caribbean and South American waters. Their hulls were large enough to provide the crew comfort on detached missions, and for space for troops. Up until the Denver class, each US Navy cruiser design from the Atlanta and Boston to the unprotected cruisers of the Montgomery class had all mounted at least 6-inch guns. Not so with these “Peace Cruisers.” Their main armament was ten 5-inch rapid fire guns, four of which were mounted in unarmored casemates on each side of the hull with additional open mounts at bow and stern. They had no clearly defined wartime mission, as their focus was truly on peace time to show the flag in foreign waters.

The Navy Department never did learn quite what to make out of the Denver class. Sometimes they were called cruisers and sometimes they were called gunboats. In mission selection they were indeed closer to gunboats than cruisers. At the time Admiral Bradford of the Bureau of Equipment had criticized them for what he considered an “excessively generous level of electrical equipment.” The ships had four 24kw generators, which provided far more electrical power than the two 16kw generators on the slightly smaller Montgomery class.

When it came to issuing contracts to build this class, the Navy Department decided to spread the wealth. Although, the two lowest bidders on the contracts were rejected because it was thought that they were incapable of successfully building the ship, three more unknowns were granted a contract on these ships. Three contractors were known commodities, Fore River for the Des Moines; Union Iron Works for the Tacoma; and the Bath Iron Works for the Cleveland. However, three other builders the Neafie & Levy Company for the Denver; the Crescent for the Chattanooga; and the WR Trigg Company who built the Galveston were relative unknown builders to the Navy Department. In fact, the builders of Chattanooga and Galveston both went bankrupt during construction, and both ships had to be towed to navy yards for completion.

The Denver class had a much lower construction, and priority than the contemporary battleships and armored cruisers. Another interesting construction detail was the ship's bottoms. They of course were steel hulled but on top of the steel, they were sheathed with pine and copper, which was a specific design decision to allow for long service periods in the tropics, and were the perfect ships for the Banana Wars. For economy the Denver’s were also given a full sail rig, which was rare after 1900.

The Navy Department gave the contracts to build on March 3, 1899 and keels were laid down in 1900, except for Galveston, which was laid down in 1901. Because of their low priority and the difficulties of untried builders, most of the ships were slow in building. The construction of the Cleveland by the Bath Iron Works was by far the fastest. Cleveland was laid down June 1, 1900, and launched on September 28, 1901 and was completed on November 2, 1903. Denver was launched in 1902 and the rest in 1903. Four were commissioned in 1904 and finally the laggardly Galveston was commissioned in 1905. All were quickly bundled off to tropical waters for which they were designed. Mostly worthless in the event of war, they nonetheless made effective vessels for gunboat diplomacy. All the Denver’s were modified during World War One, with the two forward 5-inch casemates on each side were removed, although the ships retained the two aft casemate positions in each side. Two 5-inch/50 were remounted on the upper deck at the deck edge between the bridge and first funnel. Additionally, a 3-inch AA gun was added on a short platform between the aft 5-inch gun and mainmast. Tacoma was wrecked on January 16, 1924 off of Vera Cruz, Mexico. Cleveland, Chattanooga and Des Moines were sold in 1930 and in 1933 Denver and Galveston were sold for scrap.

USS Galveston departed the Norfolk Navy Yard on April 10, 1905 for Galveston, Texas where on April 19, she was presented a silver service by citizens of her namesake city Galveston, Texas. Galveston returned to duty along the East Coast of the United States on May 3, 1905 until her next assignment.

John Paul Jones the famous American Revolutionary War Naval Officer who died on July 18, 1792 had been buried in Paris, France at the Saint Louis Cemetery, which belonged to the French royal family, but four years later, France's revolutionary government sold the property and the cemetery was forgotten. The area was later used as a garden, a place to dispose of dead animals and where gamblers bet on animal fights. For 113-years his body lay in this run down cemetery and finally the American Government had seen fit to bring home the “Father of the American Navy” for a fitting and proper burial. Galveston was detailed to steam to France and pick up the remains of John Paul Jones and bring his body to the Naval Academy in Annapolis where he would be buried in an honored grave at the Naval Academy Chapel.

Just before the Galveston was the steam to France a young naval officer by the name of Walter Stratton Anderson, who had just been commissioned an Ensign on February 3, 1905 reported for duty aboard the Galveston. Rear Admiral Charles Dwight Sigsbee, was in command of the special squadron of ships that would sail with the Galveston to France, and they departed from the New York Navy Yard on June 18, 1905, and arrived in Cherbourg, France, on June 30.

Ensign Walter Stratton Anderson was selected to command the Galveston’s ships company that took part in the ceremonies commemorating the return of the remains of John Paul Jones, and escorted the body from Paris back to the ships. Galveston reached Annapolis, Maryland on July 22, and the remains of John Paul Jones was delivered to the Naval Academy. Ensign Walter Stratton Anderson would retire from the navy at the rank of Vice-Admiral after a career of 43-years in the navy.

She next joined the Government Dispatch vessel, Dolphin and the Presidential Yacht Mayflower as one of the host ships for the Russo-Japanese Peace Conference being held August 4-8 August 1905 at Oyster Bay, N.Y.; Newport, R.I.; and Portsmouth, N.H. During August 13 to September 11, 1905, Galveston had special duty with Minister Plenipotentiary Hollander's State Department cruise from Norfolk to the West Indies ports of Santo Domingo and Port-au-Prince. After this duty was completed Galveston made preparations for foreign service at the Norfolk and New York Navy Yards.

Galveston departed Tompkinsville, New York on December 28, 1905 for service in the Mediterranean Sea with the European Squadron until March 28, 1906 when she set course from Port Said, Egypt to join the fleet at Cavite, Philippine Islands for service on the Asiatic Station. Galveston was part of the fleet reception for Secretary of Navy William H. Taft at Manila on October 13, 1906, and served in his honor escort to Vladivostok, Siberia, during November 1906.

Commander William G. Cutler turned over command of the Galveston on July 18, 1907 to Commander Ben Ward Hodges, and he would be her captain until June 11, 1908 when Commander Johnston took command.

Galveston spent the next 3-years in cruises among the many ports of the Philippines, Chinese and Japanese waters. Commander Marbury Johnston who was in command of the USS Albatross became the Commanding Officer of the Galveston on June 11, 1908 and would serve as her commanding officer through 1909. The commanding officer of the Marine Detachment aboard the Galveston in 1908 was 1st Lt. Holland M. Smith, USMC. Smith’s nickname of, "Howlin' Mad" Smith, had been given to him by his troops in the Dominican Republic in 1916, and during WWII distinguished himself in several battles in the Pacific Theater. Smith was in command of Task Force 56 during the Battle of Iwo Jima, and would retire at the rank of Major-General.

Commander Johnston would turn over command of the Galveston to Commander John Adrian Hoogewerff who had command from 1909-10. Hoogewerff would retire as a Rear Admiral at the end of his career. The Galveston served as Rear Admiral Giles B. Harber’s Flagship of the 3rd Squadron, 1st Division of the Pacific Fleet. In late June 1909 the starboard propeller of the Galveston was damaged and needed to be replaced, and she steamed to Yokohama, Japan where she entered the dry-dock for repairs. She was in Yokohama at least through July 4-12, 1909 while her propeller was refitted. Galveston arrived back in San Francisco, California from the Philippines on February 17, 1910, and was decommissioned in the Puget Sound Navy Yard on February 21, 1910 after 4-years on the Asiatic Station.

After a two-year period of inactivity at the Puget Sound Navy Yard Galveston was re-commissioned on June 29, 1912 for service that included a training cruise to Alaska. Once the training cruise was completed she again returned to the Puget Sound Navy Yard. She again endured nearly a year and a half of inactivity until her next assignment. In the late summer of 1913 she was ordered back to the Asiatic Fleet for duty, and on September 19, 1913 Galveston departed the Puget Sound Navy Yard bound south to San Francisco, California where she made final preparations before heading out to Hawaiian Islands, Guam and finally arriving at Cavite, Philippines on November 2, 1913.

When the Galveston arrived in Cavite, Philippines Island for duty with the Asiatic Fleet, Ships Plumber and Fitter Richard G. Fare was among her crew. Among his belongings was a Trophy Day Program and Menu from the USS Galveston dated January 28, 1915. On board the Galveston that day an awards banquet of sorts was held for the crew for the excellent work that her gun crews had preformed. On January 3-13, 1915 the Galveston was at the Target Range near Cavite, P.I., as were other ships of the Asiatic Fleet. The Galveston had very high marks for her gun crews. Of the nine highest 5-inch gun scores of the fleet, eight were from the Galveston with the Number 2 Gun crew earning a Navy "E" award. Her 6-pdr. gun crews also were very accurate as of the 5 highest scores 4 were from the Galveston with gun crew Number 8 also earning the Navy "E" award. For their efforts each man in the winning gun crews were paid $20 prize money. The winning 5-inch gun crew had a score of 10.67 hits per minute with 8 shots and 8 hits, and the winning 6-pdr. gun crew had a score of 14 hits per minutes with 8 shots and 7 hits.

After leaving the target range Galveston steamed on to Shanghai, China where on January 28, 1915 the Trophy Day Banquet was held on board ship. The crew was given a meal in honor of this event and the menu being: Sweet Pickles, Oyster Soup, Roast Capon, Mashed Potatoes, Cold Ham, Layer Cake, Fresh Fruit, Shrimp Salad, Soda, Crackers, Oyster Dressing, Mince Pie, Mixed cake, Nuts, Raisins, Cocoa and Coffee. No doubt a meal fit for kings or at least special occasions.

Galveston's tour on the Asiatic Station was largely taken up with convoy service for supply ships and troop transports shuttling Marines and other garrison forces and stores between the Philippine Islands and ports of Japan and China for the protection of American lives, property, and interests with brief intervals of Yangtze River Patrol for the same purpose. It was reported in the December 18, 1915 edition of the Washington Post under the "Movements of Vessels" section, that the Galveston and Cincinnati had sailed from Shanghai to Manila. Galveston also made one convoy trip from the Philippines to British North Borneo and two trips to Guam in the Marianas. She arrived in San Diego, California from the Asiatic Station on January 10, 1918 and transited the Panama Canal from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico on January 23. Galveston convoyed the British troopship Athentic from Cristobal, C.Z., to Norfolk, and then on to New York, arriving there on February 11, 1918.

During WWI Galveston was commanded by Captain Francis L. Chadwick. He was awarded the Navy Cross as commander of the Galveston. His citation reads: "The Navy Cross is awarded to Captain Francis L. Chadwick, U.S. Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Galveston, engaged on patrol against raiders in the waters of the Asiatic Station, and later on convoy duty in the Atlantic, escorting troop and cargo ships to European waters through the zone infested by enemy submarines and mines."

Galveston was assigned to Squadron 2 of the Atlantic Fleet Cruiser Force for convoy escort duties concurrent with the training of Armed Guard crews. After one convoy run through heavy weather from Tompkinsville to Halifax, Nova Scotia, she was largely employed in repeated convoy escort voyages between New York and Norfolk until September 22, 1918 when she departed Tompkinsville with a 19-ship convoy bound for Ponta Delgada, Azores. On the morning of September 30, 1918, the convoy Galveston was escorting was attacked by the German U-boat, U-152. Alerted by the flashing of an explosion to her starboard, Galveston headed for the scene of attack and opened fire on the attacking U-boat. The cargo ship Ticonderoga was shelled and sunk in the ensuing 2-hour battle with the loss of 213 lives, but the remaining ships of the convoy were brought safely into Ponta Delgada on October 4, 1918.

Galveston returned to Norfolk on October 20, 1918 to resume her coastal convoy escort work, which lasted until the end of the war. She arrived in Plymouth, England, on March 26, 1919 to transport a contingent of British-American troops from Harwich to Murmansk, Russia. Galveston then served as flagship of Squadron 3, Patrol Force, in Western European waters. She was largely concerned with the movement of prize crews and repatriation of crews of German ships until June 22, 1919 when she got underway to serve as station and flagship at Constantinople, Turkey. Galveston arrived on station in Constantinople July 14, 1919 where she broke the flag of Rear Admiral Mark L. Bristol. Galveston transported refugees and American Red Cross officials to Constantinople from the Russian ports of Novorossisk and Theodosia, and carried Rear Admiral Newton A. McCully from Theodosia to Yalta. She was relieved as station ship at Constantinople on July 15, 1920 by the cruiser Chattanooga (C-16).

With the initial assignment of hull classification symbols and numbers to U.S. Navy ships in 1920, Galveston was classified as PG-31. She then returned home by way of the Suez Canal and Mediterranean ports, where she reached Boston on September 17, 1920, The Galveston’s new assignment was to be one of the ships of the Special Service Squadron watching over American interests in waters ranging to the Panama Canal and down the West Coast of the Central American States to Corinto, Nicaragua. During this time, she was commanded by Captain Clarence S. Kempff, who at the height of his naval career would become a Vice-Admiral of the Navy.

On August 8, 1921, Galveston was reclassified CL-19. She also intermittently patrolled in the Gulf of Mexico with periodic calls in the ports of Florida, Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana. On January 25, 1922 Galveston landed her marine detachment at Corinto, Nicaragua, to reinforce the Managua legation guard during a period of political tension. The end of this service was climaxed by a visit to her namesake city in Texas, where she arrived from Panama on August 26, 1923 to represent the Navy at the American Legion convention. She then steamed to the Charleston Navy Yard and decommissioned there on November 30, 1923. During this last cruise she was commanded by Captain R. E. Pope.

Galveston was once again re-commissioned on February 5, 1924 for duty with the Special Service Squadron. She operated out of Cristobal in the Canal Zone, and Balboa, Panama, in a series of patrols that took her off the coasts of Honduras, Cuba, and Nicaragua conducting Gunboat diplomacy missions.

After graduating the US Naval Academy in June 1926, Ensign Charles L. Carpenter was assigned to his first ship, the Galveston, where he was assigned to the Galveston’s gunnery department.

On August 27, 1926 a flare-up of fighting in Nicaragua led to the landing of 200 bluejackets and marines under command of Lt. Commander W. W. Richardson, Jr., USN, from the cruiser Galveston at the request of the American Consul, to maintain a neutral zone around Bluefields, Nicaragua. The Galveston force was subsequently relieved by detachments from the cruiser USS Rochester on October 31 and USS Denver on November 30, 1926. By November 1, 1926 the Galveston's landing force was recalled to the ship. Thereafter much of her time was spent cruising between Bluefields, Nicaragua and Balboa to cooperate with the State Department in the restoration and preservation of order, and to insure the protection of American lives and property in Central America.

On January 6, 1927 a marine detachment landed in Corinto, Nicaragua from the Galveston, consisting of 8 officers, 106 bluejackets and 54 marines, under the command of Lt. Comdr. W. M. Richardson, Jr., USN, to reestablished the U.S. Legation Guard at Managua, Nicaragua. This force returned on board the ship sometime prior to February 20, 1927. On February 9, 1927 Rear Admiral Julian L. Latimer, commander of the Special Service Squadron operating off the coast of Nicaragua, ordered his forces to take control of the Corinto-Managua railway to prevent it from being disrupted by the civil war. Again on February 20 a detachment of marines from the Galveston landed in conjunction with the landing forces of the Milwaukee and Raleigh, under command of Captain C. H. Woodward, USN.

Ensign Carpenter participated in several landing force details including one at León, Nicaragua. It was at this time he was recognized and awarded the Navy Cross for his valor. His "extraordinary heroism, coolness and excellent judgment in the performance of duty" in the Leon detachment of the landing force on May 17, 1927 earned him the Navy Cross awarded by the President of the United States. His citation reads as follows:

“The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Ensign Charles Lorain Carpenter (NSN: 0-60331), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism, coolness and excellent judgment in the performance of duty during an insurrection in Nicaragua. Ensign Carpenter was a member of the Leon detachment of the landing force and on 17 May 1927, while attempting to arrest and disarm an ex-rebel soldier after having been twice fired on, and at the time being surrounded by a crowd who egged on his aggressor, he in self defense shot and killed the soldier in question, thereby producing a most salutary effect on the population. His actions at all times were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Action Date: 17-May-27 Service: Navy Rank: Ensign Division: Leon Detachment.”

The landing force of the Galveston returned aboard ship on June 16, 1927.

Galveston again as they had the previous year, on January 9, 1928, landed a marine detachment, under the command of Second Lieutenant K. B. Chappell, USMC, at Corinto, Nicaragua for temporary duty ashore. Portions of that detachment returned aboard ship on January 21-22, and the balance on January 23, 1928. Also that same day, January 9, 1928, a second landing force of 18 bluejackets under command of Ensign E. L. Schleif, USN, was landed in Corinto, for duty at Ameya, Nicaragua. And a third landing force of 17 bluejackets under command of Ensign V. Havard, USN, was landed for duty at Paso Cabello., Nicaragua. Both detachments returned aboard the Galveston on January 21, 1928.

On April 6, 1928, the marine detachment of the USS Denver, then on duty at Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, reported on board Galveston for transportation to Cape Gracios A. Dios, Nicaragua, where the detachment disembarked on April 7, 1928, under the command of Captain M. A. Edson, USMC. Later on April 30, 1928, the marine detachment of the Galveston, under command of First Lieutenant D. M. Taft, USMC, disembarked at Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, for expeditionary duty ashore. And again on November 15, 1928, seven Ensigns reported aboard the Galveston at Bluefields, Nicaragua, for transportation to the Canal Zone, having been relieved from duty at that place in connection with the national elections of Nicaragua.

After a voyage north in the fall of 1929 for overhaul in the Boston Navy Yard, Galveston revisited her namesake city from October 26-29 for the Navy Day celebrations. Galveston then steamed to Cuba on her way to Haiti, where she embarked Marines for transport to the Panama Canal. She resumed her watchful cruises between Balboa and Corinto until May 19, 1930 when she transited the Panama Canal for a last courtesy visit to Galveston, Texas (24-31 May) before inactivation overhaul in the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She was decommissioned at Philadelphia on September 2, 1930 and was struck from the Navy List on November 1, 1930. Galveston was sold for scrapping on September 13, 1933 to the Northern Metal Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

USS Galveston

From "The Owl, December 17, 1900" vol 1 No.2" a school newspaper.

The Denver is one of another six protected cruisers now undergoing construction in the ship yards at Philadelphia. Four of them are named after trans-Mississippi cities. They are besides the Denver, the Galveston, the Tocoma, the DesMoines, the Cleveland and the Chattanooga. These six are a type less than the Colorado and her companions, costing $1,080,000 and having a speed of seventeen knots per hour. The Denver is contracted to be completed sometime in June 1902.

Galveston sometime between 1913-1915.

You can view the entire program by clicking this link to the Trophy Day Menu seen above.

This Throphy Day Menu was Ships Plumber and Fitter Richard G. Fare.

On the left is a photo of Ships Plumber and Fitter Richard G. Fare in uniform during his time on the Galveston. He has addressed it to his mother, Emma Coverdale "Truly Yours, R. G. Fare". And on the right is Richard G. Fare in an undated photo in civilian clothes.

The Port of Call log of the Galveston During her time with the Asiatic Fleet September 1913-January 1915

Arrive Date
Departing Date
Miles Steamed
Bremerton, Washington
California City, Cal.
San Francisco, Cal.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Guam, M. I.
Cavite, P. I.
Cavite, P. I.
Manila, P. I.
Guam, M. I.
Manilla, P. I.
Target Range
Manilla, P. I.
Target Range
Subic Bay
Olongapo, P. I.
Target Range
Manilla, P. I.
Olongapo, P. I.
Cebu, P. I.
Olongapo, P. I.
Manila, P. I.
Target Range, M. B.
Olongapo, P. I.
Olongapo, P. I.
Olongapo, P. I.
Manila, P. I.
Target Range, M. B.
Manila, P. I.
Zamboanga, M. P. I.
Malabang, M. P. I.
Parang, M. P. I.
Jolo, Jolo, P. I.
Sandakan, B. N. B.
Iloilo, Panay, P. I.
Manila, P. I.
Woosung, China
Shanghai, China
Chinwangtao, China
Nagasaki, Japan
Shanghai, China
Chefoo, China
Shanghai, China
Nanking, China
Shanghai, China
Nagasaki, Japan
Shanghai, China
Amoy, China
Olongapo, P. I.
Cavite, P. I.
Manila, P. I.
Manila, P. I. (Bay)
Mangarin Bay, P. I.
Jolo, Jolo, P. I.
Bongao Bay
Steaming intermittent in BAY
Jolo, Jolo, P. I.
Cavite, P. I.
Manila, P. I.
Olongapo, P. I.
Manila, P. I.
Manila, P. I.
Target Range, various steaming
Cavite, P. I.
Woosung, China
Shanghai, China

Crew Roster on 28 January 1915

Commander Richard H. Leigh, Commanding
Lieutenant Lewis Coxe, Executive and Ordnance
Lieutenant Vaughan K. Coman, Navigator
Lieutenant Pierre L. Wilson, Senior Engineer
Ensign Fredrick G. Reinicke
Ensign John F. Donelson
Ensign Harold E. Snow
Ensign Stanley P. Tracht
Ensign Raymond V. Hannon
P. A. Surgeon Montgomery A. Stuart
Asst. Paymaster Richard S. Robertson
Boatswain Charles L. Greene
Gunner William T. McNiff
Gunner Stephen A. Farrell
Machinist James A. Ward
Chief Carpenter Clarence L. Bennett
Pay Clerk John J. Lynch
Chief Master-at-Arms
E. Ganeau
Masters-at-Arms, First Class
F. L. Funderberg
N. A. Landoc
Masters-at-Arms, Second Class
L. Eurton
W. Condon
Chief Boatswain’s Mate
A. F. Houle
Boatswain’s Mates, First Class
J. Mitchell
A. Rogers
J. Samuelson
Boatswain’s Mates, Second Class
M. J. O’Brien
G. Swigart
C. T. Tarratt
E. B. Grenier
E. C. Walker
A. C. Hedman
C. H. Crawford
T. Gunderson
G. H. Baldy
G. C. Hartman
O. McClung
H. Nitz
Chief Gunner’s Mate
D. F. Edwards
Gunner’s Mate, First Class
C. P. Williamson
Gunner’s Mate, Second Class
C. F. Sautter
Gunner’s Mates, Third Class
G. W. Allen
F. C. Mills
F. T. Walker
Chief Quartermaster
R. Begbie
Quartermaster, Second Class
J. A. Stearns
Quartermasters, Third Class
V. Lund
J. Anderson
A. J. Art
L. Alexander
J. G. Alsbach
J. Arendasky
J. R. Braden
P. Casey
D. S. Cason
T. Clancy
W. J. Coe
L. H. Coday
W. C. Darnell
L. A. DeDiemar
G. D. Fargo
F. Galewski
P. A. Gelbach
B. Graetz
H. G. Gumfory
J. N. Hale
W. J. Hale
B. G. Harman
J. Heinen, Jr.
J. E. Jarrett
A. W. Kearney
A. R. Kemp
R. O. Lee
R. J. McAllister
G. T. Mann
J. R. Mahan
J. S. Mark
C. E. Martin
H. A. Moores
R. S. Mors
H. Munsell
P. Olsen
W. H. Overholt
A. G. Reck
J. T. Reynolds
C. Richter
J. E. Rogers
M. J. Russell
F. J. Schelcher
L. S. Shickles
F. L. Shirey
J. N. Smith
H. H. Thompson
J. T. Watson
R. S. Watson
H. M. Waechter
A. G. Weiler
V. P. Wilhoit
E. Williams
E. E. Williams
E. M. Woods
A. G. Zawacki
Ordinary Seamen
H. M. Adler
C. E. Amsden
J. M. Bales
J. Becker
F. B. Boyle
T. J. Cooper
H. P. Courtney
J. W. Davern
J. D. Dennis
W. B. Dietz
A. J. Garlick
C. B. Gibson
C. S. Gold
W. P. Guiler
F. J. Haines
L. S. Hall
F. L. Havis
A. F. Heinlein
F. D. Higbie
C. G. Hildebrand
A. B. Holland
J. C. Hopkins
P. E. Kaade
L. W. Kempf
H. H. King
C. P. Lehmkuhl
A. A. Lewis
H. Marineau
O. W. Nowland
L. A. Paige
A. L. Palmes
Y. E. Peterson
J. W. Pumphrey
O. L. Radford
W. S. Rainville
W. L. Reckless
J. E. Reynolds
N. Rifko
I. C. Roberts
F. C. Root
W. M. Russell
C. Shackleford
M. M. Shockley
A. K. Shroth
A. Sisk, Jr.
F. A. Sitton
H. G. Smith
R. S. Smith
H. A. Talmage
L. Taylor
E. M. Templeton
A. J. Thibeau
B. L. Tillman
P. G. Timmons
M. S. Ward
Chief Electrician
T. A. Todd
Electrician, First Class
W. J. Pflager
Electricians, Third Class
W. W. Holloway
F. C. Peck
C. A. Russell
L. P. Starrett
G. L. Van Slyke
Chief Electrician (Radio)
C. A. Stumpf
Electrician, Second Class (Radio)
B. B. Morran
Electrician, Third Class (Radio)
R. B. Ortlip
Chief Carpenter’s Mate
W. C. Klessendorf
Carpenter’s Mate, Third Class
S. J. Brown
Shipfitter, Second Class
M. J. Walsh
Plumber and Fitter
Richard G. Fare
Painter, Second Class
T. J. Hartung
C. B. Gibson
Sailmaker’s Mate
C. F. Noack
Chief Yeomen
L. R. Benson
F. R. Hill
Yeomen, First Class
G. R. Buffum
R. Faith
Yeomen, Second Class
C. J. Hawkins
W. C. Yarnold
Yeoman, Third Class
C. D. De Long
Hospital Steward
D. S. Putnam
Hospital Apprentice, First Class
O. Wright
Hospital Apprentice
L. Grant
F. L. Kirkpatrick
Chief Commissary Steward
E. Berande
Ships’ Cook, First Class
A. J. Kelly
Ships’ Cooks, Second Class
L. R. Seay
A. W. Schenck
Ships’ Cooks, Fourth Class
C. Kenyon
F. Wardlow
Baker, First Class
A. Houston
Baker, Second Class
G. M. Foster
Chief Machinists’ Mates
D. E. Fox
C. C. Holloway
E. Johnson
B. S. Riley
Machinists’ Mates, Second Class
O. W. Culwell
C. F. Finley
F. W. Hamilton
H. Mundy
O. O. Nycum
R. M. Parker
Chief Water Tender
D. Bell
Water Tenders
W. A. Grooves
P. J. Kane
W. L. Lundy
D. Rittenhouse
J. B. Gale
D. Bresnahan
J. W. Coburn
J. Colby
E. P. McDonald
J. P. Tolan
F. C. Waechter
R. Walker
Firemen, First Class
J. W. Bucklin
J. Ceisick
B. F. Chapman
H. Christiansen
F. Deaver
M. Dickinson
A. O. Fleming
P. G. Fletcher
A. S. Grieb
W. A. Ireland
L. W. Lang
F. S. Soby
C. N. Toogood
J. Urban
C. Wykoff
Firemen, Second Class
E. Blair
L. Dickey
O. F. Dupree
J. H. Gibson
M. Goodman
M. L. Gundlefinger
A. Gustavason
M. L. Jungerman
R. L. Morgan
F. K. Parlin
J. J. Rath
L. H. Sprain
A. G. Stringham
L. Thers
A. H. Webb
W. H. Winzenburg
Coal Passers
Z. Adams
L. Alexander
L. Alyette
L. R. Armell
G. P. Berta
A. Edwards
C. E. Foley
W. F. Girten
W. R. Given
T. W. Hinman
J. A. McBride
V. J. McCullom
C. N. Petrie
W. J. Reed
R. P. Shaw
F. R. Thurston
D. P. Vaughn
C. C. Wallace
Messman Branch
Ah Chong
Ah Sin
Ah Shu
Ah Hing
Ah Moy
Ah Hing
Ah Ken
Ah Sin
F. S. Haung
E. L. Kong
Leong Sin
Leong Tip
S. Y. Pow
Sing Song
Wong Yen
John Yong

USS Galveston

USS Galveston Ships Muster

Below are profiles of those who have served on the Galveston. If you know of someone who has served on this ship and want to add their story please contact me.

Seaman Nelson R. Porter

In the little village of New Sharon, Maine, along Main Street, there is the village cemetery. New Sharon Village Cemetery is marked at the entrance by two rather large and old stately trees, which gives way to the cemetery and all the peaceful stones marking the graves of the past lives of New Sharon, and the surrounding countryside. The cemetery overlooks the tranquil waters of the Sandy River that cuts across the back side of the cemetery. There are many stones in this cemetery but one stone lies quietly, flush with the ground where sometimes the grass nearly overshadows the name of who lies beneath it. It is a dark flat stone that is simply engraved; “Nelson R. Porter 1895 – 1979.” This dark flat stone may not attract much attention these days but the man who lies buried there once wore a uniform during wartime, and he helped to protect this Country of ours, and so he deserves to be remembered. This is his story.

On June 5, 1917 at the age of 22-years, Nelson Rufus Porter had to register for the first call up of men during WWI. On that day, he went to the little town of Castle Hill, in Aroostook, County Maine to register as he was required to under law. Interestingly the official registrar who signed his draft registration form was named Clinton C. Porter, who may have been a relative of Nelson. He indicated that he had been born in Mapleton, which was another town in Aroostook, County, and that his birthday was March 26, 1895. Nelson was then self employed as a farmer near Ashland, Maine. He was single at the time and listed his mother as a dependent. Nelson was a tall and stout man with gray eyes and dark brown hair.

Nelson Porter was 10-days away from turning 23-years old when he, on March 16, 1918, enrolled into the United States Naval Reserve Force at Presque Isle, Maine. Porter trained at Naval Training Camp Hingham, Massachusetts, which was located along the southern end of Boston Harbor. On May 19, 1918, Porter was moved to Naval Training Camp Bumkin Island, Massachusetts where he stayed until June 14. Bumkin Island is located in Hingham Bay just off shore from Hingham, MA. Today there is nothing on this very small island but during WWI the Navy was using it as a training camp.

Once trained Seaman Porter was detailed for duty at the New York Navy Yard where he would be used as an Armed Guard gun crew aboard various merchant ships then crossing the Atlantic for the war in Europe. There for most of the month of June 1918 he was located at the Navy Barracks waiting to be pulled for duty. He was assigned to a ship on June 25, but it was not a merchant ship, Seaman Porter was detailed for duty aboard the USS Galveston, a small cruiser.

The Galveston had served in Pacific waters for many years but now was assigned war duty in the Atlantic. The Galveston had only arrived in the Atlantic waters in February of 1918. Her essential duties were to be used as a training ship for Naval Armed Guard crews, and she cruised between Norfolk, Virginia and New York escorting ships up and down the east coast of the United States, and allowing for valuable training for new Armed Guard crews.

Seaman Porter served aboard the Galveston until he was qualified and was then sent back to the New York Navy Yard on August 10, 1918. Now back in the barracks awaiting new duty, Seaman Porter waited for about 10-days. For some reason, weather it was an injury or he was taken sick, is not known, but on August 20, 1918, Porter was in the New York Naval Hospital. Family stories are told of Nelson having a bad case of the Spanish Flu while in the navy, so, assuming this is correct, Nelson Porter was likely in the Naval Hospital with the flu. This seems to fit because at that time there was a world-wide outbreak of the Spanish Flu. Nelson was one of the lucky ones that survived the flu as the 1918-19 outbreak was the deadliest in modern history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide, which was about one-third of the planet’s population at the time, and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims. More than 25 percent of the U.S. population became sick, and some 675,000 Americans died during the pandemic. Seaman Porter would be in the hospital until October 14, 1918, when he was released and went back into the barracks at the New York Yard.

It was not until November 2, 1918 when he was finally assigned as an Armed Guard crew aboard a merchant ship. On November 2, Seaman Porter reported for duty aboard the SS Mariners Harbor as a member of her Naval Armed Guard crew. Also, reporting for duty with Seaman Porter was another young sailor by the name of Stephen Hitriz, who was at the time a month shy of being 17-years old. Hitriz was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The Mariners Harbor was a 2,431-gross ton merchant ship built by the Staten Island Ship Building Company, and operated by the New York and Porto Rico Steamship Company. The Mariners Harbor was a single screw schooner steamer of 264-feet in length and 42-feet wide, and drew 29-feet of draft. The master of the Mariners Harbor was Captain Hansen and they were employed on the Porto Rico to New York route hauling sugar, and coal.

Nine days after Seaman Porter had been assigned to the Mariners Harbor the war ended. Porters gun crew likely never saw any action against an enemy U-boat, and on December 19, 1918, Seaman Porter, Hitriz and the Armed Guard gun crew were no longer needed, and were removed. By January 12, 1919, Seaman Porter was back in the barracks at the New York Navy Yard being inactivated.

Nelson Rufus Porter was born on March 26, 1895 in Mapleton, Aroostook County, Maine. His parents were Lillian E. Rockwell (1867-1952) and Rufus Edmund Porter (1853-1935). After the turn of the Century in June of 1900, when the Federal Census was taken the Rufus Porter family lived in Presque Isle, Maine where Rufus was working as a farm laborer. Rufus and Lillian at the time had three children, Leona, Nelson, and Nellie. Along with them living in the house was Rufus’s two elder brothers, James and Robert.

After the First World War had ended and discharged from the Navy, Nelson Porter returned back to his parents’ home who by then were living on Farmington Road in New Sharon, in Franklin County, Maine. Rufus who was 69-years old at the time was still working as a farm laborer and his son Nelson also worked on the farm. Living in the home was Rufus and Lillian, Nelson and his youngest sister Nellie. There was also an 8-year boy named Kenneth living there also. Kenneth was Leona’s son but Lillian and Rufus had adopted him and raised him.

While living in New Sharon Nelson met and fell in love with Annie Elizabeth Stinson of New Sharon. It was on Christmas Day of 1921 that Nelson and Annie were married. Gordon C. Shedd was the minister who married them in New Sharon. At the time, Annie was an 18-year old school teacher and Nelson was 26 and was still working on a farm.

By 1930 Nelson and Annie had moved away from New Sharon to Solon, Maine. Solon is located along the Kennebec River in Somerset County, Maine. Nelson and Annie had a home located on Parkman Hill Road, where Nelson was working on a farm to support his family.

Nelson and Annie had their first child named Madeline Marie who was born on September 26, 1920. This was followed by a son named Selden Nelson who was born on February 8, 1924, and another son named George Sherwood who was born on August 10, 1925. All three children were born in Franklin County, Maine.

By 1935 in the Somerset County seat of Skowhegan a Women’s Correctional Center was built and in operation. Annie had by then become a nurse and was employed there. Sometime during 1935 Nelson and Annie moved from Solon to Skowhegan to a farm home located on Waterville Road in Skowhegan. Along with the family Nelson and Annie had a lodger living with them. She was an 18-year old single woman named Christine Walker who was born in Maine.

Living at the farm on Waterville Road for most of the Depression years were hard, but better job opportunities presented themselves in Rhode Island. Nelson had taken a job working on a large farm known as the Quidnessett Farm because many of the young men were leaving to go into the service leaving the large farm with a desperate need for manpower. As America entered into the Second World War, Annie took a job at the Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center working in the large chow hall kitchens. Quidnessett Farm is now Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown, RI. Both Nelson and Annie worked these jobs through the war years.

Once the war was over about 1946 Nelson and Annie purchased a farm of their own located on the West Allenton Road in North Kingstown, RI. This was a dairy Farm and Nelson ran it quite efficiently throughout the 1950’s. The ground where this farm once was, is now a housing development known as Porter Estates.

By 1961 Nelson and Annie had grown tired of Rhode Island and longed to be back in Maine. They had rented out the farm in Rhode Island and bought another farm back on the Waterville Road near Skowhegan. This farm overlooked the Kennebec River, and it was there that Nelson raised cattle, and pulling ponies. Nelson became a gentleman farmer of sorts and entered his pulling ponies in many of the county fairs in the area. Annie went back to her old job at the Skowhegan Women’s Correctional Center and retired from there. It was about 1971 that the Rhode Island farm was finally sold.

Nelson and Annie would live the rest of their lives in the farm on Waterville Road in Skowhegan. It was in 1977 that Nelson Porter had a stroke, and the last years of his life was spent at the Togus VA Hospital near Augusta, Maine.

Nelson Rufus Porter would pass away on December 13 of 1979 at the Togus VA Hospital, and was buried in the New Sharon Village Cemetery. His wife Annie lived on in the Waterville Road farm until 1993 when she passed away, and was buried next to Nelson. The family sold the farm after her death.

And so, ended the story of who the man was that lies today beneath the dark flat stone in the New Sharon Cemetery, that is simply engraved; “Nelson R. Porter 1895 – 1979.”

"Nelson R. Porter 1895 - 1979"

  Seaman Nelson R. Porter, USNRF

Ella Sealy Sponsor of the USS Galveston (Cruiser No. 17)

Miss Ella Sealy was the daughter of George Sealy who was a Galveston Banker and prominent Galveston citizen. When the USS Galveston was going to be launched she needed a sponsor for her christening and Miss Sealy was selected because of her family prominence in Galveston, Texas.

Miss Sealy was born in Galveston, Texas in December of 1878 to George and Magnolina Willis Sealy. George her father was born in January of 1835 in Pennsylvania of Irish parents and had moved west and settled in Galveston where he was a very successful banker. George and his wife Magnolina would later have seven children, four daughters and 3 sons, Ella being the second eldest child.

Ella Sealy was married on November 24, 1907 to Emerson Root Newell and was a member of the daughters of the American Revolution. She is the Gr-gr-gr-grandaughter of Jesse Womack (1739-1815). He was a Lieutenant in the Continental Army serving under General John Twiggs, for which service he received a land grant. Jesse Womack was born in Virginia in Madison County, Georgia.

Francis Laird Chadwick, C. O. USS Galveston

Photo circa 1901 of Ensign Francis Laird Chadwick, USN

Francis Laird Chadwick, Commanding Officer of the USS Galveston, from June of 1917 to September of 1918. This photo was taken in 1901 showing him as an Ensign. Chadwick graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1893, and during the Spanish-American-War served on the USS Raleigh during the Battle at Manila Bay.

Chadwick served as Flag Lieutenant to Admiral Joseph Coghlan on the following ships; USS Brooklyn, USS Olympia and USS Mayflower from June 2, 1902 to April, 1904. Admiral Coghlan was Captain of the USS Raleigh at the Battle of Manila bay, at which time Chadwick was an Ensign.

In 1908 Chadwick had risen to the rank of Lt. Commander and was commanding officer of the USS Prairie. In 1912 Lt. CMDR Chadwick was commanding officer of the battleship USS New Hampshire. In 1914 now at the rank of Commander was the commanding officer of the cruiser USS Montana. 1915 Commander Chadwick had shore duty and was in charge of the Naval Magazine located at St. Juliens Creek, located at the confluence of St. Juliens Creek and the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in the City of Chesapeake, located in southeastern Virginia. Then in 1917 Commander Chadwick again had sea duty commanding the USS Wilmington. Following this he was in command of the USS Galveston. On March 20, 1918 he was temporarily advanced to Captain during the war. After the war he reverted to his permanent rank of Commander. On January 1, 1922 he was the most senior Commander in the US Navy, and had command of the battleship USS Ohio.

While serving as the commanding officer of the Galveston during WWI he was awarded the Navy Cross while engaged on patrol against raiders in the waters of the Asiatic Station, and later during convoy duty in the Atlantic, escorting troops and cargo through enemy waters. He also had in his file a Letter of Commendation.

Captain Chadwick retired from Active Service in the Navy in 1922 and was advanced to the rank of Captain. Francis Laird Chadwick passed away on August 1, 1941.

Photos provided by Captain Chadwick's grandson, Laird Chadwick who served in Vietnam with the United States Marines from 1965-66.

Photo of Ensign Chadwick, second from left aboard the USS Raleigh in 1899

Chief Carpenter Clarence Le Roy Bennett

Clarence Le Roy Bennett was born on January 12, 1869 in New York. His father was from Vermont and his mother was from Virginia. Bennett joined the navy on May 24, 1898 and was in 1900 serving as a carpenter aboard the USS Chicago. His home was listed as 241 Nyona St. in Brooklyn, New York and was single at the time. By 1910 Bennett was now a Chief Carpenter serving on the battleship USS Rhode Island. In 1912 he was 20th in rank of all Chief Carpenters in the navy, and was then serving at the New York Navy Yard, having spent at that time a total of 7-years and 5-months at sea. By 1915 he was now serving on the USS Galveston. On October 1, 1915 Chief Carpenter Bennett passed away.

Seaman Raymond T. Yates

Seaman Raymond T. Yates, USN

On February 13, 1920 the United States Federal Census was taken aboard the USS Galveston. She is then serving as the Flagship of Rear Admiral Mark L. Bristol and the Galveston was Under the command of Captain John W. Greenslade. Among the crew serving under the command of Captain Greenslade was a 22-year old seaman by the name of Raymond Travis Yates. At the time he was single and listed his home as Cottage Grove, Henry County, Tennessee.

Seaman Yates was born on January 10, 1898 in Charlotte, Independence County, Arkansas to Avonia Elizabeth and Alexander Yates. On the day that America Declared War, April 6, 1917 Raymond T. Yates enlisted into the United States Navy.

Once Seaman Yates finished his training he was assigned to a ship, and it was likely that he served his entire enlistment aboard the USS Galveston. Yates would have been aboard when the Galveston arrived on station on July 14, 1919 in Constantinople, Turkey where she served as Flagship of Admiral Bristol.

As the Galveston spent time in Constantinople the crew had time to explore and get to know the city and all she had to offer, with one of the things being the local women. Seaman Yates met and got to know a 23-year old Greek woman living in Constantinople by the name of Siena Hassau Pasha Zade. She had been born in Constantinople but was a Greek citizen.

By the end of 1920 Raymond and Siena were in love and wanted to get married. Seaman Yates had to ask permission and was granted such to marry Sienna. It was on December 27, 1920 at the Pera Palace Hotel that Raymond and Siena were married by Navy Chaplain Lt. (j.g.) J. M. Hester, USN. The Vice Consul of the United States legation in Constantinople, Alfred Theo. Burri signed and sealed the official document of Raymond and Siena’s marriage certificate.

Seaman Yates would serve out his term of service in Constantinople aboard the Galveston until his discharge on October 5, 1920. He and Siena lived in Constantinople after his discharge until they wanted to return to the States. On November 3, 1920 Raymond T. Yates applied for a Passport for himself and Siena to travel via Greece, Italy, France back to the States. The passport was issued on May 28, 1921.

But the time between the marriage on December 27, 1920 and the issuing of the passport on May 28, 1921 was not good on the new marriage between Raymond and Siena. Raymond’s intention likely was to bring his new wife back home to Paris, Tennessee, but Siena may have had other thoughts. They likely were divorced although no record seems to exist. The fact is late in June Raymond T. Yates boarded the SS Hog Island in Constantinople and took transportation back to New York alone. The Hog Island arrived in New York Harbor on July 9, 1921, and Yates got off the ship and traveled back to his parents’ home in Paris, Tennessee.

Raymond began life again and soon was living in San Antonio, Texas. There he met Opal Elizabeth Krippendorf (1907-1997). Raymond and Opal began a life together although they were not married. It was on October 6 of 1925 that Opal gave birth to a daughter they named Margaret Ann “Margie” Yates. This would be the couples only child. Raymond and Opal were married on September 20, 1930.

Raymond’s father Alexander passed away on the family farm in Paris, Tennessee on July 12, 1942. In 1948 Opal, Margie, and Raymond lived in an apartment located at 412 Buena Vista in San Antonio, Texas. By 1952 they had moved to Lubbock, Texas where Raymond worked as a cookie distributor and also as a pecan buyer. There in Lubbock Raymond’s widowed mother Avonia Elizabeth also lived with them until her death in 1958.

Likely sometime after the death of his mother in 1958 Opal, Margie, and Raymond moved back to Paris, Tennessee. There they would live until Raymond passed away on August 21, 1973. Opal lived on in Paris until her death on April 24, 1997. Today Raymond and Opal lie buried in the Johnson Chapel Cemetery in Paris, Tennessee.

Seaman Second Class William Arthur McClintock

William Arthur McClintock photographed sometime during WWI. On his sleeve he wears the markings of a Seaman Second Class and the Markings of the "Apprentice Mark" and was to be worn by all enlisted persons that belong to or have passed through the ratings of apprentice in the Navy. On the over shirt and jumper, it is to be worn on the breast, two-inches below the neck opening. On all coats, except overcoats, it is to be worn on the outside of the same sleeve as the rating badge, halfway between the elbow and wrist. The downward pointing star is the mark of "Master-at-Arms" During WWI, the Navy was becoming what it is today...a major force with thousands of sailors.  The role of the MAA was becoming more important to maintain good order and discipline and maintain security on the ships. The rating symbol at the time was that of a five-point star, later it would become the shield and star.  The tradition of keeping the original star from this era into the new symbol is a matter of tradition.

William Arthur McClintock, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 31 January 1895.  He was the son of David Lewis McClintock and Anne Irene (nee Fennel).  He served in the US Navy from 1914-1919. The paragraph headings are taken from his official records and indicate changes in duty status and date.

6 November 1914
Enlisted at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and transferred to Recruit Training at New Port, Rhode Island. Enlisted Rank: Able Seaman, with starting pay rated at $17.50 per month. William was 18-years old when he enlisted.

8 May 1915: Naval Recruit Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island
William attended Naval Recruit training at Newport Rhode Island Naval Training Station from November 1914 through June 1915, after which he was assigned to the USS Brooklyn.  He was promoted on 11 March 1915 to the rank or rating of Ordinary Seaman. Ordinary Seaman duties included the following:  Standing deck department watches and performing a variety of duties to preserve painted surfaces of the ship and to maintain lines, running gear, and cargo-handling gear in a safe operating condition: Watches from the bow of the ship or wing of the bridge for obstructions in the path of ship. Performs duty turning the ship’s wheel while observing a compass to steer and maintain the ship on course. Mops or washes down decks, using a hose, to remove oil, dirt, and debris. Chips and cleans rust spots from deck, superstructure, and sides of ship, using hand or air chipping hammer and or a wire brush. Paints chipped area. In addition the Ordinary Seaman splices wire and rope, using a marlinespike, wire cutters, and twine.

30 June 1915: USS Brooklyn, Rank Ordinary Seaman
After completing Recruit Training William reported to the USS Brooklyn an Armored Cruiser stationed in the Philippine Islands and pulling duty in the South Western Pacific Ocean between the Philippines and China. The USS Brooklyn was commissioned in ordinary 2 March 1914. She was placed in full commission at Philadelphia 9 May 1915 and served on Neutrality Patrol around Boston harbor until November, when she sailed to the Asiatic station where she served as flagship for the Commander-in-Chief. She attended to regular military and diplomatic duties in China, Japan, and Russia until September 1919. The USS Brooklyn was the flagship for the Commander of Division 1, Asian Fleet, and later of the Commander of the Destroyer Squadron.

30 July 1915: Naval Hospital No. 5 
Due to lack of records it isn’t known what particular ailment afflicted William during his repeated stays in hospital.  The 1915 Surgeon’s Report for the Philippines however lists the number of cases treated during that year and lists by proportion the cases.  The following diseases and inherent tropical illnesses were typical and listed in order of cases treated, various Venereal Diseases, Dysentery, Malarial fevers, Dengue, and Bronchitis.  It is probable that one or more of these during his five-years in the South Pacific afflicted William.  After William’s recovery from sickness he was reassigned from the USS Brooklyn to the USS Galveston.

23 Dec 1915: USS Galveston, Rank Ordinary Seaman
Galveston's tour on the Asiatic Station was largely taken up with convoy service for supply ships and troop transports shuttling Marines and other garrison forces and stores between the Philippines and ports of Japan and China for the protection of American lives, property, and interests with brief intervals of Yangtze River Patrol for the same purpose. It was reported in the 18 December 1915 edition of the Washington Post under the "Movements of Vessels" section that the Galveston and Cincinnati sailed from Shanghai to Manila. She also made one convoy trip from the Philippines to British North Borneo and two trips to Guam in the Marianas. William Arthur McClintock was stationed on the USS Galveston on 23 December 1915.  He was stationed on this ship through October 1916.

30 Sep 1916: USS [unknown]
This change in status or duty station is unknown due to original record copy being illegible.  It is likely that since he was on the USS Cincinnati 25 days after this posting that it would have been the same ship.

26 Oct 1916: USS Cin [unreadable] probably USS Cincinnati
USS Cincinnati, in reserve 8 March 1911, the Cincinnati was in full commission from 11 October 1911, and two months later returned to the Asiatic Station for a 6-year tour of duty similar to her earlier employment there. This would coincide with the time that William Arthur was assigned to duty on this ship. William Arthur McClintock was stationed on the USS Cincinnati from October 1916 through December 1917, after which he is listed at the Naval Hospital Olongapo.

Oct 1916: Naval Hospital, Olongapo, Philippine Islands
The USS Relief was used to supplement the small naval hospital on shore. By the time William Arthur McClintock was there in October 1916 this ship was the main hospital. Originally the ship was part of the Navy’s 1908 Grand Fleet sailing around the world but was left at the Naval Station in Olongapo and utilized as the hospital from 1909.  By 1916 the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy reported it also was in need of repairs, with woodwork rotting and two wards unusable during the rainy season.  

26 Dec 1916: Naval Hospital, Olongapo, Philippine Islands

24 Mar 1917: USS Cincinnati, Rank Seaman 2nd Class
Family tradition records that William during this time was involved in an altercation, which resulted in his desertion from the ship.  Without confirmation from official records the story as told by William’s brother David Lewis McClintock was that William had returned to his ship late in the evening and had missed the evening meal.  Being hungry he went to the ship’s galley and took a pie, which he tried to hide.  Upon reaching the main deck he hid the pie beneath his jacket and when approached by a senior refused to acknowledge the presence of anything unauthorized despite the obvious bulge beneath his jacket.  After William’s denial the senior enlisted man stated, “I know what is there and smashed the pie beneath William’s jacket producing not only a mess but an angry subject.  William reportedly “punched’ the other sailor and ‘jumped’ ship. Desert for Dessert!  Family tradition relates this happened in China.

The exact time frame cannot be ascertained without referral to the Navy Court Martial records.  Family tradition further relates that William operated a hotel during his stay while on shore and wrote letters home under the pseudonym William Harris.  William later turned himself in to Navy authorities.

During this time he sent his mother a gold dragon ring sporting ruby eyes.  The ring is unaccounted for within the family.  His mother and family resided in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  They received another souvenir of the Far East in the form of a carved, dragon handled knife and fork. These were considered “western” souvenirs, as the locals would have eaten with chopsticks. The souvenirs passed into the possession of William’s brother David L. McClintock, and then to his daughter Emma who in turn presented them to William Lloyd Harris. (Wm. Lloyd was named for his uncle William Arthur McClintock, born 1931 who was in turn named for his uncle William Arthur the subject).

Souvenir of the Far East in the form of a carved, dragon handled knife and fork.

6 April 1917: United States enters World War I

11 Nov 1918: Armistice Day, Peace declared ending World War I

12 Dec 1918: R.S. Cavite, Philippine Islands   
William is reported, as being delivered to a Receiving Ship on 12 Dec 1918 this was just one month after the termination of the First World War. The ship is stationed at Cavite Naval Base

31 Dec 1918: Cavite, Philippine Islands
Cavite Naval Base also known as Sangley Naval Base, Cavite or Cavite Naval Base. Canacao Point is the name of the area and was part of the Cavite Naval Reservoir. The name "Sangley" was a local or colloquial term coined by Filipinos to Chinese merchants (xiang-li) who used the area since early history. After the Spanish-American war, the US Navy developed this area into a Navy yard, airfield, seaplane base, hospital, and support facilities. This station was headquarters of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet.

21 Feb 1919: Cavite, Philippine Islands. Rank Seaman 2nd Class
William after having been absent without official leave subsequently turned himself in and served his time to discharge in 1919.  The US Naval Court at the time stipulated that a sailor absent with out official leave or under consideration termed a deserter who voluntarily surrendered and had 12 months or less remaining on his enlistment was to be punished under a General Court Martial and receive imprisonment.  If the sailor’s time had been good prior to the infraction he could be sentenced to 1 year or less or until his remaining time in service was served. 

It seems that William was incarcerated for at least 5-6 months at the US Naval Prison at Cavite, Philippine Islands. Referring to his naval record and as yet researching abbreviations it is presumed that he surrendered between 12 December 1918 and or 21 February 1919 and was in prison through 10 July 1919.  It is not known at what time he actually deserted his ship and the light term may indicate that he was actually absent prior to the entry of the nation into World War I as desertion during wartime carried the death penalty.  Continuing research and procurement of further records whether the actual Court Martial or Ship’s Logbooks may shed further light on William’s time in service.

21 Feb 1919: Joined
The term (joined) in his record might indicate the date of the recommencement of the remainder of his enlistment time.

Mar 1919: (T) US Naval Prison
The (T) designation found in his record indicates Temporary Duty.

27 Jun 1919: (T) US Naval Prison

30 Jun 1919: (T) Cavite, Philippine Islands

2 Sep 1919: Navy Demobilization Station, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Referring to his naval record it seems that William turned himself in on or around 21 February 1919 and was incarcerated through 10 July 1919 after which he returned to the United States and was discharged at the Navy Demobilization Station located at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

After World War I many communities sought to honor their veterans both living and dead.  William Arthur McClintock’s service in the war was commended by having his name included on one of several bronze tablets as part of the Homewood-Pittsburgh Carnegie Library’s Memorial.   The memorial honors men of Pittsburgh’s 13th Ward.  

1917 - 1919
Memorial Plaques
(Located at Front Door Entrance of Carnegie Library-Homewood Branch)


McClintock Photos provided by Wm. Lloyd Harris grandnephew and Candice DiNapoli grandniece of Seaman William A. McClintock.

L-R; William Arthur McClintock, unknown Marine & Sailor

William returned to civilian life working as a car repairman for the Pennsylvania Rail Road in Pittsburgh, and later as a watchman.  On February 24, 1931 he died as a result of a gunshot received while trying to apprehend a criminal robbing a gas station in Pittsburgh.  He was buried in the cemetery at Unity Presbyterian Church in Plum, Pennsylvania. Grave is unmarked.

This page is owned by Joe Hartwell ©2004-2017

If you have research comments or additional information on this page E-mail them to: Joe Hartwell

This page was created on 18 April, 2004 and last modified on: July 27, 2017

[ Return back to the Site Map] [ Return to the Main Ship's Histories Page ]