Sea History 178 - Spring 2022

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No. 178





The Search for USRC Bear A Century of Carrier Aviation Indigenous Maritime Perspectives Opium Bust in the Pacific NW

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No. 178




20 The Search for Captain Healy’s Cutter Bear by Bradley W. Barr and William H. Thiesen US Revenue Cutter Bear served for nine decades before being lost at sea in 1963. Last October, NOAA and Coast Guard researchers announced that a wreck site they located last year is the resting place of the storied ship.

uscg collection

12 National Maritime Awards Dinner and NMHS Invitational Art Gallery In April, NMHS will recognize three esteemed individuals whose contributions to the museum and maritime heritage fields are unsurpassed. A special exhibition of contemporary marine art will be featured at the gala. Proceeds from the sale of these works benefit NMHS.


26 USS Langley and the Centennial of US Navy Carrier Aviation by David F. Winkler 2022 marks the centennial of the commissioning of the US Navy’s first aircraft carrier. Many naval aviators gained tactical experience taking off and landing on Langley’s flight deck.

36 “[T]hey saile incomparably well”—Reconsidering Indigenous Maritime Aggression in Colonial New England by Kiara Royer and Ned Schaumberg Maritime scholarship can provide a wider range of stories from the past and amplify voices that have not always been at the forefront. This examination of Dummer’s War considers Indigenous perspectives and knowledge within Anglo-Wabanaki relations.

us navy photo, nhhc

34 Advocating for Maritime Heritage Funding: Congress Recognizes and Values the Maritime Heritage Grant Program—But Appropriates No Funds by Dr. Timothy J. Runyan, National Maritime Alliance Securing and maintaining support in Congress is critical to keeping the National Maritime Heritage Grant program funded. Dr. Runyan updates us on the current status of this effort.


42 The Emerald, Opium, and Human Trafficking: A Smuggling Venture Disrupted by Daniel A. Laliberte The smuggling of opium and people into the US across the waters of the Pacific Northwest had become epidemic by the late 1880s. Using knowledge of local waters, intel, and favorable weather conditions, a US revenue cutter busted a notorious smuggler at sea, foiling the attempt.

nova scotia museum

40 Women in the Navy by Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs Office A recent project headed up by Linda Gilday, wife of Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday, takes a look at pioneering women in the US Navy, past and present.


Cover: January Fykes, by Marc Castelli, 22 x 30 inches, watercolor on paper (See pp. 16–19 for additional selections from the NMHS Invitational Art Gallery.)

DEPARTMENTS 4 Deck Log and Letters 8 NMHS: A Cause in Motion 48 Sea History for Kids

52 Ship Notes, Seaport & Museum News 58 Reviews 64 Patrons

Sea History and the National Maritime Historical Society Sea History e-mail:; NMHS e-mail:; Website: Ph: 914 737-7878; 800 221-NMHS MEMBERSHIP is invited. Afterguard $10,000; Benefactor $5,000; Plankowner $2,500; Sponsor $1,000; Donor $500; Patron $250; Friend $100; Regular $45. All members outside the USA please add $20 for postage. Sea History is sent to all members. Individual copies cost $4.95.

library of congress

46 Birthplace of the US Navy…Is Where? by William H. White Multiple cities and towns claim credit for being the birthplace of the US Navy; author and NMHS Trustee Bill White explores how the debate remains unresolved to this day.


SEA HISTORY (issn 0146-9312) is published quarterly by the National Maritime Historical Society, 1000 North Division St., #4, Peekskill NY 10566 USA. Periodicals postage paid at Peekskill NY 10566 and add’l mailing offices. COPYRIGHT © 2022 by the National Maritime Historical Society. Tel: 914 737-7878. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Sea History, PO Box 68, Peekskill NY 10566.


DECK LOG “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. … It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” —The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933–2020), US Supreme Court Justice

CDR Billie J. Farrell is the first woman to command Old Ironsides in the ship’s 224-year history. USS Constitution is based at Boston’s Charlestown Navy Yard, where it receives the public for tours and events year-round, interpreting its role in the history of the US Navy. One of the Navy’s original six frigates, Constitution played a crucial role in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812, and remained undefeated in battle, destroying or capturing 33 opposing vessels. CDR Farrell hails from Paducah, Kentucky, and is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and the University of Arkansas.

us navy photo by mass communication specialist 2nd class skyler okerman

It is an exciting time for female firsts in the maritime world; in 2022, for the first time in our nation’s history, two of the most famous sailing ships in the United States will be commanded by women. In January, CDR Billie J. Farrell became the 77th commanding officer of USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat. In June, the 295-foot barque Eagle, the training ship and ambassador vessel of the United States Coast Guard Academy, will get underway with its first female commanding officer, CAPT (select) Jessica Rozzi-Ochs.

courtesy jessica rozzi-ochs

In June 2022, CAPT (select) Jessica Rozzi-Ochs will relieve CAPT Michael Turdo as the next commanding officer of USCGC Eagle. Known around the world as CDR Billie J. Farrell, USN “America’s Tall Ship,” the three-masted barque Eagle is underway from March through October each year, taking cadets and officer candidates to sea under square rig, to ports around the country and around the world. Rozzi-Ochs is an alumna of the US Coast Guard Academy; she also has advanced degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida and in National Security and Resource Strategy from the National Defense University, Dwight D. Eisenhower School; and is a graduate of the Defense Acquisition University’s Senior Acquisition Course. Throughout her career, Rozzi-Ochs has served in positions both ashore and afloat, including shipboard assignments aboard the cutters Tahoma and Valiant, and as Eagle’s executive officer (XO). She is currently serving as Deputy Chief in the Coast Guard’s Office of Congressional Affairs. This summer, when cadets look up to the bridge at their captain, they will also be receiving commands from sailing master CWO2 Melissa Polson, who will CAPT (select) Jessica serve as the first female in this position aboard Eagle. Rozzi-Ochs, USCG Regarding the premise that women have had to prove themselves by working harder, being smarter, and being better prepared than their male colleagues in a world when there were law schools in this country that didn’t even have women’s restrooms and when girls were told that studying mathematics would hurt their brains, it was quipped that Ginger Rogers did what Fred Astaire did—only backwards and in high heels. Neither backwards nor in heels, it is fantastic to see these women at the helm. —Burchenal Green, president 4

NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY PUBLISHER’S CIRCLE: Peter Aron, Guy E. C. Maitland, Ronald L. Oswald OFFICERS & TRUSTEES: Chairman, CAPT James A. Noone, USN (Ret.); Vice Chairman, Richardo R. Lopes; President, Burchenal Green; Vice Presidents: Jessica MacFarlane, Deirdre O’Regan, Wendy Paggiotta; Treasurer, William H. White; Secretary, Jean Wort; Trustees: Charles B. Anderson; Walter R. Brown; CAPT Patrick Burns, USN (Ret.); CAPT Sally McElwreath Callo, USN (Ret.); William S. Dudley; David Fowler; Karen Helmerson; K. Denise Rucker Krepp; Guy E. C. Maitland; Capt. Jeffrey McAllister; Salvatore Mercogliano; Michael Morrow; Richard Patrick O’Leary; Ronald L. Oswald; ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.); Timothy J. Runyan; Richard Scarano; Capt. Cesare Sorio; Chairmen Emeriti: Walter R. Brown, Alan G. Choate, Guy E. C. Maitland, Ronald L. Oswald; Howard Slotnick (1930–2020) FOUNDER: Karl Kortum (1917–1996) PRESIDENT EMERITUS: Peter Stanford (1927–2016) OVERSEERS: Chairman, RADM David C. Brown, USMS (Ret.); RADM Joseph F. Callo, USN (Ret.); George W. Carmany III; Christopher J. Culver; Richard du Moulin; Alan D. Hutchison; Gary Jobson; Sir Robin KnoxJohnston; John Lehman; Capt. Brian McAllister; Capt. James J. McNamara; Philip J. Shapiro; H. C. Bowen Smith; John Stobart; Philip J. Webster; Roberta Weisbrod NMHS ADVISORS: John Ewald, Steven A. Hyman, J. Russell Jinishian, Gunnar Lundeberg, Conrad Milster, William G. Muller, Nancy H. Richardson SEA HISTORY EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Chairman, Timothy Runyan; Norman Brouwer, Robert Browning, William Dudley, Lisa Egeli, Daniel Finamore, Kevin Foster, Cathy Green, John Jensen, Frederick Leiner, Joseph Meany, Salvatore Mercogliano, Carla Rahn Phillips, Walter Rybka, Quentin Snediker, William H. White NMHS STAFF: Executive Director, Burchenal Green; Director of Development, Jessica MacFarlane; Head Bookkeeper, Andrea Ryan; Executive Assistant, Heather Purvis; Senior Staff Writer, Shelley Reid; Membership Coordinator, Marianne Pagliaro SEA HISTORY: Editor, Deirdre E. O’Regan; Advertising Director, Wendy Paggiotta Sea History is printed by The Lane Press, South Burlington, Vermont, USA.


We Welcome Your Feedback!


Please email correspondence to

Jones’s list of surviving artifacts and would like to add to that information. I write a blog about how people in the United States (and elsewhere) decorate boats and the meanings behind those decorations. My 5 January 2022 blog post at shows Hartford’s huge carvedHeifer Project cattle bound for Ethiopia, 1947. wood trailboards and complex billethead hunger relief in 26 countries throughout from the Mariners’ Museum collection in the world. An interesting part of its work Newport News, Virginia. I also included is “passing on the gift” where the recipient Hartford’s gilded stern eagle from a photo of an animal gives, in turn, to another fam- I took at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum in 1983. ily in need. The article was fine reading. Carol Olsen John Gill Annapolis, Maryland Little Rock, Arkansas A Legacy in Bits and Pieces Todd Jones’s article on the story and demise of USS Hartford (in Sea History 176) is engaging for its coverage of people, events, chronology, conservation efforts, and the ultimate fate of the ship. I also appreciated USS Hartford billethead at The Mariners’ Museum

one of the premier exhibits in the Naval Academy Museum’s Gallery of Ships is a model of USS Hartford, sponsored by that class, pictured below. Should anyone want to see Hartford the way she was at Mobile Bay, a visit to the museum would be in order. VADM Robert F. Dunn, USN (Ret.) Alexandria, Virginia

courtesy us naval academy pao

courtesy peggy reiff miller

photo by carol olsen

Seagoing Heifers I was pleased to see that the Winter 2021– 2022 issue of Sea History noted the work of Heifer International in Little Rock, Arkansas, hundreds of miles from salt water, in Dr. Joshua Smith’s article on merchant ships and post-war relief. As noted in the article, Heifer is still doing the work it began in World War II and now provides

I much appreciated the story about USS Hartford in the recent issue of Sea History. USS Hartford is of particular interest to the Naval Academy Class of 1951 because

Join Us for a Voyage into History Our seafaring heritage comes alive in the pages of Sea History, from the ancient mariners of Greece to Portuguese navigators opening up the ocean world to the heroic efforts of sailors in modern-day

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Yes, I want to join the Society and receive Sea History quarterly. My contribution is enclosed. ($22.50 is for Sea History; any amount above that is tax deductible.) Sign me up as: $45 Regular Member $100 Friend 178 $250 Patron $500 Donor Mr./Ms. ____________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ZIP_______________ Return to: National Maritime Historical Society, 1000 North Division St., #4, Peekskill, NY 10566



courtesy of the artists

USRC Bear —Greely Expedition Rescue Mission by Odie Tucker

Heave To…Or Else! by Ralph R. DeBaise

us dot

Rules of the Road at Sea and Ashore I enjoyed the short “Origins of the Rules of the Road” piece by the late Charles Dana Gibson in the recent issue of Sea History. Gibson discusses the US Navy’s issuance of General Order No. 34, which laid out rules for overtaking vessels and signals for passing. Gen. Order No. 34 had to have influenced avid yachtsman William Phelps Eno, “The Father of Traffic Safety,” as he created the overland “rules of the road” we use in the United States today. These include police to control traffic, light and semaphore signals, stop signs, traffic circles, one-way streets, taxi stands, pedestrian safety islands, designated fast and slow traffic lanes, and even the invention of crude but clever speed traps. It is hard to believe that one man dedicated so much of his life developing traffic controls. I published an

William Phelps Eno 6

article in 2017 in the journal New York History that goes into many of his hardfought innovations. You can find the article online through Project Muse (www. or JStor ( by searching for “New York History” and “William Phelps Eno.” Dr. Louis A. Norton West Simsbury, Connecticut USRC Bear Inspiring a Nation, Then and Now Congratulations to all those who contributed to the discovery of the shipwreck site of the United States Revenue Cutter Bear. Thanks to the National Maritime Historical Society for an update on the discovery. It is truly regrettable this historic vessel didn’t safely reach its destination. As an artist in the Coast Guard Art Program (COGAP), the news of the recent discovery piqued my interest. The Bear’s successful search and rescue for the Greely Expedition was the subject of a watercolor painting, which I completed and gifted to the USCG archives (see image, above right). The Sea History article reminded me of some of the highlights of the Bear’s career, which I learned while conducting research for the painting. Odie Tucker Dauphin Island, Alabama From the editor: News of the discovery of USRC Bear’s wreck site this past October generated lots of interest, from those interested in maritime archaeology, Coast Guard history, the issue of race in government

service in the 19th century, armchair sailors, and artists. We received correspondence from two artists who, inspired by the history of Bear’s service in the Arctic, created paintings of the storied ship during that period. The first came from Odie Tucker, whose painting of the Bear during the Greely Expedition is above right. Above left is a painting by Ralph DeBaise, who described the scene he painted here: The revenue cutter Bear is shown blowing her whistle and firing a shot from the three-inch gun on her bow, intended to compel a suspicious vessel in US territorial waters to stop. It is based on an event that took place in July 1908 in the Bering Sea. The Bear encountered the vessel—what turned out to be a Japanese ship, Kensei Maur—deceptively rigged as a topsail schooner with a white hull, painted to resemble, at a distance, the revenue cutter Perry. The wind was light and her crew was desperately piling on all sail to escape into international waters. The Kensei Maur ignored the revenue cutter’s signal at first but was finally stopped and boarded. Bear’s crew discovered 730 illegal sealskins in the vessel’s hold and promptly arrested the ship’s crew. For more on the story of USRC Bear and the search to find the ship’s remains, please refer to pages 20–24 in this issue, for a feature article by William H. Thiesen and Bradley W. Barr, who headed up the search team. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022




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A CAUSE IN MOTION National Maritime Historical Society 59th Annual Meeting 3–5 June 2022 • Staten Island, New York The NMHS Board of Trustees and program chair Walter Brown are delighted to invite members of the National Maritime Historical Society to join us for a lively and informative weekend on Staten Island, the “unexpected” and “greenest borough” of New York City, for our 59th Annual Meeting on Saturday, 4 June. Join us in the Great Hall at “Celebrate,” a beautiful and historic venue situated in the middle of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens, original home of Sailor’s Snug Harbor.

(l-r) photo of snug harbor cultural center by jim henderson via wikimedia; john noble’s houseboat studio courtesy noble maritime collection; shipyard photo courtesy caddell dry dock

After registration and a continental breakfast, we’ll start the annual business meeting, followed by presentations from leaders across the local maritime heritage community. Ciro Galeno Jr., executive director of the Noble Maritime Collection—our host— will share insights on this extraordinary museum interpreting the life and art of marine painter John Noble (1913–1983). Susan Abbate, director of education at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, will highlight the fascinating history of the Sailors’ Snug Harbor, which opened in 1831 as one of the first retirement communities for sailors in the country. We will also hear from Erin Urban, founder of the Noble Maritime Collection, who will share with us the mysteries of Robbins Reef Lighthouse, and the challenges of its restoration. Peter Malinowski, executive director of the Billion Oyster Project and a recent NMHS Seminar Series speaker, will discuss how adding oysters to New York Harbor—more than 75 million of them since 2014—is helping to restore its ecosystem and minimize flooding and erosion along the shorelines. Victoria Munro, executive director of the Alice Austen House, will tell us about the pioneering photographer and Staten Island native, whose legacy includes thousands of photographs of New York Harbor from the late 1800s. The late NMHS president emeritus Peter Stanford was a longtime champion of Austen, referring to her as an “indomitable genius” with a “blazing determination to get at the truth of things through her camera.” After lunch in the Great Hall, we will take guided tours of the Noble Maritime Collection, the grounds and buildings of historic Sailor’s Snug Harbor, and the Staten Island Museum, which has been dubbed a “mini Smithsonian” for its vast and eclectic collection. The tours will also give us the opportunity to

enjoy the seasonal beauty of the botanical gardens, including the lovely Tuscan Garden with its olive and lemon trees and the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, one of just two authentic classical outdoor Chinese gardens built in the United States. Registration for the Saturday annual meeting is $155 per person and includes transportation from the hotel and back, breakfast, the business meeting, presentations, lunch, and tours. We invite you to join us a day early on Friday, 3 June, at Staten Island’s National Lighthouse Museum for a three-hour boat tour of the lighthouses around New York Harbor, viewing Sandy Hook Light, the Navesink Twin Lights in New Jersey, Battery Weed Light at Fort Wadsworth, and the Coney Island, West Bank, and Romer Shoal lights, with a casual lunch served on board. Registration for Friday’s visit to the museum, boat tour, and lunch is $75. On Sunday morning, 5 June, join us for a guided tour of Caddell Dry Dock, led by its president, Steve Kalil, who will share the history of this full-service shipyard, in operation since 1903, and the unique concerns restoring historic sailing ships. The cost for the Sunday tour is $10. Newly elected board chair Jim Noone encourages all NMHS members to join us. To ensure that the organization continues to flourish and grow, it is important that its leaders and members gather to share ideas and chart the Society’s course into the future. For more information and to register, please see the magazine wrapper, visit us at, or contact Heather Purvis via email at administrator@seahistory. org or by phone at (914) 737-7878 ext. 0. Sponsorship opportunities are available; if you can join us as a Donor, Sponsor or Underwriter, we would be grateful.

NMHS has taken a block of rooms from 2–5 June at the Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island at 1100 South Avenue, Staten Island, NY, for $169/night, plus taxes, including complimentary parking. To make your hotel reservation, click on the booking link on our website or call (718) 477-2400 and use the group code “National Maritime Historical Society.” The rate is available until 3 May, or until the reserved block is full. Please note that proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (original vaccination card—no reproductions—or NY Excelsior Pass) is required for all visitors ages 12 and above entering all indoor spaces, as mandated by the City of New York. 8


Caddell shipyard on Staten Island, NY. Photo by Michael Falco.

NMHS Legacy Society Each one of us can make a difference. Together, we make change. — Senator Barbara Mikulski, 2015 NMHS Distinguished Service Award recipient Since our founding in 1963, the National Maritime Historical Society has striven to tell the stories, great and small, near and far, that make up the broad panorama of our maritime history. Over the last six decades, hundreds of thousands of readers have discovered in the pages of Sea History magazine a treasure-trove of stories that captivate, connect and enlighten us all about the vital role of our seas, rivers, lakes and bays, and those who have plied upon them. The lessons that our maritime heritage can teach—courage, ingenuity, self-reliance, and grit—are timeless. It is more important than ever to bring these lessons to young people—tomorrow’s maritime leaders. Now you can create a legacy for the next generation of sea service men and women, marine biologists and science teachers, maritime librarians and museum curators, shipwrights and preservationists, marine artists and musicians, ocean racers and tugboat captains, history teachers and writers—to ensure our maritime history is not lost.

Help NMHS keep history alive! Making a legacy gift to the Society is a deeply personal and transformative way to support our lifelong work, helping us to prepare for the future while bolstering the work we do now for our maritime heritage. Including the National Maritime Historical Society in your will or living trust is one of the most effective ways to provide for the Society’s future while retaining assets during your lifetime. No matter the size of your gift, you’ll be playing an important role in preserving our shared maritime heritage and inspiring future generations. We are happy to assist as you consider a planned gift to NMHS. Please visit us at plannedgiving, email, or call us (914) 737-7878 Ext. 0 for more information.

Have you already made a legacy gift?

We hope you will notify us when you have included us in your future planning so that we may thank you and welcome you as a new member of our NMHS Legacy Society. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022


Change of Command — New Leadership for the NMHS Board of Trustees After thirteen years leading the National Maritime Historical Society’s Board of Trustees, chair Ronald L. Oswald stepped down on January 1st and handed the tiller over to fellow trustee James A. Noone. Under Ron’s leadership, the Society navigated a steady course through good times and some serious challenges, with confidence in the mission.

Ronald L. Oswald

nmhs photo

Ronald Oswald was first introduced to the maritime world by reading articles in the Naval Institute’s Proceedings that he discovered in his high school library. Later, he discovered Sea History and began attending the monthly NMHS seminars in Peekskill, New York. He became a knowledgeable and active member, particularly interested in the maritime contributions that helped win the Revolutionary War. It was then-NMHS president Peter Stanford whom Ron credits with turning his mere interest into a passion, and in 2001 he joined the board of trustees.

Ron Oswald, at right, celebrates the re-launching of the historic whaling ship Charles W. Morgan in 2014 with then-president of Mystic Seaport Museum Steve White (center) and the museum’s shipyard director, Quentin Snediker. Since taking on the reins of board chair in 2008, Ron has been an active ambassador for the Society at events across the country and internationally. He has become a member of numerous maritime organizations and has represented NMHS on the boards of the Council of American Maritime Museums and the Pickle Night dinner for the Friends of the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Ron has strengthened our involvement with other major maritime heritage institutions, working closely with groups like the North American Society for Oceanic History, Tall Ships America, Steamship Historical Society of America, and the American Society of Marine Artists. During his tenure as board chair, Ron has backed the efforts of the National Maritime Alliance’s work advocating for federal funding for the Maritime Heritage Grants program and supported the establishment of the National Maritime Awards Dinner—which has since become an important annual event in our nation’s capital. Recognizing that an integral component of the NMHS mission is to educate and encourage young scholars in 10

maritime history, Ron organized and promoted our involvement in National History Day (NHD). Ron serves as a NHD judge and initiated the creation of maritime prizes at state competitions across the country. Our 6,000-plus-volume library is being catalogued through a partnership with the Westchester Library System and the Hendrick Hudson Free Library, and we will honor Ron by naming the collection the Ronald L. Oswald Maritime Library. In 2015 Ron received the NMHS David A. O’Neil Sheet Anchor Award for his contributions in furthering the work of the Society. During the awards ceremony, Ron said, “I was at first amazed, then continuously gratified, to find the important results of the Society’s ongoing work. The maritime heritage community keeps alive the story of our seafaring past, and all its ramifications and its influence on our future. With 90% of goods still being transported across the world by sea, the maritime history of this country is still relevant. NMHS keeps this heritage alive, as we seek to foster a strong and educated maritime leadership going forward. It has been rewarding to lead this organization.” Ron leads members on a boat tour circumnavigating New York Harbor aboard the NY Waterway ferry during the Society’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2013.

photo by burchenal green

photo by deirdre o’regan

Ron Oswald presents the Society’s many recent accomplishments at the 2019 National Maritime Awards Dinner.


After thirteen years as chair of the NMHS Board of Trustees, the time has come for new leadership. Ron is staying on as a trustee and will serve as chair of the Education Committee. The board has elected Ron chairman emeritus and we are fortunate that fellow trustee CAPT Jim Noone has been elected to serve as Ron’s successor.

CAPT Noone retired from the US Navy in 2001 after 39 years of service, and subsequently enjoyed a varied career in journalism, law, and public affairs until his retirement in 2017. Jim began his career as a reporter with the Scranton Tribune in 1964 while still in college. He later worked as a copy editor with the Washington Post and became a reporter with the National Journal news magazine. He subsequently served with the US Information Agency as a news correspondent in Washington, DC, and as a press officer in Brazil before transferring to the Washington office of the ITT Corporation in government relations. After earning a law degree from American University in 1984, Jim practiced in Washington, DC, and eventually transitioned to lobbying on Capitol Hill, where he represented counties, states, and large and small companies. In 2017 he retired from National Maritime Awards Dinner Co-Chair Jim Noone (center) with Gary Jobson (left) and Bob Ballard at the 2017 event. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

Jim Noone warmly greets guests at the 2017 National Maritime Awards Dinner at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Mercury Public Affairs LLC, a nationwide government relations and public affairs firm, where he had served as managing director since 2010. Jim has served on the board of the Naval Historical Foundation and is past president and board member of the US Navy Public Affairs Association. A member of the National Press Club for more than forty years, he serves as commander of the Press Club’s historic American Legion Post 20, founded in 1919. In 2015, we recruited Jim to serve as the co-chair of the National Maritime Awards Dinner, which he did through 2017 with calm panache; he was always organized, resourceful, and savvy in using his influence to augment the events. If the past helps us predict the future, he will lead the Society with the same skill, passion, and resourcefulness. As Jim says, “It’s a great honor to chair the foremost maritime history organization in the United States. I look forward to working with the NMHS crew in telling the unending story of our country’s proud heritage of seafaring.” I know you join me in welcoming him aboard. —Burchenal Green, NMHS President

photo by vernon young jr.

courtesy james noone

Jim Noone retired from the US Navy Reserve in 2001 after 39 years of active and reserve service. Active duty posts included service in Vietnam in 1969 with the Navy Seabees, Mobile Construction Battalion 58. He was later recalled to active duty during the first Gulf War in 1991, retiring as Captain in 2001. His naval service has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal.

photo by vernon young jr.

CAPT James A. Noone, USN (Ret.)


The 2022 National Maritime Awards Dinner


The National Press Club • 27 April • Washington, DC

Distinguished yachtsman, television commentator, and past president of US Sailing and the National Sailing Hall of Fame, Gary Jobson will be master of ceremonies. The US Coast Guard Academy Cadet Chorale will be performing, and the Combined Sea Services Color Guard will present colors. The honorees will be featured in videos produced by award-winning documentarian Richardo Lopes and Voyage Digital Media. The NMHS Washington Invitational Art Gallery, hosted by acclaimed marine artist Patrick O’Brien, will showcase a variety of contemporary art (enjoy a preview on pages 16–19).

photo by vernon young jr., nmhs collection

national press club

ark your calendar for this spirited event in our nation’s capital! After a lively virtual celebration last year, the National Maritime Historical Society is delighted to return to the National Press Club this spring to honor three remarkable catalysts of the maritime heritage community and recognize their outstanding contributions to our maritime heritage. Dinner chairs Amy Lent and Samuel Byers, along with founding dinner chairman Philip J. Webster and NMHS chairman CAPT Jim Noone, USN (Ret.), invite you to join us at the 11th National Maritime Awards Dinner in Washington, DC, as we celebrate Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; Kristen L. Greenaway, President and CEO of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum; and Dr. David F. Winkler, Naval Historical Foundation historian. This festive annual gathering of America’s maritime community in our nation’s capital is an opportunity to salute our country’s maritime heritage, while we honor three individuals who exemplify excellence in the museum and cultural heritage fields.

The US Coast Guard Academy Cadet Chorale, directed by Dr. Robert Newton, performing for the 2019 National Maritime Awards Dinner at The National Press Club.

Lonnie G. Bunch III

photo by lauren gerson/lbj library

Lonnie Bunch will be recognized with the NMHS Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding contributions to the public understanding of the maritime passage of enslaved Africans to America, and the subsequent relationship of African Americans with the sea. This prestigious award is proffered in recognition of Bunch’s many outstanding projects, including exhibits, media productions, and his leadership in the creation of important programs, such as the Slave Wrecks Project and the Center for the Study of Global Slavery. Of the work of recovering slave ships and bringing these stories to the public, Bunch has said, “You realize that it’s about much more than a research endeavor, more than a museum exhibition: it’s about recognizing that slave trade is not about yesterday as much as it is about today and tomorrow for so many people…. One 12


courtesy the smithsonian institution

of the last areas that can provide us with new knowledge [of the slave trade] is underwater. I wanted to be a part of that process, and the scholarship that can be shaped.” Bunch is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the first African American and first historian to serve as head of the Smithsonian. As Secretary, he oversees 21 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, and numerous research centers. Prior to his appointment to the Smithsonian, he was the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bunch transformed a vision into a reality, and the museum opened to the public in September 2016 as the 19th museum of the Smithsonian Institution. In service to the historical and cultural community, Bunch has held numerous teaching positions at universities across Lonnie Bunch in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the country, including American Univer- a project he shepherded from the ground up. The museum is the only national museum desity, the University of Massachusetts–Dart- voted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. mouth, and George Washington University. He has served as a trustee of the American Association of Museums and the Council of the American Association of State & Local History, and was a member of the American Antiquarian Society. Bunch was appointed to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House by President George W. Bush in 2002 and reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2010. In 2005, he was named one of the 100 most influential museum professionals of the 20th century by the American Association of Museums. In 2020 he was awarded the Dan David Prize from Tel Aviv University. That same year Bunch received France’s highest award, The Legion of Honor. He has also been awarded the Freedom Medal—one of the Four Freedom Awards from the Roosevelt Institute—for his contribution to American culture as a historian and storyteller; the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal from the Hutchins Center at Harvard University; the National Equal Justice Award from the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund; and the Tony Horwitz Prize honoring distinguished work in American history of wide appeal and enduring public significance. Kristen Greenaway will be honored for her outstanding contributions to the maritime museum community, not only as a transformative CEO and president of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, but also for her global initiatives that have enriched maritime museums internationally. She has stressed the importance of museums taking a leadership role to better serve their communities, and conservation efforts necessary to save the oceans and the planet. Her Excellency Rosemary Banks, Ambassador of New Zealand to the United States, will present the NMHS Distinguished Service Award to Ms. Greenaway. Greenaway serves on the Executive Council of the International Congress of Maritime Museums and chaired the Program Planning Committee for the 2017 ICMM Congress in Valparaiso, Chile. Her active leadership in the ICMM continues to bring new energy to the maritime museum field. Greenaway has emphasized maritime museums’ leadership role in environmental conservation efforts, particularly in her memorable address to ICMM in 2019 in Scandinavia. She continues to underscore this need, promoting efforts to discontinue the use of plastics and address microplastics found in our seas: “It is imperative that maritime museums take a firm stance on this platform…. We in the maritime museum industry are the best resource to remind people of how this all happened. The lack of interest is tragic; it needs to be seen as a key topic.” SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022


Kristen L. Greenaway



Avid kayaker Kristen Greenaway enjoys a relaxed evening along the Miles River as part of CBMM’s Paddling with the President event.

photo by george sass

Greenaway hails from New Zealand, and has an extensive background in marketing, communications, non-profit management, and museum leadership and development. In 2014 she accepted the position as head of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. With a $5 million annual budget and close to $10 million in capital projects, Greenaway oversees a full-time staff of more than 45 museum professionals, and over 200 volunteers. Greenaway is a dynamic leader. Since taking the helm of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, its working shipyard has expanded to 25,000 square feet and is currently fulfilling a $5 million contract from the state of Maryland, awarded in 2019, to build a new reproduction of the Maryland Dove, the 17th century trading ship that accompanied the first European settlers to what is now Maryland. The museum has earned state and federal accreditation for its shipyard apprenticeship program as a four-

year, 8,000-hour education certification in traditional maritime trades. The program offers a natural extension to the museum’s Rising Tide after-school program that provides mentoring and skill training through free boatbuilding classes and hands-on programs that encourage team building and STEM skills. With the spirit of an adventurer and the heart of a competitor, Greenaway has trekked the globe, done some mountaineering, and once left a white-collar desk job to join an all-women’s entry in the Auckland-Fukuoka yacht race. She has competed in the Everglades Challenge, a 300-mile unsupported expedition race. She doesn’t seek such heady pursuits currently, however, because leading the museum fulfills that quest for excitement. Still, Greenaway enjoys sailing her 32-foot Cape Dory, Magdalena, on the bay, even in winter.

David Winkler is being recognized for his remarkable contributions to the maritime and naval history field and for his extensive efforts in bringing together the maritime heritage community to form alliances, share ideas, and inspire new initiatives. Dr. Winkler has organized numerous National Maritime Alliance and North American Society for Oceanic History conferences and has successfully promoted a better understanding of America’s naval history. He is an ambassador for naval history to many organizations and a respected author and teacher. VADM Sean Buck, USN, Superintendent of the US Naval Academy, will present the NMHS Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Winkler. Winkler has served more than two decades as the Naval Historical Foundation staff historian, taught at the Naval Academy, and lectured internationally. He has served as program chair for the North American Society for Oceanic History and has been the program chair for the Maritime Heritage Conferences that encourage those who work in the field, from lighthouse historians to maritime archaeologists, traditional boatbuilders to museum curators, to join together to share their research and support maritime heritage research and projects of all kinds. 14

courtesy david winkler

CDR David F. Winkler, USN (Ret.), PhD


courtesy david winkler

“In the maritime heritage community, we are very ‘stove piped,’ ” said Winkler. “We have highly specialized communities that share a greater goal in promoting our maritime heritage. This country has such strong ties to the sea, and these communities possess that passion and interest to talk about that history. The opportunity to bring those people together makes these folks appreciate the ties that broaden their own particular niche. It enables people to exchange ideas and expand their vision.” Winkler was named the 2020–21 Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Charles Lindbergh Fellow in Aerospace History, and served as the US Naval Academy Class of 1957 Chair of Naval Heritage. He retired from the Navy in 2008, having served 28 years on active duty and in the reserves. A prolific author, Winker has written several books, including Amirs, Admirals, and Desert Sailors: The US Navy, Bahrain, and the Gulf, published by the Naval Institute in 2008, and in 2014 Ready Then, Ready Now, Ready Always, a book on the centennial history of the US Navy Reserve. He holds a PhD in history from American University, a master’s in international affairs from Washington University, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Penn State. His dissertation, Cold War at Sea: High Seas Confrontation Between the US and Soviet Union, was published by the Naval Institute Press in 2000, and republished in 2017 as Incidents at Sea: American Confrontation and Cooperation with Russia and China, 1945–2016.

Following his tour as Officer in Charge of the Military Detachment, Lieutenant David Winkler embarked on USNS Navasota (TAO-106) in 1984.

courtesy david winkler

Winkler has published numerous articles on the Cold War at sea, including “Breaking News: Incidents at Sea Did Not End with the Cold War!” with the Canadian Naval Review in 2014. He has spoken on the topic at forums in the United States, China, and Europe. He was managing editor of The Navy, an illustrated coffee table book published by the Naval Historical Foundation. In addition, he writes a monthly naval history column in Sea Power magazine, published by the Navy League of the United States. Ensign David Winkler served as the Flight Deck Officer on the ammunition ship USS Suribachi (AE-21) during the early 1980s.


oin us! Attire is business/cocktail. Please contact us to reserve your place since seating is limited; tickets start at $300.

We are particularly grateful to our underwriters, NMHS Chairman Emeritus Ronald L. Oswald, and NMHS Trustee William H. White. Please check our website at for more information or to make your reservations. Or call 914 737-7878, extension 0. Please note: as per January 2022 regulations, all guests of the NPC must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of COVID vaccination prior to entry.

Hotel Block: We have booked a block of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn at 815 14th Street NW, two blocks from the National Press Club, from 26–28 April at $269 per night (plus applicable taxes). This block is available until 25 March or until it is sold out, whichever comes first. You can find the link for hotel reservations on the NMHS website. If you are making your hotel reservation by phone, be sure to use the Group Code “NMS”– Ph. 202 783-3027. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022


all images courtesy of the artists

The NMHS Invitational Art Gallery

The Red Star Line by Patrick O’Brien, 18 x 24 inches, oil on panel — $5,000 ships offered a new system of shipping across the Atlantic—they departed on a set schedule. Previously, ships would wait


25th of each month, and from Liverpool on the 12th of each month. This system allowed for more reliable trade of goods, people, and communications across the Atlantic. —PO’B

he National Maritime Historical Society is thrilled to announce that works by some of the best marine artists in the country will be on display—and for sale—at the 2022 National Maritime Awards Dinner in Washington, DC, this April. Under the leadership of acclaimed marine artist Patrick O’Brien and in conjunction with the American Society of Marine Artists, we have invited a select group of artists to participate in this year’s NMHS Invitational Art Gallery, featuring works by Patrick O’Brien along with Laura Cooper, Len Mizerek, Neal Hughes, Kim Shaklee, Kathleen Hudson, Ed Parker, and Marc Castelli. All of the artists in this special exhibition are exceptionally talented and knowledgeable, dedicated to their craft and passionate in their desire to make maritime history and the seas come to life. 16

This one-night-only event offers NMHS members and guests a chance to meet some of the artists, learn more about their artwork, and perhaps purchase a favorite. And while we would enjoy seeing you at the event, you need not attend to participate. We present here a preview of the exhibition—if you see a painting here or additional selections on the NMHS website ( artgallery2022) that you’d like to purchase, contact us via email at or by calling NMHS headquarters at (914) 737-7878, ext. 0. Paintings purchased in advance will be displayed as “Sold” at the event. Through the generosity of the Historical Society and is tax-deductible to the buyer. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

The Miniature Ship “Red White and Blue” by Ed Parker, 11 x 14 inches, mixed media — $4,500 Red, White and Blue month later, they arrived in Margate, East Kent. While the rigging was conventional, if diminutive, Red White and Blue’s hull was a galvanized metal lifeboat with the words “Ingersoll’s Improved Metallic Life Boat” painted on the topsides on both port and starboard. The trip was boatbuilder O. K. Ingersoll, but the marketing plan went awry when, after their arrival, no one believed that two men and a dog had sailed the small craft across the Atlantic in just a couple of weeks. The two mariners had no way to prove their feat and were never taken seriships, the weather, and other sightings and concluded that the two men and their dog did indeed complete their voyage as claimed. —EP

Fog Light by Marc Castelli 26 ½ watercolor on paper $6,850 All in all, Fog Light depicts a very simple image The early morning light, which can be harsh and brilliant, is on this day softened by fog. It is somewhat of a technical breather for a watercolor painter; with the background so very light with soft colors, the subjects and attendant details can be easily painted over the background without losing any colors or shades. I have taken many shots of this father-and-son pair working the nets, as they have been doing for a couple of decades, in all manner of weather and conditions. The postures of shared work became the message. I had reardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. From it, I learned bodies twisting one way, while looking in another direction, that successfully created the motion and tension. I have learned so much from that wellwritten and beautifully printed book—I can’t recommend it highly enough. —MC



Moonrise Over Open Ocean by Kathleen Hudson

A sunset on the beach is always beautiful, but sometimes the most interesting light appears opposite the sunset when sun illuminates sweeping clouds over the water. In this case, the setting sun also catches a full moon rising. —KH

Ascent by Kim Shaklee $4,100 This piece was truly a challenge to design. The Blue Crab has ten as a busy composition. Crabs are often portrayed resting on a sandy beach, creek bottom, or on some rocks. By incorporating the crab’s natural environment with seagrass, my composition provides the sensation of a crab gracefully ascending through the water. —KS

Chesapeake Bugeye by Neal Hughes 18 x 24 inches, oil on linen — $5,600 The painting was done on location at the Severn Marine Services yard on Tilghman Island, Maryland. I have painted there many times, and there are usually some interesting boats up for repairs or being restored there. The island is one of my go-to spots to paint. It has more of a working-boat atmosphere and a certain rustic charm that you don’t get in more upscale touristy destinations. —NH 18


Wing on Wing

— $8,200

Shamrock sailing wing-on-wing before the wind. When pointing dead downwind, the mainsail (and, in this case, its gaff topsail) can be set on one tack, and the sails on the foremast sheeted out on the opposite side. It can be a thrilling— —point of sail for the person at the helm, as one roll or slight error can cause an unplanned jibe, which is never a good thing. —LC Schooners On Shimmering Seas by Leonard Mizerek 12 x 24 inches oil on linen panel

the luminosity of the breaking light, it touches everything beneath and creates a vista with an overall shimmer. Viewing this while on the sea gave me the moment on canvas. —LM

To view additional works by these and other participating artists, visit the Society’s website: SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022


The Search for Captain Healy’s Cutter Bear by Bradley W. Barr and William H. Thiesen

O . uscg collection

ne of the most famous ships in US Coast Guard history,1 the US Revenue Cutter Bear operated for 89 years under the command of 27 captains and under the auspices of multiple government/military and private owners. During those nine decades, her service as a revenue cutter under the command of “Hell Roarin’” Mike Healy between 1886 and 1895 was her most momentous; likewise, Healy’s legacy is mostly tied to his time aboard Bear. Many of the other captains and officers who served on board Bear have become iconic

uscg collection

names in US Coast Guard history—Tuttle, Jarvis, Bertholf—but Healy is by far the most famous. Michael Healy was born in 1839 in Georgia to a plantation owner father and a mixed-race enslaved mother. His father sent Healy north with his siblings so they would escape enslavement in the South and attend what was, at the time, the Holy Cross Boys Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Healy children’s skin color varied, but with the exception of one older brother, most of the Healys were able to pass for white. During his lifetime, Mike Healy never self-identified as African American, presumably to conceal his true identity to avoid potential issues with career-advancement in his chosen profession. His father’s foresight and love for his children gave them the opportunity to escape enslavement and get an education, avoid discrimination, and lead productive and successful lives in New England. Although his career achievements were extraordinary and his racial identity was never formally questioned during his career, he was a troubled man. He was an

alcoholic—at one point being court-martialed and losing his command of the ship—and was thought to be afflicted with bouts of deep depression and anxiety. Forced to live a double life, Mike Healy may have escaped the horrors of slavery, but could never truly escape his complicated heritage. Healy’s calling was the sea. He enlisted in the US Revenue Marine Service in Boston and received his commission from President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, just a month before Lincoln’s assassination. Acknowledging the racial identity he kept hidden throughout his lifetime, Healy can now be considered the nation’s first African American commissioned officer, first African American officer to command a US vessel of any kind, first African American to achieve every commissioned officer rank from 3rd lieutenant to senior captain (a rank at the time equivalent to today’s flag rank), and first African American officer to sail the Bering Sea and the Arctic. Healy’s experience at sea can be ably compared to the sheriffs and marshals of

1 Bear’s service in the US Coast Guard (1885–1926) spanned the evolution of the service’s name and mission

Captain Michael A. Healy, 1880 20

US Revenue Cutter Bear, circa 1890, on Patrol off Alaska by James A. Mitchell III

changes from the United States Revenue-Marine (1790–1894) to the Revenue Cutter Service (1894–1915) to the United States Coast Guard (1915–present). The official history of the US Coast Guard covers all these iterations. Bear was also commissioned in the US Navy (1939–1944), serving in the US Antarctic Service Expedition and in the Northeast Atlantic Greenland Patrol in World War II.


photo by lomek bros., nome. uscg collection

uscg collection

the Old West. Men such as Wyatt Earp upheld the law in places like Tombstone, Arizona. While law enforcement officials of the Old West laid down the law in a town or stretch of land, Captain Healy laid down the law for the Territory of Alaska and the Bering Sea, an expanse of land and sea roughly the size of the lower 48 states. While sheriffs in the Old West used a horse and gun for law enforcement, Healy commanded an armed US ship, Bear, which cruised between 20,000 and 30,000 miles in the annual Bering Sea Patrol. In Alaska’s far more dangerous maritime frontier of the late 1800s, Healy made his name contending not only with misfits and criminals, but deadly sub-zero temperatures and ship-sinking ice with a wooden ship and ice-resistant technology far less capable than today’s. Built in 1874 as a steam- and sail-powered Arctic sealer, Bear had wooden sides as thick as USS Constitution’s and an ironclad bow to find its way through leads in pack ice. During Bear’s 40-year career in Alaska, the cutter performed some of the most daring and successful Arctic rescues in history. When malnourished Native Alaskans needed food, Bear brought it; when stranded whalers needed rescuing, Bear saved them; 100

Bear departed Nova Scotia, under tow, on 16 March 1963, bound for Philadelphia, where she was to be converted into a floating restaurant and museum. Underway, her towline parted and foremast collapsed in a gale. Her tug escort, Irving Birch (seen here), was unable to save her and the ship sank approximately 90 miles south of Cape Sable. years ago, when thousands of Alaskans contracted the Spanish Flu, Bear brought doctors and medicine; when coastal settlements needed mail from the outside world, Bear delivered it; and, when mutinies broke out on Bering Sea ships, Bear quelled them. USRC Bear was retired from Alaskan service after a meritorious 40-year career, having sailed more than one million miles

in Alaskan waters, but her career was far from over. In the 1920s and 1930s, Bear headed to the other end of the globe to serve as a vital part of polar explorer Richard Byrd’s expeditions to the South Pole, establishing the US base at “Little America.” Finally, in World War II, after well over 60 years of service, Bear was re-commissioned as a US Navy vessel for the Greenland Patrol, where she helped seize the first enemy vessel of the war. After the war, Bear was decommissioned and sold to a steamship company in Nova Scotia, and remained there until 1963, when she was towed to Philadelphia, where she was to serve as a floating restaurant and museum. During the transit, the ship and tow encountered heavy seas, causing the old wooden hull’s seams to open to the sea. She took on water and slowly sank below the waves. Bear had served in various capacities for nearly 90 years, a remarkable record for a wooden ship under almost continuous operation, including much of that time in polar waters. During her career, Bear had explored, policed, protected, nurtured, defended, and helped preserve the Arctic and Antarctic regions and the humans and animals that inhabit those forbidding lands and seas. USRC Bear moored to the ice outside Nome, Alaska, 1915. SS Corwin is in view astern.




Side scan sonar image of a shipwreck that NOAA and Coast Guard researchers later determined to be the wreck site of USRC Bear. Until recently, the story of Mike Healy and the cutter Bear remained the stuff of legends. Artists and historians drew upon the colorful and dramatic history for paintings, books, articles, and video documentaries. But Bear’s story did not end with her sinking in 1963. Instead, a new chapter in this ship’s story opened when the search for her remains on the seafloor began. In 1979, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Dr. Harold Edgerton, inventor of side-scan sonar, launched a search for Bear near the vessel’s last known coordinates before she sank. Edgerton was unsuccessful in finding the Bear’s remains, but he initiated a fortyyear quest that included not only MIT, but also the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, University of Connecticut, US Navy, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (NOAA/ONMS) Maritime Heritage Program, and many elements of the United States Coast Guard, including District One, Chief Historian’s Office, Research & Development Center, and the US Coast Guard Academy. Today, through the combined efforts of these state, federal, and international partners, Bear’s final resting place has been located and identified. Finally, this legendary cutter is no longer lost and her memory is being rescued from the depths of history. 22

Bear has often been referred to as “a ship of many lives.” Captain Healy’s Bear was a somewhat different ship from the one that was lost on its way to Philadelphia. She had been extensively refitted for the Byrd Antarctic expeditions. Up-to-date equipment was installed, including a diesel engine and drivetrain, plus many modifications made to support these far-flung expeditions. When she was pressed into service for World War II, she was similarly refit for this particular mission. While extensive archival research was conducted to better understand the scope and extent of these modifications, few details emerged from these efforts. What was being searched for was unquestionably the remains of Bear, but what would be found might be challenging to identify. Finding a specific shipwreck on the seafloor in the open ocean is like solving any mystery. Collecting the best available information regarding the loss of the vessel, particularly its location when it sank, is obviously an essential first step. With regard to the Bear, a number of “last known locations” had been determined, and some excellent modeling, conducted by the USCG Research and Development Center employing the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System (SAROPS) application, was available. Based on these data and other published speculations regarding where Bear was likely to have landed on

the seafloor, the team came up with several seabed mapping targets on which to focus the search. In 2019, the current iteration of the Coast Guard cutter Bear (WMEC 901), a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter, put to sea to map these target areas. While the capabilities of this type of cutter are extensive and the missions it routinely supports are similarly broad and varied, serving as a seafloor mapping platform was not one of these. Undeterred, Bear’s capable and inventive engineers succeeded in fitting the vessel with a functional frame to support the side scan sonar cable running from the oceanographic winch brought aboard for the mission. Space for a dry lab was freed up near the deck where the winch and frame were situated, and computer equipment to operate the Klein 3000 and 3900 side scan sonar systems was installed onboard. Once on station, Bear’s helmsmen began the somewhat tedious task of steering the ship in a grid pattern, or “mowing the lawn,” over the areas of the seafloor the team had identified as high-probability targets. Despite the passage of two offshore hurricanes and the inevitable equipment malfunctions, the shipboard team mapped approximately 62 square miles of the seafloor in just over 20 days on station. The seafloor in the search area is mostly flat sand, and few interesting features were imaged during most of the mission until the final day, SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

(above) ROV photo of the vessel’s forefoot, as seen on the seafloor in 2021. (below) The same section of the hull, as seen in this photo of Bear during a haulout for repairs, c. 1924–1925.

uscg photo

when what was clearly a shipwreck, about the same length and beam of Mike Healy’s Bear, was identified. A final pass across this target, with the side scan sonar operating at higher resolution, produced a most intriguing image. This final image created enough interest and enthusiasm that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Exploration and Research offered supplemental funding to return to the area to document the site using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Despite some frustrating delays due to the COVID pandemic, in 2021 the second phase of the mission got underway, this time using an ocean-going Coast Guard buoy tender, USCGC Sycamore, a very capable vessel equipped with a dynamic positioning (DP) system, which greatly facilitated the ROV operations. Like the cutter Bear used in the 2019 survey, Sycamore had not been used as a research platform before, but the buoy tender’s crew and officers were well experienced with conducting launch-and-recovery operations of aids to navigation, supported by the ship’s DP capability. Sycamore pivoted to supporting ROV operations with relative ease.

The ROV—the Pixel—used for the 2021 mission was a highly advanced piece of robotic equipment with a suite of very high-resolution underwater cameras, developed and operated by Marine Imaging Technologies (MITech) out of Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Both the ROV pilots and deck operations personnel were veterans of similar projects from previous partnerships with NOAA/ONMS, and once the equipment was installed onboard the Sycamore, they headed to sea, hopeful that they could locate the wreck site again and collect sufficient data and images to determine its identity. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

page 37 photos courtesy uscg and noaa

USCGC Sycamore (WLB-209)

Close up photo of Bear at the pier shows the details of her hull and standing rigging. 23



Arriving on station, the Sycamore had surprisingly little trouble finding the site with its single-beam echo sounder. The winds and seas were relatively calm, and the prospects for what was ahead appeared favorable. Nonetheless, anyone who has conducted research at sea knows to anticipate the unexpected. After the Pixel was launched and it descended to the seafloor, the pilots encountered strong currents that varied over time and depth from different directions. As the ROV employed a downweight that also provided high-intensity ambient lighting (called “the chandelier”), this variable and strong current regime made operations difficult. With intensifying weather at the surface, the team faced a challenging situation, testing both the capabilities of the ship’s DP system and the maneuvering capability of the ROV. Notwithstanding these challenges, the ROV operations proceeded, and while the anticipated systematic survey of the wreck could not be conducted, over about three days of dives the entire wreck was imaged multiple times before deteriorating weather at the surface forced the Sycamore to return to port. All told, the team shot more than eleven hours of high-resolution video, as well as hundreds of still photographs. The images revealed a highly disaggregated wreck site. Some of the stern section was missing, but the bow appeared relatively intact. The site had been extensively damaged by commercial fishing gear, entangled throughout by nets, footropes, and roller/rockhopper gear, but enough of the ship’s remains were present that the team felt confident they could identify the wreck. After the field work at sea concluded, the underwater video and images were analyzed, with particular attention given to multiple diagnostic features. The team reported the results in a summary “findings” document. This analysis, along with the original images and relevant archival research, was further evaluated by a team of maritime archaeologists and historians from the Coast Guard and NOAA, who concluded that they were relatively certain that the site was indeed the final resting place of the historic USRC Bear. Particular diagnostic features of note were the large metal staples observed on the forefoot of the bow

ROV Pixel on the deck of the USCG buoy tender Sycamore, ready for deployment. precisely matching a historic photograph of Bear. The distinctive pattern of steel sheathing can also be seen in the archival photographs of the ship, and a propeller post is visible with the same bolt pattern seen in another historic photograph taken during the Byrd Expedition refit. All told, more than a dozen diagnostic features were evaluated, contributing to the positive identification of the ship. The US Revenue Cutter Bear is, by any measure, a ship of considerable significance in the maritime history and heritage of the United States. While the vessel’s remains have been damaged over the years, it is a wreck site that warrants and deserves some measure of protection. The site is located in Canadian waters, and initial discussions have begun with the Canadian agencies that oversee their marine protected area (MPA) programs. Interestingly, the location of the shipwreck is within a proposed MPA being evaluated by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, under the Oceans Act authority. This MPA would not directly and explicitly protect the site for its historical significance but is likely to prohibit, or at least limit, mobile fishing gear use in the area—the primary threat to the vessel’s remains. It has also been suggested that Parks Canada and NOAA might consider an international designation for a protected area around the wreck site, but there are

few, if any, precedents for this sort of bilateral initiative related to submerged historic resources. At this point, this is just an idea being floated. The future story of the possible preservation of the final resting place of the historic and honorable revenue cutter remains to be written, but the identification offers another chapter in this long and most compelling story of Captain Healy’s Bear. Bradley W. Barr, PhD, is a senior advisor in the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ Maritime Heritage Program. In 2015, he was the expedition coordinator and chief scientist for the Search for the Lost Whaling Fleets of the Western Arctic Expedition, conducted off the Arctic Coast of Alaska. William H. Thiesen, PhD, is the Atlantic Area Historian for the US Coast Guard. A regular contributor to Sea History, Dr. Thiesen was awarded the 2017 Rodney N. Houghton Award for the best feature article in Sea History. His articles appear weekly in the online history series “The Long Blue Line,” featured on the My Coast Guard website. For more information on USCG history, visit To view more photos and read the expedition blog for this and other NOAA projects, visit and click on “Expeditions” on the home page. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

by Kurt D. Voss All proceeds from this pictorial history benefit the ELISSA preservation fund.

Published by Arcadia Publishing and Galveston Historical Foundation $21.99. 128 pages, 200 photographs Autographed copies available at (409) 763-1877, or online at:

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Preserve and educate on the maritime heritage of lighthouses, lightships and the stories of their keepers for generations to come... MUSEUM HOURS: Events Include: Summer: 11:00am-5:00pm lighthouse Boat Tours Winter 11:00am-4:00pm Wednesday- Sunday Maritime Lectures *CLOSEDHOLIDAYS* children’s maritime Winter (November – March) adventure programs Summer (April – October) Lightkeeper’s Gala

Golf Outing


Lighthouse Point Fest

*Contact or visit Museum to learn how you can support our expansion Campaign for Illuminating Future Generations *HRH/PRINCESS ANNE IS OUR HONORARY CHAIR

and much more...

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USS Langley (CV 1) undergoing conversion at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, c. late 1921. USS George E. Badger (DD 196), a Clemson-class destroyer, is in view in the background off the soon-to-be carrier’s stern. and subsequent cuts in the shipbuilding budget dampened calls to match the British effort. Instead, some rather dramatic hearings before the Navy’s General Board in the spring of 1919 led to a compromise recommendation—that the collier Jupiter

all images courtesy naval history and heritage command, us navy

arch 2022 marks the centennial of the commissioning of the US Navy’s first aircraft carrier—USS Langley (CV 1). Langley’s hull originally entered naval service nine years earlier at California’s Mare Island Naval Shipyard as the collier USS Jupiter (AC 3). The Navy had placed Jupiter and sister ships Cyclops and Neptune into service to address a lack of coal-delivery vessels, a fleet vulnerability exposed by the around-the-world cruise of Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet. Besides providing a hull, Jupiter’s significance to Langley was its electric-drive propulsion plant—a predecessor to the plant currently installed aboard USS Gerald R. Ford—and the ship’s first commanding officer, Comdr. Joseph M. Reeves.1 Though the US Navy first introduced catapult technology and landed the first aircraft on the deck of a ship, it was the British, pushed by the onset of World War I, who first converted warships and cruise liners into seagoing airports. American naval observers assigned with the Royal Navy recognized the potential offensive capability of ordnance-laden aircraft flying off such vessels and urged their superiors in Washington to follow in Britain’s wake. The sudden unanticipated end of the war

by David F. Winkler, PhD

USS Jupiter off Mare Island Navy Yard, California, 1913, in her original role as a collier. 26

be converted into an experimental aircraft carrier. Among those testifying before the General Board was Army aviator Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell.2 Mitchell’s eventual advocacy for a unified, independent air service that would incorporate naval aviation assets was seen as a threat, even to a Navy brass that scorned “the little flying machines.” The Navy reacted by establishing a Bureau of Aeronautics to be led by the very capable Rear Adm. William A. Moffett and mounting a naval aviation pubic relations blitz featuring Langley. Eventually, Mitchell’s disparaging commentary on naval aviation would subject him to court-martial and a guilty verdict in December 1925.3 Though the ship was re-commissioned at the Norfolk Navy Yard early in 1922, significant work still needed to be accomplished before flight operations could begin. The biggest challenge proved to be the installation of arresting gear to “trap” aircraft. Lt. Alfred M. “Mel” Pride oversaw a shoreside testing facility centered on a SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

100-foot diameter turntable that could be maneuvered to allow incoming aircraft to approach into a headwind. Eventually, a hybrid system incorporating cross-cables attached to heavy weights, along with the British system of fore-and-aft wires, would be installed on Langley’s “flying deck.”4 The arresting gear passed its first test on 26 October 1922, when Lt. Comdr. Godfrey de Courcelles Chevalier’s Aeromarine 39B latched onto the fore-and-aft wires and sped ahead to a sudden stop, tipping the aircraft forward and busting its propeller. Nine days earlier, Lt. Virgil C. Griffin had piloted a Vought VE-7 off the forward flying deck to record the carrier’s first successful launch. On 18 November, Langley’s executive officer, Comdr. Kenneth Whiting, made the first catapulted assisted launch off the carrier’s deck.5 Whiting served as the second-in-command under Capt. S. H. R. “Stiffy” Doyle, a non-aviator who took Langley down to Pensacola, Florida, during the winter and spring months of 1923 to further refine launching and landing procedures. During

On 17 October 1922, a Vought VE-7S made history as the first plane to take off from a US Navy aircraft carrier. In view at the bottom of the photo is the primitive tail hook, as well as the longitudinal arresting wire hooks on the main landing gear axle. The British-designed hydro vane forward of the main wheels was intended to keep the plane from nosing over in the event of an emergency water landing.

(left photo) Rear Adm. William A. Moffett, USN, (at right) observing aircraft operations onboard USS Langley (c. 1925–26). To his left is Capt. Joseph M. Reeves, Commander, Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet. (right photo) Lt. Comdr. Godfrey de Courcelles Chevalier piloted the first plane launched by catapult (from USS North Carolina) in 1916. On 26 October 1922 Chevalier landed an Aeromarine 39-B on Langley’s deck—another first. Tragically, this pioneering naval pilot died less than three weeks later as a result of injuries sustained in an airplane crash near Norfolk, Virginia. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022


Lt. Comdr. Chevalier approaching Langley’s flight deck, 26 October 1922. this sojourn, Langley conducted flight demonstrations off Panama’s coast for fleet commanders following the first of numerous fleet problems that would occur during the interwar period. While in Panama, Doyle and Whiting argued to their superiors that months of additional experimentation were needed to enhance the equipment and procedures that would be mirrored in Lexington and Saratoga—the two battlecruisers authorized for conversion to aircraft carriers, thanks to the Washington Naval Conference of 1921–22. 6

Yet with funding for Lexington and Saratoga not a foregone conclusion and Mitchell arguing for a unified air service, Moffett curtailed the Doyle/Whiting experimentation plan by ordering Langley to the nation’s capital for the June 1923 annual Shriners Convention. The carrier conducted flight demonstrations in the Potomac River and subsequently welcomed thousands of visitors from around the nation, including the Shriner-in-chief, President Warren G. Harding. The positive Washington experience would be repeated

in the coming months in New York City; Newport, Rhode Island; Portland, Maine; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Boston; and smaller New England municipalities that were celebrating their tricentennials.7 Langley opened the year 1924 participating in war games in the Caribbean with its planes “bombing” the Panama Canal to block the passage of the “enemy” fleet and fending off “attacking”’ aircraft from shorebased airstrips. In their next game, Langley’s pilots provided cover for an amphibious “assault” on Culebra, a small Puerto Rican island halfway between Puerto Rico and St. Thomas. Having impressed the fleet commanders, the carrier finally returned to Pensacola to resume experimentation. In mid-June, Langley returned to the Norfolk Navy Yard to receive an upgrade to its arresting gear and a re-do of the propulsion plant exhaust system.8

With Capt. Edward “the Bald” Jackson now in command, Langley arrived in San Diego at the end of November with the San Diego Union declaring “‘DEADLIEST SHIP AFLOAT’ ARRIVES HERE” across the front page. Jackson adapted to a new routine, as the carrier, now berthed adjacent to the air station at San Diego’s North Island, continued to conduct experimentation, embark and operate a fighter squadron, and serve as the flagship for Stanford Moses, who served as the Commander, Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet.9 In February 1925, Fleet Problem V pitted two opposing fleets off Mexico’s coast with Langley’s planes serving in a limited defensive role. Following in May, Grand Joint Army-Navy Exercise No. 3, centered on the Hawaiian Islands, had Aerial view of USS Langley at the Washington Navy Yard, 3 July 1923.



USS Langley (CV 1) in Pearl Harbor, Oahu, with 34 planes on her flight deck, May 1928. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022


Langley flying missions to cover Marine landings to recapture the islands from a hostile power (envisioned as Japan). Langley operated within the Hawaiian Islands over the summer months, losing Lt. Comdr. Nathan Chase, a fighter squadron commander, in a mid-air collision that knocked him from his plane’s cockpit. Of note, his replacement, Lt. Comdr. Frank “Spig” Wead, soon would be paralyzed in a freak domestic accident and go on to become a successful Hollywood screenwriter for such films as The Flying Fleet (1929).10 Returning to the West Coast, Langley arrived at Mare Island Naval Shipyard for the first of a number of maintenance stays. There, Capt. Joseph M. “Bull” Reeves awaited as the new Commander, Aircraft Squadrons Battle Fleet. Reeves’s arrival began the transformation of Langley from an experimental platform into an operational component of the US Battle Fleet. Charismatic, Reeves was described by a contemporary as a “spell-binding” orator. Gathering his aviators in San Diego, the new commodore delivered what became known as the “1001 Questions Speech,” declaring: “I do not know the answer to these questions and dozens like them any more than you do, but until we can answer them, we will be of little use to the Fleet. That means we must become a school before we can become an air force.” Langley would serve as that school.11 Ashore, Reeves’s pilots developed new tactics (such as dive-bombing) and applied them when deploying on Langley. During Fleet Problem VI, held in the Caribbean in February 1926, Reeves, having been delegated control of the Blue Fleet’s air assets, ably defended the Blue Fleet’s battleline and opportunistically attacked enemy combatants. As Reeves pushed for more efficient flight operations, Langley’s leadership team turned over, with airship veteran Capt. Frank McCrary as the new commanding officer and Naval Aviator #3 Comdr. John Towers as the new executive officer. En route to Seattle, in August, Reeves tested the endurance of his aircrews and flight deck personnel in an attempt to shatter the previous record for launches and landings in one day. Both Langley’s air

officer, Lt. Comdr. Marc A. “Pete” Mitscher, and the fighter squadron commander, Lt. Gerald Bogan, had reservations given the sea state pitching the ship about. Yet, in those horrific weather conditions, the previous record was more than shattered with the launching and landing of 127 aircraft. Placing that accomplishment in perspective, Royal Navy historian David Hobbs would write, “No British aircraft carrier would come near this record until well into the Second World War, even though most ships were bigger and better designed than Langley.”12 Eventually, the temperamental John Towers succeeded McCrary, setting up a tense relationship with Reeves, who continued to push the envelope at the peril of his aircrews. For the spring and summer months of 1927, Langley participated in exercises with the fleet in the Caribbean, where the carrier’s aircraft again “disabled” the Panama Canal. Following a presidential naval review and a port call to New York, Langley participated in additional exercises off Rhode Island. 13 Returning to the West Coast, Langley’s story nearly came to an early end when a gas fire approached the main aviation gas stowage tank a few days before Christmas 1927. The crew’s quick reaction, paired with a little luck, left the ship with one fatality

after a potentially cataclysmic event. With extensive repairs and an enlarged flight deck installed at Mare Island, Towers returned his ship to San Diego with Reeves now determined to cram and operate fortytwo aircraft on a ship that was envisioned to carry no more than a dozen.14 USS Langley deployed in May 1928 to Hawaii, arriving south of Diamond Head early on the morning of May 17th. The small carrier launched two squadrons, totaling 35 aircraft, starting around 4:37 am. Despite the “defenders” being forewarned of the intent of the exercise, the carrier’s fighters conducted raids on Wheeler Field and other air bases in Hawaii. Thirteen years later the Japanese would conduct a similar raid with devastating effect.15 With the arrival of the recently commissioned carriers Lexington and Saratoga on the West Coast, Langley still maintained a critical role in the evolution of fleet aviation. As the only carrier capable of navigating within San Diego’s shallow waters, Langley continued to serve as the “qual ship” for a generation of naval aviators who would eventually serve in command during World War II. During the early part of 1929, following another extensive yard period at Mare Island, Langley operated independently in the Caribbean to support Marines in Nicaragua and call on East

DT-2 taking off from USS Langley, 1925. 30


Coast seaports. The carrier, now commanded by Capt. Arthur Cook, returned to the West Coast in May to find that Reeves had been called back to Washington and Rear Adm. Henry V. Butler had relieved him. In contrast to the beloved Reeves, the enlisted sailors had contempt for “Admiral Tie Tie Butler,” who insisted that ties on the back of their pants be formed “in a square knot, threaded right side over left.”16 The crew would not have to spend much time having Butler looking over their shoulders, as Langley underwent a repair period at the Puget Sound Naval Yard near Seattle and then received orders to pair with Saratoga during Fleet Problem X to fight an “enemy” force containing Lexington in its order of battle. Held in the eastern Caribbean, the subsequent “Battle of Navassa Sea,” could arguably be called the first carrier battle in history. Unfortunately for Langley and Saratoga, clouds shielded Lexington’s whereabouts. In contrast, clear skies enabled Lexington’s attackers to put Langley and Saratoga out of action and enable the Black Fleet to roll on to a lopsided victory. Following another fleet problem, the combined fleets headed up the East Coast for a presidential review, and Langley headed to the Norfolk Navy Yard for an upkeep period.17 Back on the West Coast, Langley came under the command of Capt. Rufus Fairchild Zogbaum. The son of a nationally renowned illustrator, Zogbaum welcomed Assistant Secretary for Naval Aviation David S. Ingalls and commentator Will Rogers to what was now dubbed “the Covered Wagon” for a memorable visit in which Ingalls, the Navy’s first flying ace, insisted on obtaining his carrier quals. Having done so, Ingalls celebrated, inviting Rogers, Zogbaum, and others to Agua Caliente, a Tijuana casino resort, to party into the early morning hours.18 In the spring of 1931 during another Caribbean fleet problem, Chief Air Pilot Verne W. Harshman flew into a cloud accompanied by other Langley aircraft only to emerge from the backside flying alone. Unable to find the mother ship, he ditched his aircraft. After a massive effort to locate him was abandoned, his rescue by a German tramp steamer made happy headlines SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

Comdr. Kenneth Whiting, USN, in a photo taken aboard USS Langley in 1922. for tabloids in a nation in the midst of the Great Depression.19 Harshman eventually returned to Langley, by then homeported in Norfolk. While on the East Coast under the command of Capt. Aubrey Wray “Jake” Fitch, the carrier headed up to Maine in the middle of winter to tackle the challenges of flight operations in frigid environs and then welcomed back Comdr. Mel Pride, who made the first carrier landing of a Pitcairn autogiro—the forefather of the modern helicopter. Langley returned to the West Coast to participate in yet another fleet problem amid rumors that the Hoover administration was contemplating transferring the carrier to the Asiatic Fleet in response to hostile Japanese actions in mainland China.20 The officer selected to relieve Fitch, Comdr. Patrick N. L. Bellinger, anticipated conducting the change of command ceremony in Manila. With tensions easing in the Far East, however, he found himself taking command at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Langley remained on the West Coast and was berthed at San Pedro, California, in October 1932 when an earthquake rocked nearby Long Beach. As Bellinger and his wife escaped from a local

theater, Langley crewmembers mustered to help with rescue efforts and to prevent looting ashore.21 Langley continued to participate in fleet problems and smaller-scale tactical exercises in early 1933 as changes in leadership occurred back East with the inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt as president and the tragic loss of Rear Admiral Moffett, who perished along with 72 others when a storm felled the airship Akron off the New Jersey coast early on 4 April. Rear Adm. Ernest D. King would replace the legendary Moffett.22 Back on the West Coast, Capt. Kenneth Whiting returned to command the ship that he had put into commission. Six months into his command, there was an incident during which Whiting failed to have his ship at a planned rendezvous location for a returning squadron of aircraft that was forced to ditch. Relieved of command by Langley’s second executive officer, Capt. Warren Child, Whiting would continue to serve in the Navy until his passing during World War II; he never achieved the rank of admiral.23 During Child’s tenure in command, Langley again headed to the Caribbean to participate in Fleet Problem XV as a unit of the Blue Fleet commanded by the Battle Force commander Admiral Reeves. Langley simulated the soon-to-be commissioned aircraft carrier Ranger in maneuvers designed to have the Navy’s carriers operate together in formation—a precursor to World War II’s multi-carrier task groups.24 Langley subsequently headed up the Eastern Seaboard to participate in a naval review for the new commander-in-chief, calling at New York and Newport. Returning to Norfolk, Langley handed over its experienced fighter squadrons to the newly commissioned Ranger and took on Marine Corps squadrons to form the first Marine Corps Air Group to deploy from a carrier. Back to the West Coast, Langley continued west to Hawaii to participate in Fleet Problem XVI, whose concept was based on a premonition that partly occurred during World War II, in which the Japanese captured the Aleutian Islands and Midway Island. Langley’s Marine pilots gave good accounts of themselves in providing air cover for the counter-invasion force coming from the West Coast.25 31

Once back from the mid-Pacific, Langley continued to serve as a test-bed for new procedures. In a bold experiment conducted on 30 July 1935, Lt. Frank Akers flew out from NAS San Diego with his cockpit hooded. Talked down via radio instruction, his airplane caught Langley’s fourth arresting cable. By this time, Capt. John Hoover had taken command of the carrier. A big believer in tradition, Hoover went all in when Admiral Reeves ordered the whole fleet south below the equator to conduct the largest “crossing-of-the-line” ceremony in recorded history, where nearly 30,000 “pollywogs” were inducted into the Royal Order of Shellbacks.26

and 1938 operating in Alaskan and Hawaiian waters as King sought to establish seaplane bases in remote locations ranging from Sitka, Alaska, to French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. As a mobile seaplane base, Langley again participated in fleet problems as well as civic celebrations. Following Fleet Problem XVIII, which postulated the Japanese capture of the Philippines with Hawaii standing in as the western Pacific archipelago, Langley headed to San Francisco to participate in the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. Likewise, in early 1939 Langley would again enter the Caribbean for a fleet problem and head north for a presidential

USS Langley (AV 3) in 1941. The ship was converted and re-classified as a seaplane tender in 1937. Langley supported seaplane patrols and provided aircraft transportation services in the Pacific during the early months of World War II. The equatorial crossing and subsequent fleet problem would be a last hurrah for the collier-turned-aircraft carrier. Langley was slated to become a seaplane tender to service the new Consolidated Aircraft Corporation PBYs, which would be known as “Catalinas” during World War II. Capt. Archibald Douglas would take the carrier through a metamorphosis that peeled back the forward third of the flight deck and added heavy-lift cranes to the superstructure. Having been redesignated as a seaplane tender, Langley became the flagship of Commander, Aircraft, Base Force, the individual responsible for the Navy’s seaplane and utility aircraft. The individual holding that billet, the aforementioned Rear Admiral King, did little to ingratiate himself with Douglas and his crew. “He was a S.O.B.,” exclaimed one petty officer who ran afoul of King for blocking off a freshly painted ladder to the signal bridge.27 Having emerged from Mare Island sporting a new look, Langley spent many summer and autumn months during 1937 32

fleet review and for the opening ceremonies of the 1939 New York World’s Fair.28 As Langley’s crew joined with New Yorkers to marvel over such inventions as television, events overseas factored into the plan for the seaplane tender’s immediate future. With Japan and China in open conflict, Langley was ordered to Pearl Harbor as a precautionary measure. With the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, Langley was then sent to Manila. Over the next two years, Langley provided the support infrastructure to host two squadrons of PBYs that would be designated as Patrol Wing TEN under the command of Capt. Frank Wagner, who also commanded Langley into 1941.29 Capt. Felix Stump, having relieved Wagner of his Langley duties in mid-1941, would be awakened early on the morning of 8 December (on the opposite side of the International Dateline) to be informed that Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Spared a similar attack that day due to the weather, Stump led Langley and two oilers out of

Manila Bay—through minefields—and onto a southern passage, evading Japanese forces. Arriving at Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory, Langley’s remaining aircraft would support Australian efforts against the Japanese submarine threat. Ordered to Fremantle in Western Australia, Langley left in time to avoid a devastating Japanese air raid against Darwin. Before departing, Captain Stump detached to serve with the newly formed Australian-BritishDutch-American (ABDA) naval command, leaving executive officer Comdr. Robert McConnell in command.30 With their homeland having fallen to the Nazis, the Dutch colonial rulers of the Netherlands East Indies feared Japanese invasion and prodded Washington to use Langley to transport a shipment of Army P-40 pursuit planes to Java to help defend against the Japanese aerial onslaught. Unfortunately, miscommunicated rendezvous points and Langley’s slow speed exposed the carrier in broad daylight off the southern coast of Java on the morning of 27 February 1942. Japan’s high-level land-based naval bombers failed to hit what appeared to them to be an aircraft carrier during their first two passes. A third Japanese wave, however, scored multiple hits and—combined with strafing attacks—forced McConnell to abandon ship. Remarkably, most of Langley’s crew survived and were picked up by the destroyers Whipple and Edsall; most survivors were then transferred to the oiler Pecos. Soon afterwards, Pecos was attacked and sunk by Japanese carrier aircraft, with many more casualties incurred. Hours later, Whipple arrived to rescue the survivors before being forced to break off due to a submarine threat, leaving those remaining sailors in the water to meet their fate.31 News of the loss of USS Langley was announced on 4 April 1942, after the nextof-kin had been notified by Western Union telegram. Most survivors continued to serve, with some serving aboard a new Langley, a light carrier placed in commission in 1943. Nevertheless, Langley’s true World War II legacy comes from the numerous aviators who gained their tactical experience flying off and landing on that small flight deck and applied that experience in the eventual defeat of the Japanese Empire. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

David F. Winkler, PhD, staff historian of the Naval Historical Foundation, was the 2020– 2021 Lindbergh Chair of Aerospace History at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and will be honored at the NMHS National Maritime Awards Dinner in April. For more about Dr. Winkler, please refer to pages 14–15 of this issue.

(right) On 27 February 1942, while transporting US Army P-40s to the Netherlands East Indies, USS Langley was attacked by Japanese aircraft south of Java and was subsequently scuttled by her escorting destroyers. The photo was shot from USS Whipple. USS Edsall (DD 219) is in view standing by off Langley’s port side. NOTES Thomas Wildenberg, All the Factors of Victory: Admiral Joseph Mason Reeves and the Origins of Carrier Airpower, (Washington, DC: Brassey’s Inc.), p. 84. 2 See: Charles M. Melhorn, Two-Block Fox: The Rise of the Aircraft Carrier, 1911–1929 (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1974). 3 Clark G. Reynolds, Admiral John H. Towers: The Struggle for Air Supremacy, (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1991), p. 106. 4 Capt. Al Raithel, USN (Ret.) “TRAP “EM,” The Hook, (Fall 1982), pp. 15–16. 5 “USS Langley” Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships online at 6 CO Langley Letter to CNO dated April 14, 1923, Langley Box 1, Folder 1, Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC). 7 BuAer Weekly Newsletter dated June 13, 1923, NHHC. 8 Albert A. Nofi, To Train for War: The US Fleet Problems, 1923–1940, (Newport, RI: Naval War College Press, 2010), pp. 62–66. 9 Harold E. Morin, “‘DEADLIEST SHIP AFLOAT’ ARRIVES HERE,” The San Diego Union, (November 30, 1924), p. 1. In his Naval Academy Lucky Bag write-up, Jackson was previously known as “Hatchet Face.” 10 Nofi, pp. 73–78; Rear Adm. Tate, J. R. USN (Ret.). “Covered Wagon Days,” Naval Aviation News (December 1970) p. 36; Ryan D. Wadle, Selling Seapower: Public Relations and The US Navy, 1917–1941, (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2019), pp. 88–89. Later, Wead’s life was portrayed by John Wayne in the 1957 movie The Wings of Eagles. 11 Thomas Wildenberg, “Admiral with Wings,” Naval Institute Proceedings (September 1998) p. 71. 12 David Hobbs, The Dawn of Carrier Strike and the World of Lieutenant W. P. Lucy, DSO, RN, (Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing, 2019), p. 113. 13 Nofi, pp. 91–94. 14 “ONE DEAD FOUR INJURED IN LANGLEY EXPLOSION,” The San Diego Union, (December 21, 1927), p. 10; Wildenberg, All the Factors of Victory, p. 157; 15 Nofi, p. 104. 16 Jean Hood, ed. Carrier, A Century of First Hand Accounts of Naval Operations in War and Peace. (London, UK: Conway, 2010), p. 70. 17 BuAer Newsletter dated December 18, 1929, NHHC; Nofi, pp. 123– 1


124. 18 Rear Admiral Rufus F. Zogbaum, From Sail to Saratoga: A Naval Autobiography. (Rome, Italy: Italo-Orientale, 1950), pp. 422–428. 19 BuAer Newsletter dated April 1, 1931; BuAer Newsletter dated June 15, 1931, NHHC. 20 “The Reminiscences of Admiral Alfred M. Pride, US Navy (Retired),” (Annapolis, MD: US Naval Institute, 1984), pp. 84–85; Newspaper clippings, Fitch Scrapbook, Hoover Institution. 21 BuAer Newsletter dated August 1, 1932; BuAer Newsletter dated September 1, 1932; BuAer Newsletter dated November 1, 1932, NHHC: 22 Mark L Evans and Roy A. Grossnick. United States Naval Aviation; 1910–2010, (Vol. I), (Washington, DC: Naval History and Heritage Command, 2015) p. 110. 23 Paul A. St. Pierre, USS. Langley CV-1, AV-3: America’s First Aircraft Carrier. (North Grafton, ME: Covered Wagon Association, 1996), pp, 147–148; Whiting biography, Navy Department Library. 24 Nofi. p. 178. 25 Lt. Col. Edward C. Johnson, USMC, Marine Corps Aviation: The Early Years, (Washington, DC: History and Museums Division, Headquarters US Marine Corps, 1977), pp. 74, 76. 26 Gareth L. Powlowski, Flattops and Fledglings: A History of Aircraft Carriers, (Cranbury, NJ & London, England: A.S Barnes & Co. and Thomas Yoseloff Ltd. 1973), p. 22. Langley’s induction rituals were recorded on film and may be viewed on the National Archives website. 27 Walter E. Constance Statement,” in Paul A. St. Pierre, USS Langley CV-1, AV-3: America’s First Aircraft Carrier. (North Grafton, ME: Covered Wagon Association, 1988), p. 95. 28 Ibid., p. 13. 29 Admiral Frank D. Wagner biography, Navy Department Library. 30 “See: Memoir of Admiral Felix Stump,” New York, NY: Oral History Research Office Columbia University, 1975. 31 In additional to Samuel Eliot Morison’s account, the loss of Langley is well covered in Dwight R. Messimer’s, Pawns of War: The Loss of the USS Langley and the USS Pecos, (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1983); and Donald M. Kehn Jr.’s In the Highest Degree Tragic: The Sacrifice of the US Asiatic Fleet in the East Indies during World War II, (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2017.)


Advocating for Maritime Heritage Funding: Congress Recognizes and Values the Maritime Heritage Grant Program—But Appropriates No Funds by Timothy J. Runyan, PhD Chair, National Maritime Alliance and Trustee, National Maritime Historical Society y mission, as chair of both the National Maritime Alliance and the Advocacy Committee of the National Maritime Historical Society, is to support the broader maritime heritage community through advocacy efforts in Washington, most notably to fund the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program. Historic ships, maritime museums, lighthouses, libraries, websites, digitization projects, and more have all received critical funding through this program. Now, more than ever, we need to raise awareness that preserving our maritime heritage is a mandate for our society and funding for it must be a part of the federal budget. To convince our representatives in Washington, we need to increase our advocacy efforts—they need to hear from constituents that this is a worthy use of federal dollars. Never underestimate the impact of a thoughtful letter to your members of Congress! Our major focus over the past year was to try to secure a $10 million appropriation by Congress for the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program for FY 2022. This was an increase over the $5M we requested last year. No grants have been awarded since the 2017–18 grant cycle. Maritime heritage professionals and supporters across the country joined us in reaching out to representatives in the US House and Senate. Our champion in this effort is Rep. Brian Higgins (NY) of Buffalo, assisted by his legislative director, Lyndsey Barnes. Despite our efforts, Congress did not provide funding for the grant program in the 2022 budget. It was a difficult year to secure grant funding. The continued presence of COVID-19 eliminated opportunities to meet face to face with members and staff on Capitol Hill. Changes in congressional procedure were also a factor. Floor amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act were not accepted, which is how our funding requests have been authorized in the past. On the positive side, serious discussions occurred for the first time within the House and Senate Appropriations Committees on funding the grant program. Both committee reports included statements pointing out the benefits of the grant program, while recognizing there were funding issues to be addressed. The House Appropriations Committee Report states: When MARAD (the Maritime Administration, part of the US Department of Transportation) completes the sale of obsolete vessels through the ship disposal program, the receipts from the sales are deposited into the vessel operations revolving fund (VORF). MARAD distributes funding from the VORF according to the authorized purposes and allocations in section 308704 of title 54, United States Code, when vessel sale proceeds are no longer subject to claims and the recycling contract is closed. The National Maritime Heritage Act established the national maritime heritage grants program, which receives a portion of such funds. The Committee understands that in recent years the proceeds from such sales 34

courtesy lyndsey barnes


Maritime heritage champion Rep. Brian Higgins (NY), joins two Navy veterans and Paul Marzello (right), CEO of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park. In the background is the park’s National Historic Landmark destroyer, USS The Sullivans, which required emergency hull repairs last fall after nearly sinking at her moorings. have been insufficient for the National Park Service (NPS) to conduct an annual grant cycle for the national maritime heritage grants program. The Committee further notes that the NPS is expected to accept proposals for the next round of grants. The Committee directs MARAD to continue to work with the NPS to ensure that the portion of the VORF allocated for the national maritime heritage grants program under section 308704(b)(1)(A) of title 54, United States Code, is distributed in a timely fashion. The Senate Appropriations Committee Report states: With the increasing cost of scrap steel, the Committee expects MARAD (the Maritime Administration) to ensure it is able to secure the highest price possible from vessels recycled through the ship disposal program. Funds received from the sale of scrap metal are deposited into the vessel operations revolving fund [VORF], which periodically distributes funding to the national maritime heritage grants program. The Committee supports use of funding from the VORF for these grants since maritime heritage attractions are vital to local economies and provide educational and engagement opportunities. Although the House and Senate committees did not appropriate the $10 million requested to address the problem, both recognized the necessity for reliable support for the grants program. This will help us in future requests for support. The National Maritime Heritage Grant Program is a problem in need of a solution. We gained additional supporters in the House and Senate this year. Some members endorsed a bipartisan letter circulated in the House of Representatives by Rep. Brian Higgins and Rep. Greg Murphy (NC). On short notice, several members signed on: Reps. Joe Courtney (CT), Elaine Luria (VA), Jared Golden (ME), SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

The Steamer Virginia V Foundation was awarded a $200,000 Maritime Heritage Grant in 2017 to reframe the stern of the steamer Virginia V, as part of the vessel’s ongoing restoration. The organization’s leadership has been active in reaching out to their state’s representatives in Congress to advocate for Maritime Heritage Grant funding. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

David Price (NC); NMHS member Robb Jones for enlisting Rep. Wexton (VA); CAPT Chan Zucker for enlisting Rep. Luria (VA); Chris Rowsom (Historic Ships in Baltimore) for reaching out to the MD delegation; Joel Stone (Detroit Historical Society, vice president of the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History), and to those who reached out to New York representatives and to Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand, especially Mike Vogel in Buffalo, president of the US Lighthouse Society. There is a slight chance that Congress could fund the grant program in Spring 2022 when the current Continuing Resolution ends. If it does not, we will direct our efforts to the FY 2023 authorization and appropriation bills, strengthened by our supporters and the statements about the grants program in the House and Senate Appropriations Committee Reports. The progress to date would not have been possible without the continued efforts of the hundreds of maritime heritage organizations and individuals across the US. Efforts to broaden that support continue, and include my presentation on advocacy last September at the annual meeting of the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History held in person at the Erie Maritime Museum. Many were pleasantly surprised to learn that organizations in the Great Lakes region had received nearly $1 million through the grants program for maritime heritage education and preservation projects. The National Maritime Heritage Act became law in 1994 following several years of advocacy by the maritime heritage community. Congress included in the Act a grants program for education and preservation projects in support of America’s maritime heritage. Our task is to assure the promise of the act is fulfilled by securing funding for the grants program. We will do this through advocacy—reaching out to members of Congress, especially to those on the relevant committees that authorize and appropriate funds for the Department of Transportation, MARAD. We invite you to join in our efforts to secure funding for the National Maritime Heritage Grants Program. Please refer to www. for updates and ways you can get involved.

courtesy virginia v foundation

Stephen Lynch (MA), Pramila Jayapal, Derek Kilmer, and Adam Smith (all from WA). One example of strengthened support came from Washington State, where advocates became energized. The organizations and leaders included US Congress members (Reps. Kilmer, Jayapal, A. Smith), the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation (Chris Moore), Inspire Washington (Manny Cawaling, representing 18,000 organizations), Steamer Virginia V Foundation (Debra Alderman), Sound Experience (Catherine Collins), the Center for Wooden Boats (Josh Anderson), and others. They reached out to Sen. Patty Murray (WA), a member of the Appropriations Committee. We launched a major initiative to gain more support in the Senate, especially from members of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Nearly all committee members were contacted by the National Maritime Alliance, and by our supporters who reside in their home states. Members of Congress are more responsive to requests when they are made by their own constituents. One example is Rhode Island, with letters emailed to Sens. Reed and Whitehouse and key staff from Tall Ships America (Kris Von Wald), Steamship Historical Society of America (Matthew Schulte), Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (Kathy Abbass), and Southeast Lighthouse Foundation (Lisa Nolan). A similar effort in California was directed to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Appropriations Committee) by the Los Angeles Maritime Museum (Marifrances Trivelli), the Maritime Museum of San Diego (Ray Ashley), the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (Greg Gorga), the Ocean Institute (Wendy Marshall), and the Channel Islands Maritime Museum (Adri Howe). The leadership of many more maritime heritage organizations reached out to members of Congress in support of funding for the grants program, including the National Maritime Historical Society, the US Lighthouse Society, the Council of American Maritime Museums, the Historic Naval Ships Association, Teaching with Small Boats Alliance, the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History, the National Association of Black Scuba Divers, Diving With a Purpose, the North American Society for Oceanic History, and others. While many individuals deserve recognition for their advocacy efforts, space limits me to noting only a few. My thanks to NMHS Chairman CAPT Jim Noone for his counsel; Rosehn Gipe (USS Kidd, LA) for joining with me to submit a funding request to Sen. John Kennedy, who supported our $10M request; Los Angeles Maritime Museum director and CAMM president Marifrances Trivelli who submitted a request to Sen. Feinstein, and wrote to others; Art Cohn (director emeritus, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum) for reaching out to Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick Leahy (VT); authors and educators Bland Simpson and David Cecelski who contacted House Appropriations Chair


“[T]hey saile incomparably well”—

Reconsidering Indigenous Maritime Aggression in Colonial New England


ive men hanged in Boston on 2 November 1726, convicted by the Massachusetts Admiralty Court for piracy. Historical analyses of their trials leave little doubt as to whether they—Jean Geudry, Jean Geudry Jr., James Mews, Philip Mews, and John Misse—boarded Tyral, a Massachusetts fishing vessel, near present-day Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, with intent to capture it. The men admitted as much. Instead, arguments in the trials focused on what distinguishes “robbery” from “piracy,” and whether the three “Indian” defendants thought their tribe, the Mi’kmaq, was still at war with the British—thus boarding the Tyral with purposes more military than piratical.1 Amidst these arguments, the “settled facts” and assumptions during the trials reveal misleading narratives and assumptions about Indigenous life and maritime culture that persist almost 300 years later. At the time, those narratives justified colonial expansion and explained away colonial defeats. Today, those narratives obscure the depth of maritime knowledge and political agency of Indigenous mariners, both past and present. Of course, this case was not a touchstone event in either American or maritime history. Neither was Dummer’s War, one of many names given to the three-year series of battles between British and Wabanaki forces that preceded the takeover of the Tyral. A growing body of scholarship is examining Indigenous life, politics, and interaction with settlers in the 17th and 18th centuries, showing how Dummer’s War, like many other early colonial conflicts, prominently featured Indigenous maritime aggression. In many cases, Wabanaki mariners defeated or out-maneuvered their counterparts, sometimes while sailing British-built ships and employing British tactics more effectively than the British themselves. More importantly, it

by Kiara Royer and Ned Schaumberg also reveals how the Wabanaki saw the seizure of British ships as both an assertion of economic power and a political response to increasing encroachment of British settlers into Wabanaki territory. This scholarship demands the ocean be treated as a central site for conflicts over colonial expansion, while highlighting the importance of Indigenous maritime knowledge in shaping these conflicts and their outcomes. Perhaps more importantly, considering Indigenous perspectives also demands a revision of conventional accounts of the early modern Atlantic, which are, as Paul Cohen points out, often “fundamentally grounded in European points of view, and leave little room for incorporating Amerindians’ very different aims, cultural perspectives, modes of social and political organization, and frameworks for commodity exchange.”2 Yet in that Boston courtroom, those cultural perspectives and political concepts were flattened into the criminal act of “piracy.” Similarly, trying the Geudrys separately from the “Indian” defendants— who were all of mixed Acadian-Mi’kmaq heritage—reveals an effort to create clear demarcations that belie the complex ethnic and social relations in 17th-century North America. As a key moment in imposing English law on Indigenous populations, this trial is thus a microcosm of British efforts to rhetorically minimize the seafaring skill of Wabanaki mariners, while using British law to undermine Wabanaki resistance to colonial expansion. For while Wabanaki attacks on British military and fishing vessels had been regularly occurring since the mid1600s, British descriptions of these attacks as “piracy” began only in the 1720s. Such descriptions coincide with larger narratives at the time about Indigenous resistance (and by extension, Indigenous civilization) as primitive, unorganized, and lawless. Even if such narratives are now understood to

be both politically motivated and factually inaccurate, their influence remains in the minimal attention paid to the role of Indigenous tribes in shaping early modern maritime history. That history deserves fresh consideration. If “raids” by Wabanaki “pirates” were actually calculated political and economic actions by skilled mariners, the knowledge and traditions of Wabanaki seafaring cannot be easily ignored or dismissed. And the way Wabanaki mariners combined longstanding local knowledge with a strategic use of settler equipment and tactics serves as a reminder that Indigenous cultures are lively and dynamic practices entangled with settler expansion, not some static or ancient set of traditions displaced into history by so-called progress. All this highlights the importance of the sea to the politics of the time and serves as another reminder that Indigenous traditional knowledge and adaptation to settler presence often go underappreciated. Piracy or War? When imagining the development of British settlements in North America from the Wabanaki perspective, a commitment to maritime conflict seems only sensible. What the British described as gradual development and expansion into “unclaimed territory” appears as encroachment and dispossession to that territory’s long-time inhabitants. With this in mind, the Wabanaki rightly ignored distinctions between military incursions and the activities of allegedly innocent farmers and fishermen— both were part of the larger British effort to take over and control Wabanaki territory. Indeed, these concerns were at the heart of the four Anglo-Wabanaki wars between 1675 and 1725; the Wabanaki resisted— both via political negotiation and military action—British efforts to claim land in North America by settlement, law, or war.

1 While the latter three men were tried separately as “Indians,” they were all likely mixed race, which itself highlights the complex, inexact lines of

race and ethnicity. The Mi’kmaq were one of several Algonquin-speaking tribal nations making up the Wabanaki Confederacy. 2 Paul Cohen, “Was There an Amerindian Atlantic? Reflections on the Limits of a Historiographical Concept,” History of European Ideas 34, 2008, p. 394.




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The Mi’ kmaq are one member of the Wabanaki Confederacy, a group of Eastern Algonquin nations along the North American coast from the Merrimack River Valley in present-day Massachusetts and New Hampshire to the Maritime Provinces and coastal Québec. While many of these nations were culturally and linguistically connected long before colonial contact, they formalized a political union in the 17th century in response to both English expansionism and increased hostilities with historical Iroquois enemies. As Professor Matthew Bahar, a leading scholar of Wabanaki history, points out throughout his work, maritime conflicts played an essential role in this resistance. The Wabanaki were similarly concerned about ceding territory ashore and losing control of the seas. They saw theft of British equipment and assaults on British ships as effective attacks on the larger colonial project. Because the sea was the necessary route by which more settlers could arrive in North America from Europe, and since the sea played such a prominent role in the lives of many Wabanaki, it follows that any resistance to colonial expansion would take place both at land and at sea. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

Deep Knowledge The deep connections between various Wabanaki tribes and their local waters were simultaneously cultural, practical, and political, and most tribes have rich histories of maritime skills that accompany cultural traditions, stories, and beliefs. The legendary creator figure Gluskap, who appears throughout Wabanaki oral traditions, often emerges from the water to teach native communities valuable survival skills. Records from the sixteenth century show that various Wabanaki tribes had already developed highly specialized birchbark canoes designed for navigating rough ocean waters, while many tribal groups depended

on marine wildlife for hunting. Maritime skills and virtues were applauded, as able seamanship provided authority and social stability within their communities, and were key criteria in a strong, successful sagamore, or chief. Despite prevailing stereotypes of Indigenous lifeways, however, this knowledge was not “timeless” or unchanging, but highly adaptive. When European settlers arrived, native groups reshaped their maritime activities accordingly. As colonists continued to move further north, the Wabanaki carefully orchestrated seaborne attacks in response to their being dispossessed of territorial space. This continued in 37

courtesy nova scotia museum

Mi’ kmaq petroglyphs in Kejimkujik National Park in Nova Scotia dating from the prehistoric period to the nineteenth century include depictions of watercraft, from traditional birchbark canoes to multi-masted European sailing ships. The abundance of boats in the Kejimkujik rock drawings underline the importance of maritime activity to the Wabanaki.

both war and “peacetime” well into the 18th century, and often showcased the extent to which colonial mariners were outclassed in coastal Wabanaki waters. For instance: After Indians seized “a large schooner with two swivel guns” from the Isle of Shoals during Dummer’s War in the 1720s, a modest sloop and shallop crewed by Maine and Ipswich men were commissioned to sail in pursuit. Not long after their departure the dejected crews “returned with their rigging much damaged by the swivel guns” and were able to “give no other account of the enemy than that they had gone into Penobscot.” Stunned residents of York, Maine, witnessed “a Sloop & a Ketch” chase down and capture the crew of a local fishing captain after the natives “fired a great gun at him” during King William’s War in 1692, remarking also “that they saile Incomparably well.”3

This success, as described at the time, appears to be a combination of practical skill, local knowledge, and careful planning. Moreover, attacks like these offered communities economic autonomy, established stronger relations with the French, and enhanced their diplomatic presence on the waters. And since colonial conflicts spanned generations, individual maritime knowledge also combined with cultural and familial traditions of resistance to colonial expansion. In other words, these attacks were often conducted by family groups, providing veteran mariners “an opportunity to initiate their children into the realm of power politics, the art of warfare, and the nobility of providing for others.”4 Conflict at sea, and especially conflict in the name of resisting British expansion, was a central aspect of Wabanaki life and a carefully calculated part of larger international political maneuvering. Rhetorical Warfare By describing Wabanaki warfare as “piracy,” however, the British de-emphasized

the political calculation and agency underlying maritime aggression. A “term of convenience,” the word “piracy” was already loaded with economic and political implications from beyond the New England coast; notoriously and overwhelmingly influencing trade and travel, pirates dominated the period between 1650 and 1750 now referred to as the Golden Age of Piracy. The geographic and cultural shifts of this term into Anglo-Wabanaki contexts coincide with the broader British effort to de-legitimize Indigenous resistance to colonial expansion. After the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 ended 25 years of almost-continuous turmoil between European powers on the continent and around the world, the Royal Navy forced veteran seamen to transition to civilian life. Many found few employment options, felt suddenly abandoned, and turned to lives of theft, especially in the West Indies. Struggling to find a solution, English officials across the globe attempted to delegitimize sea raiding in the Caribbean by calling it piracy. The term, as the prosecution in Geudry’s trial pointed out, “is

3 Matthew R. Bahar, “People of the Dawn, People of the Door: Indian Pirates and the Violent Theft of an Atlantic World,” Journal of American History, Volume 101, Issue 2, September 2014, 418. 4 Matthew R. Bahar, “The Golden Age of Piracy, 1714–1727.” In Storm of the Sea: Indians and Empires in the Atlantic’s Age of Sail. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2019, p. 175.



taken from the Greek substantive Peirates, Praedo Marinus, and therefore a Pirate in a Legal Sense is called a Robber on the High Seas.” But this ostensibly clear definition is, as scholars have argued, rhetorically loaded: “What precisely constitutes piracy, of course, has always been predicated on the observer’s economic and political perspective.”5 State-sanctioned privateers were often viewed as pirates by their victims, for instance. And, as in the Tyral incident, what constitutes “robbery” as opposed to an act of war between sovereign nations is often both legally and morally unclear. As such, the term shifts in use and meaning, often to fit the needs of its users. British leaders in northeastern North America simply paralleled the language of piracy already widespread in the Caribbean and conducted their own campaign of linguistic propaganda to criminalize Indigenous seaborne acts. In 1720, Governor Richard Phillips of Nova Scotia reported that eleven Indians “robbed and plundered [a vessel] in a Barbarous manner,” while seven years later, Massachusetts Governor Dummer received word that the “Indians of Cape Sables...committed divers barbarous acts of hostility on an English vessell.” By emphasizing the “barbarous” qualities of these attacks, British descriptions deploy racialized stereotypes about Indigenous Americans, while undermining the legal, political, and moral reasoning that drives the Wabanaki in the first place. This also relies on a tautology—the attacks are “piracy” because they are uncivilized and barbarous; they are barbarous because they are committed by Wabanaki, who receive the label in part because they attack British ships and disrupt British expansion. Absent here are the motives and goals of the so-called pirates themselves, of course, as Wabanaki efforts to prevent the loss of their traditional lands and maritime practices are pre-determined as illegitimate. By placing Indigenous maritime attacks under an umbrella of uncivilized and unlawful behavior, Britain implicitly—but intentionally—portrayed Dummer’s War in a way that “the looming statelessness of Indian piracy appeared so threatening to the civilized world that Britain hoped it might unite even the bitterest of European rivals.”6 SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

Individual acts of war were portrayed as less legitimate, and thus more threatening to ostensibly civilized nations. Put differently, if the Wabanaki could outduel Britain on the water, they could easily overpower other burgeoning colonies as well. The term also skewed the narrative surrounding these Indigenous acts, as its usage suggested random or unorganized attacks, rather than operations requiring naval expertise. By calling the Wabanaki “pirates,” English authorities from New England to London engaged in a “war of words,” as historian Matthew Bahar described it, and employed “a tried and tested language of piracy that reduced Wabanki to socially and politically primitive criminals.”7 If the Royal Navy was defeated in a battle with a piratical criminal, it implied that the loss was due to something unfair or underhanded, not because British sailors were out-gunned and out-maneuvered. Wabanaki naval success is thus re-framed as both ill-won and illegitimate. The way the English framed “piracy” during the early eighteenth century to bolster their own crusade has altered contemporary understandings of Indigenous maritime skills and knowledge, as many historical narratives continue to overlook traditional and contemporary Indigenous relationships with the sea as a result. One Step at a Time Because historical scholarship on the Atlantic has traditionally elevated stories of economic exchange and seaborne empires, much of it remains grounded in European and colonial points of view, even when discussing settler-Indigenous relationships in maritime environments. The danger of this, Cohen writes, is that although “the Atlantic lens has been extremely successful at bringing into sharp focus certain processes and social groups, its emphasis on European empire, migration and capitalism has also blurred the presence of Amerindians in the story.”8 Relying too heavily on European understandings of the sea and of maritime history risks fostering an incomplete or inaccurate understanding of past events, and of their continuing relevance to the present. As contemporary debates about land settlements, fishing rights, and shoreline access

suggest, these relations are ongoing and still as fraught with contention and political power dynamics as they have been for the past 400 years. What would it mean to seek out and take seriously the perspectives and histories of Indigenous mariners past and present? How might those perspectives alter understandings of historical patterns and trends? Unpacking English narratives of Dummer’s War during the 1720s is just one step in this larger effort to seek out, listen to, and carefully consider Indigenous perspectives and knowledge within AngloWabanaki relations. Ongoing projects of maritime scholarship must, in the service of both accuracy and breadth, amplify those voices that have not always been at the forefront of the conversation. Doing so offers a wider range of stories from the past and a fuller understanding of human relationships with the Atlantic Ocean. Put simply, there is much more to maritime history than the stories of Europeans who settled North America; understanding the full complexity of that history means seeking out and listening to Indigenous perspectives on the sea, both historical and contemporary. Kiara Royer is an undergraduate at Williams College majoring in history and political science. She is an executive editor for the Williams Record, the college’s weekly newspaper, and has worked as an intern and researcher for the Searchable Sea Literature online database, work which formed the basis of this article. Ned Schaumberg, PhD, is an assistant professor at Williams-Mystic: The Coastal and Ocean Studies Program of Williams College and the Mystic Seaport Museum. His research focuses on the ways various cultures “read” their watery environments and attempt to describe them in language. In particular, he considers how texts from Indigenous cultures written in English reflect complex relationships and cultural values related to rivers, coastlines, and oceans. 5 Bahar, “People of the Dawn,” 423. 6 Bahar, “The Golden Age of Piracy,” 179. 7 Bahar, “The Golden Age of Piracy,” 162. 8 Cohen, 394.


Celebrating Navy Women: Perseverance and Achievements


ince being allowed to join the US Navy more than a century ago (in 1917), women have profoundly impacted the Navy and created enduring legacies. To honor those trailblazers who have led the way, along with the more than 60,000 women who serve today, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday and his wife Linda Gilday, in coordination with the Navy History and Heritage Command, created Celebrating Navy Women: Perseverance and Achievements, an e-book as well as a display at their residence, Tingey House. Celebrating Navy Women has two purposes: It is a way to honor those women “firsts,” those who served with integrity, humility, fortitude, and sacrifice in uniform or as civilians; and importantly, to inspire young men and woman alike as they forge a path ahead on a foundation laid down by others. As a Navy, we celebrate the many accomplishments that women have achieved through hard work, grit and determination. It is available online at —Chief of Naval Operations Public Affairs

all photos courtesy us navy, nhhc

Lt. j. g. Harriet Ida Pickens (left) and Ens. Frances Wills On 22 December 1944, Harriet Ida Pickens and Frances Wills became the first black women commissioned as officers in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Service (WAVES). Pickens, who graduated as the top ranking member of her officer candidate program class, served as a physical training instructor while Wills was assigned as a classification text administrator. By the time World War II ended on 2 September 1945, Pickens and Wills were the only two black women officers among the Navy’s 86,000 WAVES.

Lt. j.g. Judith Neuffer and Lt. j.g. Barbara Allen Rainey (right) Judy Bruner (née Neuffer) became the first woman to fly solo in an aircraft and the first to become a P-3 Poseidon pilot in the Navy. One of the first women to qualify as a naval aviator in 1973, Neuffer logged several thousand hours piloting the P-3, becoming the first woman P-3 aircraft commander, and also the first woman to pilot an aircraft through the eye of a hurricane. She transferred to the Navy Reserve and continued her service as commanding officer of three units, and as the Navy’s Science and Technology Reserve Program director. She retired from the Navy in 1998 after 28 years of service. Bruner began her career at NASA in 1981, where she currently serves as the director of the Goddard Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate (2021). Barbara Allen Rainey became the first woman to qualify as a US naval aviator when she earned her Wings of Gold on 22 February 1974 and was among the first women naval aviators to qualify as a jet pilot. She was assigned to fly C-1s in Alameda, California, and became the first jet-qualified woman in the US Navy to fly the T-39. In 1977 she transferred to the Navy Reserve; in 1981 she was recalled to active duty to help fill a shortage of flight instructors. She was assigned to VT-3 at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Milton, Florida, flying the T-34C Mentor. On 13 July 1982, she was killed in a crash while teaching touch-and-go landings at Middleton Field near Evergreen, Alabama. Petty Officer 3rd Class Yona Owens Yona Owens was instrumental in securing the right for women to serve aboard ships. She enlisted in the Navy in 1973, and in 1976 she launched a classaction suit (Owens v. Brown) against the Navy arguing that regulations prohibiting women from serving on board ships were unconstitutional. The court ultimately ruled in her favor on 27 July 1978, and by autumn of that same year the law was amended to allow women to serve at sea. 40


Cmdr. Darlene Iskra Darlene Iskra became the first woman officer to command a Navy ship when she took command of USS Opportune (ARS 41) on 27 December 1990. One of the first three women to become a diving officer, her first assignment was as the diving officer onboard USS Hector (AR 7), a World War II vintage repair ship. When more ships opened to women in the mid-1980s, Iskra requested a transfer and was assigned as operations officer aboard USS Grasp (ARS 51) during her pre-commissioning and through the vessel’s first year of commissioned service. She was selected for executive officer afloat, and served on two different ships in a split tour: first with USS Preserver (ARS 8) and then USS Hoist (ARS 40). Less than three weeks after she took command of USS Opportune in Naples, Italy, the ship put to sea to support Operation Desert Storm. Iskra retired from the Navy in 2000 after 21 years of service. After retirement, she went to graduate school and got her PhD in sociology, with the specialty areas of Military Sociology and Gender, Work, and Family; taught for nearly ten years; and wrote two books about women in the military. Lt. j. g. Madeline Swegle Madeline Swegle became the Navy’s first-known black woman to become a tactical air pilot when she earned her Wings of Gold on 31 July 2020. Swegle is part of a new generation of TACAIR pilots to qualify on the state-of-the-art aircraft launch and recovery equipment unique to the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78): the electromagnetic aircraft launch system and advanced arresting gear. She completed carrier qualifications in May 2020. She is currently stationed at Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ-130) at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.

Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt Amy Bauernschmidt became the first woman commanding officer of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier when she took command of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in the summer of 2021. Bauernschmidt was also the first woman to serve as the executive officer aboard an aircraft carrier, a position she held from September 2016 to January 2019.

These are just a select few of the dynamic women who are featured in Celebrating Navy Women. To view the full eBook, you can download the pdf via the website. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022



ust before 9 pm on 10 January 1889, a 30-foot British sloop, Emerald, passed Protection Island and was making its approach to Discovery Bay in Washington Territory. Although Ben Lundy, the sloop’s owner and captain, had enjoyed an easy beam reach as he crossed the Strait of Juan de Fuca sailing on a southwesterly course from Victoria, British Columbia, as he approached the Washington shoreline, the wind began to back from SE to SW. He had to sheet in the sails and keep his vessel close-hauled to make headway in the light southwest breeze. A steady drizzle and 41o temperatures made for a cold, wet, miserable 35-mile passage. As Emerald approached the headlands at the entrance to the inlet, Lundy could start to relax in the knowledge that he had once again outwitted the Oliver J.Wolcott, the local Revenue-Marine cutter based out of Port Townsend, one bay over. Once past Clallam Bay Spit, at the western edge of the north-facing, mile-and-a-half-wide entrance to Discovery Bay, it would be a straight shot of only a few miles before reaching the remote logging settlement towards the southern end of the bay. There

courtesy anacortes museum

by Daniel A. Laliberte

The Emerald would have been nearly identical to this 38-foot sloop, Katy Thomas, owned by well-known smuggler Larry Kelly, and used during the same time period and region. he would land his smuggled cargo of Chinese migrants and opium and collect his fee of $20 per person and $5 per pound of opium. Lundy’s $2,240 proceeds for this one trip would nearly equal the $2,500

VancouVer Island Victoria

Strait of Juan de Fuca Protection Is. adapted from esri base map

Clallam Bay Spit

Discovery Bay

olympIc penInsula 42

Port Townsend

annual salary of the commanding officer of the revenue cutter that was on the hunt for the Emerald. The lure of huge profits that could be made by smuggling humans and opium from Canada into the United States had become irresistible to many mariners since the early-1880s. Before that time, opium and Chinese nationals were typically brought into the country aboard large commercial steamships returning to San Francisco from Hong Kong. The drug was then entirely legal in the United States, and a low one-dollar-per-pound tariff on its importation provided little incentive for smuggling. Chinese immigrants were welcomed as a source of cheap labor, especially during the period of construction of the intercontinental railroad, which was completed in 1869. This dynamic—stable for several decades—began to tilt radically out of kilter starting in 1882. Around that time, a surplus in laborers led to a backlash against the Chinese immigrants. American workers blamed them for stealing jobs and depressing wages. Additionally, the practice of smoking SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022


p.d. illustration from le petit journal, 5 july 1903

opium—initially confined to the Chinese laborers—had gained traction with working-class Americans. While the practice had garnered little attention when confined to the expatriate Chinese community, as the highly addictive habit spread to the general population, attendant rises in related crimes and health issues were blamed on use of the drug—and likewise on the Chinese. The US government sought to solve the problem in two ways: by limiting the numbers of Chinese entering the country and by reducing the availability of opium. First came the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, promptly followed by the Tariff Law of 1883. The Exclusion Act severely restricted the number of Chinese that could enter the country. All Chinese workers— both “skilled and unskilled laborers” and miners—were barred from entry. Any Chinese person leaving the US had to obtain a certificate of re-entry prior to departure, attesting that they would not seek employment upon return. The 1883 Tariff Law increased the duty on the importation of both “smoking” opium—also known as refined opium— and raw opium from which it could be produced, from $1 to $10 per pound. The theory held that this would price opium beyond the reach of the masses; instead, it just made smuggling ten times more profitable. Accordingly, smuggling quickly became so widespread that customs inspectors in San Francisco assumed that every steamer arriving from Hong Kong would have opium hidden aboard. In 1887 the United States enacted additional legislation that specifically prohibited Chinese persons from importing opium, and generally prohibited anyone from importing the form of raw opium that could be processed into smoking opium. This law significantly changed the already spiraling smuggling dynamic by effectively putting opium refiners out of business. With losses rising as customs inspectors at San Francisco grew efficient at finding hidden caches, and intelligence sharing enabled the local revenue cutter, Richard K. Rush, to seize or disrupt attempts to offload before entering port, opium producers turned their sights on British Columbia. Opium could still be imported legally into

Opium was big business in the Pacific Northwest at the end of the 19th century. Raw opium was typically brought in by steamer from Hong Kong and then “cooked,” or processed in Victoria’s local opium kitchens to convert it into a drug that could be sold to consumers in both the US and Canada. Canada with only a dollar-per-pound tariff; Chinese persons could enter with a $50 fee. A license to refine opium could be obtained for only $100. This permissive environment resulted in Vancouver’s coastal cities becoming the new nexus of opium manufacturing in North America. The port of Victoria, at the southern tip of Vancouver Island—less than forty miles from Port Townsend, the nearest US port of entry—emerged as the pre-eminent opium manufacturing site and smuggling departure point. Its thirteen refineries produced an estimated 90,000 pounds of opium annually. No longer did smugglers need to conceal opium aboard large steamships facing a weeks-long transPacific voyage from Hong Kong. Now a small, fast sloop could make the run across Puget Sound to Port Townsend in less than seven hours, and the region’s fleet of coastal steamers could conceal loads of the drug among legitimate cargo. By 1889, all forty of the vessels in the Victoria fishing fleet and every coastal steamer in the region had been identified as suspected smugglers. Only a single outdated revenue cutter with a small crew opposed them. The 155-foot Oliver J. Wolcott had been assigned to Port Townsend since her launch

in 1873. A 235-ton cutter, she was rigged as a topsail schooner—but also sported a vertical-cylinder, surface-condensing steam propulsion plant. The steam plant was capable of pushing her at 9 to 9 ½ knots and freed the vessel from the vagaries of the wind, but the drag from her propeller, even when “de-linked” or free-wheeling, limited her to just over nine knots when on her best point of sail. She carried a total complement of thirty-four men: Captain Russell Glover, three lieutenants, three engineer officers, and twenty-seven warrant officers, petty officers, and crew. The cutter was armed with two Hotchkiss six-pounder, rapid-fire deck guns, mounted forward on the forecastle and aft on the fantail, plus some small arms. When the Wolcott was under power, she produced a distinctive sound from her propeller cavitation that was obvious from four-to-five miles away in all but the flattest seas. On 10 January 1889, Glover and his crew had just returned to Port Townsend around noon from a patrol to the south. The cutter had taken on thirty-six tons of coal—enough for about four or five days of steaming at full speed—at Seattle and conducted six routine law-enforcement boardings before heading home. Almost immediately after anchoring near the Customs House at Port Townsend, a letter from the Collector of Customs was rowed out to the ship. According to Wolcott’s log, the letter stated “that telegraphic information had been received concerning a sloop which was expected to land 400 lbs. smuggled opium at Port Discovery.” Although the specific source of this intelligence has not been preserved, the Victoria waterfront was under regular surveillance by US Treasury and Customs agents, and the US Consul, Robert J. Stevens, ran an extensive network of informants, who provided details on many smuggling ventures. Informants were usually motivated by the lure of monetary gain—they could be paid up to 25% of the value of the opium seized as a result of their information—or by the opportunity to damage a competitor. Intelligence thus gathered across the strait would be telegraphed to the Collector of Customs in Port Townsend. Armed with this information, Captain Glover prepared his cutter to get underway 43

again, but the ability to do so would take some time. Unlike a modern diesel, a 19thcentury steam engine could not just be stopped or started with the turn of a key or the push of a button. Shutting down the steam plant was a process that would start about a half an hour before anchoring or mooring. Restarting the furnace and building up steam pressure could take hours if the fire had been completely overhauled and the boiler drained. Accordingly, it took nearly five hours before the Wolcott was ready to get underway. After being joined by Special Treasury Agent James McHale, recently detailed from San Francisco, Captain Glover steamed the cutter northwards at around nine knots from Port Townsend. The weather was overcast and raining, with light and variable winds from the southwest, and the cool 45°F temperature was dropping by the hour. These conditions were unfavorable for an intercept. While a small sloop would be difficult for the Wolcott to spot in poor visibility, the smoke from the cutter’s furnace and the noise from propeller cavitation when her screw broke

the surface as the ship rolled in choppy seas could betray her presence from miles away. The smugglers also had the advantage of lookouts ashore, who would warn them by red lantern at the tip of the Quimper Peninsula, the five-mile strip of land that separates Port Townsend from Discovery Bay, to announce that Wolcott was underway. But Glover had a plan. He knew exactly how to use the wind, the weather, and the local geography to his advantage. While the rain and clouds might give the smuggler cover, they would also help to conceal the Wolcott as Glover moved to set an ambush. An hour and a half after having departed Port Townsend, the cutter left Puget Sound and entered Port Discovery Bay. In this era, the term “Port Discovery” generally referred not only to the settlement at the southern end of the bay with the same name, but to the entire body of water, and the opium cargoes could be landed almost anywhere along the remote, heavily wooded shores of the ten-mile-long inlet. Accordingly, Glover immediately turned west to anchor just south of Clallam

Bay Spit. Now known as Diamond Point, Clallam Bay Spit was formed by sand deposited by wind and the longshore currents at the western edge of the entrance to the bay. It was once home to a village of the Native American Clallam Tribe, but in 1889 it was a narrow, mile-long protrusion of sand and trees jutting eastward across half the northern border of Discovery Bay. Glover’s choice to anchor just south of the spit was cunning. With the wind out of the southwest, any sailing vessel seeking to enter the bay would have to hold a southeast or southerly course. The Wolcott would be blocked from view by the trees on the spit until the smuggler had crossed into the bay. Since he likely anticipated getting underway again with little notice, Glover would have ordered the furnace fire of his steam plant to be “banked.” This entailed covering hot coals at the front or back of the furnace with a layer of good coal—producing enough heat to keep the water in the boiler hot without producing steam, and facilitating restarting of the fire. This would also eliminate the tell-tale smoke plume that could betray the cutter’s presence.

uscg collection

USRC Oliver J. Wolcott, also known simply as Wolcott, was built between 1872–73 by Risden Iron Works in San Francisco. She was constructed with white oak and yellow fir from Oregon and Washington, with bilge keels and iron-wire standing rigging.



photo by edward hart, detroit publishing company collection, library of congress

The revenue cutter Oliver J. Wolcott was armed fore and aft with two rapid fire, 6-pounder Hotchkiss guns of the type shown here on the deck of USS Oregon. The uniforms of the US Revenue Marine at this time were also nearly identical to those of the US Navy. By anchoring, Glover would avoid the signature sound of the propeller cavitations his vessel so often experienced. The position he had selected at the bay’s entrance outweighed the uncertainty of not knowing where exactly the smuggler was headed. Finally, while the reduced visibility from the rain and the overcast sky would normally favor the smuggler, today it might obscure any warning light from someone seeking to alert the smuggler of the cutter’s presence. All in all, it was as near to perfect an ambush as could be set. Only minutes after the Wolcott was in position, a sailboat was sighted entering the bay. Because the cutter could not weigh anchor to intercept in a timely fashion, Glover had one of his small boats standing by, ready and manned. The cutter’s readyboat shot out and quickly intercepted the sloop. A brief boarding revealed her to be the sloop August out of Port Townsend. Nothing of note was found onboard, and she was allowed to continue on down the bay to the settlement of Port Discovery. Finally, just before 9 pm, another boat entered the bay. When the two men on deck noticed the Wolcott’s boat approaching, they began frantically throwing packSEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

ages over the side. The cutter’s boat got alongside post-haste and put a boarding party over the gunwale. Bags of opium tins sat in plain sight on the deck. Led by one of the Wolcott’s lieutenants—most likely First Lieutenant Owen S. Willey, who had just come off watch at 8 pm—the cuttermen promptly arrested the two suspected smugglers and seized the sloop. Special Agent McHale was then ferried over to assist with a search of the sloop. The search revealed twelve undocumented Chinese aliens down below, who were probably very fortunate that the interdiction happened so quickly. Although alien smuggling was only a misdemeanor, the fine of $50 per smuggled person and potential forfeiture of the offending vessel sometimes led smugglers to toss human cargo overboard while being chased. With their British entry papers, these twelve would merely be repatriated to Victoria, likely to try again later. The vessel, of course, was the sloop Emerald under the command of Benjamin Lundy—a well-known smuggler. Lundy, his crewman Frank Hall, the Chinese passengers, and opium were transferred to the Wolcott. Within half an hour the cutter was underway with the sloop in tow, steaming

back to Port Townsend. Upon arrival the prisoners and aliens were put ashore in the custody of Special Agent McHale. Early the next morning, after a thorough search of the Emerald, Glover and the Wolcott returned to Port Discovery Bay to look for the packages jettisoned the previous evening. By noon, the search was completed, having recovered eleven tins of opium weighing 5½ pounds each. The cutter returned to Port Townsend that afternoon and transferred all of the seized opium—now totaling 400 pounds—to the Custom House in the port. At his arraignment, Lundy tried to take sole responsibility for the venture. He refused to “name names” of the smuggling ring that had funded his venture, instead making up identities of persons to whom he was to transfer custody of the opium and aliens. He also claimed that Frank Hall, his crewman, knew nothing about the opium and the aliens. Likely as a reward for his loyalty, unknown persons helped Lundy escape from jail before trial and smuggled him back to Victoria in a trunk. Despite mounting seizures over the next two decades, smugglers continued to sneak loads of opium by boat into the Pacific Northwest. Only after Canada outlawed the importation and use of opium in 1909 for other than medical purposes was the torrent finally reduced to a trickle, as producers of refined opium were forced to close previously legal production facilities in Vancouver. Nevertheless, with ongoing demand and a near-guaranteed highprofit margin, operations merely shifted south to Mexico. Smugglers there continue to move drugs and aliens into Southern California today. Dan Laliberte served for more than thirty years in the US Coast Guard, during which time he participated in or provided intelligence support to the interdiction and repatriation of hundreds of undocumented Haitian migrants, and the seizure of numerous drug smuggling vessels and the arrest of their crews. He writes on historical topics involving the Revenue Marine Service and Coast Guard. A frequent contributor to Sea History, his work has also appeared in American History, Naval History, and the Nautical Research Journal. 45

Birthplace of the US Navy—Is Where?


and solve the problems that had been rampant for more than three years. The British Army, based in Boston, went pretty much where it pleased, took what it wanted (including stocks of powder), and used every method it could to quash the rebellion of the pesky colonists who were so ungrateful for the over-arching, all-encompassing arms of Mother England. It quickly became apparent that the only viable solution involved arms, and arms were something in very short supply in the Patriots’ inventory. Arms manufactories were, for all intents and purposes, non-existent; the requisite muskets,

Marblehead) to attack British shipping off the New England coastline. It is that date which the US Navy has taken as its “birthday” and simultaneously began the controversy, which is the subject of this essay. Now that you have a little history, let’s look at the controversy itself. With all that going for it, one might say Marblehead, Massachusetts, could properly justify their claim as the “Birthplace of the US Navy” since that was where the first ships were purchased that flew the navy flag of the United States, right? Hold on! Not so fast!

cannons, swords, bayonets, bullets, cannonballs, and powder thus had to come from abroad. Merchants in Marblehead, Massachusetts, had trading partners in Spain and an agreement was reached to supply the necessary arms. Only one problem remained—getting them to New England. Washington, though an army man through and through, recognized that they would have to have a navy to effectuate the plan. Ships would also be useful in disrupting the British supply chain. He petitioned Congress for the money. Rather than wait for the political wheels to grind, at the same time he commissioned a Marblehead man, Captain Nicolas Broughton; a Marblehead ship, Hannah; and a Marblehead crew into the service of the United Colonies of North America. Ultimately, on 13 October 1775, Congress responded, passing a bill establishing a naval force, while also encouraging a small fleet of privateers (mostly from

When General Washington commissioned Hannah, the schooner was moored in Beverly Harbor and, thus, sailed from Beverly on her first Navy commission. Hence, according to the good folks in Beverly, their town—not Marblehead—should be given the title. The argument dragged on for years with no resolution satisfactory to anyone. What to do? Pass the decision on to a “higher authority.” Enter the Secretary of the Navy. In 1935, the towns of Marblehead and Beverly jointly solicited the Secretary of the Navy, Charles Swanson, to travel to Massachusetts and investigate each town’s claim. Secretary Swanson was not a New England man and, with little idea of what lay ahead, readily accepted the invitation (it got him out of Washington, after all!) anticipating a simple task of checking some historical facts and rendering his decision. It was only days after his arrival that he found Marblehead’s claim viable and true.

photo by bkg333, via wikipedia commons, (cc by-sa 4.0)


uccess has many parents; failure is an orphan. Or so say the pundits among us. So, naturally, many towns—several, but not all, in New England—want to take the credit for being the birthplace of the United States Navy. When the 2nd Continental Congress passed a bill funding the purchase of ships for the Continental Army and militia to use, in effect they created a navy, though not in the sense we think of a navy today, with hundreds of gray ships armed to the teeth and sailing the oceans of the world. No, the ships in 1775 were purchased merchant vessels, hastily converted to carry small cannon and light armament. These would be used to run the British blockade, carrying desperately needed supplies for the war effort—gunpowder in particular— and then to harass British transports bringing both soldiers and matériel to Boston, and later New York. The vessels of this “first” navy were generally smaller, schooner or brig rigged, and often beginning to show signs of wear and tear from their service in the merchant fleet. The famous US Navy “Six Frigates” would come later, from a bill passed in 1794. It was a most difficult time for the nascent Revolution. While the American Patriots were eager to do their part, there weren’t enough of them initially, and there were often Loyalists skulking around trying to undermine the efforts of those colonists desperate for independence. Gunpowder was in short supply, and the British and their Loyalist colonials did everything possible to separate the Patriots from what powder they possessed and preclude the possibility of replenishing that stock. It became crucial to obtain powder from friendly foreign nations. While civilian merchant vessels could do the job, British warships patrolling the coast of New England often intercepted the ships on their return voyage. Not only would they seize the cargo, but they would usually take the ship itself and press its crew into service in the Royal Navy. Clearly, something must be done. The Continental Congress had already enlisted George Washington to head the army and sent him to New England to try

by William H. White


Then he discovered that Beverly’s was also true. Word of his trip and mission, of course, had traveled fast and soon other candidates turned up, also claiming the title. Both South Carolina and Georgia offered that their ships had jointly captured a British ship carrying powder and turned the cargo over to the United Colonies. Hence, South Carolina and Georgia were, in their minds, entitled to the sobriquet. The good folks in Philadelphia suggested that since the bill creating the Navy was signed in Philadelphia, they were entitled to the honor. Swanson soon discovered, to his chagrin, that on 1 August 1775, Commodore James Smith had taken command of the sloop Enterprise at Crown Point (near Whitehall, New York) on the New York side of Lake Champlain. And of course, Benedict Arnold a year later had built his fleet of gunboats there prior to the Battle of Valcour Island, October 1776. They were units of the United Colonies Navy, and anyone driving through Whitehall, New York, has likely noticed the prominently placed sign stating the town is the “Birthplace of the US Navy.” Not to be left out, Rhode Islanders suggested that they should win the title, as

their governor, responding to orders from General Washington, sent a sloop to Bermuda in August 1775 to capture the British gunpowder supplies stored there. That vessel, Katy, was successful in its mission and justified, in the governor’s mind, Rhode Island’s claim to fame. Let us not forget far-flung little Machias, Maine (then technically part of Northern Massachusetts), where in June of 1775 a local ship with a local Patriot crew armed with pitchforks, axes, and sabers had forced a British ship, Margaretta¸ to surrender five days before the Battle of Bunker Hill. Machias claimed, and still does today, that it should wear the title. According to some who witnessed it, an overwhelmed Secretary Swanson muttered, “To hell with it!” and returned to Washington. The controversy was left wide open and remains so to this day. And while we didn’t mention it herein, many in Salem, Massachusetts, also lay claim to the title, as they were heavily involved in providing ships, both purposebuilt and purchased, for the Navy, and many of their merchants took their own ships out, under letters of marque, as part of the privateer fleet. I recall speaking at an event in Salem some years ago, and, following my remarks,

(right) A bronze marker in Machias, Maine, erected by the local chapter of the DAR in 1927 reads: “This tablet commemorates the first naval battle of the American Revolution. On June 12, 1775, a gallant force of Machias men led by Capt. Jeremiah O’Brien in the sloop Unity pursued and captured the British sloop of war Margaretta in Machias Bay.” SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

William H. White is a trustee and treasurer of the National Maritime Historical Society and serves as an editorial advisor for Sea History. A frequent contributor to the magazine, he is also the author of numerous books on naval history, both fiction and non-fiction. To learn more, visit his website at www.

photo by paul fishman

Signage in Whitehall, New York, alerts visitors of the town’s significance in US Navy history.

I was asked which town was the birthplace of the US Navy: Salem (local crowd, of course) or Marblehead (a few visitors who came to the event). Realizing the peril I faced, I responded with, “Neither. Whitehall, New York, is.” The silence was momentarily deafening, but I managed to avoid the conflict! The conflict remains unresolved to this day and is still a source of heated argument and sometimes hot tempers in New England. More than one bar-room brawl has erupted when sailors from Beverly or Salem visit Marblehead. It would appear that, barring any substantive new information, the 200-year-old fight will continue unabated. So, dear reader, you can make up your own mind: whose claim is best justified, Marblehead, Beverly, Machias, Providence, Philadelphia, or Whitehall? Or Salem? Or South Carolina/Georgia? Just be mindful of where you are when you mention your choice!


SEA HISTORY for kids

by Richard J. King

his peacefulness was interrupted,” wrote Teddy Seymour, “by a strange encounter of an animal kind.” Sailing alone in his boat Love Song in 1986, he was cruising across the Gulf of Aden, bound for the Suez Canal. So that he could let go of the tiller to sleep, eat, read, and do boat maintenance, he was using an Aries self-steering system that used a separate rudder suspended off the stern. Seymour had passed through a region of light winds and was making good time, sailing along safely and calmly. All was going well. Earlier that day he had seen an orca—also commonly known as the killer whale. Orcas are one of the easier whales to identify at sea because of their glossy black skin, distinctive white patches, and their tall thin dorsal fin, which for males can stick up as high as six feet, like a giant witch’s hat slicing through the seas. After dark, the same orca—or perhaps another one—approached his boat. “A mischief maker pushed Love Song sideways,” Seymour wrote, “and made teeth marks in the Aries rudder. By the time I leaped to the cockpit, the rudder was being molested as the boat continued to be pushed and slightly tilted.” Seymour didn’t estimate the whale’s length, but orcas can grow as long as thirty feet, and his boat was only thirty-five feet long. “As the hull slid off the emerging monster,” Seymour explained, “a part of the mass appeared; then it quietly submerged. Operating the engine and striking the engine Sailor Teddy Seymour wrote about his with a hammer were two techniques used for the next half hour to deter foul play.” experience with an orca during his solo

univ. of florida , special collections

photo by mike doherty, courtesy

world voyage in 1986–87.

Teddy Seymour aboard his boat Love Song off St. Croix; the self-steering gear, safe and sound, can be seen suspended off the stern.


courtesy national sailing hall of fame

Animals in Sea History

A pod of killer whales swimming at the surface off Monterey, California, in August 2020. The male’s tall dorsal fin makes him easy to spot.


This was quick thinking by Teddy Seymour. Killer whales, like all toothed whales, are highly in tune to their sense of hearing underwater: sound and echolocation are their primary methods for hunting and social communication. Engine noises are known to deter killer whales and reduce their ability to talk to each other and to find food. In the 1980s when this incident took place, the branch of marine biology that studied whale echolocation and their sensitivity to underwater sound had only begun to emerge. From several species of whales, scientists identified local dialects and clicks, pulses, and whistles underwater. The fact that Seymour encountered an orca near the Middle East might come as a surprise, but killer whales, known as alhut alqatil in Arabic, are the ocean’s most widely distributed mammal. Not only do they swim across all oceans, they also penetrate the icy waters in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. Though they are rarely sighted in the Arabian Sea and even into the Red Sea, they are indeed occasional visitors in this region. Wherever they live, orcas are highly adapted to their particular parts of the world. They live in packs to hunt prey, which, depending on their part of the ocean and the traditions of their given group of orcas, might be fish, penOrcas are apex predators with powerful jaws and 40–56 conicalguins, seals, or even a vulnerable large whale, such as a shaped teeth used for ripping and tearing. Orcas do not chew; they young sperm whale or a sick humpback. Seymour con- eat their food whole or in chunks. cluded his account later, with some humor from the safety of his writing desk at home:



photo 109160913 © pr 2is

Seymour’s orca probably had no romantic attraction toward Love Song, despite the vessel’s name, but perhaps the pale rudder moving through the bioluminescence


Explanations submitted to account for this obnoxious behavior suggest both innocence and violence. Was the nudging an act of passion? Could it have been love at first sight? Were the teeth marks a display of affection to be viewed as a memoir? Perhaps the light-grey colored Aries rudder flashing side-to-side in the phosphorescent matter of the sea lured the animal into regarding the device as an evening snack. For the same reason that a patent log rotor is painted black; namely, shark avoidance, I accepted this incident as a suggestion to paint the Aries rudder a darker color.


Orca breaching near a sailboat off San Juan Island, Washington.

photo by chase dekker wild - life images

might have looked like a fish or a flipper to a hungry killer whale. The rudders of these devices are quite hardy, but I suspect if that orca—with each tooth longer than your finger—had really wanted to take a full confident chomp, it would’ve left more than just teeth marks. After that night with the orca, Seymour continued on his voyage aboard Love Song through the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic. On 19 June 1987, 16 months after he began his world voyage, he dropped anchor back in his home harbor at St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. Seymour, who grew up in Yonkers, New York, became the first African American to complete a solo circumnavigation of the world. Teddy Seymour was not, however, the first or the last sailor to come hull-to-head with a killer whale. Recently, orcas off the coast of Portugal and Spain have been making the news. In 2021, according to SAIL magazine, more than fifty boats reported close encounters initiated by orcas, half of which resulted in damage that required heading into port for repairs. For more on this topic, visit the Facebook group “Orca Attack Reporting.” You can view past “Animals in Sea History” at www.seahistory. org/kids.

The logistics of feeding the hundreds of sailors and officers who made up the crew of large navy ships in the Age of Sail was challenging to say the least. Records from USS Constitution from the War of 1812 reveal just how much food was required to feed her large crew. The frigate left port on 30 December 1813 with 485 men onboard for a cruise expected to last six months. With them, they brought:

us navy photo, nhhc

USS Constitution’s crew of 450–500 men looked forward to a hearty meal when they got off watch.

graphic by deirdre o’regan

Teddy Seymour’s boat was pretty small to fit all the supplies he would need, but he was the only person on board, so it was manageable. Sailing ships before the 20th century had no refrigeration at all—even canned food wasn’t invented until 1810. Those in charge of provisioning ships selected food that could last a long time: flour, salted meats, raisins, dried beans, rice, hard cheeses, and molasses, for example. To be able to serve fresh meat out at sea, oceangoing ships often brought livestock— pigs, chickens, goats, cows, and sheep—that they could butcher along the way. This dependence on non-perishable foods frequently caused more just than mealtime boredom. During the Age of Sail, it is estimated that more mariners died from scurvy, a disease caused by a diet lacking in Vitamin C, than from storms, shipwrecks, battles, and all other diseases combined.

Loading provisions aboard a WWII submarine.

bread beef pork flour cheese butter raisins

76,234 lbs. 51,969 lbs. 39,840 lbs. 12,544 lbs. 2,174 lbs. 1765 lbs. 360 lbs.

legumes 1286 gallons rice 1316 gallons vinegar 796 gallons molasses 870 gallons kraut 800 gallons spirits 5,0741 gallons water 47,265 gallons

Today, commercial and navy ships have plenty of refrigeration and can make all the fresh water they need by using reverse osmosis desalination systems. Still, for ships carrying thousands of people, the shopping list for even just a short time at sea is daunting. For a oneweek trip aboard the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas cruise ship Symphony of the Seas, for example, the food inventory manager orders more than 600,000 pounds of food and beverages to feed the nearly 9,000 passengers and crew. Here’s just a partial list of the food onboard for the week.

photo by wolfgang reindl via pixabay

coffee beans chicken eggs beef ice cream potatoes lobster tails

Prepping appetizers by the thousands onboard a cruise ship.

1,500 lbs. 9,700 lbs. 60,000 15,000 lbs. 700 lbs. 20,000 lbs. 2,100 lbs.

flour salmon french fries bacon tortillas wings

royal caribbean international

us navy art collection

When Teddy Seymour was preparing for his sailing voyage around the world, he had to strategize to bring enough food for the long stretches across the world’s oceans. His 35-foot sailboat did have a 12-volt refrigerator, which he filled with fresh meat and vegetables, but they wouldn’t last long. He planned his meals around non-perishable foods that could last a long time without refrigeration, just as sailors have done for centuries. When he set off on the first leg of his voyage around the world, he left with food lockers filled with peanut butter, potatoes, rice, beans, oatmeal, onions, flour and lentils. Along the way he would fish; he caught about one fish per week underway.

12,600 lbs. 2,500 lbs. 5,000 lbs. 5,300 lbs. 12,000 lbs. 12,000 lbs.

Next time you have to pack food for a day trip and have trouble fitting everything in your cooler, consider the task of provisioning for ocean voyages both in the Age of Sail and today.

“Sea History for Kids” is sponsored by the Henry L. & Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation


De Tukker

the North Sea by this summer. EcoClipper seeks to create a fleet of eco-friendly vessels via the purchase and retrofit of existing sailing ships, as well as the construction of purpose-built ships. The first of those planned vessels will be the EcoClipper500, a steel-hulled replica based on the Dutch clipper Noach, built in 1857 in Kinderdijk, The Netherlands. The EcoClipper500 plans call for a square-rigged vessel 194 feet long, equipped to carry 12 crew, 12 passengers, and up to 36 trainees. (www.ecoclipper. org) … The historic Cunard liner Queen Mary, which has served as a hotel and event venue since its installation in the city of Long Beach, California, has been closed to the public to allow for the commencement of critical repairs. The vessel will still be made available for filming, which produces fees that help fund her upkeep. The City of Long Beach, which now controls the ship after the bankruptcy declaration of the last management firm, Urban Commons Queensway LLC, has authorized the repairs, estimated to carry a $5 million price tag. The liner will receive new permanent bilge pumps, as well as improvements to the bulkhead, emergency generator, and the water intrusion warning system. The city plans to reopen the ship to the public once these initial critical re52

Queen Mary

photo by wolfgang fricke, cc by 3.0, wikipedia commons

pairs are completed later this year. “With the City now overseeing control of the ship, I am confident this year will bring tremendous progress towards protecting this historic feature of our community,” said First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas. The city has also created the web page, outlining the ship’s role in the city’s economic picture. Launched in 1934 in the Clydebank, Scotland, John Brown & Co. Shipyard, the Queen Mary carried passengers across the Atlantic for the Cunard Line until 1939, when she was converted and used as a troop ship. In 1947 she returned to passenger service until her retirement in 1967. … The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) Shipwright Apprentice Program has been recognized with a $34,535 grant from the Rural Maryland Council. In place for over 20 years, the program has graduated more than 50 apprentices. In 2018 a

formal four-year apprentice certification was instituted, in conformance with US Department of Labor Employment Training Administration Standards and registered with the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program. Over the course of 8,000 hours served, apprentices earning the certification develop skills such as joinery techniques, ship repair, and construction, as well as leadership and management skills. The second individual to complete the certification, Stephen North, graduated this winter. “The public may not see

our apprenticeship program as typical for a museum, yet investing in the shipwright craft is a top priority for CBMM and having a certified workforce training program furthers our growing investment in the Eastern Shore and Maryland for generations to come,” said CBMM President & CEO Kristen Greenaway. Maryland governor Larry Hogan also announced in January that the museum would be receiving $300,000 for the construction of its new Library & Collections building, which is being carried out by the veteran-owned Delmarva Veteran Builders. (Rural Maryland Council; CBMM, 213 North Talbot Street, St. Michaels, MD; 410 745-2916; www.cbmm. org) … The aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) is being towed to a Texas ship-breaker for scrapping. Too large to transit the Panama Canal, the ship USS Kitty Hawk

us navy photo

The Dutch corporation EcoClipper Coöperatie UA announced in late January that it had purchased the Dutch ship De Tukker, the first of a planned fleet of sailing vessels. Built in 1912 by the firm Gebr. G. & H. Bowdewes and christened Entreios, the schooner sailed under the names Albatros, Elita, Iduna, Selma Borries, and Harle Tief before she was restored in 1978–81 in the Netherlands to serve as a sail training vessel under the name De Tukker. The company intends to put De Tukker to work carrying cargo and passengers on

will be taking the long way—around Cape Horn. As of press time, the ship, sold for one penny, was being towed from Bremerton, WA. The organization USS Kitty Hawk Veterans Association had submitted a formal proposal to the US Navy to retain the vessel as a museum ship, but that proposal was rejected in 2017 when the Kitty Hawk was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. According to the website of the Naval Sea Services Command (NAVSEA), “Only vessels that are pending decommissioning and determined to be historically significant or have a high probability of donation are considered for donation. The Secretary of the Navy in coordination with the Chief of Naval Operations determines whether a ship should be designated for donation.” Following this policy, the carrier’s fate was determined at its decommissioning in 2009. The veterans’ association is evaluating the possibility of a land-based museum honoring the vessel and those who served aboard. Kitty Hawk was the Navy’s last active-service oil-powered carrier and SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

had been the 2nd-oldest active ship in the US Navy, after USS Constitution. She was launched 21 May 1960 in Camden, NJ, and commissioned the following year at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, where CNO Arleigh Burke called her the “forerunner of a new and greatly improved line of carriers.” The first aircraft carrier to be awarded a Presidential Unit Citation, the ship served six tours in Vietnam between 1963 and 1976. (UKHVA, www.kittyhawkvets. com) … The Sailing Museum in Newport, RI, will open its doors to the public for the first time on 10 May 2022. Home to the National Sailing Hall of Fame

Mystic Seaport Museum is one of 21 institutions nationwide to be designated a NASA Informal Education Community Anchor. The NASA designation will provide a $24,266 grant for Mystic’s Treworgy Planetarium to expand student participation in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math), and bring programming related to space exploration to traditionally underserved areas. Using NASA STEM resources, Mystic will engage

middle school students in Eastern and Southern Connecticut. Treworgy Planetarium supervisor Brian Koehler stated that the museum is “excited to create new opportunities where students can experience the feelings of discovery and confidence that space exploration and STEM engagement is all about.” Through the grant funding, the Planetarium will be developing hands-on STEM programs to be implemented on-site, in-school, and virtually,

Anne T. Converse Photography


courtesy healy kohler design

Handmade in the U.S.A. by Third Generation Master Craftsman Bob Fuller.


Neith, 1996, Cover photograph

Wood, Wind and Water

and America’s Cup Hall of Fame, the museum is located along the waterfront in downtown Newport in the historic Armory building, which once served as the press office for the America’s Cup. Visitors will take a personalized journey through six thematic areas beginning with the selection of their boat, which then becomes their avatar throughout their museum experience. The tour, a mix of high- and low-tech interactive exhibits, begins with Wind & Water, where visitors will learn about points of sail, ocean stewardship, the anatomy of a boat, and the evolution and principles of design. Making of a Sailor explores the mental and physical aspects of the sport, including navigation, tactics, leadership, and decision-making, as well as agility, speed, strength, and endurance. In Teamwork visitors discover how sailing is a unique balance of all these elements and one that brings people of varying skill sets together. Competition takes visitors to the top of the sport, when all components are executed at the highest level. Finally, more than 175 sailing greats of the National Sailing Hall of Fame and America’s Cup Hall of Fame are presented in Legends of Sailing. (365 Thames Street, Newport, RI; www.the; … SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022 WWW.SOUTHSHOREBOATWORKS.COM

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William Jackson Green was a dear friend of the National Maritime Historical Society, serving as trustee since 2011 and most recently on the Executive Committee of NMHS as the Education Chair. As a marketing person, he worked to get our educational programs better known and to help us with long-term strategic plans. He was deeply passionate about inspiring the next generation of maritime scholars with the Society’s education initiatives. A graduate of Princeton University, where he majored in history, Bill was later commissioned in the Navy and served in the Caribbean and Mediterranean as gunnery officer and command duty officer aboard USS Fort Mandan (LSD 21). After sea service, he spent two years as an instructor of naval science and tactics at the US Navy’s Officer Candidate School. He left the Navy as a Lieutenant and in 1969 joined the advertising firm of Young & Rubicam, where over the course of 32 years he was responsible for a wide variety of accounts. In his last ten years at the agency he managed the communications needs of the US Army, retiring as executive vice president. I had known Bill all my life. He was the youngest of the eight children of Robert and Ellen Green; my father was the eldest. We spent our summers together with the rest of the sprawling Green family on our islands at Pointe au Baril, Canada, where we both learned to love boating. He took such an active interest in NMHS, and I was delighted when he agreed to serve Gunnery Officer fires a gun again after 57 years: as a trustee, becoming an important NMHS Trustee William J. Green fires a part of our leadership. He joined us 5-inch/38-caliber gun from the deck of the at all of our events and always gave a Battleship New Jersey during the Society’s Ansplendid presentation, encouraging nual Meeting in July 2021. both membership and commitment. As a student at the preparatory school Appleby College (Ontario, Canada), he traveled to sing at the Queen’s coronation in Westminster Abbey in 1953. He had lived in Rhode Island and New Jersey, Venezuela and Canada, and was splitting his time between New York City and Fairfield, Connecticut, at the time of his death. His zest for life-long learning through travel and adventure never waned. He enjoyed annual historical tours of Europe and relaxing trips to the Caribbean with his wife, Nancy, and his daughter Lys and her family. Bill was an avid reader and devoured the New York Times every day. When Bill, Lys, and I were all reading the Alan Furst novels, and we were in Paris at the same time, I was so happy to take them to dinner at the supposed bistro with the bullet hole at Table 14 that featured in so many of Furst’s novels. Just weeks before his death, I told Bill that I was planning to retire after 26 years here at the Society. This is a man who had had a great and active and accomplished life, who was successful and beloved. “You will love it,” he reassured me. “Of everything, these last 25 years in retirement have been the best of my life.” And you can’t say better than that. You are so missed, William Jackson. Fair winds. —Burchenal Green, NMHS President 54

purchasing equipment to deliver these programs, and providing the programs to underserved community partners free of cost. The programs are expected to roll out in Autumn 2022. (MSM, 75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT; Ph. 860 572-0711; www. … The ferry John F. Kennedy, retired in August of last year from service in the Staten Island Ferry fleet, was sold at auction in January for a price tag of $280,100. New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services set the initial list price for the vessel at $240,000, but after no bids were John F. Kennedy

courtesy staten island ferry

William Jackson Green (1940–2021)

placed, dropped the opening price to $125,000. According to the auction listing, “This double-ended, passenger and vehicle ferry up for auction is in poor condition and had to be decommissioned due to mechanical issues; the mechanical issues are on the propulsion end.” In addition to the ferry, sold in an “as is/where is” condition, the City also threw in “numerous spare parts, which are obsolete and not needed by our agency.” Shortly after the auction, it was revealed that the new owners were Saturday Night Live comedians Pete Davidson and Colin Jost, both Staten Island natives, and businessman Paul Italia. The team plans to convert the vessel to an entertainment venue and bar. Davidson and Jost promptly announced the purchase on Saturday Night Live, noting that most of the details of their planned venture were yet to be worked out. Jost wisecracked: “Yes, it’s very exciting. We thought the whole thing through.” Longtime members and friends of NMHS will remember that the John F. Kennedy served as our official observation vessel for Operation Sail 2000. The City of New York has operated the Staten Island Ferry service since 1905; today the ferries run around the clock, 365 days a year. Until her retirement in August of last year, the Kennedy was the oldest of the five ferries making the trip between Staten Island and lower Manhattan. Launched in 1965, along with the other two Kennedy-class ferries, American SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

courtesy sea cloud cruises

Sea Cloud Cruises

following the plans of the American firm Gibbs & Cox. Christened Hussar, the fourmasted barque was the largest private sailing yacht of its day, commissioned by E. F. Hutton for his wife, Marjorie Merriweather Post. When the couple divorced in 1935, Post retained ownership of the yacht and renamed it Sea Cloud. In 1941 the ship was chartered to the US Coast Guard for a symbolic fee of one dollar to serve as a weather station in the North Atlantic off the Azores and Greenland during World War II. For her wartime mission, the masts and bowsprit were removed, the hull was painted gray, and she was fitted out with guns and anti-submarine weapons. After the war, the yacht was restored to her sailing ship trim, and during the next three decades she passed hands and changed names multiple times. By 1978 her condition had deteriorated, and she was purchased by a group of business associates led by Hartmut Paschburg and restored to her former glory. Since that time, she has sailed for SCC as a luxury yacht. The threemasted barque Sea Cloud II was launched in 2001; Sea Cloud Spirit, launched just last year, is a three-masted full-rigged ship. (SCC, … SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

The Russian Foxtrot-class attack submarine B-39 was removed from the San Diego waterfront in early February. The Maritime Museum of San Diego (MMSD), owner of the sub since its installation as part of an interactive temporary exhibition in 2005, announced last year that it would be arranging for the disposition of the sub, as it had decided not to shift resources from B-39


Legion and Governor Herbert H. Lehman, the Kennedy could carry 3,055 passengers and a crew of 13. … The strategic maritime investment company The Yacht Portfolio (TYP) has entered into a letter of intent to acquire Sea Cloud Cruises (SCC). “Sea Cloud offers such a unique, environmentally friendly experience in the cruise space, which aligns well with our continued focus on building a strong portfolio of niche luxury brands,” said TYP CEO Douglas Prothero. SCC will continue to be based in Hamburg, Germany. The SCC fleet comprises the passenger square-rigged sailing vessels Sea Cloud, Sea Cloud II, and Sea Cloud Spirit. Sea Cloud was built in 1931 in the shipyard Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft in Kiel, Germany,

its permanent collection to preserve it. The museum acquired B-39 initially for the Cold War exhibition To the Brink of War, an immersive video, light, and sound production, which was shown inside the sub. The exhibit’s success moved the museum to extend its run and to preserve it as a web-based experience, which the museum will be adding to its site. B-39 was part of a class of Soviet diesel electric submarines called “Project 641,” and designated as “Foxtrot class” by NATO. Launched in 1967, the B-39 is 300 feet long and has a displacement of over 2,000 tons. Described by the MMSD as “low-tech but lethal,” B-39 carried 24 torpedoes, some with the capability to deliver low-yield nuclear warheads. She sailed with a crew of 78 and could dive to a depth of about 985 feet. (MMSD, 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego CA; … Work has begun to restore the original 11,000-pound anchor from the 1855 sloop of war USS Constellation, the last sail-only warship built for the US Navy. The massive wooden and iron anchor, which has been on display at the US Naval War College Museum since its opening in 1978, was removed on 16 November 2021 and transported to the shipyard at Mystic Seaport Museum for restoration. The wooden stock and enclosing metal bands will be replaced by a white oak stock and hand-forged metal bands; the stock will be painted with 10th-century-period material, including tar pitch and linseed oil. Patches of rust and lamination will also be repaired and painted. The project is estimated to take several months to complete.

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during the Civil War.” The anchor was removed in 1904 and displayed elsewhere on the base, then relocated to its current location when the museum was opened. USS Constellation is part of the fleet of museum ships at Historic Ships in Baltimore. (NWC Museum, 686 Cushing Road, Newport, RI; MSM, 75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT; HSB, … The early months of 2022 have witnessed demonstration tests of autonomous ship maneuvers as part of Meguri 2040, a project of the Nippon Foundation. The first demonstration was performed on 11 January by a small excursion boat in the waters around Sarushima, an island off the coast of Yokusuka City, followed on 18 January by the 728-foot smart coastal car ferry

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The NWC museum’s director, Ryan Meyer, said: “This is an important project because of the significance of USS Constellation’s role in the history of the US Navy and here in Newport as a training ship and flagship. USS Constellation served in the African Squadron conducting patrols along the African Coast to suppress the Atlantic slave trade and helped protect union merchant shipping from Confederate warships

Soleil, making the 150-mile passage from Shinmoji to Iyonada. On 24–25 January the Imoto Lines containership M/V Mikage voyaged from Tsuruga Port to Sakai Port autonomously. The Soleil demonstrated “autonomous port berthing and unberthing using turning and reversing movements and high-speed navigation of up to 26 knots.” Features making the autonomous navigation possible include sensors using infrared cameras to detect other ships, a remote engine monitoring system, and a sophisticated cybersecurity system. The

CLASSIFIED ADS BOMBSHELL by T. F. McGraw. The true story of a fighting ship, which came to North Carolina in 1862, with “Operation Anaconda” as a 97-ft “Floating Battery.” After fitting out at New Berne in 1863, Bombshell, now a 114-ft. steam gunboat, became a raider on North Carolina waters, landing assault troops, evacuating freed slaves and others, and providing artillery bombardment. Bombshell was sunk and later raised by southern forces during the fall of Plymouth and recaptured by the Union Navy in a battle on Albemarle Sound, where she was serving as a consort to the Rebel Ram Albemarle. $20, including postage & taxes, directly from Indian Creek, PO Box 14663, New Bern, NC 28561. THE AUTHORITY TO SAIL by Commodore Robert Stanley Bates. The fully illustrated authoritative history of US Merchant Marine licenses and documents issued since 1852. Coffee-table size book, 12” x 14.” Order direct: The Parcel Centre, Ph. 860 739-2492; OUT-OF-PRINT NAUTICAL BOOKS. SEA FEVER BOOKS. Thousands of titles. E-mail:; Ph. 860663-1888 (EST); PIRATE PLAYING CARDS AND PRINTS by Signature ASMA Artist, Don Maitz, National Geographic contributor and originator of the Captain Morgan Spiced Rum character. Fullcolor playing cards have different watercolor images on each face. Prints present sea-rover adventurers. Order from: www.paravia. com/studioshop. NATIONAL PARKS PLAYING CARDS. Many of America’s National Parks are represented on these cards with interesting facts and images.

THE LOST HERO OF CAPE COD by Vincent Miles. The story of an elite mariner, Captain Asa Eldridge, and the 19th-century battle for commercial supremacy on the Atlantic. Reviews, availability at and INGALLS COLD WAR NUCLEAR SUBMARINES by Chris Wiggins. The exciting story of how America’s Gulf Coast Shipyard built nuclear attack submarines—and what those boats did once at sea. Paperback • 220 pages • 130 images • $20. Go to KEEPING THE TR ADITION ALIVE by Capt. Ray Williamson. The remarkable story of Maine Windjammer Cruises,TM founder of the windjammer industry. 172 page, 11 x 14 hardcover book with over 100 full-page images from the days of cargo to the present. Price–$48. Call 800 736-7981; email CUSTOM SHIP MODELS, HALF HULLS. Free Catalog. Spencer White, 4223 Chestnut Dr., Center Valley, PA 18034. SHIP MODEL BROKER: I will help you BUY, SELL, REPAIR, APPRAISE or COMMISSION a model ship or boat. PRESIDENTS PLAYING CARDS. All 46 US presidents are represented on these playing cards with interesting facts and quotes. FINE ART PRINTS OF SEA ROVERS & BUCCANEERS by award-winning ASMA Signature artist Don Maitz. Visit:

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The project is currently the largest shipbuilding effort underway in the United States. Congress appropriated funding to replace aging training vessels at SUNY Maritime College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Maine Maritime Academy, and Texas A&M Maritime Academy. TOTE Services retains an option for a fifth NSMV for the California State University Maritime Academy, if additional funding is appropriated by Congress. (MARAD,; Philly Shipyard, … In December, the New Bedford Whaling Museum opened a provocative art exhibition that examines humanity’s relationship with nature and draws comparisons between our current oil-driven society and Herman Melville’s dark depictions of the 19th century. Loomings: Christopher Volpe is named for the first chapter of Moby-Dick and features a series of paintings combining tar, oil paint, and gold leaf to create enigmatic, thought-provoking marine images. The exhibition recalls that whale oil was the precursor to petroleum, and invokes Mel-

Sou’Wester, by Christopher Volpe tar on canvas (2018) ville’s apocalyptic vision of the destructive, never-ending pursuit of wealth as a cautionary tale for our own age. Loomings runs through 8 May 2022. (18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA; www.whaling

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Nippon Foundation launched the Meguri 2040 project in 2020, as an effort to reduce the element of human error in causing maritime accidents and to address the persistent shortage of personnel. The foundation funded five consortia to test practical examples of unmanned ship navigation; target of the program is the implementation of autonomous shipping by 2025. In addition to the small tourism boat, container vessel, and coastal ferry, autonomous navigation of an amphibious vehicle is also being studied as part of the project. (www. … On 10 December, Philly Shipyard hosted a keellaying ceremony for the first of five new National Security Multi-Mission Vessels (NSMV), which is designated to go to SUNY Maritime College in 2023. The vessels are designed to provide a training platform for cadets at the state maritime academies across the country and to be available for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions when they arise. “As part of shipbuilding tradition, the keel laying ceremony invites good luck in the construction and life of a ship as the first prefabricated block is lowered into the building dock,” said Steinar Nerbovik, president and CEO of Philly Shipyard. Each NSMV will feature instructional spaces, a full training bridge, and have accommodations for up to 600 cadets. The vessels are designed to also serve as highly functional national assets that include modern medical facilities, a helicopter pad, the ability

to accommodate up to 1,000 people in times of humanitarian need, and roll-on/ roll-off and container storage capacity for use during disaster relief missions. In May 2019, MARAD awarded TOTE Services the contract to serve as the vessel construction manager for the NSMV program. In April 2020, TOTE Services awarded Philly Shipyard the contract to construct up to five NSMVs with fixed prices and schedules. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022



Sailor Talk: Labor, Utterance, and Meaning in the Works of Melville, Conrad, and London by Mary K. Bercaw Edwards (Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, UK, 2021, 283pp, notes, index, isbn 978-1-80085-965-4; $130hc) Mary K. Bercaw Edwards’s most recent volume is essential reading for maritime historians and enthusiasts. Her subject is the “ephemeral” nature of sailor talk— epitomized by, but not limited to, nautical terminology, slang, cursing, swearing, and work songs—exploring the larger and enduring “cultural significance” of this vernacular in five distinct chapters. The titular “sailor talk” (as opposed to “sailors’ talk”) exemplifies her argument that the words shared, shouted, and sung at sea are more than simply the jargon collectively uttered by mariners. Instead, sailor talk is a unique, recognizable, coherent language with “extraordinary layers of meaning to be explored.” This valuable book succeeds in excavating considerable meaning from both the labor performed at sea and the words written about it; two acts, the author persuasively argues, that are inextricably linked. Edwards begins with a masterful overview of the big debates in the field, focusing especially on questions of sailor exceptionality, literacy, and “talk.” This lit review is both indispensable for readers new to maritime history and literature and beneficial to those who have studied it extensively. Comprehensive and fair-minded, Edwards clearly stakes out her own positions, while still respecting the complexity of these central questions and leaving room for those still undecided about them. The second chapter offers an important introduction to and survey of theories about orality and speech. Edwards highlights “the language of command, occupational jargon, and the coterie speech that developed among crews” to argue that “orality was a distinctive feature of the use of language aboard ship.” Here, too, she argues for the uniqueness and importance of sailor talk, before transitioning into an incisive meditation on the interplay between orality and writing that so “strongly influenced the writing of mariner authors.” This analysis grounds her next three chapters, original analyses of how sailor-writers—Herman 58

Melville, Joseph Conrad, and Jack London (though she dutifully notes how Conrad in particular hated to be pigeonholed as a sea writer) created and conveyed meaning by deploying the “technical language, occupational lore, coterie speech, and the

mythic elements of story-telling” common to sailor talk. Each chapter provides historical background as to the authors’ firsthand experiences at sea before turning to analyze how they utilized particular aspects of sailor talk in their writing. Her chapter on Melville argues that “the performative quality of sailor language is a defining feature of Melville’s works,” demonstrating how, for his narrators in particular, “their identity as sailors who perform seafaring labor is inextricable from their storytelling.” Edwards revisits and builds on this theme in the two subsequent chapters on Conrad and London, plumbing the “inseparable connection between orality and performance.” In her analysis of Conrad, she explores themes of the yarn, arguing that he “employs silence, ellipses, and misdirection” in his writing as well as refrains to evoke the experience of oral storytelling. In so doing, he “took the language of sailors…[to create] profound, universal works that question certainty, wrestle with morality, transcend time, and far surpass the limits of a ship’s deck.” Finally, she demonstrates London’s insistence that writing and working a ship were interlinked: “Both require skill, both require the use of his hands, and both result in moments of exultation, of despair, and of

boredom.” Edwards also wrests much meaning from London’s fascination with chanteys, arguing that knowledge of this genre demonstrated a crew’s “quality and skill as sailors.” Throughout the text, Edwards mirrors the sea-writers she discusses by drawing on her own extensive maritime experience and expertise to excavate meaning from the terse, exacting nature of this shared language. Her invaluable personal knowledge shines throughout the text. In just one example, she pauses to explain which sail is the most complicated to set and the precise command for heaving-to. These elucidations are fascinating and useful on their own, but she then turns to her literary training to show the reader how these seawriters intended for these often brusque, sometimes opaque passages to reveal deeper meanings about the characters, the plot, and the larger themes of the texts. In this way, Edwards herself embodies and exemplifies the central argument of her book: “labor in or on the sea is inseparable—one way or another—from language.” Her afterword makes plain that her work is as much a handbook to understanding and honoring life and work at sea as it is an analysis of the authors and their work. Generalists and specialists alike will benefit from Edwards’s sea-writer perspective; her deep knowledge of these twin crafts make a convincing case for the abiding importance of Sailor Talk. Sarah Crabtree Berkeley, California Opening the East River: John Newton and the Blasting of Hell Gate by Thomas Barthel (McFarland & Co., Jefferson, NC, 2021, 236pp, maps, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-4766-8298-3; $39.95pb) In his latest book, Thomas Barthel examines the obstacles to maritime progress in the rivers and straits surrounding Manhattan Island in the nineteenth century, and how they were overcome. Then, as now, New York City’s waterways had three major points of access: vessels coming from the north used the Hudson River, which linked New York Harbor to the state’s river-and-canal system to Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain; ships approaching from the south picked their way through SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

a shifting channel from Sandy Hook through the Narrows into the harbor; and vessels coming from the northeast had to navigate the reef- and rock-strewn East River, which links Long Island Sound to New York Harbor through Hell Gate at the north end of the sixteen-mile waterway. After 1815, a postwar surge of shipbuilding and commerce made New York’s harbor the busiest in the nation. With the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, New York’s river traffic increased, along with the size of the ships entering the harbor. Customs receipts from New York imports swelled to $17,500,000—equivalent to twothirds of the federal government’s income at the time. By the 1830s, coastal shipping powered by sail and steam had added considerably to the throng. As marine traffic grew, so did the risks involved in entering the East River. In 1842, an average of 1,000 ships per year grounded or sank in the East River—one of every fifty vessels making the transit. In 1867, these figures had increased by eighteen percent. Still, ship owners and investors knew that accessing New York via Long Island Sound and the East River saved them a good hundred miles of sailing, and usually a day or more spent waiting for the flood tide and a pilot off the Sandy Hook bar. As the cumulative losses of ships and cargoes and the costs of towing and damage repair multiplied, pressure mounted on the New York Chamber of Commerce and the State Legislature to lobby Congress for funds to clear the passages of the worst hazards to navigation. Yet it was not merely the existence of the rocks that caused the problem. The tidal surge that came with every tide forced itself into the narrow bottleneck as water flowed from the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound around and over these mostly submerged obstructions, creating enormous currents, waves, suction, and whirlpools. The resulting riptides and currents pushed vessels dangerously toward the reefs that helmsmen tried desperately to avoid, frustrating captains and pilots as their vessels passed through the Hell Gate section of the river. More than 30 sizable rocks studded the river between the northern entrance at Throggs Neck in the Bronx and the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan Island. SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

Hell Gate (originally “Hurlgate,” a Dutch phrase for whirlpool) was well-named, for it depicted the ferocity of the forces and the fears unleashed among ships’ crew and passengers as they passed through it. To remove or reduce these reefs and rocks, merchant shipowners first contracted with civilian submarine engineers who had experience blasting coral reefs and shipwrecks with dynamite. One was the Frenchman Benjamin Maillefert, who worked on the project from 1851 to 1853. His method involved lowering containers of dynamite to the surface of a rock, where it could be detonated with a batterytriggered electrical charge. He did not, however, drill into the rocks to install his

The most significant of the Corps of Engineers’ accomplishments were the underwater mining, excavation, and explosion of the Hallett’s Point Reef at the western tip of Astoria, Queens County, (completed in 1875), and the similar demolition of Flood Rock off Flood Island in the middle of the East River, completed in 1885. Newton achieved these submarine engineering feats principally because of his professional skills, his great care in handling sensitive explosives, and his invention of a steam-driven drilling scow, which increased the efficiency of drilling the rocks and placing the explosives. He cleared the channels of the East River to a navigable twenty-six feet, which accommodated the ships of his day. Newton retired in 1886, at which time he was widely acclaimed in the press and overseas for his improvements to navigation through submarine engineering. His work and that of his skilled associates benefitted the Port of New York, the United States government, and American commerce as a whole. Thomas Barthel’s book is a compact and useful history of submarine clearance of New York City waterways; however, his

THE GLENCANNON PRESS explosives, thereby wasting a good deal of the dynamite’s energy. Although he claimed success, divers later found that his efforts resulted in negligible improvements. The most effective work was done by the Corps of Engineers’ General John Newton, who surveyed and destroyed many of the submerged obstacles in the waterways within the Port of New York. With federal funding and scientific planning, and utilizing extraordinary safety measures, Newton and his crew began their work in 1867, using the newly developed explosive, nitroglycerine. His orders gave him broad geographic responsibilities, extending beyond New York City’s waterways, along the Hudson River to Albany, and from there as far as Lake Champlain. The Corps of Engineers anticipated the job might take almost twenty years—which it did, ending in 1885.


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writing style is inconsistent and could have used a good copy editor, while the publisher could have provided a better index. Nevertheless, the book does contain a helpful “Gazetteer of East River Obstructions” and provides clear reproductions of illustrations and maps from contemporary journals and newspapers. I recommend this book for those interested in the history of underwater engineering, as well as the commercial and maritime history of New York City. William S. Dudley Easton, Maryland Into the Deep: A Memoir from the Man Who Found Titanic by Robert D. Ballard and Christopher Drew (National Geographic, Washington, DC, 2021, 335pp, illus, source notes, index, isbn 978-14262–2099-9; $30hc) Famed ocean explorer Bob Ballard rightfully states from the beginning of his latest book, his memoir, that he is more than the “guy who found Titanic”…despite the fact that the subtitle of his book identifies him as just that. Nevertheless, Into the Deep sets out to prove that fact. Taken in totality, Ballard’s career is perhaps the most remarkable of all the deep-sea explorers. The processes of the search for Titanic, and for all the ships and boats that came after it, are fascinating, but even more impressive are his discoveries that do not get the hype that the shipwrecks do. The chemistry, geography, and biology of the deep ocean are simply not as alluring to mainstream publications, but from a scientific standpoint they’re much more important than finding a given wreck. Locating the wreck sites of Titanic or PT 109 closed a chapter in history. Discoveries that further our understanding of how life can exist in the darkness in the depths of the ocean wrote new chapters in textbooks around the world. This memoir, however, is a personal story that goes beyond the narratives of scientific excursions at sea. Ballard tells of his struggles with colleagues, the highs and lows of family life, and more. We get to know a lot more about what drives him, what has propelled him forward, and what has set him back. And we learn how he made his own dreams come true. 60

We also see how he has spent a career seeking to open doors for kids to dream as well. Exploration comes from a deep curiosity within oneself, but not every kid knows how to mine it, or has the tools to do something with it once it’s found. Ballard has done his best to provide those tools and set those dreamers free. John Galluzzo Hanover, Massachusetts To Rule the Waves: How Control of the World’s Oceans Shapes the Fate of the Superpowers by Bruce D. Jones (Scribner, New York, 2021, 387pp, notes, biblio; isbn 978-1-9821-2725-1; $28hc) To Rule the Waves will scare the hell out of you. Bruce Jones, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, makes no bones about it—we are in a maritime arms race with the Chinese (call it Cold War II). The Pacific is the prize. On the day I first sat down to consider this review (Sunday, 24 October 2021) the news reported that a joint Chinese/ Russian task group had transited the Tsugaru Strait between Honshu and Hokkaido, and the Sea of Japan and the Pacific—a provocative action indeed. On one level, an examination of global geopolitics, Jones’s book follows such recent titles as Robert D. Kaplan, The Revenge of Geography (2012); Richard Haass, The World, A Brief Introduction (2020); and H. R. McMaster, Battlegrounds (2020). But because Jones focuses on the geopolitics of ocean power, his book more readily calls to mind the predictive chapters in the late John Keegan’s The Price of Admiralty (1990). As such, it will be of considerable interest to readers of Sea History magazine. Jones begins his study with a section called “News from the Future,” a future that includes the reactivation of a Cold War submarine base deep in the mountainous fjords of northern Norway. He proceeds to describe the US policy of “pushing the American border out” by comprehensive surveillance of trade bound for the United States at its point of origination. Welcome to the world of 2022. From there, Jones explores the history and state of oceanic trade in the 2020s, from the rise of the great Scandinavian shipping companies; bulk shipping and

the wealth of the West in the second half of the 20th century; the containerization and the ascension of China’s maritime pursuits starting in the 1980s (centered on Hong Kong); and finally, China’s rise after 2012 exemplified by the vast container port at Yangshan near Shanghai. Jones moves on to discuss his notion that “flag follows trade.” He offers an informative synthesis of US/Chinese naval and maritime competition, commencing with Chinese participation in anti-piracy operations (2005–2009) in the Straits of Malacca and the Red Sea. Far from benign international law enforcement, for the Chinese the suppression of piracy offered the opportunity for an extended training exercise in blue-water deployment and sustainment operations. With practice deployments completed, in 2009 the Chinese moved to establish dominance in the “near seas,” especially the South China Sea, with artificial islands and aggressive patrolling. The goal, as Robert Kaplan observed, was to make the South China Sea a “Chinese lake,” as the Caribbean was once an “American lake.” The next phase involved Chinese naval presence in the wider Western Pacific, 2015–2017. Finally, the contemporary US Navy must confront an aspirational and growing Chinese navy. According to the Naval Institute, in the first twenty years of the 21st century, China commissioned 300-plus naval ships, making it the world’s largest navy, and the threat to Taiwan is unmistakable. It has been further estimated, as John Keegan predicted, that 200 submarines were operating in the South and East China Seas in 2019. There is a strong element of journalism in the book. Jones visits and reports on much of what he writes, from the maritime container found a thousand miles from the ocean in the rainforest of Brazil, to a voyage in the enormous container ship Madrid Maersk. Along the way, the author pauses to describe the technology of stacking containers onboard ships, and the view he obtained from the bridge of the guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones. Jones concludes this important book with reflections on climate change, or more specifically global warming. He visits Scripps Institute for Oceanography, SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

explores recent research, and measures the effect of ocean warming and rising sea levels and temperatures. Grim prognostications, as troubling as the rise of an invigorated near peer competitor in global trade and in the projection of power. We all need to keep ourselves informed. To Rule the Waves is an excellent and sobering introduction to the maritime world of 2022. Joseph F. Meany Jr. Albany, New York The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World by Linda Colley (Liveright, New York, 2021, 512pp, illus, notes, index, isbn 978-1-6314-9835-0; $35.00hc) It’s easy for the modern individual to take a constitution for granted. After all, such charters underpin most modern nations. It’s just as easy to forget that these documents were a rarity only a few centuries ago, begging the question: What drove nations to embrace them? In The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen, Princeton University historian Linda Colley examines the role and relationship that

warfare and transoceanic exchange had in the emergence and spread of modern constitutionalism. For the author, the seed of constitutionalism lay in the mid-eighteenth century amidst the parallel ages of Discovery and Enlightenment. Colley’s central argument is that the period yielded unprecedented demands on expansionist powers. As she states: “The geographical range of many major conflicts—and consequently the demands they posed in terms of men, money and machines—was expanding more dramatically and more rapidly than ever before.” Expanding wars placed heavier burdens on the citizens who had to fund and fight them. In exchange for those added burdens, political leaders granted constitutions that gave citizens a more participatory role in their government. The same leaders who commissioned these inclusive documents treated them as promotional pieces that validated the justness of their régimes. Mentions of rights and liberties lent an aura of nobility to these charters. Thanks to the prevalence of the printing press during that period, supporters could

publish and distribute copies into the hands of people far and wide. Even if the state behind a constitution failed, as with Pasquale Paoli’s in Corsica, the words and ideas could live on through other generations. Paoli’s Corsican republic may have fallen to French invasion, but his charter inspired revolutionaries as far off as Britain’s American colonies. Diplomats, traders, and missionaries shared these documents with sovereigns around the globe, and constitutions soon came to be something of a fashion. Revolutionaries from Toussaint L’Ouverture to Simón Bolivar used constitutions to legitimize their respective nations. Rulers as disparate as Tunisia’s Sadiq Bey and Tahiti’s Pōmare II adopted constitutions as symbols of modernity, touting them in dispatches to European and American capitals. Even Katerina of Russia, an admirer of Montesquieu and Diderot, flirted with the idea of a constitution. Colley does not shy away from the disempowerment these documents could bring. Most excluded women from government, focusing on the male population that

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served as the state’s tax base and soldiery. Some, like those in Imperial Germany and Japan, asserted the supreme military authority of an unelected monarch. A few showed remarkable prescience, as in the case of the small isle of Pitcairn: its charter, authored in 1838, granted men and women parts in government while emphasizing environmental conservation. Backed by thorough research and cultivated prose, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen ranks among the finest histories published in 2021. Yet it must count for something when such a remark may be understating a book’s caliber. Andrew Montiveo Los Angeles, California Lighthouses of the Georgia Coast by William Rawlings (Mercer University Press, Macon, GA, 2021, 216pp, illus, notes, index, isbn 978-0-88146-775-8; $29hc) The state of Georgia probably doesn’t leap to the forefront when the average person thinks about America’s lighthouses as cultural icons and tourist attractions. With only five historic light stations on its barrier islands, Georgia pales in comparison to states like Maine and Michigan in terms of lighthouse quantity. But the special qualities of Georgia’s lighthouses and their rich historical context is conveyed in fine, entertaining detail in William Rawlings’s new book. The book is divided into two nearly equal parts. The first half serves as a general history of lighthouses and their keepers through the ages. The second half takes a detailed look at the history of lighthouses along the coast of Georgia. Some of the facts presented in the first half might be familiar to well-read lighthouse aficionados. Nevertheless, Rawlings is a master of context, and he recognizes that lighthouses were developed as a key ingredient of a maritime transportation system, and his book neatly ties the development of the world’s lighthouses to the spread of international trade and the evolution of navigation science. Rawlings devotes a chapter to lighthouse construction, covering the various materials and architectural styles used over the years. Special attention is paid to the fascinating wave-swept granite towers in 62

the British Isles. A chapter on illumination technology takes the reader from simple coal or wood fires through the important development of the Fresnel lens in France, to Gustaf Dalen’s “sun valve” that paved the way for automation, and all the way to today’s LED optics. After a chapter chronicling the administration of America’s lighthouses from the 18th century to the present day, Rawlings devotes a chapter to lighthouses during the American Civil War—a subject that hasn’t been covered widely. A new US Lighthouse Board had been established several years earlier, and the country’s navigational system was at its historical peak when it was interrupted by the war. Rawlings explains the strange mission of the Confederate States Lighthouse Bureau, which extinguished and sometimes destroyed the lighthouses in the South. At many locations Fresnel lenses were dismantled and hidden during the conflict, and it would take more than a decade to return the South’s lighthouses and other aids to navigation to fully operational status, Rawlings tells us. A chapter on “Keepers of the Light” informs us of the duties of lighthouse keepers through the years, with special attention paid to notable acts of heroism and to the legacy of female keepers. It’s the second half of the book that will really shine for lighthouse buffs, who might already be somewhat familiar with much of the material presented in the first half. Rawlings writes about each of Georgia’s five lighthouses in engaging detail, paying much attention to the overall context of coastal Georgia history. Not only a history book but a guidebook, each chapter includes information for visitors, with directions, hours, and more. Casual lighthouse fans will probably come to the book with some advance knowledge of Georgia’s two most famous lighthouses, at Tybee Island and St. Simons Island. They are majestic, world-class attractions, to be sure, but Rawlings’s book presents just as much interesting detail on the lesser-known sites: Cockspur Island, Sapelo Island, and Little Cumberland Island. Attention is paid also to the story of Savannah’s legendary “Waving Girl,” which relates to the now-lost light station of Elba Island. The Waving Girl was Florence

Martus, a keepers’ daughter who obsessively waved to every passing ship for decades, with a white cloth by day and a lantern at night. The book is richly illustrated throughout, with architectural drawings, maps, historical illustrations and photos, and present-day views including many by the author himself. There’s also a handy glossary of lighthouse terms in the back. Kudos as well to the elegant, handsome layout and design of the book. Rawlings has written previously both fiction and non-fiction, and this is his eleventh book. His writing is consistently clear, concise, and highly readable. Lighthouses of the Georgia Coast is an obvious and highly recommended addition to any lighthouse library, or for anyone interested in the maritime history of America’s South. Jeremy D’Entremont US Lighthouse Society Portsmouth, New Hampshire Valor and Courage: The Story of the USS Block Island Escort Carriers in World War II by Benjamin J. Hruska (University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 2021, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-8173–2099-7; $54.95hc) Benjamin Hruska uncovered a historian’s mother lode in the Bogue-class escort carrier USS Block Island. CVE 21, the first incarnation of the Block Island, was sunk in the Atlantic Ocean while on anti-submarine patrol; it was the only escort carrier to fall victim to a U-boat torpedo during the Battle of the Atlantic. CVE 106, the second USS Block Island, launched less than two weeks after the demise of the first, served in the Pacific and survived the war. The two ships, each serving in one of the two naval theaters of operation, are enough to celebrate as a historical find, but in addition to the vessels’ respective stories, the crews of the two vessels comprised mostly the same men. About seventy percent of CVE 21’s personnel were transferred to CVE 106. Historians have enjoyed access to men who fought in both oceans and who survived a sinking. The captains of the two Block Islands—Logan C. Ramsey and Francis “Massie” Hughes—were US Naval Academy graduates who knew one another and served together before their SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

respective tours of duty aboard escort carriers. As high profile naval commanders, there is extensive information available on both men. Hruska, a public historian, carefully mines his discoveries in Valor and Courage, and presents the history of these vessels and men in the context of the war in which they served. The first half of the book is devoted to the war in the Atlantic. In this section, Hruska examines details of personnel training for both ship and air crews, as well as the construction and deployment of accompanying vessels—destroyers and destroyer escorts. Moreover, he reviews the advancing technology of weaponry and detection electronics. During CVE 21’s tours in the Atlantic, she also carried onboard Russell V. Lewis, a civilian scientist who trained the crew in the deployment of experimental sonobuoys through both lectures and hands-on demonstrations. Lewis served alongside the carrier’s naval personnel, sharing the treacherous seas and flying in the aircraft to direct placement and monitor the new technology that was destined to contribute substantially to Allied victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. Hruska states that this “demonstrates the underappreciated contribution of American scientists to the war effort. Not only did they help forge new weapons, but they also provided unbiased analysis of the effectiveness of both weapons systems and deployment.” When the ship was torpedoed, the civilian scientist did not board a whale boat with the officers, but shared the oil-fouled water with the enlisted sailors. Captain Ramsey engineered CVE 21 into an effective fighting machine and led her into combat and success against the U-boat menace. After one year and two days at the helm, Ramsey was replaced by Hughes, who took the ship back to sea in the North Atlantic, where she was torpedoed. Hughes, assigned to the replacement Block Island, CVE 106, managed to have the bulk of the crew from CVE 21 assigned to CVE 106, a newly launched vessel bound for the Pacific theater. Most of Valor and Courage is devoted to CVE 21 and its daring and dramatic Atlantic adventures. The CVE 106 assignments in the Pacific were less exciting, despite their importance. Comparatively SEA HISTORY 178, SPRING 2022

little is known about Captain Hughes, perhaps on account of his apparent lack of popularity with his crew. Hruska’s writing is not the muscular vernacular of Admiral Daniel V. Gallery, who wrote of his escort carrier operations in the Battle of the Atlantic when his hunter/killer group captured intact the U-505 (Twenty Million Tons Under the Sea: The Daring Capture of the U-505), but the phraseology of a researcher separated from his topic by multiple generations and who was trained in the social sciences, not naval leadership and tactics. The contrast makes Hruska’s work particularly valuable to those accustomed to the hands-on work of naval historians. It is unfortunate, however, that the author makes no mention of Captain Daniel V. Gallery or the experiences of US Navy hunter-killer Task Group 22.3. The

Atlantic-based Block Island transported German prisoners of war captured from a sunken U-boat early in the war, when the Germans expected to win, whereas Gallery’s escort carrier housed the prisoners of U-505 later, when the Germans were aware that they were losing. The two carriers had strikingly different experiences with their captives, which Hruska might have explored in his exegesis. It is interesting to wonder how the Block Island story would appear under the pen of a dedicated naval historian. Notwithstanding, Valor and Courage is a useful addition to the history of the US Navy in World War II and recommended reading for those interested in the naval war, the impact of that war on the people who fought it, and anyone looking for an intriguing read. David O. Whitten, PhD Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina

A Database of Over 123,000 Vessels Online @ This list was updated 1 January adding more information for many of the vessels and eliminating duplication. We are also working on speeding up search time. I have compiled this list from the “List of Merchant Vessels of the United States” and numerous other annuals. Not only American vessels, but foreign ones too, whether commercial, yachts, warships, sail, power, unrigged and some not documented. Now working on update #5, which will add more recent vessels and information.

Coming March: Shipwreck Index and Chronological list.


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