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The lasting echo of the Civil War was carried into future generations, literally

The Grand Army of the Republic vs the American Expeditionary Force by Anton Otto Fischer. The GAR was the veterans organization of the Union Civil War vets and is apparently isn’t too happy with the WWI doughboy from the 42nd Rainbow Division of Maj.Gen McArthur.

A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “found evidence that suggests men who were traumatized while POWs during the U.S. Civil War transmitted that trauma to their offspring—many of them were found to die earlier.”

During the U.S. Civil War, there were periods when prisoners were frequently exchanged between sides and periods when such exchanges were halted. During periods when exchanges were halted, prison populations rose and prisoners suffered as a result. Not only were they treated more harshly, but they were also given very little to eat. In this new effort, the researchers compared survival rates of children born to Union Civil War soldiers detained in the south during the war.

More here.

M9, relieved

The Beretta M9 Tomb of the Unknown Soldier variant has been used to conduct over 100,000 wreath-laying ceremonies and has been carried by NCO Sentinels on 279,850 Guard changes. It has been replaced by the new Sig Sauer M17 Tomb variant.

In this video, Soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) received brand new ceremonial M17 Pistols replacing the M9. The pistols were specially made to uphold standards of the Sentinels of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

More on the new Sig in my column at

Old Salts

“The Old Navy” (“Spinning a Yarn” aboard USS Mohican, 1888) Description: The Old Navy (Spinning a Yarn aboard USS Mohican, 1888) Oil on canvas, 37 x 49, by Rufus F. Zogbaum (1849-1925). Painting signed and dated by the artist, 1923. It was inspired by the photograph seen in Photo # NH-2889. Painting in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum Collection. Gift of Rear Admiral George C. Reiter, 1924. Official U.S. Navy Photograph. Catalog #: KN-10866

Old Salt of the Sixth Fleet Letterpress reproduction of an oil painting by Frank E. Zuccarelli, depicting a Salty Sailor on board USS Strong (DD-758), while on duty with Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea, July 1972. Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph. Catalog #: NH 97953-KN

The below, from Reddit, was taken at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 2007 with the crew of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Chafee (DDG-90) getting in on the act. Apparently then-Capt. Robert Tortora liked to take WWII pics every year.

Big up as it is a great pic


Warship Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018: The lost Governor and the 142

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all of their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places.- Christopher Eger.

Warship Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018: The lost Governor and the 142

Note: Normally on WSW we cover more legit steel “warships” and, while today’s entry is a wooden commercial vessel that only ever picked up an engine late in life, she did play an important part in WWII, and her current story is timely, so bear with me.

(Photo: Chris Eger)

Here we see 66-foot (over the bowsprit) wooden-hulled Gulf Coast-style schooner Governor Stone as I saw her in Ft. Walton in 2011. In another life, she helped train young men to brave German U-Boats and Japanese kamikazes and last week faced off one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the United States in generations.

The two-masted centerboard schooner was built in 1877 in my hometown of Pascagoula, Mississippi, a sleepy coastal city that later produced Ingalls shipyard which still, of course, cranks out vessels of all kinds today. Some 39-feet at the waterline with just a 3.9-foot draft, she was built to fly along the shallows of the Mississippi Sound– which has an average depth of just six feet– as a cargo hauler.

Your typical “Biloxi schooner.”

Her keel was of yellow pine with cypress frames and planks while her decks and bulwarks are of white pine and juniper.

(Chris Eger)

(Chris Eger)

With a gaff-rigged topmast sail plan, her longleaf yellow pine main towered 52 feet from waterline to topmast truck. Her steering gear, windlass, and other working pieces were and remain cast iron.

Her original 1877 steering gear was still intact into the 2010s, although in a new box (Chris Eger)

Ordered by Pascagoula merchant Charles Anthorn Greiner to haul materials to and from his sawmill on the Pascagoula River to deep water vessels offshore, the vessel was named for his personal friend, Gov. John Marshall Stone. A Civil War colonel, Stone served longer as Governor of the Magnolia State than anyone else– from 1876 to 1882 and again from 1890 to 1896.

However, Greiner soon sold the schooner for $425 to Mulford “Mul” Dorlorn of nearby Dauphin Island, Alabama at the mouth of nearby Mobile Bay who used her to carry freight and as a “buy boat” purchasing oysters from “tongers” in the beds along the Rigolet Islands, the latter a job she held under a series of owners for the next 30 years.

During her “oyster days” (Chris Eger)

In September 1906 she was caught in Bayou Heron, now part of the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, during a fierce hurricane that capsized the schooner and rolled her 300 yards into the marshy estuary.

Recovered and repaired, she went back to work. Picking up a small 16-hp gasoline engine and a small screw in 1923, she was powered for the first time in her then-46 year career, then pressed into service by her owner Thomas Burns as a bootlegger during Prohibition, reportedly making two trips a month for $500 a run bringing in good Cuban rum to a hungry market in Mobile, Biloxi and New Orleans.

By the 1930s, during the Depression, at a time when cheaper catboats and luggers had cornered the local market and the deep port at Gulfport had eliminated the need for offshore lightering, she became a derelict vessel. In 1939 she sank in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

In 1940 she was raised and, refitted with a new 50-hp Gray engine, was extensively overhauled by local innkeeper Isaac T. Rhea who named her Queen of the Fleet and used her as a day tripper for guests at his famous Inn By The Sea beachside resort in Pass Christian. As such, she was given a large deck structure.

(Chris Eger)

Then the war came.

On 15 September 1942, she was purchased for $1 by the US War Shipping Administration and was converted for use as a training vessel by the Merchant Marine Academy which had the same week founded two cadet basic schools to educate merchant marine officers in the on-going conflict. One of the schools was at San Mateo, the second was at Henderson Point (Rhea’s Inn By The Sea, which had been purchased lock, stock, and barrel by the government) in Pass Christian.

She became the training vessel Joshua Humphreys during the war, named after the famous naval architect and constructor of the original “six frigates” of the United States Navy.

(Via the USMM Alumni Association)

According to local historian Dan Ellis:

Cadet training consisted of basic seamanship, ship nomenclature, elementary ship construction and identification of friendly and enemy vessels and aircraft. They were also taught first-aid and safety, abandoning ship procedures, ship handling and navigation maneuvers, and the use of, and marksmanship of, 20mm and .50 caliber guns.

After spending nine months at their academies, the cadets went to sea on merchant ships to finish their education afloat in very real on-the-job-training.

As noted by :

Cadets went to sea with their books and were required to write reports upon return, describing enemy craft seen, damage, lifeboat voyages, acts of heroism, etc. In 450 reports filed, cadets described attacks on 250 different ships, of which 220 were sunk.

By the end of the war, the Academy’s three campuses had graduated an impressive 6,634 officers.

In all, some 142 documented U.S. Merchant Marine Cadets were killed during World War II, a fact that makes the current U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point, the only Federal Academy authorized to carry a Battle Standard.

The Battle Standard bears the number “142” on its field of red, white and blue. In its center is the eagle of the Academy’s seal in blue and gray, the school colors, and the anchor of the merchant marine in gold. From its top hang the ribbons which represent the various combat zones in which the Academy’s cadet/midshipmen served.

With the end of the war, the cadets at San Mateo were soon transferred to Kings Point in September 1947, and the school closed. Pass Christian, although devastated by a hurricane in September 1947, remained open until 1950 when the government closed it down and the school was closed, sold to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board as a retreat. The site is now a condo that borrows Rhea’s restort’s originial name.

The USMMA-AA, with support from Seabee Base, Gulfport, established a memorial to the Pass Christian USMM Cadet Corps Basic School in 1979 on what was then still the campus of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. Destroyed in 2005, the memorial and an old ketch sailing anchor salvaged in the area by the Seabees were reconstituted 0.6 miles north of the location in 2013.

(Chris Eger)

(Chris Eger)

The bronze plaque, which I touch up from time to time, reads:

These Grounds, From September 16, 1942 to March 21, 1950, Were the Site of the Pass Christian United States Merchant Marine Cadet Corps Basic School. From Here and the Sister School at San Mateo, California, Over 6000 Undergraduates of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York, Went to Sea in War and Peace. To Those Cadets, Who in the Course of Their Training or Subsequent Service, Gave Their Lives for Our Country, This Monument Is Respectfully Dedicated.

Back to the Stone

By the time the USMM Academy left Mississippi, Governor Stone/Queen of the Fleet had been returned to Mr. Rhea in 1947 with a brand-new 110 HP Chrysler Marine engine installed, a bonus!

When he died in 1953, the schooner was subsequently sold to a series of six different owners over the next 15 years and named, in turn, The Pirate Queen, Sea Bob, C’est la Vie, and Sovereign, before ending up with one Mr. John Curry who restored her through the 1970s and 80s and planned to base her in Pascagoula as a floating museum ship with her original name. In the end, she was deeded to the Apalachicola Maritime Institute in 1989 “where she served as a sail trainer for at-risk youth and a charter vessel in conjunction with the museum for 11 years.”

Her National Park Service application to place her on the National Register of Historic Places (#85508) was penned in 1990 by noted maritime historian James P. Delgado of all people, which makes her noteworthy in and of itself. As noted in a 2004 article in The Nautical Archeology Society by Kathryn Sikes:

Only five 2-masted coasting schooners remain within the United States. Of these, only two, Lewis R. French and Stephen Taber (both built in 1871), predate Governor Stone. In addition, Governor Stone is the only surviving 2-masted schooner indigenous to the Gulf of Mexico, and represents Southern contributions to coastwise trade.

In 2010, Governor Stone was acquired by the non-profit Friends of the Governor Stone group who at first displayed her at Ft. Walton, Florida and then, following an extensive restoration in 2013-14 (in Pascagoula!) moved her to Panama City.

At Pascagoula’s Beach Blvd “Point” in 2014 after she was overhauled note Ingalls shipbuilding in the distance (Photo via Mississippi Maritime Museum)

That’s where our current story picks up.

In St. Andrews Marina for Hurricane Michael, she capsized and turned turtle, but is still above water to a degree and the group hopes to salvage her.

Via Friends of Governor Stone

Weight:: 14GRT, 12NRT
Length: 63′; 39′ at waterline
Beam: 13’2″
Draft: 3’; loaded 5’; with the centerboard down 9’

If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO), Publishers of Warship International

They are possibly one of the best sources of naval study, images, and fellowship you can find.

The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.

With more than 50 years of scholarship, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.

PRINT still has its place. If you LOVE warships you should belong.

I’m a member, so should you be!

One generation removed from Mr. Lincoln’s Corps

Marine Lt. Wendell Cushing Neville (far left, with sword) presents the Marine Guard detachment aboard the 2nd-class battleship/armored cruiser USS Maine (ACR-1), circa 1895. Note the Springfield M1884 “Trapdoor” single-shot .45-70 rifles with the same musket-style bayonet that Napoleon would recognize, kepi headgear, leather M1864 knapsacks and “U.S.M.C” marked haversacks.

All in all, not too different from the same Marine Corps that walked the decks for Dahlgren, Farragut, and Porter.

Note the ages of these regulars. You can bet they were rather salty. From the Wendell C. Neville Collection (COLL/2985) in the Marine Corps Archives & Special Collections.

Neville (USNA 1890), of note, would later receive a MOH for his work in Mexico, lead the much better-equipped 5th Marines at Belleau Wood, and become the 14th Commandant of the Marine Corps in 1929.

Maine would later be sunk in Havana Harbor in 1898, sparking the Spanish-American War.

Field of T-28s must go…or will be crushed

For the frugal warbird flyer in search of a fleet of fixer-uppers, there is a dealer selling 34 retired piston-engine trainers — in various conditions.

Platinum Fighters is selling a few squadrons’ worth of North American T-28 Trojans. The T-28 was a hearty little single-engine plane built in the 1950s and used to train pilots for the Air Force and Navy. Capable of being fitted with underwing hardpoints for guns, rockets, and small bombs, a number of armed T-28s flew in combat in Vietnam, including a batch of operated by CIA-trained Laotian military pilots.

Most of the aircraft shown for sale are U.S. Navy-marked, and the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola says the sea service purchased and operated almost 800 T-28s from the 1950s onward, with the last one retired from active duty with the Naval Air Training Command in 1984.

What a T-28 Trojan looks like restored. This one is not for sale and is in the collection of the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola (Photo: NAM)

If “some assembly required” is your thing, the lot offered by Platinum includes enough new parts to build five complete aircraft in addition to stocks of wings, engines (9 Wright Cyclone 1820-86Bs), factory blueprints, trailers and the like.

Although T-28s could mount various gun pods including .30-caliber, .50-caliber and 20mm flavors, sadly none of those party favors are mentioned in the stack of parts.

Price for all of this joy? $180,000 (down from $249K), which is kinda neat if you have the time and inclination to fool with it, as you could end up with a more viable air force than many third world countries.

What happens if they don’t get picked up?

According to Platinum: The owner wants these planes gone and is ready to start sending the non-airworthy components to the scrap metal dealer

In the UK, standards are interred

From The Army in London – HQ London District, the chronicle of how a circa-1953 unit standard was retired for good, to the cold earth.

Here lies The Sovereign’s Standard of the Royal Horse Guards

“Battered and tattered, its duties done, the once glorious gold and scarlet Standard of the Royal Horse Guards (Household Cavalry) was taken from its place of honour high in the rafters of the Royal Military Chapel in Wellington Barracks, placed in a shroud and, as prayers were said, troopers paid their respects, and a silver trumpet sounded the Last Post, it was laid reverentially to rest in the sacred soil of the Guards Chapel Garden in Birdcage Walk.”

Its final resting place, the Sovereign’s Standard is laid to rest in the sacred soil of the Guards Chapel Garden — at The Guards’ Chapel.

More here

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