Canadian sailors and WRENs taking a coffee break aboard the Fiji-class light cruiser HMCS Uganda, c. 1945-1946.
Tag Archives: cup of joe
In the following beautiful three-shot sequence, credited to PH1 Michael D. P. Flynn, who was likely aloft in a thumping helicopter, we see the U.S. Navy Belknap-class “destroyer leader” turned guided-missile cruiser USS Josephus Daniels (CG-27) in the Strait of Magellan on the transition to Punta Arenas, Chile, during Unitas XXXI joint fleet exercises between the U.S. and nine South American states, July 1990.
These photos are in the National Archives, 330-CFD-DN-SC-92-02912, 330-CFD-DN-SC-92-02913, and 330-CFD-DN-SC-92-02916, respectively.
Daniels is named for the notorious newspaper editor and publisher who, appointed SECNAV by President Wilson in 1913 (whose ASECNAV was a young FDR), instituted a bunch of “reforms” that included banning alcohol on naval vessels. This, of course, led to the “Cup of Joe” label for coffee.
Our destroyer/cruiser, originally DLG-27, was built at Bath in Maine, sponsored by two granddaughters of the late SECNAV, and commissioned 8 May 1965. Earning three Vietnam Service Medals and playing lots of near-miss “Cold War” games in the Med with Soviet surface ships, she was instantly converted to a cruiser in 1975 to close the “cruiser gap” with the Russkies.
The above shots were among Joe’s swan song, as she was decommissioned and struck on the same day cold January day in 1994– 28 years ago this week– then sold for scrapping before the decade was up.
Mr. Josephus Daniels was a newspaper editor and publisher from North Carolina who was appointed by Woodrow Wilson to serve as the 41st United States Secretary of the Navy in 1913. As such he was the head of an organisation that he knew next to nothing about. He ended the beer ration, substituting it for coffee (which is where the term ‘cup of joe’ comes from).
He asked naval commanders to simply their traditions, calling for left and right rather than port and starboard among other things. He was one of the most unpopular SECNAV’s of all time and if not for the fact that a young, knowledgeable, and very energetic Assistant Secretary of the Navy by the name of Franklin D Roosevelt was running around putting out fires, the US Navy in World War One could have been very different from what it was.
All of this makes the below picture of Frank Daniels, the young son of the Secretary of the Navy aboard the USS Dolphin all the more special. You see Daniels in 1913 observed the target practice of the US Navy at Hampton Roads from the decks of the gunboat– along with his wife and family. Commanded by Lt (later Fleet Admiral) William Daniel Leahy, the 256-foot long Dolphin was an elderly gunboat used mainly to carry around dispatches and was pressed into service by the Secretary as his flagship that spring day. By the way, Daniels ordered that the term “Target Practice” be hereby abolished and that of “Gunnery Exercises” substituted while he was in office.
You can just see the joy on the old bosun mate’s face in being tasked with making sure young Frank stays healthy. The sixteen years worth of service stripes on his sleeve must have been worth it.