Seaman Jack Whiteman kept an album on the ship with photographs of the crew and his family. In a letter dated October 15, 1944 Jack identifies his shipmates in a particular group of photographs. More photographs, not referenced here, can be found on the Crew Page of the website and will be included in the next post. The photograph above is of Warrington Stark, Neal Smith, and Charles Murphy.
10/15/44 - Dear Bess: I received those prints today Bess, Thanks a lot. I gave them out to the fellows and they were all smiles as they wrote home and enclosed their picture.... P.S. On the next page I will identify my shipmates in the pictures. ...You see us here as we are in our daily working clothes. They are a swell bunch of fellows Bess, even if they do look salty.
1. The fellow leaning in the doorway is our Yeoman 1/c - Meyer Leavitt
2. The fellow sitting on that torpedo-shaped thing is Fred White, Boatswain Mate 2/c
3. The fellow sitting with his legs crossed minus his shirt is Neal Smith, Signalman 1/c (my boss, a swell egg)
4. The fellow with the very short hair-cut and his thumb hooked in his pants pocket is Edward McGee, Chief Motor Machinist Mate
5. The fellow sitting up on the bridge with his curly black hair blowing in the breeze is Dave Mulcahy, Coxswain
6. The serious looking blonde fellow with his arm resting on the desk is Donald Shipp, (he's a riot)
7. The fellow leaning against the compass with white hat on is Warrington Stark, Quartermaster 2/c
8. The three fellows in this picture are: Left to Right: Stark, Smith, and Charles Murphy, Pharmacist Mate 1/c
9. The four fellows sitting on the rail is: Left to Right: Me, Paul Tobias, S1/c, Gene Fisher, GM2/c and "Duke" Deamers MoMM3/c
10. The five fellows in this picture is: Left to Right: James Ricketts, EM2/c, Steve Mirizio, S1/c, Charles King, EM1/c, Fred White, BM2/c, Mike Cicalese, GM3/c
11. The seven fellows in this picture is: Left to Right: Chester Wisniewski, Cox, Me, Oscar Bond, EM3/c, Clarence Hansen, Fred White, BM2/c, Clyde Kelly, Chief Quartermaster, Mike Macura, MoMM2/c
12. The fellow with his arm extended to his right and Chief's cap on is Clyde Kelly, Chief Quartermaster
13, 14,15 - ME! (Ain't I gruesome?)
My brother Tom remembers conversations he had with Dad about some of the crew.
Dad sometimes spoke of his fellow shipmates and I remember him telling me a few things about them. Shipp was the funny one, Coulombe was the quiet one and Murphy was the one with the Irish name. During a time when I took particular interest in my Irish heritage, Dad would tell me about when they were docked in Northern Ireland and how the native Irish would often ask Pharmacist Mate Charlie Murphy, who came from the South, about his roots. "Murphy? That's a fine Irish name. Sure now tell me, was your Mither Irish?" and Murphy, with his deep southern drawl, would answer "Well, I reckon."
In the first anniversary paper, Yeoman Meyer Leavitt wrote about "Blessed Events" some of the crew experienced during that first year.
Yeoman Leavitt: Three of our members are walking around with their heads cocked and their chests stuck out as though they owned the world - and who could blame them??? They became the proud "papas" of the ship.
Charlie King became the proud pop of a seven and one-half pound baby girl on March 21, 1944. Both mother and baby are doing fine. Congratulations Cherry and remember the drinks are on you when we hit the good old United States. Young King was named Trudy Mary Ellen.
On February 22, 1944, word was received that our Pharmacist Mate, Charles Murphy, was presented with a seven pound baby boy. One can never tell, Murph, he may be another George Washington. The lad was named Charles Mark, a fine name. All the best to you Murph, and remember the drink you promised us all back in God's Country. Incidentally, Charles, too bad you lost five dollars stating that it would be a girl.
Our Executive Officer, not to be outdone, also was presented with a husky seven and one-half pound baby boy. Mr. Tomson's pride and joy was born on May 14, 1944 and by the pictures you have Tommy, he seems to be a chip off the old block. The Tomson's named their baby Rodney Hamilton. Congratulations Mr. Tomson and the best of luck.
Although no official word was received, our Gunner, Gene Fisher, feels confident that the stork paid his wife a visit sometime in July. Keep your chin up Gene, we're all rooting for you. I'll bet it's a boy.
Next: Part 2 - More Photographs of the Crew and Stories