Author Topic: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...  (Read 33257 times)

Janet Jaguar

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American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« on: October 27, 2012, 06:29:16 pm »
I'm thinking, we need a memorial place to honor our American dead;  the original post is still live, when editors find mentions of the dead not in there, they want to still use it to honor.

So I'm starting this one.  Some stories like the first one here, truly belong in their ship's discussion thread as part of the history.  But a memorial for them is also appropriate.





Burial at sea - United States Navy:
Quote
If the deceased died on land or has been returned to shore after death, the remains may be brought aboard either in a coffin or in an urn after cremation. The ceremony is performed while the ship is deployed, and consequently civilians are not allowed to be present. In the USA, people eligible for a free Navy burial at sea are:

    Active-duty members of the uniformed services
    Retirees and honorably discharged veterans
    Military Sealift Command U.S. civilian marine personnel
    Family members of the above

In preparation, the officer of the deck calls All hands bury the dead, and the ship is stopped (if possible). The ship's flags are lowered to half mast. The ship's crew, including a firing party, casket bearers and a bugler, are assembled on the deck. The crew stands at parade rest at the beginning of the ceremony. The coffin is covered with a flag, and is carried feet first on deck by the casket bearers. The casket is placed on a stand, with the feet overboard. In case of cremated remains, the urn is brought on deck and put on a stand.

The ceremony is divided into a military portion and a religious portion. The religious part is specific to the religion of the deceased, and may be performed by a chaplain, or by the commanding officer if no chaplain of the appropriate faith is available. A scripture is read and prayers are said.

After the religious ceremony, the firing party is ordered Firing party, Present Arms. The casket bearers tilt the platform with the casket, so that the casket slides off the platform into the ocean. The flag which was draped over the casket is retained on board. For cremated remains, there is the option to bury the remains using the urn in a similar fashion to the procedure used for caskets. Alternatively, the urn can be opened, and the remains scattered in the wind. In this case, the wind direction has to be taken under consideration before burial to ensure a smooth procedure.

The firing party fires three volleys, the bugler plays Taps, and flowers may also be dropped into the ocean. After the flag is folded, the ceremony ends. The relatives will be informed of the time and location of the burial, and given photos and video recordings if available.
http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Burial+at+sea
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 07:21:05 pm by randi_2 »

Janet Jaguar

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2012, 06:33:43 pm »
Oscar Hart, Chief Engineer "Pioneer", rest in peace.

Pioneer 1922 List of officers:
http://oldweather.s3.amazonaws.com/ow3/final/USCS%20Pioneer/Book%201%20-%20April-July,%201922/IMG_7777_0.jpg

Suddenly it all gets more serious - record of an accident to two of the crew:
A serious accident occurred on board.  The chief engineer and H.B. Fenner Chief Asst Eng were working in the chill room of the refrigerating plant, running live steam into the water in the scuttle butt inside the chill room in order to boil out this tank. The heat apparently expanded the ammonia in the coils in the tank causing an explosion. The tank was blown up from the dock, all of the connecting piping was blown in parts, the wall of the ice box was blown out at least a foot and the wall of the inner ice box was blown in slightly. Both men were badly hurt, the Chief Engineer was burned in the feet and legs and slightly on the arms, and was cut on the side of the head, and was almost stunned. Fenner was burned on feet and legs and arms. Prentglau, Asst to Eng 1 cl has just stepped out and while jarred was not hurt. Gotshall, Sea. who assisted in dragging the Chief Engineer out inhaled some ammonia. Chief Engineer Hart and Fenner were rushed to Cramp's Hospital where first aid treatment was given and at 3.30pm were removed to the St Agnes Hospital in charge of the Public Health Service.  The Chief Engineer had inhaled ammonia and his lungs, eyes and mouth were in danger. The ammonia was blown out and the ice machine stopped. An inspector was on board from 2.30pm to 5.00 pm from the York Mfg Co.

http://oldweather.s3.amazonaws.com/ow3/final/USCS%20Pioneer/Book%202%20-%20July-October,%201922/IMG_7877_1.jpg

Sadly Chief Engineer Hart died in hospital a few days later:
http://oldweather.s3.amazonaws.com/ow3/final/USCS%20Pioneer/Book%202%20-%20July-October,%201922/IMG_7879_1.jpg

And just to complete the story, the following day:
Board of Investigation composed of Peters, H & G Eng, R R Lukens, H & G Eng and Morris, Chief Engineer was in session on board during the morning investigating the causes and results of the accident which occured Friday July 7, 1922.
and:
Chief Engineer Hart's clothes and effects were gathered together, packed and one trunk, one suitcase and one package sent to his home. Valuables as follows were found and returned, to be sent over by an officer. Watch #1426100 with chain; Keyring and keys; Ideal Fountain Pen; $11.00 refund from W.R. Mess; $11.87 found in his clothing; One book of stamps.
http://oldweather.s3.amazonaws.com/ow3/final/USCS%20Pioneer/Book%202%20-%20July-October,%201922/IMG_7880_1.jpg

All unbearably poignant - I think I need to go and do something else for a bit .... :'( :'(

Helen J

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2012, 07:28:24 pm »
Thanks for setting this up, Janet.  It feels good to have somewhere to remember these men.

Janet Jaguar

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2012, 08:15:06 pm »
I admit, I like having the long stories in that ship's thread.  But there is nothing wrong with quoting or giving the link here.  It makes the remembrance special somehow, for the person alone.

studentforever

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2012, 09:19:03 pm »
It also means that anyone doing family research can hunt in one place and see if we have anything to offer them (yet).  After all, the log pages aren't searchable at the moment while our forum entries are.  I think this will become a very useful resource as well as being our own form of memorial.

Helen J

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2012, 05:26:04 pm »
Pioneer, 15th August 1922:

A card received by Martel Wireless opr, from Miss Alberta Williams, stating that O. J Cobb oiler had died in Philadelphia Marine Hospital at 10.45am Sunday August 13 1922. Office & nearest relation Mrs Sarah Cobb notified by telegraph.

http://oldweather.s3.amazonaws.com/ow3/final/USCS%20Pioneer/Book%202%20-%20July-October,%201922/IMG_7916_0.jpg

AvastMH

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2012, 07:02:57 pm »
I just took a gander at the following pages - what's happening to your crew Helenj - they are all ending up in hospitals?  Seems too late for Spanish flu...wonder what it was - August 21 is bad.  :o :o

Helen J

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 09:53:15 pm »
I'm wondering whether it's typhoid - they've had someone medical come on board as part of an investigation into an outbreak at one of the hospitals which they had crew in, then they were all marched off to be inoculated, and the two who refused were discharged on the spot.  Which sounds like it was really serious.
I'm back at college now (it's been half term weekend) so won't have as much time to transcribe this week .....  Need to find out what happens though - sleep may have to be sacrificed!

Helen J

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2012, 08:13:17 pm »
Yes, typhoid it is - I've posted a whole saga in Pioneer's own thread.  They've had doctors coming on board for several days to take samples etc, and today several crew members have been taken off to hospital as potential typhoid carriers.

Pommy Stuart

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2012, 09:00:39 am »
02/06/1891 Concord.

Moses Wright (ch) and Jas Fletcher (2ch). Died when a boiler steam pipe burst.

R.I.P.

lollia paolina

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2012, 10:19:39 am »
USRS Vicksburg, April 27th, 1989; at sea making passage from Norfolk Va, to Key West, Fla

"While securing sail at 6.15 [pm] W. H. Touchfield (Boatswain?s Mate 2nd class) was swept overboard and was drowned. Life buoy was dropped, but by order of Commanding Officer no boat was lowered owing to the condition of the sea."

http://oldweather.s3.amazonaws.com/ow3/final/USS%20Vicksburg/vol004of023_jpg_clean/vol004of23_013_1.jpg

Here is the link to the page with weather logs for the day:
http://oldweather.s3.amazonaws.com/ow3/final/USS%20Vicksburg/vol004of023_jpg_clean/vol004of23_013_0.jpg

Rest in peace W H Touchfield

Janet Jaguar

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2012, 11:44:48 am »
Force 9 winds are a very serious storm.

Rest in Peace, W. H. Touchfield.

DJ_59

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 11:59:59 pm »

:(  Poor W.H., seeing the boat steam away like that.

Janet Jaguar

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2013, 12:13:47 am »
http://oldweather.s3.amazonaws.com/ow3/final/USS%20Yorktown/vol002of040_jpg_clean/vol002of040_149_0.jpg
http://oldweather.s3.amazonaws.com/ow3/final/USS%20Yorktown/vol002of040_jpg_clean/vol002of040_149_1.jpg
Navy Yard, N.Y.

On 2 November 1889 Frank Torsch (seaman) was transferred to the Naval Hospital, where he died on the 4th.
Two days later, 6 November 1889, 7 hands have been digging a grave for him in the morning.
Frank Torsch was buried in the afternoon.

Former Brooklyn Navy Yard Cemetery:
http://inhabitat.com/nyc/former-brooklyn-navy-yard-cemetery-to-be-transformed-into-memorial-park/
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 08:54:57 am by Janet Jaguar »

Janet Jaguar

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Re: American Burials at sea and other recorded deaths...
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2013, 08:02:27 am »
I did some research on the cemetery, because it struck me has very odd that crew would have to be sent to dig the grave in any church or city cemetery.  But this was neither - it was a strictly Navy cemetery connected to the Naval Hospital.  And amazingly, still not built over with skyscrapers but available to be a memorial park.