Author Topic: The Shipyard (Post pics of and info about the ships here)  (Read 34453 times)

flaxman

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Re: The Shipyard (Post pics of and info about the ships here)
« Reply #90 on: January 15, 2014, 11:08:51 am »
Another question as well....Was HMS Ebro a "Q Ship"?

Janet Jaguar

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Re: The Shipyard (Post pics of and info about the ships here)
« Reply #91 on: January 15, 2014, 01:32:17 pm »
Ebro was an Armed Merchant Cruisers (AMC) - a civilian passenger liner, in other words, drafted into the Navy who then bolted guns to her deck.  They were more often used as convoy escort ships as none of them had the armored hulls to go looking for pitched battles with fleets of enemy war ships.  In her case, she'd been ordered by her owners before the war, and was launched in 1915, so she went straight to the RN without her owners even seeing her until 1919.

Quote
EBRO, armed merchant cruiser, mercantile conversion, M.78 (on coming into service), MI.70 (1.18), MI.37 (4.18). Built 1915, 8480grt, 15kts. Armament: 6-6in, 2-6pdr. Crew (7.15): 33 officers & 230 crew (bi). In service 23.3.15-2.10.19. Of over 60 commissioned AMC's employed on patrol and later convoy protection, 33 served with 10th CS on Northern Patrol. Log Book Availability.


We will, sometime soon, be putting our transcriptions of her logs online.  Until then, you can see her picture and the scans of the original logbooks at http://old.oldweather.org/vessels/4ef4f702e53e0a0c9100237f .  The logbooks we transcribed are, according to Gordon's Index of Available OW Ships, "Apr 1915-Sep 1917, Northern Patrol; Oct 1917-Dec 1918, Sierra Leone, Rio de Janeiro".  She is also listed on his full list of all ships used by the RN in WW1.

The picture he is using is captioned, "possibly SS Ebro or a later vessel with same name (Photo Ships)"


Wiki gives her career and history of various owners and new names, and have a picture of her in WW2, when she was named Serpa Pinto by her Portuguese owners.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Ebro

flaxman

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Re: The Shipyard (Post pics of and info about the ships here)
« Reply #92 on: January 15, 2014, 01:37:21 pm »
Fantastic and thanks Janet Jaguar  :)

Thursday Next

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Re: The Shipyard (Post pics of and info about the ships here)
« Reply #93 on: January 19, 2014, 06:22:33 pm »
On 13 August 1919 one of the aircraft which had been transported to the Baltic by HMS Vindictive was forced to ditch in the sea.  I managed to find some photos on eBay of the recovery of the aircraft  (a Grain Griffin) which will accompany the edited ship's log:


Thursday Next

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Re: The Shipyard (Post pics of and info about the ships here)
« Reply #94 on: January 19, 2014, 06:24:34 pm »
I also found a rather nice postcard "The Two Vindictive's" which shows the aircraft carrier in dazzle camouflage:

Janet Jaguar

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Re: The Shipyard (Post pics of and info about the ships here)
« Reply #95 on: January 19, 2014, 06:39:57 pm »
Re-posting this here from the Editorial Office.


sean0118 now owns this old photo, and asked me to put it up for the forum to see. So here it is.  :)



also posted in Voyages, Work and People.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2014, 01:57:39 am by Janet Jaguar »

Helen J

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Re: The Shipyard (Post pics of and info about the ships here)
« Reply #96 on: January 19, 2014, 06:56:18 pm »
Those are dramatic pictures of the rescue from Vindictive of the aeroplane and its crew - good to see a happier ending to a ditching.

Thursday Next

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Re: The Shipyard (Post pics of and info about the ships here)
« Reply #97 on: January 19, 2014, 08:39:58 pm »
Yes, the Griffin was recovered and the pilot was OK, but unfortunately the Sopwith Camel that went up at the same time did not have a happy ending, and the pilot (Lieut N S Taylor RAF) was killed.  I found a suggestion on the Great War Forum that sabotage was suspected (some of the local labour employed at the aerodrome may well have had Bolshevik sympathies).  This is supposedly in the Finnish War Records, but I have so far failed to find anything to substantiate this, so it hasn't gone into the ship history.

Janet Jaguar

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Re: The Shipyard (Post pics of and info about the ships here)
« Reply #98 on: February 06, 2014, 02:44:39 am »
Kevin found a photograph album in the Smithsonian's archives that is right down our alley, Harriman Alaska Expedition collection, 1899-1900 : series 1, photographs - 2 albums with more than 200 photos of an Alaska and Siberia our ships saw, but we never will.  Lots of pics of big glaciers and sea ice.  The field logs for this expedition have not been put online.

Kevin was sending us the photo from here of Bogosloff Volcano, whose activity has appeared in our ship logs.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2014, 02:55:55 am by Janet Jaguar »

camiller

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Re: The Shipyard (Post pics of and info about the ships here)
« Reply #99 on: February 06, 2014, 01:39:37 pm »
 8)

Janet Jaguar

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Re: The Shipyard (Post pics of and info about the ships here)
« Reply #100 on: April 01, 2015, 12:14:31 am »
I'm copying here propriome's wonderful posts making public to us a photograph album scanned and sent to us by the relative of a crew member who saved the photos.  He was on Unalga I in 1919.


Foreword

Frank Wilson Sheppard served as a Fireman aboard USS Unalga during her 1919 trip to Alaska.
Recently Linda Patterson, a relative, contacted us and provided a set of splendid pictures.

To her and her family goes our deepest and sincere gratitude.



Unfortunately there are not many mentions of Frank Wilson Sheppard, a Texan, in the logs:
  • He joined Unalga at San Pedro, California, on 25 January 1919 as an USN 3rd class Fireman.
  • He got a 10-day leave on 20 March 1919 and returned, eight hours late, on 31 March 1919; his absence was excused.
  • He was promoted to 1st class Fireman at Unalaska on 1 June 1919.
  • He left, along with many other men from USN and USNRF, at San Francisco, on 10 November 1919, when USS Unalga finally returned from her 1919 summer voyage.

According to Linda, he then returned home to Texas and remained there for the rest of his life. He was very shaken by the epidemic and didn't like to talk about it.
Being born in a very hot place without oceans, his 1919 voyage must have been quite an adventure to him!



Introduction

In the spring of 1919, USS Unalga prepared to make her summer trip towards Alaska, for her Bering Sea Patrol duties.
The US Coast Guard Cutter Unalga was still under the command of US Navy, even though World War I had already finished.
This would be her last voyage with a crew from both USCG and USN until World War II. On 28 August 1919 the Treasury resumed control of USCG vessels.

She would be quite busy that year. "Normal" Bering Sea Patrol duties comprised checking vessel cargoes for illegal fur trade, censusing cannery employees, giving medical assistance to the population and overall acting as representatives of US Government in those distant and cold lands.

The 1919 voyage was instead quite of a nightmare for the crewmen, and far worse for the native population. The Spanish flu, which had already ravaged around the world and created so much death and woe in 1918, didn't arrive in Alaska until the summer of 1919, due to remoteness of the region and scarce contacts with the rest of the world.
The situation became critical during May and June, when entire villages were wiped out by influenza.

USS Unalga received first notice of the flu epidemic in Unalaska from USS Saturn on 26 May 1919. USS Unalga anchored in port on 27 May, found almost everyone sick, and began to feed and nurse the entire population.
She departed Unalaska, things there being under control, on 17 June 1919 bound for Bristol Bay area, where reports indicated  that the situation wasn't better. She remained in the region until 28 June, caring for the population of the entire area.



The pictures

We've done our best to identify and properly title the pictures. Many of them have no caption and no writing on their back, therefore placing them correctly in space and time has been a little tricky. We hope we have not made serious errors.



Frank Wilson Sheppard, Fireman, 1918














4 July 1919 - A boxing match taking place at the docks - USS Unalga is the ship in the background.
Unalga's Officers are enjoying the show along with crewmembers.
In his diary, Captain E.A. Coffin writes about boxing taking place. Also Unalga logs mention "appropriate sports and passtimes" that day.




USS Unalga anchored in the background


USS Unalga anchored, front view


Unalaska Harbor from USS Unalga deck


Washing down main deck. A daily duty


Another view from USS Unalga deck


A very nice picture of USS Unalga cruising through ice


USS Unalga Officers.
Standing: Lieutenant Junior Grade Willie B. Huebner USNRF; Captain Eugene Auguste Coffin USCG; Two Captains USCG *;
Lieutenant E. W. Scott USNRF (Dental Corps); Lieutenant Junior Grade Dr. F. H. Johnson USPHS.
Sitting: Lieutenant Carl E. Anderson USNRF; Senior Captain Frederick Gilbert Dodge USCG; Lieutenant Gordon Whiting MacLane USCG.

*The two USCG Captains are Theodore Graham Lewton and Warner Keith Thompson, but we've not yet been able to identify them for sure.




SS Haller at Unalaska.
Haller was a cannery tender Unalga met several times in Bristol Bay area.
The two ships had a quite close encounter on 12 September 1919.


USS Bear at Unalaska.
Bear arrived at Unalaska on 3 June 1919 and immediately started helping Unalga in relief work.
She departed on 15 June 1919


USS Bear at Unalaska.




Wreckage. Uncertain location.


Wreckage. Uncertain location.




Whaleboats. Uncertain location.




Burying the dead. Third man from the left is Lieutenant j.g. Dr. F. H. Johnson USPHS.
The officer (sixth man from the left) should be Lieutenant Carl E. Anderson.


Burying the dead. The officer in charge of those operations was Lieutenant Carl E. Anderson


One of the many coffins buried in that period


Unalga's crewmen wearing "Flu" masks. All the men taking care of the population ashore had volunteered.
According to the date on the picture, they were about to return to Unalaska from Bristol Bay. At that time the flu emergency had almost finished.





The Russian Cemetery at Unalaska. Hundreds of people died and almost the entire population got sick.


Another view of the Russian Cemetery at Unalaska.


Crewmen digging graves in Russian Cemetery at Unalaska. Notice Orthodox crosses.


Crewmen digging graves in Russian Cemetery at Unalaska.
The officer superintending the men could be Boatswain S.B. Johnsen or Lieutenant Carl E. Anderson


The Church of the Holy Ascension of Christ at Unalaska, with crewmen digging graves.




Orphans were very numerous. The flu struck hardest against the stronger immune systems, therefore most of the younger adults with children had died.


Unalga's men nursed, feed and cared for the children full-time, until proper orphanages and other families of the island were ready to receive them. The man caring for the children is Peter Bugaras, Unalga's Master-At-Arms


Another splendid picture of some of the orphans in charge of Peter Bugaras.
He cared for them night and day at USS Unalga Orphan Home from 30 May 1919. Ten of the older ones were transferred to the care of US Deputy Marshal of Unalaska on 4 June 1919.


The USS Unalga Orphan Home was the temporary structure at Unalaska, built to shelter and keep all the children together.
The man on the far left is Seaman George D. Wright, who was a friend of Frank Wilson Sheppard.
Peter Bugaras is the man at the center of the image. He volunteered to take in charge all of the children.


Frank Wilson Sheppard wrote some information on the back of some of the postcards (the previous image exists in two copies, in one of the two George D. Wright is marked).


Another fantastic image of USS Unalga Orphan Home with four crewmen and the children.
The man on the left is George D. Wright, who was in charge of cooking for them.


A nice image of the seaman George D. Wright (the third man from the left, employed as cook for the children), two male nurses and the doctor of USS Unalga Orphan Home.




A beautiful panoramic picture of the shore at Unalaska.
The Russian Church of Holy Ascension of Unalaska can be seen in the center of the picture, in front of Unalaska Lake.


Unalaska shore, with the Russian Church of Holy Ascension in the center of the picture.


Unalaska shore. This picture has been taken from the Russian Cemetary hill, northeast of the town.


An islet in the sea. Uncertain location.


Hunting scene on Unimak Island.
The Unimak Pass, a wide marine channel, is the main waterway connecting Alaskan Bering Sea region with Pacific region.


Cruising along Alaskan coast. Uncertain location.


A waterfall. Uncertain location.


Sunset on the Bering Sea.
Due to latitude, day length is 17-18 hours in July, with sunsets taking place around 11:30pm and sunrises around 6:30am.


Sunset on the Gulf of Alaska.


A sailor.




An old Russian Fort in Unalaska. Alaska was bought from the Russian Empire in 1867 for $7 million.




Lieut j.g. Dr. F. H. Johnson USPHS (on the left) and Master-at-Arms Peter Bugaras (on the right) seem in hurry.


Unalaska picture taken from the town docks, at the mouth of Iliuliuk River (hidden by houses and streaming to their right).
The Russian Curch of Holy Ascension can be easily spotted in front of the dead end.


A seaman is posing before a rather big anchor. Uncertain location.




A whaling harpoon.
Whaling was an essential part of the economy in the whole Bering Sea region.


Crewmembers are curiously observing the result of a whale hunt. Uncertain location.


A single whale produced an enormous amount of whale oil, which was highly prized in the markets.




USS Unalga visited St. Paul and St. George islands on 12 and 13 July 1919.


A group of seals on St. George Island.


A numerous group of seals seems to enjoy the beach.






Captain E.A. Coffin speaks about this picture in his diary. The baby seal is about 3 days old.




Saint Michael's Cathedral of Sitka. Unalga anchored in that port during her voyage towards Alaska, on 8 May 1919.


A picture of Alaska inland. Uncertain location.


Tlingit totem poles in Sitka National Historical Park.
Sitka (Shee Atika) was the place of a battle between Tlingit natives and Russian colonists in 1804.
The site was designated as a National Park in 1890 by President Harrison.



References

Excerpts from USS Unalga's logbooks:
  • At Unalaska (Part 1 , Part 2 ) 26 May - 17 June 1919
  • In Bristol Bay area (Link) 20 June - 28 June 1919
  • Followups (Link) 20 July - 23 July 1919
  • The Abner Coburn Issue (Link) 3 September - 15 October 1919
Online resources:

AvastMH

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Re: The Shipyard (Post pics of and info about the ships here)
« Reply #101 on: April 01, 2015, 07:04:09 pm »
What a tremendous piece of work. Wonderful to see these images. So vivid. I very much look forward to reading the personal journals and documents attached.
Many thanks to the family members who allow us to see these, and to propriome for putting this thread together.  :)  :)  :)