Red Headed Stepchild
(The Barrett family memoir of Navy Life)
by Sophie Ruth Meranski with photos


-1462 Zachary Cole at Depew Chevron station September 1999
Editing - Captain Hinkley 1934 + Truxtun 1929 At Christmastime l929 Jack went to Baguio in northern Luzon, a cooler upland area to spend a few days at the Army's recreation quarters.He bought a pair of wooden bookends carved to make figures of dwarf Igorotes- one carries a hatchet & the other a spear.Chronology: He left San Francisco at 7 AM June 29,l929 via the USS NITRO as a working passenger He arrived Manila July 25-detached NITRO July 26 & reported on board POPE -detached POPE August 5 & reported on board EDSALL l:00 PM. August l4 :Detached EDSALL & reported on board TRUXTUN, C>B>C> Carey commanding officer- From the Medical Officer of Destroyer Division 43: Dec. 23,l929 "To Senior Medical Officer Camp John Hay, Baguio, P>I> This is to certify that Lieutenant John B. Barrett has not been exposed to any communicable diseases & has not been exposed to meningitis 14 days prior to his departure from Manila." Jack got four days leave of absence December 2l & went to Camp Hay, Baguio.On the seventh of May, l930at Tsingtao, China, Jack requested six days leave, giving the address "Marine Detachment, American Legation, Peking,China." Leave was granted. Visit with classmate Rupertus is probable endTRUXTUN chapter 44-HINCKLEY- #44 -11 January l970 letter from Captain Robert M. Hinckley USN Retired 4200 Cathedral Ave. NW Washington DC-(salutations to Mrs. Barrett - main text address to John Barrett junior regarding HANNIBAL inquiries:"The survey area was the Gulf of Panama, & the Pacific Coasts of Panama & Costa Rica.We did work for the government of Costa Rica helping them find a deep sea port for shipping bananas out,She was an old ship purchased in l902 for the Asiatic Fleet.She was a collier -cast iron hull-built by Harland & Wolff shipyard un England.She was converted into a servey ship at least ten years before I took command.There was always a lot of work to do on a ship as old as she was,& we were always getting new Hydrographic equipment installed. The ship was beingmodernized to a certain extent.None ofthe officers were specialists in Hydrographic work- we had three Hydrographic officers from the Navy Hydrographic Office to plan & make charts of the work we were doing.The HANNIBAL operated directly under orders from the Chief of Naval Operations,& our plan of operations for the next survey season was made out by me in conference with the Chief Hydrographer & his aides.The ship sailed for the survey area shortly after the first of the year & would be in the survey area until late summer.We had two sub chasers & they did valuable work in going into (shallow) waters (where) the ship couldn't go to set up survey beacons & carry equipment.We left them down in Panama when the ship went north for an overhaul.Mr. Devine was in charge of the survey planning in the area,& he & I would always get together with your father to plan the next day's work.About our relations with the local government officials,the only occasion I had to call on foreign governments was when we surveyed around Costa Rica.I called on their President,& he was very appreciative of the work the ship was doing for his country.We arranged a trip from Punta Arenas where the ship was tied up to San Jose the capital for officers & wives & enlisted men to spend a weekend.We missed the regular train, so I called the President on the telephone-& he sent a "special" down from San Jose to pick us up.There was only one other ship during survey duty-the NOKOMIS-a converted yacht.We worked with her at one period sounding a large portion of the Gulf of Panama.We were the first survey ship to receive the deep sea sounding machine, which would bring back samples of the bottom & had a string of Nansen bottles,which tapped sea water every fifty fathoms.We had a scientist from Scripps Institute on board to analyze the water. The deepest sounding we got was over 900 fathoms (5400 feet).I took command of the HANNIBAL in January l933 & was detached May 3l, l934.One of the greatest thrills I had on the HANNIBAL was finding a rock pinnacle only six feet below the low tide surface about one half mile to seaward from an island near Cape Mala, Panama.The skipper of one of our sub-chasers,-Lieutenant Ascherfeld,I think-whom we left down in Panama when the ship went north-said he talked tothe captain of a small coastal cargo vessel who told him there was a rock out there & he wouldn't go anywhere near that area.If you want to see the HANNIBAL survey areas & even the logs of the HANNIBAL, write Commander U.S.Navy Oceanographic Office, Suitland,Maryland 20390.Please give my & Mrs.Hinckleyt's kindest regareds to your mother.Sincerely, Robert M. Hinckley, Captain, U>S>N> Retired."
Year: 1999