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


Sophie Barrett Fairmount Park Philadelphia P-A-N-A-M-A chapter main text ii
p 13-100 Second Portion P___A___N___A___M___A chapter HANNIBAL chapter, second portion.Letters of Harry Ferguson, Ezequiel Labiosa, Paul Nelson, president Arias of Panama, -HANNIBAL day orders,website PANAMA photo locations,+ Lafayette J.Jones, last Dan Candler and Chester Peake letters.Sophie's final portions of HANNIBAL chapter:- Great Dismal Swamp, Gleasons, Vaccaros-Trios, Rice family, McKims, Isabelle the parrot, HANNIBAL FINAL MONTHS 1935 AUGUST Sophie pregnant. SEPTEMBER Hurricane coming north. OCTOBER Transfer to command of CLAXTON. P-A-N-A-M-A second portion --HINCKLEY- -11 January l970 letter from Captain Robert M. Hinckley USN Retired 4200 Cathedral Ave. NW Washington DC-(salutations to Mrs. Barrett - main text addressed 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 in England.She was converted into a survey 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 being modernized to a certain extent.None of the 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 to the 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.Hinckley's kindest regards to your mother.Sincerely, Robert M. Hinckley, Captain, U.S.N. Retired (pl9l) Harry Ferguson letter Letter postmarked l6 April l970 from Jacksonville Florida written by Captain Harry Ferguson who was the engineer officer in l934-l935, "Dear Mrs. Barrett, Of course I remember you and Jack very well from my days on board the HANNIBAL from some time in October l934 until November l936. During that time I served as Engineering Officer, having relieved A.R. Boileau in October l934.Boileau was on board only a few days after my reporting for duty, so I never got to know him very well.However I do remember many of the others you mentioned in your recent letter-Candler, Halstead,Visser, Crosser,Ascherfeld, Nelson, Pittman,Peake, Aiken, Devine,Livingston, Lehman, and most of the others.When I reported on board, Gresham was the skipper, relieved later by Stevens,who was relieved by Richards not long before I left. If I remember correctly, Jack was relieved by Frank Fitch quite some time before I left.Our top speed with a good following breeze was nearer nine knots instead of six or seven (as some of the others said). I do remember, however, having Point Mala Lighthouse at the southern tip of Panama in sight for twenty-four hours as we were bucking a tide trying to round that point on our way to Balboa.Also, if I remember correctly,at that time the HANNIBAL was the oldest ship and only coal burner left in the Navy, with a three cylinder reciprocating engine and only one propellor. Several times we would leave Balboa or Cristobal with our bunkers full of coal and bags of coal piled up anywhere we could find room for them on deck in order that we could spend as much time as possible in the survey area. Pittman was a Warrant Boatswain who was drowned off the East Coast of Costa Rica- and his body returned via the HANNIBAL to Cristobal. I believe the Communications Officer was either Crosser or Aiken, (Crosser was First Lieutenant - Sophie Barrett note).I was certainly glad to get all the news about many of my shipmates with whm I HAD LOST CONTACT- I don't believe I had heard from or of any of them in years and years. I knew about Benny Crosser's death but did not know about the others you wrote about (Aiken, Boyd, Nelson,Ascherfeld, Boileau, Clarence Smith).Now for some information about me since leaving the HANNIBAL. I left her in Norfolk about November l936 and spent about seven months on the ARKANSAS as a turret officer. Then I went to the Naval Academy as an Instructor in Spanish. In June l939 I was detached from the Naval Academy and reported to the USS NASHVILLE a light cruiser which was then in Annapolis Roads.I went aboard as the seventh serior Lieutenant and left in April 1943 as the senior commander, except for the Executive offcier.If I had stayed aboard another couple of months, I would probably have been the "Exec" as not long after I left a classmate of mine who was junior to me became "Exec."I spent most of the war on the NASHVILLE- a good part of the time in the Aleutian Islands.Just after I joined her we went through the Canal to Long Beach (California), where we were based several months -and then sent out to Pearl Harbor.It appeared that we were going to be out there from then on, and since the Navy Department did not see fit to change our home base, I left my family in Long Beach.Finally I decided to send for them at my own expense, so my wife, Helen, had the boys taken out of school early, shipped the car out to Pearl Harbor, and all of them boarded a ship for there.About the time they arrived in Honolulu,the NASHVILLE was transiting the Canal again, under secret orders- so I could not wire her not to come.I could not get in touch with her for a month or more but finally was able to call her long distance from Boston and tell her to get back to Baltimore with her family as soon as she could. Of course that was all at my own expense.By the time she got back to Baltimore with the family,we were up in Iceland but came back before long, so she left the boys in Baltimore and joined me in New York for a few days. During the rest of l941 we operated out of Bermuda with the Neutrality Patrol and were there on Pearl Harbor day.That day we left again for Iceland and were gone for two or three weeks. When we got back, we were again sent to Pearl, and later to the Aleutians so I didn't get to see the family for a year or more. I finally got detached from the NASHVILLE in March or April l943 and got back to the States to find Helen living in Coronado with my mother and father. I went there and was stationed with the Operational Training Command Pacific until June l944.. I was then ordered to Balboa as Port Captain but wasn't allowed to take my family with me, so that was another year's separation- they finally joined me in Balboa in July, l945.Please remember me to any of our old shipmates that you might see or contact and my very,very best to you and yours, -sincerely, Harry Ferguson." I am also including a letter which Jack received on the HANNIBAL in Norfolk, Virginia sent from the Submarine base, Coco Solo, Caal Zone,dated September 27, l935 and written by Ezequiel Labiosa, Coxswain YP 41 Coco Solo, Canal Zone: "Lieutenant Commander J. B. Barrett, Executive Officer, USS HANNIBAL, Norfolk, Virginia, Dear sir,I can hardly find words to explain my gratitude and express you of my deep appreciation for your benevolent kindness in having granted me to remain here with the YP boats whereby I can provide my wife with a home in Colon. I will always remember your very hearty consideration, sir, and shall ever cooperate with you here in my duties and anywhere to the best of my knowledge and strength, gladly.In the event of any chance for me to go up for second class boatswain's mate, I wish you will kindly give one a thought down here, Mr. Barrett,and you can be sure that I will very highly appreciate your thought and will discharge my time in the Navy with such pride as only an officer of your caliber can provide in a man.If I could only serve my life in the Navy with suich officers as you- you can be sure sir that throughout my fifteen years in the Service, I never found anyone to whom I could be so grateful. I always hold high my pride in my good record. Only trust in God I will be under your command the years I have left to serve in the Navy." Another letter from a junior boat officer Paul Nelson was written to Jack from the Naval Observatory at Washington on 6 December l933 when the ship was in Portsmouth,Virginia: "Dear Commander, We have just about completed our course here at the Observatory. I expect to leave on or before thirteen December for Norfolk. There remains only a compilation of data. Commander Demott (Dewitt?) informed me that he is writing a letter to Mr. Devine in regard to the measuring sticks for the sounding machine tubes. He also informed me that the sticks will arrive on board before departure for Panama. Washington has been a very expensive city to live in, and both my wife and myself shall be glad to get back to Norfolk and our Hannibal friends. Please convey my regards to the members of the mess. Sincerely yours, Paul Nelson." (Note: Paul had the duty on the mine layer OGLALA the night of December 6-7 l941. Admiral Furlong was aboard that morning and as Senior Officer Present Afloat he gave the order for all ships in the Harbor to sortie right after the first bombs fell at Ford Island around 7:50 that Sunday morning.Paul had combatant duty in the War and was retired as a Captain.On October 8,l970 his wife Gene Nelson wrote:"Paul was Communications Officer on Admiral Furlong's staff and kept telling him the OGLALA was sinking and he'd better get off. OGLALA was his flagship, and he insisted the old thing be raised.It was alongside HELENA, which was tied up to 1010 dock. It has been pulled astern when it was toppled over on the dock. Paul could look into his (old) room whenever the water cleared.He had command of fourteen LSTs and convoyed the troopships which took Palawan (Western Philippines).He and his LSTs missed Leyte-Samar (October l944) as his (group's flagship the 775 broke down." The President of the Republic of Panama sent a radio to the USS HANNIBAL on May 23, l935 "To Captain James M. Stevens, USS HANNIBAL- My best thanks to you for the courtesy shown me during my visit to Coiba yesterday, Best wishes and regards, Harmodo Arias, president of the Republic of Panama." I am gioving here the MORNING ORDERS for the HANNIBAL at Bahia Honda, Panama , Wednesday 22 May l935 as a sample of the type of orders put out by Jack while Executive Officer of the HANNIBAL l933-l935: 0500 All Hands 0530 Turn to -Scrub down - Prepare to get under way- Breakfast for forty men (ML # 1,2,3,4 crews ,sounding and extra details 0615 ML#1,2,3,4, proceed as assigned 0620 under way 0730 breakfast 0800 Muster on stations. turn to- Sweep down - Clean up decks 0900 Quarters- White working uniform. Survey Operations 06l5 MR #1 Lt jg Jones ,full sounding crew plus two men Run lines as per boat sheet. Lunch and supper for one officer, ten men. ML#2 Lt jg Lockwood full sounding crew plus two men, Run lines as per boat sheet. Lunch and supper for one office, ten men.ML #3 Lt jg AKIN full sounding crew plus two men. Run lines as per boat sheet. Lunch and supper for one officer, ten men.Motor Launch #4 Chief Boatswain Pittman, full sounding crew plus two men. Run line as per boat sheet. Lunch and supper for one officer, ten men. Avoid unnecessary hazards. Ship will return to Bahia Honda prior to evening meal if practicable. Instructions for Official Visit at Coiba. Reference USNR Art. 234, 297, 322 All men on deck will be required to be in white working uniform prior to contact with planes.When planes have alighted on water, a Motor Whale Boat, flying color with an officer with AC boat and two men to man it, will be sent to transfer personnel (President of Panama, two other Government of Panama officials, Commander Gates, and Mr. Young) to shore at Coiba colony. The officer in the boat will invite party to return to ship for luncheon and will arrange for a definite time for return of boat for party and what time luncheon should be served. If party passes "close aboard" (USNR art 267, 400 yards) officers and crew will be called to "attention", facing outboard toward party. After landing has been effected,boat will transfer other personnel from planes to ship as necessary or desirable. When President comes aboard: All men on topside in white working uniform with neckerchiefs. Officers in full dress white - medals- gloves- swords- Full Dress Bilt. Have eight sideboys tending side rest of crew man Rail at equal intervals along ship's side. Officers assembled on quarterdeck, starboard side aft. Sound "Attention." Have the National Ensign of Panama "in sops" at the main. Tend the side. When the President reaches the deck, officers and men shall salute. The National Emblem of Panama shall be displayed at the main the moment he reaches the deck and during the entire visit. After party goes below, removal of jumper and neckerchiefs may be authorized but with careful preparation ofor prompt resumption at President's departure. Personnel not in official party should be returned to plane well in advance of conclusion of official visit.On President;s departure some cermonies "Salute, manning rail, Attention" shall be rendered. National Ensign of Panama will be handed down at "Carry on" when President leaves ship. Motor Whale Boat, flying colors with officer will return President and party to planes. Officers and crew will shift into ordinary service uniform of the day - J.B. Barrett, Lieutenant Commander USN Executive Officer. be out there from then on. Devine, Livingston, Lehman, and most of the others." END HANNIBAL DAY ORDERS 22 May 1935. Website locations P-A-M-A-M-A chapter photos May 31, 1934 party for Captain and Mrs. Robert Hinckley Panama City - and detail of Jack and Sophie Barrett-#865 Sophie driver license 1934 Panama Sophie with Boyd's maid Netha #110 old Buick #156 p 20 #985 -p 44 Sophie in hammock com LJJ Lafayette Jackson Jones letter HANNIBAL Panama l935 On 15 February I received a letter from Fredericksburg Virginia, Mary Washington College from the junior boat officer on the HANNIBAL who is now Captain Lafayette Jackson Jones. "Dear Mrs. Barrett, I did indeed serve on the HANNIBAL at the time you speak of and remember Commander Barrett - then a Lieutenant Commander I believe- very well. To the best of my recollection Lieutenant jg Robert E. Lockwood joined the ship at sea in the early spring of l935 - I regret to say that Captain Lockwood Retired died in Delmar, California within the past year or two.I remember well most of the people mentioned by you. I believe Captain Gresham had the ship when I reported - later relieved by Captain Stevens and then by Captain Richards. Harry Ferguson was engineer, Dan "Shorty" Candler the navigator, Ben Crosser First Lieutenant, Peake the supply officer and Smith the doctor. Others on board were Akin, Visser, Halstead, and one or two others whom I can't recall- it was thirty-six years ago. Pittman was there and Lehman and Devine (hydrographers) - whom we called "Too-Too" with affection of course. I remember the day Pittman was killed. He, Mervin Halstead, and I were working the sounding boat crews along a stretch of beach, putting up shore signals and taking soundings.While landing with ourAtlantic City surf boats, I suspect that all of us turned over several times that day - I know WE did. The speculation was that Pittman may have been hit by the boat or by some of the materials carried for the construction of signals.It was not unusual for the landing boats to broach and turn end over end in the surf, but the waves did seem to be higher than usual on this particular day. As you probably know, the HANNIBAL - we called her the "White Swan" - she was painted white- was the last coal burning ship in the United States Navy. We would go to sea with full bumpers and sometimes with a deck load of coal in bags, and we stayed (at sea) as long as fuel supply allowed- usually about a month. We worked hard in the HANNIBAL, but we had a good time when we cme into port- usually for about ten days."Shorty" Candler and I used to go to the races at the old Panama Race Track. The horses weren't very fast, but that didn't bother us, and we played softball and tennis and drank beer of course.Dr. Smith and I had a lot of good fishing up and down the coast. The best as I remember was around the islands of Jicaron and Jicasita off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.I remember one day we were out in the motor whale boat, and I had a good fish on the line.The fish was about to pull me on the rocks, and "Doc" wanted to cut him loose, but I wouldn't hear of it.Anyway we got the fish before he wrecked the boat, and he was a fifty-nine pound amberjack. "Doc" caught a one hundred fifty pound shark one day, and when he got him in the boat, I was ready to jump over the side.We caught all kinds of fish.You never knew what you would have on your line next, and that made it doubly fascinating. I talked many times with Commander Barrett. As I remember he had a mustache.Does my memory fail me in this regard?It seems to me that he assumed temporary command of the ship for a time - perhaps after Captain Gresham left and before Captain Stevens reported (spring l935).Anyway we all liked him very much and thought he was a fine officer.- Well, there are some of my memories of my service in the "white swan." I hope you wil find them interesting. Forgive me for waiting so long to answer your letter. Sincerely yours, L.J. (Jack) Jones, Captain USN Retired." Letter from Dan Candler 16 April l97l "We are planning on heading for Pennsylvania in about ten days for a stay of about six weeks, and while in Philadelphia I shall try to get in touch with Ethel Smith and get the story of the loss of the dog "Mack." I know that he was a Llewellen setter and was a well bred dog even though I never hunted with him.He was treated as one of the family.You might tell John that the only difference (i had) with his father was the one you mentioned - the late bridge game. Can't remember any others now.I told John that his father probably knew more about boats than anyone I've known.And he passed up many chances to take us to task when he probably should have.And a good "Exec" does not mention that an order comes from the Captain.John can well be proud of his father. Sincerely, Dan Candler."-- While Dan and Anne (Candler) were visiting in Pennsylvania in the early summer of l971, a heart attack -sudden- struck him, and he passed away. He had been looking forward to his fiftieth anniversary at Annapolis, as he was in the class of l922 and was very popular.His wife Anne wrote of his passing. BLACK NOTEBOOK FOUR p. 20 July 2, 1970 from Commander Chester Peake 2521 Milmar Drive Sarasota Florida 33577 My dear Mrs. Barrett, It was fine to have your letter. Tiny and I were glad to hear from you, also of all of our mutual shipmates of years ago. Just tell them I am still kicking and glad to be able to do so at my steadily advancing age. = But we must impart Tiny is still confined to the Rest Home. I am hoping and trusting the broken bone is knitting satisfactorily. An X-ray is scheduled for next week Naturally she is confined to the bed or a wheelchair practically the entire day. = Several days each week she goes to therapy- getting lonely here at home. When you write to Gene Nelson, kindly remember Tiny and me.She was a fine girl and a fine shipmate. Also Frank Delahanty. It has been years since I have seen him. I have your other letter here- filed under "P" for "pending" and for "personal". = We have some items of years ago in storage places here at the house - only - where are they? It's likely I would have to take out a few partitions to locate some of our memoirs. = But really I have kept your precious letter on my writing table - to jog up my failing memory- and - most important - to dig into the chests, boxes, etc. where our HANNIBAL notes are most likely to be filed away - at the first favorable opportunity. Tiny and I convey our kindest wishes. Sincerely, Chester P. Peake" [HANNIBAL Supply officer, who corresponded extensively with Sophie in 1970s]. Of HANNIBAL families, the Barretts lived near Clarence and Mary Boyd in Coronado, California 1938-9, saw Paul and Gene Nelson in Hawaii 1941, and Mary Ascherfeld 1946-7, and had Clarence and Mary Boyd visit at West Roxbury 1948. Correspondence with many HANNIBAL friends was extensive in 1970s, and Sophie remained in touch with Admiral Richard Visser and his wife Joan in Madrid Spain to 1986 and also with Mrs. Mary Ascherfeld in Pensacola, Florida, and Mrs. Halstead in Los Altos, California,and the Boyds' daughter Peggy - Mrs. Stafford Green in Charleston, Carolina. Friends of the Ascherfelds, Mr. and Mrs. Powers, whom Sophie met in Panama visited Sophie in West Roxbury about 1985. HANNIBAL chapter Sophie's final portions- Great Dismal Swamp, Gleasons, Vaccaros-Trios, Rice family, McKims, Isabelle the parrot, pregnancy, hurricane, transfer to CLAXTON command: Starting 7 December l934 Jack had four weeks leave during which we drove all over eastern Virginia, including Virginia Beach and Great Dismal Swamp and then into North Carolina. But most of the time we just stayed in Portsmouth,enjoying the yams and fresh spinach and taking short =166= drives into the country around Portsmouth. Early in January l935 I returned to Panama on the CRISTOBAL, and Helen Aiken wife of one of our junior officers was also aboard. I became acquainted with Mary and Margaret Gleason of Ardmore, Pennsylvania,who were going to Colon on the Atlantic side to visit their Army dentist cousin.We saw Mary frequently in Philadelphia when she worked for the Insurance Company of North America. Her sister worked in New York City for the Aluminum company.For the entire l935 season I lived at the McKim home in Ancon,where they rented me a good=sized porch, which served for living and dining, and a bedroom, a share of a bathroom, and kitchen privileges.The family next door, where the man Captain Schlomny was a Canal pilot, had a parrot that really talked.It called out, "Isabelle"- the name of their daughter, and it talked all the time.Mr.McKim worked in the Administration building on Ancon Hill.Their daughter Josephine McKim was a well-known swimmer who did the swimming parts for Hollywood movie stars.The younger daughter Musa Jane was studying at college on the mainland.Mr. McKim often visited the San Blas Indians on an island off the coast of Panama on Atlantic coast near Colombia.They were a comparatively unknown group who avoided outside contacts, but they were friendly with Mr.McKim.He was writing a book about them and asked for my opinion and criticism. In Ancon in l935, John Vaccaro's sister Rose and her husband Hugo Trio called on Jack on the HANNIBAL.Since he wanted to show them as much of the Canal Zone and Panama as possible, he took them riding in the old Buick. When Jack got a flat tire, Hugo skillfully changed the tire for him.Commander and Mrs. Paul Rice, our old friends from the TULSA in 1930 and l931, were in Panama in 1935, when he was the Admiral's aide aboard the TRENTON. They lived in Panama City, where I visited them and I admired their spacious quarters- much nicer than the homes in the Canal Zone.But Gertrude got malaria there. Paul retired soon after her attack because of his arthritis in 1935,though he was recalled to active duty one year before World War II and worked at Pearl Harbor in industrial management. HANNIBAL FINAL MONTHS 1935 AUGUST Sophie pregnant. SEPTEMBER Hurricane coming north. OCTOBER Transfer to command of CLAXTON: When Jack told our medical officer on the HANNIBAL in early August l935 that I thought I was pregnant= and told him what my symptoms were, he told Jack I merely had phlegm.Going up north in September l935, I bought a few bottles of bay rum in Haiti- one for Bill Barrett, who met me in New York.The CRISOBAL had left a few days before the HANNIBAL, and we had a very rough trip because of a hurricane behind us. The HANNIBAL was closer to the center of the storm and made a dangerous passage. On the CRISTOBAL those of us on the upper deck were forbidden to leave our cabins. Bill Barrett met me in New York and took me by taxi to Grand Central Station, where I took a train via Berlin, Connecticut to New Britain where I saw my sister Babe and Dr. Geetter and their two young sons David and Albert, born l933 and l935.When I arrived in Portsmouth in September, l935 Jack had rented the second floor of Mr. Hanger's home, converted into two "apartments." It was much too small for us, without any dining space. The kitchen was merely a 'hole in the wall' a section of the living room with space only for a tiny stove and a tiny refrigerator. There were no wash tubs and only a very small sink, so the maid had todo the washing in the bathtub and had to go through the one bedroom to get to the bathroom.=l68- To eat one had to put up a bridge table in the living room. In the bedroom there was a genuine Duncan Phyphe table,but we didn't use Mr. Hanger's precious antique, as there was no pad for the table, which was too big for our cramped living room.The place was cold. At the most inappropriate times the elctric lights would go off.We would then have to search for Mr. Hanger,who lived in the cellar,which was always locked.Most of the time he was not there when the lights went out, and we endured cold and darkness.One Sunday evening when the lights went out at five o'clock (dark in Portsmouth at that season) Jack was so upset that he packed his suitcases and put them in the car preparatory to moving to the HANNIBAL as the place was unliveable.But since I was pregnant and did nothing about packing and getting out,he brought all his gear back and in disgust went to bed cold and hungry, and I did too.After living at the Hanger converted home a short time, Jack discovered that the first floor tenants were Commander and Mrs. Frank Delahanty of the Supply Corps.Frank and Jack were old friends.Sue Delahanty shopped with me for maternity clothes and helped me alter them.When we learned that my 1923 classmate Edna Delahanty at Mount Holyoke was Frank's first cousin, Sue and I became close friends.About Christmas time we found an apartment at 7100 Hampton Boulevard in Norfolk, Virginia not far from the Naval Operating Base, where Jack after November commanded the destroyer USS CLAXTON, after his HANNIBAL duty ended. NOTE, John Barrett In 1970 my mother Sophie Barrett and I attempted to reconstruct some chronology of October-December 1933: it appears Jack Barrett reported at beginning of October 1933 to begin duties as Executive Officer of HANNIBAL at Portsmouth, Virginis. Sophie may have kept the apartment at 422 Columbia Road Dorchester in Boston for a time, and they came to South Boston at Christmas. Jack had some leave in this period. A letter of Jack's brother Bill from this period suggests some information and also a letter from Captain John Nelson, who had been Jack's superior officer at Charlestown Navy Yard 1932-3: "postmark November 23, 1933 The Shoreham, Washington, D.C. [to] Lieutenant Commander John B. Barrett USS HANNIBAL Navy Yard Norfolk, Virginia Dear Jack, I received the Army-Navy tickets, and they are very good. I got tickets fort the Princeton game and went last Saturday. They were also excellent. Had a nice interlude after the game as Doug Brown a Princeton professor asked us to come to tea after the game at his home- just what you need after sitting out in the cold. Also, the nice box of candy arrived, for which I thank Sophie and you - here again I have no manners for not telling you long ago. I had planned to go to Boston after the Princeton game, but certain changes down here made it necessary to come back right away. I think I'll go up there this weekend after Thanksgiving. This work down here will probably end as far as I'm concerned about December 15. It's sure a merry whirl now, with lots and lots of activity. I want to get down to Norfolk soon and had hoped to before this. Last Saturday was the first I've had off for ages. Some Navy Lieutenant from your ship called me last night. I tried to tyake him to lunch, but he was apparently too pre-occupied. It's time to go to work. Regards to Sophie. Bill" [SOPHIE note: This letter seems to prove that Jack and Sophie went to Norfolk in the fall of 1933. We stayed at the Heart of Ghent Hotel in Norfolk- then lived in an apartment in Portsmouth, where Pa Barrett visited, also Mollie Barrett and Eileen Lane. At the Heart of Ghent we saw Bill Keester and Mrs. Keester of the Coast Guard, and visited them at their home in Norfolk soon after - then we moved to Portsmouth. On Christmas Day 1933 we were at 640 East Seventh Street, South Boston - stayed four days- and then were at Geetters' in New Britain New Years Eve 1933 and New Years Day 1934. We returned to Portsmouth the day after New Years Day. I remember stopping at the Shoreham in Washington to see Bill for lunch on our way down to Norfolk in the Buick in the fall. He had been loaned to the National Recovery Administration NRA by the Met and was offered a full time job in the Roosevelt administration but preferred to return to the Met.There was also a letter from Captain John Nelson at Boston Navy Yard to Jack on the HANNIBAL in Norfolk in the fall of 1933 and he sent regards to me. Captain Nelson was Jack's immediate superior at Boston Naval Shipyard 1932-1933.]
Subject: Sophie, Fairmount Park Phila
Year: 1934____