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

 

Photo of an Eagle Boat (#17) manufactured by Ford Company p 24-783
B-O-S-T-O-N E-A-G-l-E- 1932-1933 Minnehaha "Do you think we'll get to Portland tonight?" CHAPTER begins with Barretts crossing stormy North Atlantic to New York on PRESIDENT LINER VAN BUREN March 1932, with Sophie's coat caught in ship door on deck in rough weather-- TEXT: "I could not free it & I was petrified with fear. Finally I unbuttoned the coat, got my arms free of it took the coat off left it stuck in the door which I could not open. I ran as fast as I could to another door,which I couldn't open either.I was freezing on that cold deck when I saw someone with a flashlight coming along- a sailor who couldn't open the door either- but he took me down a ladder to a more sheltered door on the deck below, & I went above inside.My husband recovered my winter coat.Everyone agreed that I could have been blown overboard on that weather side.We lost more than five days on that trip across the Atlantic, arriving March 29 in New York. We were due to dock in New York very early in the morning, but we decided to stay aboard for breakfast,while waiting for the health and customs officials.We were out on deck on our way to the ship dining room for breakfast when a tall,good-looking man in his late thirties spotted my husband and smiled happily as he hailed us and rushed over to Jack. He was my husband's brother Bill, whom I had never met and had not expected to see at the ship.I knew he would be glad to see his brother after nearly three years in the Asiatic station, but his relief and overwhelming joy made me wonder what was behind the emotion.The first thing he said was, "Jack, I read in the New York Times that you have been promoted to Lieutenant Commander. Congratulations. That will add ten years to Pa's life."But that is not the reason I am so glad to see you. Since I have to be at work before 9:30 AM I decided to come to the ship early,see you in your cabin & leave.So I asked the purser for the number of your room.He told me the number but said that he would have to tell me that you were"dead drunk" & had been drunk most of the voyage." My husband had not had anything to drink throughout that voyage. Apparently mistaken identity was involved.We wanted Bill to have breakfast with us,but he had eaten & was in a hurry to get to his job at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York,where he headed the Policy Holders Service Bureau.He invited us to his apartment at Ten Mitchell Place & asked us to be his dinner guests. While we were in China, Bill Barrett's first wife Catherine Miley had died of cancer in Frebruary 1931. He gave much of their furniture to his father and mother in South Boston, and he gave us his Buick automobile, which we drove around New England 1932-3, in Virginia and Panama 1933-1936 and until we got a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr in Philadelhia. Not long after Bill left, my brother Ben came aboard the ship. He greeted Jack, & we explained that we had two days for Jack to get to Boston because the ship VAN BUREN arrived in New York six days behind schedule We had planned to stay aboard the Van Buren for a leisurely trip from New york to Boston. Instead, Jack had to proceed by rail leaving me in Hartford. Ben gave me the bad news that my brother Harry had passed away during my absence in December l93l of pneumonia. My eldest brother had severe influenza while in the Army at Fort Devens during the war.So my sober husband & I with my pocket book held closely to me eventually walked ashore in New York city- Lieutenant Commander & Mrs.(15) John B. Barrett, U.S. Navy. At noon Ben, my brother Abe,& my father -all from Hartford-joined us at a hotel where we registered,visited & had a late lunch.Eventually my family left for Hartford, & that evening Jack went to Bill's apartment while I visited my dear friends-Anne & Ivan McCormack-with whom I had lived for three years at 27 Commerce Street and through whom I met Jack. The next morning March 30 -a raw cold day in New York City- I went to see Anne's two sisters -Betty & Elizabeth Taylor of West Twelfth Street.Then Jack and I traveled to Hartford together by train. We went to my brother Abe's home in Hartford,but Jack left right after dinner for Boston to report for duty March 31 the next morning at the First Naval District at the Navy Yard in Charlestown while I remained a week visiting my family in Hartford and New Britain.APRIL 1932 At this time my sister Esther lived with her brother Abe Meranski and his wife Ethyle and their son Ted and daughter Carol Jane in Hartford. My widower father roomed with a friend Mr. Fishman, and my youngest sister Babe and her husband Dr. Geetter had a small residence at the New Britain hospital, where he was medical director. My sister Bertha Pollack and her family were at Overbrook near Philadelphia, and my youngest brother Pete,now a pediatrician, was living with his wife Jen's family in Baltimore. I saw my brother Harry's widow Sadie and her sisters Minnie Deutch and Eva and Marion Taylor. [RETURN FROM ORIENT AND EUROPE end?] [BEGIN? E_A_G_L_E _1_9 chapter] JACK'S ORDERS Jack received orders 12 April 1932: Commandant First Naval District Boston to Lieutenant Commander John Berchmans Barrett: "You wll assume command of USS EAGLE 19 on 14 April 1932.. This duty is in addition to your regular duty as Assistant Personnel officer and Inspector-Instructor of Reserves in First Battalion Boston and in the Lynn Battalion." Charlestown was north of the Charles River two or three miles from South Boston, where the Barretts lived. SOPHIE MEETS THE BARRETT FAMILY, APRIL 1932 I had never met Jack's father or step-mother or living sister Mollie. Jack was sleeping during this time in the freezing cold attic at 640 East Seventh Street,in the room where he had stayed as a boy,but he did not consider it suitable for me at that time of year. Jack's father though very fit, was elderly and retired. There were only two large bedrooms in the heated second floor quarters of the two-family house, and "Pa" Barrett shared one of them with Jack's stepmother,chronically sick with diabetes and a nervous disorder,-while Mollie- Jack's living sister and the only one of the children at home in 1932- had to have the other bedroom to be near her mother, who required considerable nursing. So we were really homeless as we had been all our married life. VACCAROS, LANES, HURLEYS, JOE BUCKLEY After spending a week in Hartford,I came by train to Boston,and Jack and his old friend from Boston Latin, John Vaccaro, met me at the South Station and took me by taxi to the Victoria Hotel not far from the center of Boston-where we took a room that was much too expensive for us.We took most of our meals at Hunt's- a nearby cafeteria. I had never been to my husband's home at 640 East Seventh Street. Mollie at first suggested that I wait and not visit them at once because of the disorder caused by extensive plastering and painting being done in the kitchen and pantry by Mollie's uncle John Lane of Melrose.But my husband wanted me to meet his closest boyhood friend Joe Buckley and his wife, who lived two blocks away at M and Eighth Streets, so one evening soon after my arrival he left me with the Buckleys for a short visit while he visited his folks. A few evenings later on April l5, l932 Joe Hurley, plant manager of the Boston Post came to the Victoria for dinner prepatory to driving us to Cambridge Latin School, where my husband was scheduled to judge public speaking of contestants(a Navy public relations activity).Joe's wife, Peggy Strickland Hurley,was in Ireland at the time. We stopped in South Boston to pick up Mollie Barrett, whom I had never met- she came with us to the meeting.She had some trouble on the steep stairs up to the Auditorium. and she made some remark about the climb,and I leaned to support her from behind, and it struck her funny.That was the beginning of a long and affectionate relationship. "MINNE-HA-HA" - JACK JUDGES PUBLIC SPEAKERS One of the students recited Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Hiawatha" and the audience found his repeated delivery pronouning "Min-ne-ha-ha" amusing and began to laugh each time he repeated the name.Finally he gave up and sat down. Nonetheless he won first prize, I believe. Mollie explained to me in the car on the homeward journey that her house was a mess because her uncle Johnnie Lane was doing a lot of plastering for them without charge and had to fit the work in his free time between paying jobs.However she invited me to dinner for the next evening saying she hoped I would understand the conditions- a sick mother and an upset home.As I climbed the back stairs about five o'clock in the afternoon, Mollie called down a friendly greeting to me, and her mother was right behind her. Pa Barrett, in the kitchen gave me a very friendly handshake and was my loyal and devoted friend for the rest of his life - more than ten years. Uncle Johnnie Lane was plastering in the pantry. After a most delicious steak broiled by Pa Barrett over the live coals in his kitchen stove - with boiled potatoes, green beans and tea, Mollie washed the dishes and was very pleased when I asked for a dish towel to dry the dishes, and Jack also helped with a dish towel. Pa Barrett that evening taught me to play their regular card game "high-low-jack"- a game we continued to enjoy Sunday evenings for the rest of our duty in Boston. Mollie had a small Whippet car & helped me find an apartment at 422 Columbia Road in Dorchester within walking distance of the Barrett home on City Point. Before we left the hotel,Peggy Hurley returned from Ireland.She gave lectures on her visit before women's clubs, telephoned to invite me to be her guest at one of the lectures & also invited Jack & me to dinner at her home at Moss Hill Road,Jamaica Plain.As Joe was Managing Editor of the Boston Post, the guests were reporters, who listened with respectful attention to Jack's long story of his experiences aboard one of many ships that tried to rescue the submarine S-4,which had sunk in deep water off Provincetown in December 17, l927. When we moved into our apartment at 422 Columbia Road in Dorchester,we bought furniture at Paine furniture company and with the help of the rugs we had bought in Peking, China, the linens, carved chests, carved chow bench and nest of tables purchased in Shanghai we had a most attractive home even if it was just a small rear apartment in the back of the building with no view other than garages.PAWNEE When economist Frances Manning who had been one of my Statistics students at Mount Holyoke College 1924-1925 came to spend a weekend with us, Jack invited the Captain of a large visiting warship to be our dinner guest. He was an outstanding Annapolis Naval Academy graduate, a classmate of Admiral Cross. I went to a lot of trouble to give him a good dinner, using our gate-leg table and a lovely embroidered linen table cloth but I was annoyed when he asked me if mine was a furnished apartment- in spite of our lovely new rugs and Chinese furniture! One time when we were playing bridge, I suddenly felt his hand upon my knee under the table. Then I realized I knew who he was, as I had heard talk of an officer Navy wives called, "Paw knee." He had been Governor of Guam and I then remembered I had heard stories that he was known among Navy wives as "Pawnee." I won't give his name, as he was a kindly, brilliant man who coldn't control his roving hands. I slapped his hand, and he laughed. But he invited all of us for dinner aboard his ship the next night and did what he could to help entertain our house guest. Frances liked him, as he was a dashing figure in his boat cape aboard the ship. "ANITA GOT THE ASHES ON THE GOLD RUG" Jack's brother Bill Barrett also visited us on Columbia Road in 1932 or 1933 with Anita Douredoure of Philadelphia, whom he dated for four or five years. Jack Barrett never forgot that Anita smoked cigarettes and burned a hole in the beautiful gold Chinese rug we had just puchased in 1931 made at Nicholson Rug factory in Tientsin. Nevertheless Anita remained our friend and visited us when we lived in Cynwyd in 1937 and wrote hilariously funny letters in 1970s and 1980s, with much useful information on business friends in steel, oil and chemical industries. There is a turn on the road in nearby Franklin Park that MIT-graduate engineer Bill Barrett always used to say was "banked wrong" - going toward Forest Hills near site where Lemuel Shattuck hospital was later constructed. BOEING + SAFECO The Depression was in full force in l932. One morning my husband told me that he still had a little money left after the trip in Europe, and he was going to Kidder Peabody to buy some stock.As he left I called after him, "Buy some General Electric. " He also bought United States Steel, Curtis Wright, International Harvester. The purchases were very well timed at the very bottom of the stock market depression. We held many of the stocks until the 1960s. Several aviation stocks were separated in 1934 by anti-trust action, and Boeing proved to be Jack's best performer, which helped pay for John's education at Harvard. My best stock was the General American Insurance, which my 1928 New York boyfriend Bill Nuremberg had recommended, though I had a long wait - my original investment was five hundred dollars - the company, renamed Safeco, based in Seattle, suddenly soared in the 1960s. Our two best stocks proved to be in the Seattle area. At the Charlestown Navy Yard Jack was an assistant Personnel officer in command of the EAGLE l9 training Reserves.His immediate superior was Captain Nelson,a Reserve Officer. Captain Jesse B. Gay was another of the superior officers. At least one night a week Jack went to Lynn to work with the Reservists there.In summertime he took Reservists for weekend cruises to train them in ship handling.They left the Navy Yard Saturday right after lunch, remained aboard on cruise for dinner Saturday night & for breakfast Sunday morning & returned about noon Sunday-before dinner.Mollie & I usually drove to the EAGLE l9 at the Navy Yard to pick up Jack & take him to the South Boston family home for Sunday dinner.In the afternoon we would walk along the beach to Castle Island, return at supper time & play "High-Low-Jack'with Jack's father in the evening. MAY 1932 YELLOW loose Hobbs & Warren pages-3a..AURORA BOREALIS AT BAR HARBOR On the Memorial Day weekend in May, 1932, the EAGLE 19 went to Bar Harbor. It may have been on this occasion Jack got to know a Bar Harbor dentist Dr. Ells, whom he called upon in the summer of 1948 when Jack and John visited Acadia National Park and Pinkham Notch in The Presidential Mountains of New Hampshire. Jack watched the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain, where the earliest sunrise in the United States occurs. There was a remarkable aurora borealis display one night, and Jack sent in a report that was published in the Naval Hydrographic Office "Hydrographic Bulletin" January ll,l933:" AURORA The commanding officer of the USS EAGLE l9 reports that on the night of May 29-30,l932 a unusual display of aurora borealis was observed when in (approximately) latitude 43 degrees 44' North longitude 68 degrees 38'West. Between 2200 & 2400 (hours) the navigational lights showed beyond their normal visibilities. At about 2300 (plus 4 time) flashes,which at first had the appearance of searchlight beams,were observed in northerly & northeasterly directions.These gradually increased in intensity & extent until about 0300 (hours plus 4 time) the entire sky was lighted all around the horizon.The rays also appeared to originate in the south & east.There was a tremendous flashing overhead giving an effect of huge flashes blazing up all around with the ship as a center.The resulting illumination was sufficient to permit the reading of newsprint without other lights,& showed all the details of a sailing vessel about one half-mile distant.During the interval of this display the sea was smooth & highly phosphorescent; the barometer was 30:l8 inches; and wind SW (southwest) force 3.No abnormal compass errors were apparent." (Sophie Barrett notebook #4 page 9)."DO YOU THINK WE'LL GET TO PORTLAND TONIGHT?" During this weekend Jack was drving toward Portland, Maine in the Buick with Sophie and Mollie as passengers.They decided to give a ride to an elderly gentleman who seemed confused, and as they drove along, their new passenger kept asking, "Do you think we'll get to Portland tonight?" He also pointed at Jack several times and asked Mollie, "Is this your son?" which was not very flattering, as Mollie was nine years younger than Jack. We managed to locate the gentleman's son in the Portland area, and he thanked Jack for returning his father, explaining that he had been a well-known Portland business man."Do you think we'll get to Portland tonight?" became a standing family joke, especially on trips. On the last day of our visit we drove to Bar Harbor even though it was a dark rainy day, and the views were obscured. As the afternoon wore on the weather deteriorated into hard rain and fog, and I kept reminding Jack that we hadn't eaten since a light breakfast and that we still had about a three hundred miles trip to Boston. Finally Jack without stopping to eat, started the homeward journey in a downpour which slowed our progress. Mile after mile and hour after hour we drove in darkness and in rain in almost complete silence.It was three o'clock in the morning when I insisted we stop at a joint to eat, and although Jack objected to the diner, he did stop. Except for two truck drivers we were the only customers at that hour. Restored by food and coffee, we continued in the foul weather and eventually reached Boston at daybreak. Then Jack took a train back to Portland. SEPTEMBER 1932 from Red Headed Stepchild main text Notebook Two p 546-7 Letters and papers JOE CZARNETSKY COMMENDATION "When Jack was commanding officer of the EAGLE 19 in Boston in 1932 and 1933, one of his chiefs [chief warrant officers] received a letter of commendation: 'From Commandant: First Naval district 8 September 1932 To: Joseph Czarnetsky CBM Via Commanding officer USS EAGLE 19 [Jack Barrett] Subject: Commendation: The Commandant has been informed that, on the morning of Sunday 4 September 1932, when a fire was discovered on the pier of the Fisher's Island Navigation Company dock at New London, Connecticut, by men of the USS EAGLE 19, you immediately organized a fire party from the crew of the USS EAGLE 19 and dispatched them in a vessel - a motor boat with necessary equipment to extinguish the flames, and reported your action to the Officer of the Deck and Acting Commanding Officer. 2. Your prompt action and good judgment resulted in the extinguishment of the fire before it had gained headway and probably averted serious damage to the property of the Fisher Island Navigation Company. 3. The Commandant commends you for your initiative and good judgment on this occasion. J. {Jesse] B. Gay Captain USN Acting.' First endorsement USS EAGLE 19 Newport, Rhode Island, 13 September 1932 From Commanding Officer USS EAGLE 19 - Delivered John B. Barrett, Lieutenant Commander, USN. - Mrs. Czarnetsky sent the original letter of commendation to us in 1971 after her husband's death and asked us to preserve it. On March 16, 1971, Mrs. Czarnetsky wrote that Joe had died on March 14, 1969. He first joined the EAGLE 19 October 1, 1930, reported on board for active duty as ship's keeper in connection with the organization, training, and drilling of the United States Naval Reserves. According to Joe's log he spent quite a few years on the EAGLE 19 up to December 29, 1939. he was very proficient at knots and fancy rope work. John Barrett junior visited Mrs. Emily Czarnetsky in August 1990 in Bozeman, Montana and met her son David Czarnetsky and her daughter Pat, son-in-law Brian Sladick, and granddaughter- the Sladick family.OCTOBER 1932 "THE RIVER OF DOUBT" In October 1932 and again the summer of 1933 EAGLE 19 required extensive repairs at Portsmouth Navy Yard, New Hampshire, and my husband drove back and forth from Boston almost every day. Frequently I rode with him. He would often point out the Parker River in northern Massachusetts along the way. He nicknamed it "The River of Doubt", alluding to the river of that name in Theodore Roosevelt's travels in South America around 1909. NOVEMBER The day before Thanksgiving 1932 my younger sister Babe and her husband Dr. Geetter drove up from New Britain and visited us at 422 Columbia Road. Conditions were already icy in November, and they wrote that they had a very difficult trip back home.Thanksgiving Day Jack and I ate turkey with the Barretts at [page 4a] 640 East Seventh Street. Bill came up from New York, and Mollie, Bill, Jack and I walked along the Strandway to Castle Island in the afternoon.+ [from YELLOW 5a] Just before Christmas 1932 Mollie drove me to Melrose in her Whippet car to take "a turkey and all the fixings" to her aunt Kate - Mrs. Kate Kernan.Then she drove to the Lane homestead at 147 Grove Street, which had been in the family since 1886. There among others I met her cousins Eileen and Myles Lane and their mother Mollie's aunt, Mrs. William Lane. On Christmas Eve Bill was home again, and the four of us went to Beacon Hill to hear the carolers. Since it was very cold, we left about midnight. Christmas Day about eleven A.M we went to see Mr.and Mrs.Dan and Sue Lyne at their big residence on Beacon Street near the Boston-Newton line facing the reservoir at Boston College. We had dinner at 640 East Seventh Street. December 27 Jack took photos of the house at 640 and views of the snow along Seventh Street. Durng the winter my Mount Holyoke College classmate Clara Michal frequently came over for dinner on Friday nights at 422 Columbia Road.She was doing family case work in South Boston and lived on Park Drive in the Back Bay-Fenway area. Mollie met Clara a few times. About one night a week my husband went to Lynn to work with reservists. His hours at Charlestown Navy Yard were nine to five and he drove back and forth in the Buick.On Saturdays and on Sunday mornings in the spring and summer Jack would be out at sea training many different Reserve Units on board the EAGLE 19. On Sunday mornings I would walk about two miles along Columbia Road and the Strandway to 640 for Sunday dinner. Although my sister Bertha did not get to Boston from Philadelphia during 1932-3, her husband Sam Pollack had dinner at my apartment one evening while visitng his family on Canterbury Street, Dorchester. The large Pollack family came to Boston in 1909 from Minsk, Belorussia, and I met most of them in June 1925, when I was looking up records at the Judge Baker Foundation for the Department of Labor. I saw Sam's sister Naomi Lee and her husband Victor a number of times, and we later got to know Sam's youngest brother Harry, a lawyer, and his wife Yetta.MAY 1933 HAILSTONES + MOUNT HOLYOKE TENTH REUNION May 1933 marked the tenth anniversary of my graduation from Mount Holyoke College. I left Dorchester Friday afternoon in the touring car of my classmate Ruth Connally. Jack and Mollie followed us in the Buick.They planned to go only part of the way, just for an outing as Jack wanted to go to bed early, as he was taking his EAGLE Boat out to sea Saturday morning. The trip was uneventful until we were only a [5a] few miles from college.Then the heavens opened up with lightning,thunder, and hail- some of the hailstones being the size of a golf ball - in late May or June! The stones made three holes in the roof of Ruth's car, and one large hailstone landed right in my lap. We reached the college in South Hadley safely, - then I was surprised to find that Jack and Mollie were still with us in the other car. I was distressed that they had to start back while it was still thundering with hail and bright lightning. Late that night I received a telegram from Jack saying they were safely home again after a rough ride. Later Friday evening I received a talephone call from Miss Amy Hewes, my former advisor and head of the Department of Economics and Sociology. She called me a "scalawag" for not calling on her as soon as I arrived, then invited me to her home for Saturday breakfast. We chatted happily until I had to leave for the Alumnae Parade. Clara Michal rode back to Boston with Ruth and me Sunday afternoon.Sometime in 1933 my sister Esther came up from Hartford, where she was working as a bookkeeper for Swift and company.She rode by train. Mollie came to 422 Columbia Road, and Jack rode the four of us to Nantasket Beach, the South Shore resort.Several photos were taken that day, one of Esther, one of Jack, and a group of Mollie,Jack,and me.One one occasion my brother Harry's widow Sade Meranski came to visit, along with her sister Minnie Deutch. During 1932-3 I met Fanny and Mary Miley at least three times. They were the sisters of Bill Barrett's late wife Catherine (Miley). They always spoke highly of Bill's heroic efforts to obtain the latest treatments for their sister Catherine [6a] during her year and a half struggle with cancer. I first met them for lunch at Mollie's house not long after I arrived. This was in the spring 1932. Another time when my Mount Holyoke friend Frances Manning was visiting, she, Mollie and I joined the two Miley girls for a drive to Humarock on the South Shore in the Miley car. The purpose of this trip was to watch the EAGLE 19 pass close to Humarock. JACK'S SHIP HANDLING Another time Ruth Connally drove me south to New Bedford or possibly Fall River to meet the EAGLE 19. We waited on the dock for Jack and his father.We planned to have dinner with them ashore and then drive back to Boston while Jack and his father returned to the ship. Two young men in a small motor boat saw Ruth and me, brought their boat alongside the dock, and started a lively conversation. Suddenly the EAGLE 19 appeared as though from nowhere, with Jack on the bridge, and when he saw the small boat in the space reserved for him, he expertly and speedily brought his ship in to the dock, scaring the wits out of the two young boys, as he missed hitting them by only a few inches, and the wake of the EAGLE 19 gave them a bath and a hard time. Jack's elderly father admired his handling of the ship and agreed with Jack that he saved the boys rather than hurting them as he could not have stopped his engine soon enough to avoid hitting them, so he had to steer clear of them at great speed. Ruth and I thought Jack would split the dock in two, but no damage was done. His senior officer was pleased with his handling of the Eagle Boat and his evening work with the Marines. The area was the EAGLE boat's assigned landing site. The crew were startled though impressed by his handling of the boat. It was skillful but not dangerous as my husband knew the capabilities of the boat - just what it could do. [JOHN BARRETT note August 2000 - I have transcribed this account from my mother's handwritten text as she wrote it, but it raises some questions as to my father's judgment and Navy policy, and interpretation may depend on facts that are not available. The experience showed my mother the capabilities of the EAGLE boat and my father's dexterity and experience in handling it. There may be a question whether he should have seen the boys sooner, but they were in an area where they probably should have kept out. The ability to land quickly would be of great value in amphibious operations in World War II, but there may be a question whether the Navy should have done more to keep civilians at a safe distance. A NAVAL INSTITUTE magazine article by Captain H.A.V. VON PFLUGK September 1941 Vol. 67 No 463 pp 1287-1295 suggests at pp 1289-1290 that shallow bottom may interfere with ship handling maneuvers, so a slower speed would have been indicated if the bottom was shallow, but the depth at this dock I do not know. An excerpt from Von Pflugk appears in FOOTNOTE at END of this CHAPTER.] ENGINEER BILL RUNS OUT OF GAS! Another time Jack's brother Bill was driving Mollie and me to New Bedford to bring Jack home, and the car stalled. Bill eventually realized he was out of gas and had to walk to a gasoline station for a can of gas.This delayed us, and Jack never let Bill forget that HE- the MIT-trained engineer, had forgotten to fill the gas tank. ROOSEVELT CURTAILS NAVY RESERVE BUDGET JUNE 1933 SPRINGFIELD CRUISE covered by Springfield Republican newspaper June 18, 1933.The Eagleboats were intended to be useful for torpedoing submarines but were replaced by more advanced and specialized torpedo boats and landing craft developed l930's.Reservists benefited from the training, at a time when the United States wwas placed at a disadvantage by poorly understood disarmament agreements that gave Hitler and Japanese militarists a chance to forge ahead, while the United States and Britain viewed each other as rivals for supremacy, and the great depression directed democracys attention away from prepareness. The front page of the Springfield Republican Sunday June 18, l933 featured pictures of the Eagle l9 and its commander, Lieutenant Commander Jack Barrett and the last Eagle l9 cruise with Springfield area Naval Reservists.It criticized the economy drive that led to the abolition of the Naval Reserve program in the area.President Hoover, a pacifist, built no new ships during four years he was President l929-l933. Franklin Roosevelt in the l932 presidential campaign had promised to balance the budget- this was a prime factor in the l933 economy drive. Later he became a follower of the British Keynesian economic school, which demonstrated that fiscal deficits have a multiplied stimulant effect on economic demand, so he reversed course and supported deficits and Naval build-up. However, these l933 cuts gave Germany and Japan a key opportunity and found the United States woefully unprepared l938-l941.MAY-JUNE 1933 ITINERARY: News Bulletin NTS Newport Rhode Island June 19, 1933 WEEKEND CRUISES, EAGLE 19 For the past month the EAGLE 19 has been engaged in performing weekend cruise duty at the Southern end of the District as follows: MAY 13-14 took the NINTH Division of Newport out with three oficers and twenty-eight men to Whitestone Landing, New York. MAY 27-28 took the EIGHTH Division of Providence, Rhode Island, out with two officers and twenty men to Vineyard Haven. JUNE 3-4 took the SEVENTH Division of New Bedford, Massachusetts out with one officer and twenty-one men to Vineyard Haven. During the period in which the EAGLE 19 laid in the various ports above, the respective divisions reported on board and were instructed. SUMMER 1933 In the summer of 1933 the EAGLE 19 went to Portsmouth, New Hampshire for overhaul, where Czarnetsky, Fred Waldraff, and Raymond Maynard lived aboard while Jack commuted from Boston. Five mornings a week Jack and I would get into the Buick for a scenic drive to Portsmouth and would stop for a good dinner on the way home. Joe Czarnetsky was in charge of the ship when Jack was not aboard.YEOMAN RAYMOND MAYNARD Ray Maynard was the yeoman who kept the log and made out all the reports, and Waldraff was in charge of the charts.Jack remained on the bridge until they cleared the harbor but then turned the ship over to the Reservists who ran the ship, the radio, and gunnery practice. On June 11, 1971 Raymond R. Maynard CSR USN Retired who was on board the EAGLE 19 with Jack in 1932-1933 wrote from Everett, Massachusetts, "I am Raymond R. Maynard SCM USN Retired and served on board EAGLE 19 with John B. Barrett USN. He was Commanding Officer. I took care of all paper work, ship's log, and typed same, and mailed to Bureau after Commanding Officer signed same. I also typed official reports to Commandant First Naval District after Commanding Officer signed [them]...." In August 1933 Jack received orders detaching him from the First Naval District Boston. He was assigned to survey ship HANNIBAL as Executive Officer starting about 30 September.He turned over command of the EAGLE 19 September 12 with fond goodbyes to the capable and loyal crew. He left Boston September 25 in the Buick and drove to Portsmouth, Virginia,winter port of the HANNIBAL. My husband was in Virginia part of the time but home on leave in December.[7a] We put our furniture in storage and spent a few days at 640 around Christmas."SKIPPY" WIRE HAIRED FOX TERRIER In October 1933 Mollie had bought her family a wire haired fox terrier puppy named "Skippy" born in September- the female of two puppies owned by a family on Columbia Road[Mrs. Bolger?] She was Pa Barrett's companion for the next nine years -mostly white in color- photogenic, and Mollie took many pictures of her with "Pa.". At first Pa Barrett was doubtful about having a dog but quickly became enthusiastic. Skippy was very good about hunting rats but had difficulty chewing - her meat had to be cut up in small pieces. Pa or Mollie would take her for walks along the Strandway.I kept the apartment at 422 Columbia Road until mid-December. We were very cold staying in the attic over Christmas and had to use a hot water bottle. Between Christmas and New Years we drove to New Britain and stayed with Babe and Geetter and their three-month old son David until January 2. Dr. Geetter was actually born early in January but celebrated his birthdays on New Year's Eve. I recollect that my sister Esther and my brother Abe and his wife Ethyle stopped by that New Year's Eve." FOOTNOTE added by John Barrett September 5,2000 Von Pflugk "Tips on Practical Shiphandling" Naval Institute Magazine September 1941 v. 67 (No. 463) p. 1287 at 1289-1290: "There are very good reasons why it is well to have but little headway when entering a slip or approaching a wharf or bulkhead. The most important one is probably the small amount of water under the vessel, which will not only affect her general handling qualities, but will, especially if the bottom is uneven, create a certain amount of suction that may become very dangerous if and when it causes the ship to take a sudden sheer toward the wharf or another vessel.... When the bow of a deep or heavy ship approaches a shoal spot or hump in the slip (with the hump broad on the bow) she will most likely sheer away from it, due to the cushioning effect of the water between the hump and the approaching bow. However, as the vessel passes close by this hump, its passage creates a great deal of suction which, as the stern is neared, will have an ever increasing effect and will draw the quarter in TOWARD the hump. This bottom suction is very dangerous, especially when entering or leaving a crowded slip, and one must be constantly on the alert to check any tendency to sheer. The side suction created by close approach to a solid bulkhead or pier is even more dangerous in that its action is much more sudden than that of bottom suction. ... Even a tug or speedboat passing close aboard can make enough suction to cause a heavy ship to surge in her berth if her lines are at all slack. .. When a vessel of far greater displacement passes, the amount of suction created is tremendous, and has been known to cause considerable havoc. Lines have been parted, gangplanks pulled overboard, and shgips have even been torn away from their berth...." In interpreting whether Jack Barrett's handling of EAGLE 19 at New Bedford described by Sophie involved any danger from bottom suction, it may be noted that the EAGLE 19 had a mean draught of only 7.5 feet, or with full load 8.5 feet. It had the lowest number of a class of EAGLE BOATS built 1918-1919 by the Ford Motor organization, designed for anti-sub capability. Other EAGLE BOATS were #27,32,37,48,55,56,57,58. Standard Displacement was 430 tons or fully loaded 615 tons. The complement was sixty-one personnel. Length was two hundred feet pp. and o.a Beam breadth 25.5 feet. Armament 2-4 inch 50 caliber 1 -3 inch AA 2 M 6. Eagle Boats carried twelve depth charges. Machinery Poole geared Turbine. Two Bureau Express Boilers one screw. Designed Horsepower 2,500 + 18 knots. Fuel 105 tons coal and 45 tons oil. Endurance 3500 miles at ten knots speed. END CHAPTER TEXT. photo caption: Photo of an Eagle Boat (#17) manufactured by Ford Company p 24-783 Year: 1932_ Jack Barrett commanded the EAGLE l9 from March 31, l932 through June l933, based at Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, drilling Naval Reservists from around New England.Sophie corresponded for some years with Emily Czarnetski, widow of Joe Czarnetsky, whom Jack saw at Newport Rhode Island in l960's. Joe Czarnetsky was very skillful with ropes and knots, a subject which also interested Jack Barrett.John Barrett visited Emily Czarnetsky in Bozeman, Montana August l990 and met her son David and one of her daughters and son-in-law, who operated a doughnut -breakfast restaurant.
Subject: EAGLEBOAT
Year: 1932_