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

 

troops praying aboard SEATTLE returning from Brest France to New Jersey after Armistice p32-890 {4}
Souvenir from Mollie's photo album. Jack was nagivator on SEATTLE on three trips bring troopps home from Brest, France April-July l9l9 to New Jersey.Some notes indicate he had to investigate thefts of eggs from commissary one night in Brest, when food shortages were severe in France after World War I.Marine General Smedley Butler copmmanded the troop camps at Brest at this time - Jack was interested in Butler's career - it is not known if Jack ever spoke directly to Gen Butler - but they were in same areas at Brest l9l9 and Shanghai l927, when Jack was Construction and repair officer on light cruiser MARBLEHEAD, and hundreds of Marines on board were under Butler's overall command.Jack's acquaintance with Chaplain William Maguire may date from this time (1919)- Maguire found Sophie a room at Wineglass's boarding house Chefoo during l931 Asiatic Fleet maneuvers, and as Pacific Fleet Chaplain l941-l942 Captain Maguie appreciated Jack's cooperation caring for Navy families in need of evacuation after Pearl Harbor atttack, and described the work of Jack's Overseas Transportation ofrfice in the chapter "Bread on the Waters" in his book "The captain Wears a Crosss." (l943).Dictionary of American Fighting Ships J. R. Y. Blakely John Russell Young Blakely was born 17 July 1872 in Philadelphia and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1892. After serving in various Navy ships and at many shore stations, he took his first command, Des Moines, in 1914. As captain of this ship, and later Seattle, Blakely rendered important service in transporting and escorting troops and supplies to Europe during the First World War. For his outstanding contribution he was awarded the Navy Cross. Following the war Blakely served with the Chief of Naval Operations, at the Naval War College, and with the rank of captain he commanded Arizona (BB-39). After a tour as Assistant to the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation in 1925, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and given command of a cruiser division. He also commanded the 15th Naval District and served on the important General Board before poor health forced him to retire 1 June 1932. Rear Admiral Blakely died 28 March 1942 in Denver, Colo.
Subject: troops pray aboard SEATTLE
Year: 1919