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


Bill Barrett and Anita Douredoure visit Barrett home Bala Cynwyd westside,suburb of Philadelphia summer l937 {W} #900 p 34


Anita was a Philadelphia native who dated Bill Barrett about l932 to l937 after his first wife Catherine Miley died of cancer l931. She sent Sophie Barrettt many informative and amusing stories in l970s'. Jack Barrett got Bill and Anita tickets for Army-Navy football game Phialadelphia November l937. Anita met many prominent businessmen whom Bill knew through his work in charge of Policyholders Service Bureau, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Both Ania and Sophie were very fond of Bill's father John Robert Barrett l854-l942. Once a fortune teller palm-reader looked at Bill's hand and said he would be married three times (Billl and Anita were Catholic, and divorce was rare to non-existent.Bill was a widower, and Anita said "I think I'll wait for the third round>" Tragically it turned out that Bill's second wife Virgionia Brady, whom he married September l938, died of cancer spring l945 while Jack and Sophie were still at war in Hawaii. Virginia was the father of Bill's only son William Joel Barrett born August 26, l939. Jack Barrett never forgot that Anita visited ar 422 Columbia Road, Dorchester, where Sophie was delighted with her beautiful chinese rugs, woven l931 at nicholson rug factory Tientsin. Anita smoked cigarettes,and Jack always remembered how "Anita got her ashes on the gold rug." The small burn may not have been noticed by visitors, but Jack was aware of it.Nonetheless Sophie and John treasured Anita's letters, andAnita got to know Sophie's Mount Holyoke classmate Rebecca Glover "Becky" Smaltz, active in labor, sociaol work and Philadel[phia YWCA.


John Barrett jr in front of Needles home next door 2421 Ala Wai Blvd


p 34 #901 {H}


Peggy Dahlquist on Alaska cruise #902 p 34


Mrs. Phil Dalhquist lived in China in l930s. Phil was with Jack Barrett on MARBLEHEAD l924-l927 including war games Honolulu-Pearl Harbor l925 - grand tour Samoa- Melbourne-Australia- Tasmania New Zealand-Tahiti Galapagos - together on small train group across Tasmania Launceston-Hobart - then l927 landing force exercises scheduled Nicaragua -= then duty near fighting Shanghai civil war April-June l927. Phil was commissioned for bravery Woprld War II after service on carrier YORKTOWN Coral Sea and heroism getting wounded off ship when sunk at Midway.One son is an Army officer another an artist. Phil was born Lancaster MN, retired to Eugene Oregon - active in timber sales - followed U. Oregon sports especially Basketball start Ronnie Lee, wgo at4etended catholic memorial High West Roxbury MA.


Ballroom aboard ITASCA, training ship Revenue Cutter School


p 34 #903 (9)


Troops returning to USA from Brest France aboard SEATTLE Spring l9l9 #904 p 34 {4}


Jack Barrett made three round trips March-July l9l9 to Brest France as navigator of troopship SEATTLE bringing World War I soldiers home after Armistice November 11, l9l8. Some of his navigation notes survive.There were hunger and influenza among troops and French population. Some surviving notes during a stop at Brest April,l9l8 indicate some eggs were stolen from SEATTLE ship's stores in wee hours early one morning, and Jack had to investigaste and report the fact. Photo from Mollie Barrett family photo album 640 E. Seventh St, South Boston. Marine General Smedly Butler commanded troops at Brest waiting for transport l9l9.


Gertrude Granville, Anna Lambert,Mollie Barrett, John Lambert


left - Gertrude Granville was a close friend of Jack Barrett's half-sister Mollie l898-l967 = possibly from Practical Arts. High School. John Lambert was a relative of the large Lynch family, including Mollie/s mother's mother. He was a journailist in Portsmouth New Hampshire and friend and associate of President Calvin Coolidge.Anna was his wife. Photo taken on occasion of Bill Barrett's marriage to Virginia Brady, New York, September l938 P 34 #903


Bill Barrett with John Vaccaro - l912 Boston Latin classmates at beach laughing #906 p 34


from Mollie Barrett photo album John Vaccaro gave the Barretts a biography of Boston Lawyer Rufus Choate- one of the most forceful courtroom advocates of the l840s and l850s - the book by Claude Fuess of Andover Academy


Captain William A. Maguire, USN Pacific Fleet Chaplain l941-l942 Pearl Harbor hero #907 p 34 {H}


Captain William A. Maguire served 25 years in U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps beginning France l9l7 World War I. His acquaintance with Jack Barrett may date from spring l9l9, when Jack made three round trips from New Jersey to Brest, Brittany, France bringing Army troops home aboard USS SEATTLE. In the late spring of l931 Chaplain Maguire found a room in Wineglass's boarding house in Chefoo for Jack's wife Sophie, when the Asiatic Fleet was gathered there for gunnery competition and fleet maneuvers, and rooms suitable for women were very scarce. There were goats immediately outside the window, so no ethnic slur is intended when Sophie sings the Navy song "They wear clothespins on their noses, For Chefoo doesn't smell like roses" - native Chinese were in no way responsible.On December 7, l941 Chaplain Maguire showed great personal heroism tending the wounded and dying and helping Navy personnel get back to their ship, but he went to much effort to deny false stories he violated laws of war by shooting at Japanese planes as incorrectly reported in news media- the rumor inspired the popular song "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition, and we'll all be free."He visited the Barrett home at 2415 Ala Wai Bulevard and observed the pet pigeon Quove. In his l943 book "The Captain Wears a Cross" he describes Jack Barrett's work in Pearl Harbor Overseas Transportation Office arranging transport space for Navy families between Dec. 7, l941 attack and battle of Midway June 4, l942. Sophie and John furnished flowers and decorated graves in Punchbowl Cemetery May 30, l942 and worked with chaplains Miller and Mahler also.