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

 

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.
Subject: Pacific Fleet Chaplain Captain William Maguire USN
Year: 1943