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

 

Sophie and Jack Barrett and skipper Dale Collins aboard PRESIDENT PIERCE 1932
p 64 #1162 skipper Dale Collins of Dollar liner PRESIDENT PIERCE visited Jack and Sophie Barrett in Waikiki toward end of World War II. He is at left of this photo, and Sophie and Jack Barrett are at right. Notebook 5 pages 285-7 Rear Admiral Dale E. Collins 459 Bever[wil?] Drive, Beverly Hills California, 90212 American President Lines SS PRESIDENT GARFIELD January 26, 1971 Dear Mrs. Barrett, Your letter of December 25 after many detours was finally received at home on January 11. = My wife Bettyna was in the hospital from December 16 1970 to January 18, 1971, and I was home on emergency leave. = = Before going into further detail I had better fill you in briefly on my past personal history since 1932. = Yes, I am the same Dale Collins that was chief officer in the PRESIDENT PIERCE when you and John traveled with us from Kobe to Naples. = As you perhaps know, I used to make training cruises about every year in various Navy vessels. = I was called to active duty in October,1941. I was navigator in the USS SPERRY from May, 1942, to November, 1942. I was commanding officer in the USS [ALUDU?] from December, 1942 to June, 1943, and was torpedoed and sunk off Guadalcanal on June 23, 1943. I next had command of the USS GUNSTUN HALL [?] LSD-5 and participated in all the Pacific operations from Kwajalein to Iwo Jma. = I was injured at Saipan while rehearsing for the Iwo Jima landings in February, 1945. I suffered a crushed pelvis by being caught between a landing boat and our flagship. = I was hospitalized for the rest of the war and was given command of the hospital ship USS CONSOLATION for one year before being restored to active duty on combatant vessels. = I served at the Naval War College 1946-1947,[then] Director Plans Division MSTS in Washington 1947-1949. = I was Commanding Officer USS GENERAL PUTNAM during Korean War 1951 to 1952. = I was Commander MSTS Mid-Pacific at Pearl Harbor 1952-1953 [and] Commander Service Division 31 at Senbo, Japan, 1953-1954. [I was] Chief of Staff to Commander MSTS 1954 to 1955. I was Commanding Officer USS MANCHESTER (light cruiser)1955-1956. = I was Chief of Staff to Commander Western Sea Frontier 1956-1957. = I retired from active duty in June, 1957. = (I transferred to Regular Navy 1946). = Upon retirement from active duty I returned to the American President Lines as skipper of various APL ships in the Round the World Service from 1957 to 1960, at which time I was transferred to shore duty with the American President Lines as manager of Industrial relations (Labor problems). = In ONSELATIONS (lABOR PROBLEMS).= In 1967 I reached the mandatory retirement age of sixty-five and retired as manager of Industrial Relations. = After retirement as Manager Industrial Relations I returned to sea as commanding officer of various American President Line vessels. There is no mandatory retirement age for skippers if you can pass the physical examination. = At present, as you can see, I am skipper of the SS PRESIDENT GARFIELD. Our itinerary includes Japan, Okinawa, Vietnam, Indochina, Singapore, -back to Japan -, thence to Los Angeles, - and on around to the East Coast to New York, Baltimore, Norfolk etc. = We arrived back in New York on December 25, 1970. On January 4 we arrived here in Baltimore and went into the shipyard for extensive overhaul and repairs. I took emergency leave on January 5th, as I was informed Bettyna was in the hospital. =On arrival at the St. John's Hospital on January fifth I found that Bettyna had TWO broken arms and had suffered a concussion. She had been struck by an auto while walking across Olympia Road near our home in Beverly Hills. She was returned from the hospital on January 18 although both her arms are still in casts, and she cannot even scratch her nose. She was required to vacate her room because she was considered 'ambulatory'- apparently the hospital desperately needs bed space. I was home when your letter arrived. = I returned to the ship last Monday, January 25th but will be relieved when the ship returns to the West Coast on or about February 15. I will have at least three months leave. = We were delighted to hear from you after all these years. We hope to hear from you again. Sincerely, Dale Collins."
Subject: {7}{S}{J}Sophie,Jack, & Dale Collins
Year: 1932SophieJack,Colli