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

 

#1298 p 80 John Barrett hidden word square 1995-6 "IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?"
Top line is motto of Hippocrates, "Life is short but art is long" Words may run down, up, right-to-left as well as left to right. Several hundred hidden words are present including terms from medicine, anatomy, biology, biochemistry and names of researchers.This may be reprinted and is believed educationally useful.Other words squares will be added to website - Washington state geography- Mathematics- Geology-Earth Science- -Harvard names- -Victory in the Pacific- Botanical Latin- "From Fairest Creatures We Desire Increase" [Line from Shakespeare's first sonnet introducing Evolution wordsquare]- Victory in the Pacific 1945- Hawaii- Franz Schubert 200th anniversary- presto.possible.musical terms- legal terms- classical Greek- there is a rather esoteric one on cryptogams - bryophtes, fungi,etc. Does anyone have a copy of a lost 1995 word square on Ireland, counties and geography that had some features of a map? There may be a copy in storage in Jamaica Plain. If anyone has a copy, I would like to put it on the website.These wordsquares were suggested by ones used while substitute teaching in Boston, and they are intended to be amusing and educational. Please try making printouts.Ideas of orders for future ones are welcome.---+--Hydrographic Office DC + Navy Reserve World War I #1274 about p 77w 1-9-1-2--1-9-2-1 Edit : -from page 273 of notebook "cargo convoys. from November l8, l9l7 to June l6, l9l8 as navigators, William Bell Wait., C.O. M.S. Richardson Lieut - USS PAMLICO training vessel used by JBB two days a week at Officers Material School )(Officer Training School) Hampton Roads VA July l9l8 to March l9l9.USS SEATTLE troopsship l9 March l9l9 to 15 July l9l9. Watch officer acting Navigator Admiral Gleaves, flagship, Captain J. Blakeley. West CORUM Oc 15 to Nov 15, l9l9. WESTERNER First Officer Nov 15, l9l9 to September 10, l920. USS STRINGHAM reported at Phila Dec. 30,l920 detached Charlleston SC Feb 7, l921 C.O. T.C. Slingluff USS TOUCEY Charleston SC CO Carroll and Abbott. Exec Navigator acting C.O. Feb 8, l921 to Jan 13, l922 USS COLUMBIA reported Jan 13, l922 Charles SC CO J.K. Taussig det Guacanayabo Bay Cuba 19 Jan l922 Battleship USS WYOMING 19 Jan ol922 g of G l9 Jan l922 H.B. Price CO Guantanamo Bay shore patrol F 25-26, March 1-6 incl. 14-15, 26-27, 30-31, 7-8 Ap June 25. CO G.W. Laws by June 26. Ship at Yorktown Va Jun 25. 24 July ship at Hampton Roads Va July 1 ship at Yorktown Va l8 August ship at Newport RI Aug 8 Newp RI 23 Sep sh at Yor Va 6 December Navy Yard NY JBB returns from fifteen days leave. 11 & 16 Nov ship of Yorkt Va. also ll Oc when JBB on board to select 28 men from ship for intensive instruction radio.21 Nov WYO at Ny w22 Oc ship at NY JBB on beach guard at 96th St. ;landing oc 23-24. 14 March l923 Balboa JBB appointed to hull board. fifteen days leave starting 28 May 1923 Navy Yard NY request was 21 May. Guantanamo 31 March l923 Aug 10, l922 Newpoort RI. NITRO Finney 27 June -26 July l929 POPE July 26 to Aug 5 ESDALL Aug 5 to 14 l929 TRUXTUN Aug 14, l929 to May 20, l930 Car3y ,l JBB acting, Keliher. aws by June 265 ____ 08 --l9l2-l9l9 Hydrographic Office & World War I #08 At this time Jack took many civil service examinations resulting in taking a job with the Naval Hydrographic Office in Washington in January l9l3. He found a home with a family of Christian Scientists on A Street southeast, who gave him a fine big private room where he was allowed to keep his window open constantly regardless of the weather.He also got three excellent meals a day there & was pleased that it was within easy distance of his office at the State, War & Navy Building (where he used to see President Wilson's Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan) but he was embarassed by the teen-age daughters who used to run their fingers through his wavy red hair. He was active & on one occasion -Easter 1913- walked forty-four miles between Baltimore & Washington. On a postcard to his South Bosto family he recorded starting near Library of Congress 8:30 AM and arriving Baltimore six PM. He lived in the house for several years but finally had to move out reluctantly when lightning struck the house - the storm damaged the roof so badly a great deal of water came in.This was the period when the Barretts heard from immigrant Aunt Johanna Hession aged eighty-five years, who in April 1914 sent twenty-five dollar presents to his sisters Mollie & Kate (April l9l4) & Jack's father's sister Kate Barrett who lived with her aunts at 2043 Polk Street San Francisco wrote Jack a long letter about the San Francisco world's fair l9l5-her interest in women's suffrage & in President Woodrow Wilson's Irish-American press Secretary Joseph Tumulty - one of the first Irish to hold prominent national office- & her concern with the violent actvities of the International Workers of the World ("I hope they go to Kamchatka or Patagonia - I don't care which," she wrote.Postcards from Jack to South Boston were numerous - he followed his brother Bill's progress at Boston Latin School, where they had most of the same teachers.Jack came home to Boston most holidays.His work was largely mathematical revising the tables in Bowditch's American Practical Navigator.This was the period he got to know Gershom Bradford, C.C. Ennis & other Hydrographic staffers he kept in touch with for many years. The Hydrographic Office was begun by Matthew Fontaine Maury, who took the confederate side in the Civil War. George Littlehales was one of the better known hydrographers.Jack took a public speaking course at Gonzaga college & spent much time at the DC. Knights of Columbus.He saw chess champions Albert Lasker & Jose Capablanca at the Capital City Chess & Checker Club. He memorized a poem, "If you would ruin a man, Dagger & bomb are archaic- Teach him - Inoculate him with chess. It is fortunate perhaps that chess is seldom well taught -Or we should have (the world) going to rack & ruin while statesmen pondered (their chessboards) & taxicabs made knights' moves from Charing Cross to Picadilly- & Every now & then a suicide would turn up with this tragic message pinned to its breast - 'Alas- I checked with my queen too soon.'" Jack recounted one incident of a man who had & evening date & came in "for a quick game" & was glued to the chessboard five hours later, having forgotten all about the date. In December 1916 Jack transferred from Naval Hydrographic Office to Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. Their function was to promote American trade interests. Jack's language skills came in handy,and he recollected translating materials from Rumanian, a conservative language that retained a strong resemblance to the Latin he had studied many years. One of his friends there was Chauncy Snow, a nephew of New York senator Chauncy Snow, well known at that time as a wit and public speaker. Because of the War, Jack remained only four months. In l9l5 Jack always interested in the sea, joined the District of Columbia Naval Militia.Among the l9l6 members we found the name of Miles Finley, now a retired Navy Commander. On October 23, l970 Commander Finley wrote: "Dear Mrs. Barrett,Your interesting letter of September 27th was forwarded to me by Bureau of Personnel, arriving just as we were leaving for San Francisco (his home is in San Diego, California).My connection with the D.C. Naval Militia was fairly brief.As I recall the chain of events was something like this: I had served in the War Department as a Quartermaster clerk at Fort Flagler, Washington, & at Fort Riley,Kansas August l908 to January l9ll.I was again in Federal Service, Office of Postmaster General,starting August l9l2.I marched up Pennsylvania Avenue,heading a squad of telephone girls & charwomen in the Preparednesss parade, passing in review before President Wilson. As the War Clouds began to roll up, I discussed personal war plans with my good friend, Lieutenant C.G.A.Johnson, P.A. Pay (clerk) D.C. Naval Militia DCNM HEADED BY CAPTAIN MacGruder. I had thought of applying for a commission in the Quartermaster Corps, U.S. Army, but Carl asked me to go with hiim one Sunday morn to the DCNM Armory- Water and O Streets for an interview with Lieutenant Commander R.B. Bruninant (spelling?)DCNM, the commanding officer - he was chief clerk Bureau of Ordinance Navy Department. I think it was the next Monday that Carl telephoned me to go buy a uniform, that I had been commissioned Ensign, DCNM (Assistant Paymaster).- & this was followed promptly by orders to a session of Naval pay Officers' School Sept.l5-October l4, l9l6.I qualified for the National Naval Volunteers by attending this school & proving my ability.(Jack Barrett also became a member of the National Naval Volunteers by examination - Sophie Barrett note).I attended drill regularly & made one cruise in the USS SYLVIA Thanksgiving weekend l9l6 when we took Adjutant general J.C. Costner commanding D.C. Militia to the Colonial Beach area. He went duck hunting.Bunks in officer country were all filled, & & I spread a mattress in a passageway.(Jack Barrett made this cruise on the SYLVIA).Sorry these XEROX prints are so poor,but you will note 'Recruiting Campaign begun" in the 'Ready for Service' story.I was that recruiting officer, under orders of March 28, l9l7 for the purpose of making necessary preliminary arrangements for mobilization' an endorsement of April 6, l9l7 reads." You will discontinue duty under these orders received to mobilize Naval Militia."April 6, l9l7 other orders directed me to report at the Naval Militia Armory forthwith- turn over federal equipment & proceed to Naval Yard Norfolk. I then received orders to proceed to such port as the USS YANTRON may be (at) & report to the Commanding officer for duty as ordered.I remember your husband, but we met only at drills. I did not march in the March 4, l9l7 Inaugural Parade, I had not yet acquired `an overcoat. Carl G.A. Johnson did march. (Jack Barrett marched & kept postcards of the Inaugural March on March 4, l9l7.) I had a cozy seat to watch the event at a window in the old Post Office Building, Pennsylvania Avenue.I know the boys towed a field piece up the Avenue, & many sets of colors were riddled by the strong cold rain.-Miles Finley." From XEROX material D.C. Naval Militia Read for Service. Men could turn out fully equipped a few hours after call received.In a very few hours after a call for mobilization is received at the Naval Militia Armory at the foot of Water & O Streets Southwest, that organization could turn out, fully equipped one (hundred) sixty fighrting men= men who knew at least the rudiments of work aboard a man-of-war.A plan of the Navy Department to call out the Navla Militia to relieve officers and men of the regular Navy for service aboard the first-line ships of the Navy is awaiting the signature of the President.The one hundred sixty men now on the rolls are thoroughly interested- as all men who have not attended drills regularly have been dropped. These men participate in the Thursday night drills & participate in the practice cruises aboard the USS SYLVIA, the training ship loaned to the organization by the Navy.Four officers have taken the examination required by the Navy for the National Naval Volunteers. They are Lieutenant C.G.A. Johnson, asssistant paymaster, Lieutenant,P.D. Johnston commading the First Division, Ensign J. B. Barrett commanding the Second Division, & M.R. Finley assistant Paymaster. The other officers are expected to take their examinations in a short time, & the examinations of the men are now being held.A recruiting campaign has just been inaugurated in order to recruit the organization to its full strength of 445 men. Prizes have been offered by the staff officers of the battalion for the men who bring in the most recruits.Every officer & man now in the organization is fully equipped for service afloat & the Supply Department of the local organization has on hand enough outfits to completely equip two hundred men immediately.The local organization is fully equipped to handle any large number of recruits that might come in as a result of a mobilization order. Jack Barrett's service: December l9l5 Served as A.S. 2M 3c & O.M. 2c in the Naval Militia of Washington DC till August l9l6. - August l9l6 commissioned Ensign in Naval Militia of Washington DC. February l9,l9l7 passed examination as Ensign in Naval Militia of Washington DC. February 24, l9l7 Ensign national naval Volunteers- accepted & executed oath of office.March 28, l9l7 Commissioned Ensign in the National Naval Volunteers dating from February 24, l9l7.=April 7,l9l7 Called into the service of the United States & to Navy Yard,Washington DC for duty aboard thne USS SYLVIA. --l9l7 November 8- Detached SYLVIA to duty USS MONTGOMERY as Navigator. Name changed to ANNISTON. The ship was camouflaged & did convoy duty in Carribean. l9l8 January l- became Lieutenant junior grade (jg) National Naval Volunteers for temporary service duty dating from January l, l9l8- May l7, l9l8 accept & executed oath of office. Granted two days leave from June l0 to June llth l9l8. June l3 detached USS ANNISTON to duty Naval Training Station Norfolk Virginia. - l9l8 July 1 Lieutenant in Naval Reserve Force, class two - transferred to Naval Reserve Force by act of Congresss approved July 1, l9l8 - July l0 admittted to Naval Hospital Hampton Roads Va for treatment (sinus/?) Discharge July 23.Nov, 23, l9l8 given the provisional assignment with rank & grade of Lieutenant LDO in the Naval Reserve Class two to rank from July 1,l9l8. Assignment expires Feb. 23, l920- Dec. 2, l9l8 accepted & executed oath of office. From the Commandant of the First Naval District "There is forwarded herewith a Victory Medal conferred upon you in accordance with the provisions of an Act of Congresss approved May l3, l908 directing the preparation & distribution of badges to the officers & men of the Navy & Marine Corps of the United States who participated in engagements & campaigns deemed worthy of such commemoration. The badge is issued to you by the Bureau of Navigation in recognition of your services in the World War." ." #04- #04 World War I era-April l0, l9l7 to October 22, l9l7 executive officer, navigator & watch officer on USS SYLVIA Fifth Naval District.Oct. 22 to Oct. 25 temporary duty Kazeruna (spelling?) October 25 to November l5, back to SYLVIA. November l5, l9l7 to June 16, l9l8 navigator USS MONTGOMERY later named ANNISTON along Atlantic seaboard between Newport Rhode Island, Charleston, South Carolina, & Bermuda. The Anniston was camouflaged & did convoy duty in the Carribean ( not clear if Lieutenant Barrett was aboard at that time).From June l7, l9l8 to March 2l, l9l9 he was an Instructor in Seamanship & Regulations at the Officer Material School, Norfolk (Hampton Roads,?) Virginia under Captain Quimby.One of the naval overseas vessels that were sailing had to return to port Saturday night because of the condition of the compasses.It was rather difficult under the circumstances to get an expert to compensate the compasses without considerable delay to the ship.Lieutenant (jg) Barrett was communicated with & the circimstances explained to him.He very gladly offered to go out to the ship & compensate the compasses. I want to express my appreciation for the work that he did, as it was a saving to the government & it prevented a delay of at least one day'd sailing of the vessel. Signed W.S. Whitted, Commander United States Navy, Retired." Captain Quimby sent a letter to the Bureau of Navigation:"It gives me pleasure to forward the enclosed letter of commendation in regard to the compasss work of Lieutenant J.B.Barrett & suggest that such matters should be placed in the record of Lietenant Barrett, & letter of commendation should be returned to Lieutenant J.B. Barrett from the Navy Department."On February l7, l9l9 Jack received orders to proceed to Washington DC for a three day course of instruction at the Naval Observatory.On November l4, l9l8 Lieutenant H. L. Crawford USN Retired, wrote to the Steamboat Inspectors at Tampa Florida:"This is to certify that J. B. Barrett served as Quartermaster first class in the USS ILLINOIS from July l5, l9l6 to July 26, l9l6, also as Executive & Navigating Officer on the USS SYLVIA from April 10, l9l7 to November 15, l9l7, performing all duties assigned to him in an efficient manner. he was found to be a sober, capable, & industrious office, & I take great pleasure in recommending him as such. We have the graduation programs of the classes of the Officer Material School in which Jack was an instructor l9l8, & they list the names of the graduates.After prolonged search we located one member of those classes Commander Arthur Edwin Uber, born in l897 now retired & living in Butlet, Pennsylvania: On May 4, l97l he wrote,"Mrs. Barrett: Yes! I am trhe same A.E. Uber who was graduated from the officer Material School at the Naval Operating Base in Norfolk, Virginia on 12 March l9l9. Our school was the old Pennsylvania Buiulding constructed for the Jamestown Exposition held in l907.Captain "Jack" Quimby as you mention was in charge of the school.Strange as it may seem, your late husband's name was the only other name I can remember among all the instructors & students in the school.You must remember this is all about a period fifty- two years ago.Tiny fragments of the time, if any at all,come back to me now. I am quite sure any of my recollections would be of little value to you.He was not tall - rather thin- But the name sticks. A group of us were standing out in front of the building, across from the sea wall on the other side of the street.Someone said, "Here comes 'Salty' Barrett. We saluted.He returned it!!!- Put on a big grin & waved back. He evidentrly had on his number three work uniform, since the braid was well tarnished with a greenish line.Among us in those days an officer who showed evidence of practical experience & sea duty was muchg admired & respected.See what I mean? Just a little bit of the past= 52 years ago- of no particular value.I still have my "Knight's Seamanship", which is falling apart & also my little "Bluejacket's Manual.I remember going up to Yorktown one weekend on the PAMLICO ((training ship for students in Officer material School). Quarters were crowded or non-existent.Many swung their hammocks outside on deck. It was cold - but turned warm during the night & rained.That precipiated a rush to get under cover- you can imagine..-A.E. Uber." _March l9, l9l9 Detached Fifth Naval district where served as Instructor of Seamanship & Regulations at Officer Material School Norfolk. Went to Commander, Cruiser & Transport Force, New York for assignment to USS SEATTLE - l9l9 March 31: To duty as Navigator on board the USS Seattle. Made three (four?) round trips Brest (Brittany, France)to to Hoboken New Jersey with returning troops. Smedley Butler US Marine Corps was in charge of a large base at Brest with Marines & other troops awaiting transportation. Jack was interested in Butler's career & may have seen him at this time & at Shanghai l927. It is possible Jack's acquaintance with Pacific Fleet Chapplaim William Maguire (Captain USN in l940's) may date from this time also. Some notes in Jack's handwriting stolen l993 gave chronology of an incident April l9l9 at Brest, where local civilians stole eggs from the battleship about three o'clock in the morning, leadeing to an investigation.There were severe food shortages in France 7&other parts of Europe at this period in aftermath of the Great War.--l9l9: June l9 Detached USS SEATTLE & relieved of all active duty. This was the period of the popular song, "How're ya going to keep 'em down on the Farm after they've seen Paris? How're ya going to keep them away from Broadway, painting the town? - That's a mystery." Jack was first officer of the commercial ship WESTERNER (previously a troopship) from November l5, l9l9 to September l0, l920.The Commander Richardson from Virginia was one of Jack's closer & more congenial friends & correspondents for nearly fifty years, & he & his siter-in-law Mrs. Kane kept in touch with the Barrett family until l972, when he passed away. Jack made his first trip through the Panama Canal, opened l9l4. They visited Hawaii, & Japan, where Jack took photographs of the Inland Sea & sent them to the Navy Department, which was interested in precise information on foreign ports & waterways.He wrote his father a long letter from Shanghai - his first visit to China. They took on timber & cordage materials as cargo in Manila. Until l993 we had a notebook with Jack's detailed navigational calculations of stars, latitudes & longitudes passing through the eight-degree-north channel in islands south of India. Before the advent of radio, it was important to be able to recognize many navigational stars, as only a few might be visible in cloudy weather.With somewhat less cargo than hoped they proceded through Suez & arrived Liverpool May l920. Jack could see the Irish shore, from which his grandparents had emigrated, but there was political tension in the time of the "troubles" as Ireland sought independence from Britain, & this was the closest Jack ever came to the homeland of his ancestors.The ship was bothered by thefts on the dock,& Jack as first mate complained to the police. One policeman said to him, "You'll stand by me, mate?"Jack believed he was asking for a bribe but offered him nothing.One of the officers Jack remembered pleasantly was a Norwegian named Torkelson.In London Jack saw Pavlova danced her favorite ballet role as the Swan in Camille Saint-Saens's "Le Cygne". It was probably on this trip (or in Washington) that Jack saw Sarah Bernhardt play Shakespeare's "Shylock" in her older years after having a leg amputated.He mentioned this a number of times in conversation. In December l920 Jack was commissioned as a Regular Navy Officer &^ remained on active duty until January l, l947retiring with the rank oif Commander & more than thirty-three years combined U.S Government service including Revenue Cutter School cadet May l909- November, l9ll.; Lighthouse Service in Maine l9l2 on Lighthouse Tender Zizania'; US Naval Hydrographic Office Washington DC January l9l3-December l9l6 revising Bowditch Navigational Tables & answering "Inquiries from Mariners" (as a civilian) employment in Bureau of Foreign & Domestic Commerce (December l9l6- April l9l7 until activated in Naval Reserve April l9l7) - here he used his Boston Latin background translating many languages including Rumanian , which resembled Latin- DC Naval Militia- Commissioned December l9l5 - summer cruise July l9l6 - activated in Naval Reserve April l9l7 through July l9l9 - then regular Navy l920 to l947
Subject: Medical word square
Year: 1995