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


p 97-1439 Pyramid Mountain and Lake Crescent from near Lake Crescent Lodge September 1999 CHAPTER JACK BARRETT NEW YORK 1927-9
Jack Barrett was relieved June 4, 1927 at Shangahi after three years aboard the light cruiser MARBLEHEAD. A ship's passenger list shows that former Philippine Governor Leonard Wood was a fellow passenger on PRESIDENT MADISON to Tokyo, though Wood died two months later. On the voyage from Tokyo to Seattle, he got to know Mrs. Weesner from Indiana - after long exchanges of letters and Christmas cards, Sophie and John and Jack saw Mrs. Weesner and her daughter Brenda Haram at Radcliffe Baccalaureate exercises 1955 when Brenda was graduating. Jack collected many postcards in Seattle and the Northwest - it is not clear which railroad route he took to Chicago, perhpas the Great Northern. His principal duty for two years was in War Plans and Reserve Training, Third Naval District, South and Whitehall Streets, New York. He traveled to Hartford and New Haven drlling Naval Reservists. In December, 1927 apparently in the early morming hours of December 18, he was called out to go to sea in the harbor tug PENOBSCOT as part of the large scale effort to rescue the submarine S-4 sunk two hundred miles away off Provincetown, Cape Cod. The harbor tug had inadequate equipment for the open ocean and lacked proper radio, food and blankets and supplies for extended operation, especially as the weatherwas very cold. The PENOBCOT was supposed to assist the CHEWINK in recovering sunken pontoons, which it was hoped could be used to refloat the S-4, but the PENOBSCOT could not make radio contact with the CHEWINK and soon had to return to harbor. Jack Barrett told the sad story to his friend Joe Hurley, General Manager of the Boston Post and a group of Post reporters at a dinner at the Hurley home May 1932 soon after Jack and Sophie returned from China. In the 1970s Sophie and John found additional information on the loss of the S-4 from Jack's friend Gershom Bradford and from Commodore John Baylis US Coast Guard, who commanded the Coast Guard Cutter PAULDING when the submarine without warning surfaced a short distance in front of his craft. Although the crew could be heard tapping on the hull for more than a week, no technology existed to bring the S-4 to the surface, and the situation remained the same when the nuclear submarine THRESHER sank off Massachusetts in 1963. LT.JACK BARRETT letter Published January 1928 in New York Post "Sees Need of Strong Navy" To the editor of the Evening Post: Sir It may seem 'smart' for Senators or others to deride what they do not understand.Just because the Navy spends its best energies "on the job" instead of sobbing about the difficulties imposed upon it by incompetence and indifference of alleged statesmen when laws and treaties are made, it seems the fashion to belittle the serious effects that must be faced by the Navy if and when any other nation or group of nations decides to attempt to take forcibly things they sorely need from our plenteous supply.= So I wonder then: What would be adequate then? Is the contest between Standard Oil and Dutch Shell a type of contest for control of products which might easily lead to international difficulties? Will nations fight to get their share of the necessaries of life? Will words feed the hungry or win battles? = Can our present high standards of living, comfort, and luxury be maintained if our foreign trade is curtailed or even held stationary at present volume? Is there any better use for life than to spend it in support and defense of home and country? = Give the Navy at least half a chance to save you from your own folly by providing it with at least a few items of modern equipment that the other have. [despite their poverty] instead of spending all in wasteful luxury, rum chasing, building post offices in deserts and giving idlers useless work at fancy salaries with which to support night clubs and other sybaritic parasitical growths.= Otherwise who knows even the Navy might get discouraged and join the wasters in the last mad whirl before the final ... " handwritten copy SMB's Black Notebook [last few words missing] # Two pages 277-8 Black Notebook Two Sophie comments on link to S-4 rescue effort previous month December 17, 1927. It also reflects l917 economics experience at Bureau of Foreign & Domestic Commerce and points toward effort to warn at Pearl Harbor in War Plans very reminiscent of "Xanthos" the horse. Sophie Barrett text;-p. 238- When Joe Hurley had dinner with us at the Victoria |Hotel, |April 15, [1932]his wife, Peggy Strickland Hurley, who before her marriage had been an editorial worker for the Boston Post, was in Ireland. Shortly after her return, she telephoned to me at the Victoria Hotel to introduce herself and to invite me to be her guest at a lecture she was scheduled to give at a suburban women's club that afternoon.She drove me to the club, where as a paid lecturer she gave an entertaining and instructive lecture on her experiences in Eire.She had tried to learn to speak Gaelic. Before she left me,she invited Jack and me to dinner at her home on Moss Hill Road in Jamaica Plain. The party was most enjoyable, because Peggy had -239- invited five Boston Post reporters to join us at dinner.The food was delicious, and the conversation flowed.After dinner, in the living room, Jack began a long tale about his [part in]efforts to rescue the Submarine S-4, which had gone down in Provincetown [Cape Cod] waters on December 17,1927. I had never heard the tale before and have never heard him talk about the S-4 since. But I remember him saying that he was on shore duty in New York City, living alone in an apartment, asleep one night when he was told by telephone to go to a tug immediately, as the tug was about to leave to go to the aid of the Submarine S-4. He related that the tug did not have the properequipment for the job, told in detail what they did,and how they finally had to give up.{John Barrett note- after Sophie wrote this late 1969 we found records of the New York harbor tug PENOBSCOT trying to make radio contact with CHEWINK, which was trying to recover pontoons lost at sea for use in effort to refloat S-4, which could not be rescued from great depth and pressure. We got additional information from Gershom Bradford later and Commodore Jack Baylis USCG retired. +I also found a January l928 letter my father wrote to New York Post under pen name "Xanthos." He had recently been to sea Dec. 1927 in very poorly equipped small harbor tug PENOBSCOT when every available vessel was rushed to try to help small submarine S-4, which sank in very deep water off Provincetown Cape Cod, when S-4 surfaced without warning in front of Coast Guard cutter PAULDING, which was not proved in any way at fault - captained by my father's schoolmate at Revenue Cutter School Jack Baylis, whom I visited in New Jersey 1970. There is material on website about S-4 by my father's friend from Naval Hydrographic Office DC Gershom Bradford - native of Kingston MA 1879-1978 - he helped lay out the test course off Provincetown about 1902. and knew one of the PAULDING officers who stood up for Baylis when he was critcized. The PENOBSCOT, the tug my father was on after being called out in middle of night about 18 Dec 27 had weak radio, lacked food and blankets for long trip and was otherwise lacking equipment for high seas. She was assigned to get in touch with another ship the CHEWINK, which was trying to recover some pontoons - someone hoped they could be used to refloat the S-4, which proved to be in water too deep for rescue, though survivors could be heard tapping for two weeks. When the modern sub THRESHER sank off Boston 1963, there was still no technology to rescue crew from great depth and pressure. My father's letter does not deal specifically with the S-4 but dealt with the general issue of presparedness and Navy budgets in the period when Hitler and Tojo were coming to power and gradually eluding the weak-minded democracies. The name Xanthos originally mean +fair+ or "blond" in Greek, but it was the name of the horse that warned the great hero Achilles who killed Trojan Hector to avenge his friend Patroclus that his turn was coming soon too -Achilles got the bad news in no uncertain terms "from the horse's mouth" as they say at the race track - then the gods intervened to hush the unnatural speech and warning. My father was considered at times a prophet of gloom and doom Pearl Harbor, etc --like the talking horse of the Iliad - and there seems to have been some fanciful allusion to his red hair - perhaps based on humor at Boston Latin in class of 1906 - though in good Greek "xanthos" means blond not red. Jack Barrett in the 1906 "Class Prophecy" was called Pyrrhus, in allusion to his sunburned freckled countenance as after mush time boating in South Boston during school years. It was natural to extend it from red face to red hair =Pyrrhus to Xanthos. The actual content of the letter has to do with Naval budgets in context of disarmament treaties, in which Britain and Japan scrapped plans to buiild ships while US gave up existing ships. German -Americans were influential through religious groups in neutralist anti-armament movements and isolationism, many people were entirely sincere - there was a Pacifist movement 1930's at Oxford, but the German government skillfully exploited the sentiments. Franklin Roosevelt had to overcome isolationism, and the support of German-Americans was vital in the war effort- In regard to the one-sidedness of 1920s naval disarmament see Admiral Knox's introduction to first volume of fifteen-volume "History of U.S. Navy in World War II." My father had several assignments in War Plans - he took junior Course at Naval War College Newport RI 1923-1924 - I am starting to type his TACTICS thesis for website - he participated in 1925 War Game Hawaii that demonstrated vulnerability of Oahu and Pearl Harbor - he was in War Plans and Reserve Training three tiimes New York 1927-9; Boston 1932-3, and Philadelphia 1936-8. He drilled a great many Naval Reservists out of Charlestown Navy Yard 1932-3 on EAGLE 19 built by Ford motors, and the Springfield Republican newspaper told of the last cruise in a front page story Sunday June 18, 1933 with photos of my father in uniform and the EAGLE 19 and members of the Springfield unit. Then President Roosevelt cut the budget attempting to keep his 1932 campaign promise to balance the budget. President Hoover built no new ships in four years. Then President Roosevelt heard about the fiscal ideas of British Lord Keynes and the Labor party that fiscal deficits are necessary to stimulate demand and employment in depression times, so he turned around and suported rebuilding the Navy, but Hitler and Tojo got an amazing headstart. (This may be happening today on FUSION ENERGY). My father saw the Atlantic war close up at Branch Naval Hydrographic Office New York, where he was in charge 1940-41 - then he was shocked at stupidity and complacency and refusal to plan when he was sent to Pearl Harbor as Assistant War Plans Officer Fourteenth Naval District July-October 1941. He was transferred to personnel Oct. and ran Overseas Transportation Office four years till October 1945. evacuating families after Dec. 7 attack -shipping very short till after Midway June 4 1942. In 1946 he was on courts martial - supported Capt. Paul Washburn who believed there was reasonable doubt when uncorroborated Reserve Officer with political connections accused career Naval officer of thefts from commissary - Nimitz and Navy Sec. Sullivan were angry - there was political pressure for conviction. Head of court Washburn found the witness evase - he was demoted by Nimitz but it was rescinded. The 1950 Uniform Code of Military Justice was suposed to reduced this type of "staff influence" pressure for conviction without fair procedure. Nimitz and staff did good job with intelligence for Battle of Midway 1942 - made good judgment permitting Orlin Livdahl gunnery officer on carrier ENTERPRISE to re-position new Swedish guns Sept 1941 to save four airplane spaces on carrier deck and increase firing angle of guns - Livdahl was friend of my father from destroyer CLAXTON 1936. Jack Barrett completed two years 1927-9 at Bronx campus of Fordham Law School, which he enjoyed thoroughly, although the second year when he was courting Sophie Ruth Meranski, he wanted to switch to the downtown campus but was denied permission. He lived at the Knights of Columbus near Greenwich Village 1927-1928 and moved to 48 Commerce Street January 1929, a few doors from Sophie Meranski and Ann and Ivan McCormack at 27 Commerce. Jack Barrett notes at Fordham Law School 1928 PLEADING {Common Law)SUBSTANTIVE LAW DEFINES RIGHTS AND DUTIES.Adjective Law outlines methods by which Substantive Law is enforced Adjective Law is Remedy for breaches of Substantive Law.Adjective Law includes PLEADING EVIDENCE PRACTICE [procedure]. Requisites for CAUSE OF ACTION first Right Second Violation of Right. Action = simple prosecution in a court of justice by one party versus another party for the redress or prevention of a wrong or publishment for a public offense. Rights may be divided into two groupings Original [natural]= rights require only proof of violation -SPECIAL [RELATIVE] Rights require both proof of right and proof of violation.Steps in Procedure PROCESS to bring defendant before court PLEADING Statement made to court in LEGAL form setting forth FACTS constituting the plaintiff's cause of action or the Defendant's defense-TRIAL proof or demonstration of Allegations in Pleadings VERDICT & JUDGMENT ..ENFORCEMENT Plaintiff may not PROVE anything not set forth in the PLEADING. COMMON LAW HAD SEVEN PLEADINGS 1.DECLARATION by plaintiff 2 PLEA by defendant 3 REPLICATION by plaintiff 4 REJOINDER by Defendant 5 SURREJOINDER by plaintiff 6 REBUTTER by defendant 7 SURREBUTTER by plaintiff New York now has three pleadings 1. COMPLAINT by plaintiff 2 ANSWER by defendant 3 rarely REPLY by plaintiff COMMONLAW PLEADING was used in new York until about 1848 or 1849 Then legislature adopted CIVIL CODE. COMMON LAW = That portion of the Law of England based not on legislation enacted but upon immemorial usage and general consent of the people. Three famous English courts were King's Bench, Court of Common Pleas, Court of the Exchequer.The term 'common law' is sometimes used in other meanings- to distinguish whole body of laws observed by English speaking nations from the Roman or civil law which prevails in continental Europe and Latin American states, and other variations. 1921- The Civil Practice Act - present Code of Pleading (Supplemented by "Rules of Civil Practice" Presiding Judges of Four Appellate Courts make necessary changes periodically. Burden of Proof He who has the affirmative of the issue has BURDEN OF PROOF. In civil cases the party having the burden of proof must prove by FAIR PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE.In criminal cases proof must be beyond a REASONABLE DOUBT. A DEMURRER never raises a Question of FACT but only a Question of LAW. It says in effect " The plea does not show a sufficient cause of action." A DEMURRER ADMITS EVERY MATERIAL WELL-PLEADED FACT in PLEA.In effect, it says "Granted that all that plea alleges is so, still that is insufficient in law to make a cause of action." An ACTION is at LAW. A SUIT is in EQUITY. In New York MOTIONS replace DEMURRER, but grounds are SAME. FORMS OF ACTION-- There are TEN generally accepted FORMS [pigeonholes in clerk's desk] --EX CONTRACTU-- Arising fromn BREACH of CONTRACTUAL RIGHTS 1. DEBT 2. DETINUE 3.COVENANT 4 SPECIAL ASSUMPSIT 5 GENERAL ASSUMPSIT Allegation of a debt 2. Allegation of a promise General Assumpsit is divided into classes INDEBITATUS ASSUMPSIT money hadand received by defendant, loaned, interest, account stated ..QUANTUM MERUIT 'as much as he deserves' for work and labor plaintiff can recover what he reasonably deserves.. & QUANTUM VALEBAT 'as much as it is worth' for goods sold and delivered Founded on IMPLIED PROMISE TO PAY plaintiff as much as goods are reasonably worth. --EX DELICTO out of wrong, tort: [Arising from Breach of NATURAL RIGHTS] 6. TRESPASS 7. TROVER 8. REPLEVIN 9. CASE [Action on the case] 10. EJECTMENT ---TRESPASS is form of action to recover DAMAGES for any DIRECT PHYSICAL INTERFERENCE with the person or porperty of another.Trespass is subdivided into three classes TRESPASS VI ET ARMIS to recover for direct or physical interferecne with the PERSON of another TRSPASS DE BONIS ASPORTATIS to recover damages for Injury to PERSONAL PROPERTY chattels- removal or destruction and TRESPASS QUARE CLAUSUM FREGIT to recover damages for injury to REAL PROPERTY forcible intrusion. TROVER is form of action to recover VALUE of personal property uinlawfully taken. "CONVERTED" by the defendant Recovery of actual chattel NOT SOUGHT -this form of action is now commonly called "CONVERSION" -To be used cautiously because of various limitations in its scope.REPLEVIN-- form of action to RECOVER SPECIFIC CHATTELS with or without DAMAGES for unlawful taking and detention. This form of action has ben extended in its application and has been used largely instead of DETINUE.History of REPLEVIN dates back to about TWELFTH century when much used to regain specific chattels seized by landlord. Plaintiff must have general or special ownership and right to immediate possession. DEMAND advisable before action to fix date of detention.Plaintiff puts up BOND prior to action to cover in event of failure of the Action.CASE "TRESPASS ON THE CASE" Form of Action to Recover Damages -person or property- arising from WRONG by DEFENDANT done without DIRECT APPPLICATION of FORCE--wrongful act usually remote from resulting injury.This form of action is sort of a "catchall" for all not clearly under other forms of action.It covered violation of a legal right for which common law courts gave redress and for which no other common law remedy existed.EJECTMENT Form of Action to recover POSSESSION of REAL PROPERTY wrongfully held by Defendant together with damages for wrongful detention.
Subject: {X} }C{
Year: 1928_