Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Location
    OC, CA

Recent Profile Visitors

420 profile views
  1. Do you have any idea what your group is worth? The danger of not knowing is you'll set your price too low and gyp yourself out of hundreds or maybe a thousand or more dollars. If you offer it for sale too low, you'll know right away since it will be gone in 5 minutes or less. If you've had it for 40 years, another few days to figure out what it's worth to sell it seems like a no brainer. Suggest you at least post it in the Whats it Worth section here and give it a few days for people to give their 2 cents on what its worth. I second the suggestion you list it on ebay and describe it fully US Navy Cross World War I Medal Group with Photo Album Mine Laying and Sweeping. An attributed WWI Navy Cross IMO is $1000 to 1500. With the silver bowl and the album, I'd say potentially $2500 to 3k. How many pictures are in the album and do you know which mine-layer and minesweeper ships he commanded? https://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/forum/1195-whats-it-worth/
  2. I believe this sailor proudly wearing his Dewey medal is Ernest W. Turner dob 9/14/1874, who enlisted on 4/30/1892 and died in 1914 in Connecticut. I don't have my Dewey book with the crew names handy, but whenever I do, I'll circle back and identify the ship the medal is for.
  3. ktopor, from what I can tell the photos I had posted to this thread, including a September 1941 crew photo on the ship at Norfolk did not make it through a recent upgrade of this site (or they are temporarily not visible as part of that process at this time). If your ancestor was on Rowan at that time and you want to send me a photo scan of him, I can see if he's in that photo.
  4. The Olympia's ship's newspaper, "The Bounding Billow", prosaicaly described the sad event: "On April the twenty fourth we cleared for action, preparatory to having target practice with great guns. On this day a horrible accident occurred ; one that will remain for ever engraven on the minds of those that saw it. Coxswain John N. Johnson, captain of gun number three, stepped to his place to fire, with a joke to the gun's crew and a smile on his lip. The next instant, with the smile still lingering on his face, he was hurled into eternity. The great gun recoiled off its carriage, snapping like pipe stems the massive steel bolts that held it in place, crashed down on poor Johnson, hurling him to the deck and killing him almost instantly. Every man stood aghast at the fearful sight. There lay their shipmate, but a moment before in all the glory of healthy, vigorous manhood, now a crushed and bleeding corpse. In spite of themselves a sob arose in the throats of many, and the tears that could not be suppressed coursed down many a harden- ed cheek and, though they strove to hide them, they were tears to be proud of, for a man weeping over the loss of a comrade and friend shows the true nobility and manliness of his nature. There were many conjectures as to the cause of the accident. On investigation it was found that the tube through which the recoil cylinder is filled, was stopped up and when the fluid was poured in, it ran over. This cylinder contains three gallons of fluid, composed of 8 percent of glycerine and 20 per cent water, which working on flanged head of a piston takes up the recoil. The men naturally thought it was full. However Lieutenants E. J. Dorn and W. W. Buchanan were called before a court of inquiry, found blameless and restored to duty. Poor Johnson was buried next day in the cemetery at San Diego with military honors, and the crew subscribed for a handsome stone as a mark of the respect and esteem felt for him. The following memorial, composed by the writer (Apprentice 1c (later Yeoman 3c) Louis S. Young), was printed with the financial assistance of the crew." " With a smile on his face, lie fell at his post," A man among men " of America's host, No chance for a prayer, not a word of farewell To shipmates around that loved him so well ; He has gone to the angels that welcome his soul, A true, honest heart has arrived at its goal. The good ship " Olympia " at her anchorage lay, And proudly she rode on the waves of the bay ; Our flag floated o'er her, so gay and so bright, To be lowered in sorrow that sad April night. It was off San Diego, far out on the lee, And bright shone the sun on the blue of the sea. We'd prepared the big guns to fire that day ; Far out o'er the waters the great target lay. "Ready ! " the sailor cried as he stepped to his place, "When the incrashing gun struck him full in the face, His form, crushed and quivering was borne to the deck, "No hope," said the surgeon, "it has broken his neck." A groan of deep anguish arose from the crowd, While many strong men were seen sobbing aloud. Oh, how can we bear to lose dear old John ? He will ne'er be forgotten, altho' he is gone. A rough, calloused sailor, but a heart true as gold, And a hand whose warm clasp is now weak and cold. He lived a gcod life though in humble sphere, When the last trump shall sound our John will be near, To answer the call of our King our Lord, We know he will sit by the right hand of God, Who in infinite mercy rules both land and sea, And we hope will judge lightly, weak mortals like we. He has taken our John in His heavenly band, Our shipmate's dropped anchor in Canaan's bright land." In a twist of ironic fate, Ensign George Mallison, an 1892 Annapolis graduate and native of the Tar Heel State, the officer who wrote the deck log entry for the accident that killed Coxswain (Boatswain's Mate 3c) Johnson, was himself seriously maimed just four days later in another accident that occurred after the ship had traveled up the California Coast and was anchoring off Sausalito, across the bay from San Francisco. Again, the post incident report logically explained the physical malfunction that caused the mishap. And again, the "Bounding Billow" report is worth reading, if only for being a wonderful example of how some men could turn a phrase 125 years ago. "Two days after this sad occurrence we returned to San Francisco, where we arrived and anchored off Sausalito on the twenty-eighth. The old adage that "troubles never come singly " held good in our case, (in fact we used to get triplets as a rule) for, in letting go our anchor, the chain became un- shackled and came flying out of the locker, dragged by the ponderous anchor weighing nearly four tons. As the end came sweeping along the deek it struck the leg of Ensign Mallison, crushing it nearly off and dragging him to the hawsehole. The injured leg was hanging by a few shreds of flesh and had to be amputated. He was carried from the forecastle to the ward- room without losing consciousness. Now the men began talking of a " hoodoo " on board. It made a good many very uneasy and desertions were frequent. On the 30th of April we went to San Pablo bay and thence, on the second of May, to Mare Island where we anchor- ed in midstream. Here we sent Ensign Mallison ashore to the hospital. The next day the ship's company received forty-eight hours liberty (shore leave) and the majority of them went to 'Frisco, where they devoted themselves to shaking long accumulated " sea kinks" out of their legs." While Ensign Mallison lost one of his legs below the knee, the initial report that his naval career was ended was incorrect and premature. He continued on active duty until 1907 and returned to service during World War One, and lived to be 69 years old. The reports of Olympia being a "White Slaver" and a Hoodoo ship were also premature. Her place in American History is secure and she is alive and well considering she is nearly 130 years old and the oldest steel US warship ship still afloat. More accurate words to describe Olympia from the first article are, "Green old age comes gently down on her and her still- sound frame rests in peace along some ripple- lapped beach."
  5. The tragic and gruesome death of 5-inch Gun Captain, Coxswain John Johnson, during a gunnery exercise off San Diego 125 years ago, on 24 April 1895, illustrates the danger faced by the 19th and early 20th century gun captains, who aimed and fired with their heads positioned just behind the breech. In a similar accident, monitor USS Amphitrite Gun Captain Ernest R. Sherwin also died from a crushed skull when he was pinned between the lowered 10-inch gun breech and turret floor plates, on 13 July 1899. The Olympia's deck log is terse and clinical in its recording of the incident, though the resutling technical, forensic report generated by the junior officers assigned to investigate the incident by Captain John J. Read is several pages long. On a humanistic level, Johnson's tragic and unncessary death, owing to human error and not a supernatural Hoodoo, was grieved by his shipmates who contributed from their modest pay to erect a magnificent monument at his gravesite in San Diego, complete with a detailed, relief carving of Olympia.
  6. Did you know that 125 years ago, April 30, 1895, one of our national treasures, the venerable cruiser, USS Olympia, was maligned by some as cursed and her men fed starvation rations, with unfounded and false reports that dozens of her crewmen were deserting? The cruiser of the "Gilded Age" that ushered in the American Century and the dawn of the United States as a world power, on the legendary words of Commodore George Dewey, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley" and 23 years later had the singular honor of bringing home the Unknown Soldier from an anonymous, European World War I battlefield grave to be enshrined for eternity at Arlington, early in her life was considered a Hoodoo ship whose men were treated like slaves. This unfortunate reputation arose from a series of mishaps that cost life and limb during her construction and the first several months of her "shake down" operations off the California coast, following her commissioning on February 5, 1895 at Mare Island, CA and before the ship stood out from San Francisco that August to become flagship of the Asiatic Squadron and a rendezvous with destiny, three years later, on May 1, 1898 at the decisive and wildly, one-sided Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898.
  7. Just seeing this now. Nice work on a badly damaged photo.
  8. Thanks, Dave. Your book will certainly be a public service and educating the unwary is part of it. .
  9. Isn't this bidding higher than you'd expect for a WW II Army Europe KIA PH? https://www.ebay.com/itm/Purple-Heart-Medal-WWII-Named-in-Case/153893795657?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908131621%26meid%3De6541e8c07e84ccfaa822975543e5c79%26pid%3D100678%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D15%26mehot%3Des%26sd%3D124150538093%26itm%3D153893795657%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2380057&_trksid=p2380057.c100678.m3607&_trkparms=pageci%3A83ae1adb-7da6-11ea-8ffe-74dbd1806cf5%7Cparentrq%3A7470a4bd1710aa13eab6a49dffebc35e%7Ciid%3A1
  10. Isn't that amazing? Working on that in small scale for hours could likely cause a severe headache, temporary blindness or loss of consciousness. Your razzle dazzle is much easier on the eye.
  11. I like. That dazzle is not easy to do. If this one didn't take out the enemy, at least it made them dizzy.
  12. Herr General (sorry, couldn't resist), my one and only Army KIA PH is the situation you described in your two groups, an unnamed Silver Star awarded for an action that the soldier survived, and an officially engraved (large machine type) Purple Heart when he was later KIA. Here's the timeline for my group:. Sgt James J. Rosloof of Long Island, NY was with Company "K", 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He was awarded the Silver Star for combat valor, during the First Battle of Cisterna on 31 January 1944, early in the Anzio campaign known as "Operation Shingle". The award was made by Army General Order # 41 of 3rd Infantry HQ dated 23 March 1944. Here he is wearing his field awarded, unnamed Silver Star, BB&B contract, rim # 35035 at “The Pines” (La pineta di Torre Astura) the VI Corps’ reserve and bivouac area on the coast several clicks southeast of Anzio . This picture was taken sometime between 28 March and 13 April 1944 when the 7th IR was off the line and training at The Pines. Sgt Rosloof was killed in action two months to the day after the General Award for his Silver Star, during the Second Battle of Cisterna on the first day of "Operation Buffalo", the "break-out" from the Anzio beach-head on 23 May 1944 when he was hit by a white phosphorus artillery shell while advancing near Ponte Rotto according to an eye witness statement dated 30 June 1944 by Private Michael J. Maszezak of K Company, who was 30 feet from Rosloof. He was officially listed as MIA until 20 July '44 when it was changed to KIA, based on Maszezak’s statement filtering its way up the bureaucratic chain of command to the War Dept. in DC. Rosloof’s parents were notified that their son was KIA, not MIA by telegram a month later on 19 August 1944. However, his remains were not identified by a Graves Company detail until September 1945, when they were recovered from a shell hole and disinterred for a shroud burial at the American Cemetery at Nettuno, Italy that month. Nearly three years later, when the Army made the offer, Rosloof’s mother requested that his remains be returned to America. His remains and those of hundreds of other combat casualties were shipped back to the United States on the S.S. Carroll Victory in July 1948. Sgt. Rosloof was repatriated at Long Island National Cemetery on 11 August 1948. He was 20 years and 2 months when he died, tomorrow (4/6/20) would be his 96th birthday.
  13. We lost the Grammy winning songwriter and singer Bill Withers on March 30, 2020 who died at 81 in West Hollywood, CA of heart disease. His big hits, "Ain't no Sunshine" (1971), "Lean on Me" (1972), "Use Me" (1972), "Lovely Day", (1977) and "Just the Two of Us" (1980) sound as fresh and soulful as they did 40 or more years ago. I pretty much wore out his first two albums back in the day when they came out. Ironically, Bill Withers died during the Coronavirus, when a lot of people, have gone back to listen to the tunes he wrote and sang, particularly "Lovely Day" and "Lean on Me", which are particularly timely and offer melodic hope in these strange times when millions, while living relatively isolated lives for now, are all in the "same boat". "Bill Withers was born on July 4, 1938, in Slab Fork, a small coal-mining town in a poor, rural area of West Virginia. His father, a coal miner, died when Withers was 13 years old, leaving his mother and grandmother to raise him and his five older siblings in nearby Beckley, West Virginia. As a teenager, Withers helped support the family by working odd jobs, before joining the Navy at age 17 in 1956. He served in the Navy for nine years rising to aviation boatswain's mate 2c, during which he traveled throughout the Far East. Withers was discharged from the Navy in 1965. He had always been a talented singer, and around this time he began to consider trying to find a way to make a living at it. Unable to find original songs that adequately conveyed his feelings, he started writing his own around that time. In 1967, Withers moved to Los Angeles, the capital of the music business, to try his luck at becoming a professional performer. In Los Angeles, Withers began recording demo versions of his original songs in hopes of obtaining a recording contract with a major label. Meanwhile, he supported himself working full-time making toilets for the aircraft manufacturer Boeing. Withers was initially frustrated in his attempts to break into the music industry. He spent countless hours and substantial sums of money sending out his material to record companies, but in spite of his time-consuming and expensive efforts, his music failed to impress any of the personnel whose desks it landed on. His luck finally changed in 1970 when a demo of Withers' songs arrived in the office of Clarence Avant, president of Sussex Records. Avant signed Withers to a contract and quickly introduced him to Booker T. Jones, leader and keyboardist of the successful R&B group Booker T. and the MGs. Withers' debut album, Just as I Am, was released in 1971. The album, produced by Booker T., was a hit with both critics and consumers. Three of the songs on the album became hit singles. One of them, "Ain't No Sunshine," went gold and received a Grammy Award for best R&B song." (from "Together We Served") And the rest is history. A coal-miner's son, veteran and a self-made man. RIP Bill Withers, thanks for a lifetime of great songs to amplify the lovely days and soften the edges on the unlovely ones.. A conversation with Bill Withers- "Ain't No Sunshine" (no ads)
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.