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Two months and two generations to eternity. The Shanes, the Shark (SS-174) and a Sampson.


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I learned a bit of history talking to my uncle. He got the sword from the sister of his father, Lt CMDR Louis Jr.  This was in the 1960's. He was unaware of any of Capt. Shane's medals including your Sampson. He does know that Capt' Shane's graduation ring was given to someone on Capt Shane's wife's, Anabel's side of the family. Whether the medals went that way also he has no idea.


Another bit of news, when my Uncle was in the Navy, he graduated Annapolis in the late 1950's, he met several people who had known Captain Shane very well. They also spoke highly of Captain Shane and informed my Uncle that the only reason why Capt Shane was never promoted to Admiral is that his parents were Jewish. Capt Shane was never a practicing Jew and when he married Anabel he became an Episcopalian.

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When I was researching your ancestor's life after I bought the Sampson Medal originally awarded to him, I was cognizant of the antisemitism that he would have encountered in the Navy of 120-30  years ago.   A few years before purchasing that medal, by chance I was high bidder on two of the three original Bailey, Banks and Biddle #d campaign medals issued to RADM Edward David Taussig, patriarch of an historic four or five generation Annapolis family.   Taussig was the first Jewish midshipman admitted to Annapolis and was in the class of 1867.   In addition to the Philippine Campaign # 104 and China Relief # 206 that I own, he was awarded Civil War # 25 (if memory serves me) that is presumably still with one of his descendants.    During his command of the gunboat Bennington he steamed to Wake Island  in January 1899 and declared the island a US possession on orders of President McKinley.   A couple weeks later, he took his ship to Guam where he conducted a port survey, set up a signal station and on Feb. 1, 1899, was SOPA when the American flag was raised over the governor's palace and control of Guam relinquished to the US,  ending 300 years of Spanish Colonial rule.  Pictures of his medals are buried in this link somewhere, near the bottom.




Like your great-grandfather,  Taussig was ethnically Jewish, but did not practice the faith, and in fact was a Unitarian.   Like your ancestor,  Taussig married a gentile and his son, Joseph,  went to the Naval Academy, where he was a formidable athlete,  and himself had a historic career.   In doing a little research just now, since I haven't "revisited"  Taussig in several years, I found the interesting article linked below.  I didn't know that the father of US Army Special Forces ("Green Berets") was a Jew or that early Jewish "mustang" naval officer Uriah Levy bought Jefferson's dilapidated Monticello in the 1830 and restored it.   When he died in 1862, Levy left Monticello to the American people to be used as an agricultural school for the orphans of Navy warrant officers.   As you may know, the Father of the Nuclear Navy,  and the longest serving US Naval Officer (more than 60 years active duty) was ADM Hyman Rickover, who was a Jew, and apart from having a prickly personality,  was tenacious and politically savvy enough to overcome  the prejudice he encountered climbing up the ladder.  I'm honored to have a couple of original Rickover signed  documents on USS Finch letterhead to one of his warrant officers on the minesweeper, his only ship command, where he was attached from July to October 1937 and at the Battle of Shanghai.   The ship only had two commissioned officers, Rickover, who was then a lieutenant commander, and his XO, a lieutenant, and two or three warrant officers. 




By the way,  on your great-grandfather's M1852 Naval officer's sword, are you sure it might not be your grandfather's sword instead?  I've replied in that regard to that post. 






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