My Grandfather and The USS Detroit
Posted by thedarwinexception on December 8, 2006
Yesterday was the 65th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. That made me think of my Grandfather. Not that he was in the war at the time of Pearl Harbor. He was in the Navy earlier than that – from 1921 to 1925. My Grandfather was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Detroit, when it was first commissioned in 1923. After a shakedown cruise to the Mediterranean, the Detroit joined the Scouting Fleet for exercises and maneuvers along the East coast and in the Mediterranean. After my Grandfather had left the Navy and the Detroit had completed several missions, Detroit’s home port became Pearl Harbor. She was moored at her base with the ships Raleigh and Utah when the Japanese attacked on December 7th, 1941. The other two ships bore the brunt of an attack by six torpedo planes, and despite several strafing passes the Detroit was able to get underway safely and set up an antiaircraft fire which accounted for several planes. She was ordered to sail
at once to investigate the west coast of Oahu for any indications of a landing by the Japanese, then to join the search for the retiring Japanese force.
So the day makes me think of my Grandfather.
And, of course, I have tons of pictures of the U.S.S. Detroit, lots of pictures of the men that my grandfather served with, and a lot of pictures of the exotic ports of call they visited. I’d love to know of some other people who had grandfathers or relatives who might have served at the same time, and maybe even are in the photographs that I have. I have looked online for Crew Lists, message boards of various crafts, and various Navy message boards, but haven’t come across any that relate specifically to the Detroit during this time period. Maybe someone would really love to have copies of the pictures.
So today, we pay tribute to my Papa, and all the men he served with in the Navy, and all the military personnel who lost their lives and served in Pearl Harbor in 1941, and all our military people now – fighting another war.
This is a picture of some of the men who served with my grandfather on the USS
Detroit in the early 1920’s. I don’t know who they are, but if you have
relatives who served at the same time, take a look and see if one of them might
be your relative. It does look like they had a good time, though, doesn’t it?
Same as above – my grandfather looks to be the one in the front on the far right
This is one of the more interesting pictures to me. On the back of the picture
is a note identifying the young man as “Frenchy”, and requesting a return
picture from my Grandfather.
I don’t know who any of these men are – they don’t look like sailors, but this
picture was amongst all the Navy pictures in an album, so they must have had
something to do with my Grandfather’s Navy days. They look like a page out of
the “Soprano’s”, to me.
More unidentified shipmates.
I love this picture. I am going to have it enlarged and framed and hang it in my
hallway. Sailors on camel back, in the Valley of the Kings. Priceless.
My Grandfather is on the left. I don’t know who the others are.
My Grandfather is on the left.
Looks like the entire crew of the USS Detroit.
Again, the crew on board the ship.
Some unidentified crewmates.