Mystery Questions of the Week - 27 Feb 2009
Here, we see a graduating class of U.S. Navy electricians. About three years later, some of these electricians would certainly participate in World War I.
The superstructure behind the sailors sat atop the hull of a recently decommissioned frigate with 98-years of naval service including the Barbary Coast pirates, the blockade of Mexico and, finally, as a receiving ship for U.S. Marines, brig prisoners in their charge, and naval dispensary medics.
The proud ship's name had been struck from the Navy list the year before this photograph was taken, and she was sold to a private investor with plans to use her as a restaurant for the Panama-Pacific Exposition. Although Exposition authorities granted the restaurant permit, the plan was abandoned. Pig iron and ballast were removed from her hold and valuable hard wood salvaged from her orlop deck knees. On the night of 20 September 1919, the vessel was burned at Hunter's Point mud flats to recover her metal fittings.
Submariners will note that the ship was still in service when the nation's first submarines were commissioned. Crews of submarines were not then called submariners, however. In the early days such men were known as divers.
Questions of the Week:
1 ) - What was the name of the frigate described?
2 ) - If another receiving ship eventually took the place of the 98-year-old vessel, what was the replacement vessel's name?
3) - Unfortunately, none of M.E.'s relatives appeared in the photograph. Did one of yours?
Answers will be provided or verified Monday.
Submarines are always silent and strange.