Monday, June 29, 2009

Dead Page: Survivor of HMT Rohna


A resident of Winston-Salem, NC, retired in 1983 after career in banking. A native of Halifax, NC, was aboard the British freighter-turned-troop ship sunk November 26, 1943, while steaming through "Suicide Alley" off the Algerian coast in the Mediterranean en route to the Far East by way of the Suez Canal.

The German Luftwaffe located the convoy and a German bomber unleashed a Henschel Hs 293 radio-controlled glide bomb that struck the ship and put a 50 foot hole in it. The troops had been ordered below for safety and there was a mad-scramble to escape as the ship sank. Lifeboats were found to be rusted and many painted to the deck, so the men went overboard in rough seas. Many drowned and were killed by the stern of a rescue ship.

Losses were 1,138 of the troops, crew, and Red Cross personnel. Of those, 1,015 were Americans, making it a heavier loss than which occurred on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.

Survivors were under a gag order not to talk about it and little was said of it by the government for fear of alerting the Germans as to the effectiveness of their weapon. The Freedom of Information Act of 1967 made details available to the public.

Afterwards, Smith served in the Far East and returned in 1946. He never talked much about his war experiences but was always grateful to his Maker for having survived the disaster.

I Had Never Heard of This Incident.

Head for the Fort

The June 28th Southern had an article about old forts in Illinois. Yes, Illinois has forts of the old timey variety. These are all in the very southern part of the state.

Last fall, 33 state employees lost their jobs as a result of then-governor Blagojevich closed many of the state parks. One of the first things new Governor Pat Quinn did was to reopen these sites.


FORT de CHARTRES-- northwest of Prairie du Rocher, built in 1720 by the French and surrendered to British after French and Indian War in 1763. Purchased by the state in 1913.

FORT MASSAIC-- dating to the mid-1700s and overlooking the Ohio River at Superman's home, Metropolis. Reconstructed wooden fort and I seem to remember that Lewis and Clark stopped there on their way to the expedition. This was the first Illinois state park, being dedicated Nov. 5, 1908.

FORT DEFIANCE-- two miles south of Cairo at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Now owned by Cairo and closed. Badly in need of having the grass cut, but the city probably can't afford it.

We've been to the last two forts, although nothing remains of Fort Defiance which would suggest that there had been a fort there, but beautiful view nonetheless.

It's a Fort Thing, You Wouldn't Understand. --Coot

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dead Page: The King and the Poster Girl

Two big names in the entertainment field died yesterday.


I first heard about his death from my sister yesterday.

From 1969 to 1986 he was one of the great performers. I really liked his "I Want You Back" and "ABC" which he did with his brothers in the Jackson 5. "I Want You Back" is one of my all-time favorite Motown songs.

Then, I liked his "Off the Wall" solo effort in 1979, and then, there was that 1982 "Thriller" album. I was just getting into deejaying at the time and would have no idea how many times I played "Beat It" and Billie Jean."

Who can forget his moonwalk on the Motown anniversary show?

His follow up albums, "Bad" and "dangerous" were also good.

I sure liked him until he got weird.


I never watched "Charlie's Angels" and really wasn't a fan of hers. But, there was no way you could avoid that famous 1976 poster.

She was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and named Mary Farrah Leni Fawcett by her mother, who added the Farrah because she thought it went well with Fawcett.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another World War II Aircraft Raised from Lake Michigan

According to the June 19th WGN News, a second World War II aircraft in two months, was raised from Lake Michigan's depths near Chicago.

This dive bomber had been at Pearl Harbor during the attack and been turned into a training aircraft for naval pilots who practiced landing on two converted aircraft carriers, far from German U-Boats lurking off the US coast.

This one crashed Feb. 18, 1944 after it developed carburetor problems. The pilot escaped.

A Bit More of History Preserved. --Cooter

Got My History Thing, And a Bonus... Part 3: Rome

In the afternoon, we took a cab over and paid 10 euros apiece to take an open bus ride through Rome, a great way to see the city. Believe me, you DON'T want to drive through town. I backed into the seat and closed my eyes at the many close calls we had while riding in the taxis. The worst thing are the people on motorcycles who seem to believe all the world is their road. Never saw an accident the whole time, however.

The bus was a double-decker with an open top, which I rode on. We went by the magnificent structure on top of the Capitoline Hill, St. Peter's, the Coliseum, Forum, and Circus Maximus. For 3 euros more, you can ride all day and get off and on, the best deal.

Returning to the hotel, we took another taxi to an Italian restaurant and had a real taste of Rome, complete with a three-piece band that came around and and serenaded us several times with--Italian songs. The streets of Rome were once at least twenty feet lower than they are today. We were allowed to tour the restaurant's cellars.

The next morning, Graham, Vickie, and I walked over to Castillo San Angelo and paid 8 euros to tour it. Vickie and Graham actually got in for free since he was on a power chair. They said they'd also gotten into the Vatican last year without paying because of his handicap. That was a nice thing to do.

This structure was featured in the recent movie "Demons and Angels" and is an impressive structure, sitting on top of Emperor Hadrian's tomb and was not captured by the Visigoths when they overran Rome. There are some impressive views of Rome from this place.

When in Rome, Do As the Romans __. --Cooter

Photographing Fallen troops

The March 16th Time Magazine had a brief history of photographing fallen troops because of the Pentagon's lifting of ban on taking pictures of the coffins of slain American soldiers if their families agree to allow it.

The first actual photographs of Americans killed at war were taken in the Civil War by photographers such as Matthew Brady and Timothy O'Sullivan. Such photos were censored in World War I and continued until World War II in 1943, when President Roosevelt reversed it with the belief that Americans were becoming unaware of the war's high cost and becoming complacent. I would have to wonder about that with all the stars in the windows and missing family members.

Vietnam was called the media's war, with TV bringing the scenes right into our living rooms. According to Time, this helped turn the public against the war. Aware of this, President H. W. Bush banned pictures during the Persian Gulf War, and that continued until now.

Personally, I am in favor of these pictures. People need to know war's rea; cost.

To Picture or Not. Hard Call.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Got My History Thing, And a Bonus... Part 2: Rome

June 12th, we were still in Rome, and took a cab to the Vatican and waited in a really long line to pay our 14 euro to tour the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. There is more stuff in there than I can possibly tell you about. Then, the ceilings are something else. I had a big neck ache when we got out from so much craning.

Unfortunately, we lost Mom almost as soon as we got into the place and were greatly relieved to meet her in the Sistine Chapel. She had gone into a no-admittance room, which ended up as a good break as I don't think she could have made the long walk as well as numerous stairs. At 78, her mobility on foot is diminishing.

One thing I can tell you, that Michelangelo creation painting on the ceiling of the chapel is not as big as I thought it was.

Next, a Bus Ride Through Rome. --Da Coot

Got My History Thing, A-n-d... A Bonus-- Part 1: Rome

From June 11th to the 20th, I got a big helping of some very old history, and then a bonus, that of a shipboard fire in the Mediterranean Sea while underway on the Royal Princess.

Most of this will be covered in greater detail at some point in the travel blog,

June 11th, after a nap to catch up on lost sleep in my overnight flight to Rome, we left the hotel near the Vatican, and took a walk across the Tiber River, to the Spanish Stairs, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and had dinner at an outdoor restaurant in the beautiful Navarone Square. Some very impressive fountains there as well as artists selling their wares.

Italian pizza is not as good as good old US pizza.

Talking About Your Old Stuff. --Cooter

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Real, Real Old Stuff

I've always been interested in history, but over the next few weeks, I am going to get up real close and personal with some really old stuff.

The family is going on a cruise of the eastern Mediterranean with stops in Rome, Alexandria, pyramids, Jerusalem, Turkey, and three places in Greece, including Athens.

We think of things as old here in the US when they're over 300 years old, but lets try thousands.

I remember once while touring Innsbruck, Austria's old town, when the guide said, "That does it for the Old Town. Across the street, you see New Town, which was built in the 1400s. New, indeed.

Gettin' My O-l-d On. --Cooter

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dead Page: 70s TV Writer, Producer

MICHAEL ROSS 1919-2009

Loved speaking Yiddish and pushing society's buttons died May 26th at age 89.

Born Isidore Rovinsky in NY City. While working on "The Martha Raye Show" in the 1950s, he met Norman Lear. When Lear had his "All in the Family" TV series, Ross wrote more than 30 episodes from 1971 to 1975 and received an Emmy for the 1973 episode where Archie and Edith are invited to a wife-swapping party.

After five seasons, he left to launch "The Jeffersons," a spin off featuring the Bunker's black neighbors. Later, he helped create "Three's Company," based on the BBC sitcom "Man About the House."

Last year, Mr. Ross donated $4 million to UCLA to create a chair in the Yiddish language and $10 million to his alma mater, the City College of New York to create Jewish studies programs and another Yiddish chair.

By Valerie J. Nelson, Tribune Newspapers.

Some Really funny Stuff.

Dead Page: Last Titanic Survivor Dies-- Part 2

Continued from June 5th. From the Chicago Tribune.

On the fourth night aboard the Titanic, they felt a jolt, and her father went out to investigate. When he returned, he told his wife to dress the children warmly and take them to the lifeboats. She credits that as having saved their lives, as many others thought the ship couldn't sink. He reassured his family, "I'll be along." But that was the last they ever say of him.

In the confusion of boarding the life boats, her brother was separated from them and not reunited until aboard the Carpathia and they sailed to New York City. Millvina being the youngest survivor, all the others wanted to hold her. The crowd got so big that an officer put a ten minute limit to hold her.

Asked how the sinking changed her life, she said that she was English instead of American. Her mother took the children back to live with her parents near Southampton. Their education was paid for by the Titanic Relief Fund set up to help the survivors.

People didn't know she was a survivor until 1987 when she attended a Titanic memorial service in Southampton on the 75th anniversary. After that, she was in demand to appear and speak at Titanic events. She gave many interviews as well.

In 1998, she finally made the whole trip aboard the Queen Elizabeth II, compliments of Michael Rudd.

In 2008, she had to have an auction of her Titanic mementos to help pay for her nursing home fees and raised $58,906. I had heard that Titanic stars Kate Winslett and Leonardo DiCaprio had begun paying her expenses since then.

Her mother died at age 95 in 1975. Her brother died at age 81 in 1992, on the 80th anniversary of the sinking.

Another Era Ends.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dead Page: Australia's Last WW I Veteran

JOHN "JACK" ROSS 1899-2009

Australia's Oldest Man

Australia's oldest man and last Australian to serve during World War I, died June 3rd at age 110.

He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in February 1918 at the age of 18 and was posted to the 1st Battallion at the Broadmeadows camp in Victoria, but the war ended before he could be sent overseas. He was the last of the 417,000 Australians to serve in WW I.

In World War II, he served in the volunteer defense corps and spent 45 years working with the Victorian Railroad.

Another of the Greatest.

Classic Trib: D-Day

Nancy Walker, in her Chicago Tribune article on the last page of the magazine, wrote about D-Day. This feature used to be called Flashback.The featured picture was of mounted police officer William Kent reading his Tribune account of the invasion that started earlier that day. So, the Tribune had extras at the time for important events.

The article said that when Chicagoans woke up on June 6, 1944, they had two reactions: to pray and to try to find out more. No day-long TV news channels back then, so, it was the radio or newspaper.


The invasion wasn't the only news. Other things happening June 6th: The YMCA as turning 100. Stan Hack was returning to the Cubs.

Feminine hair-styles were coming into fashion.


156,000-- Number of Allied troops that landed
73,00-- Number of Americans who landed
2,499-- Estimated number of Americans who died
Day-- Word from which the "D" in D-Day is derived.

So, it would be Day-DAT. I know that the following days were numbered D-Day Plus One, D-Day Plus Two, etc.

Again, Another Great Job Nancy Watkins. --Cooter

Saturday, June 6, 2009

UK World War I Vet Marks 113th Birthday

Henry Allingham, also England's oldest living man, celebrated his 113th birthday with a cake delivered by Royal Marines and a party surrounded with family members.

In March, he was made an officer in France's Legion of Honor. Harry Patch, 110, is England's other surviving World War I veteran.

Also, a Greatest Generation.

A Shorpy D-Day

The Shorpy website, featured two photos of people looking at the newsline flashing across the Times Building in Times Square.

The first shows the crowd looking up at the sign, the second one focused on their faces. As one person commented, everyone of them was probably thinking that someone they knew was in line of danger. You can really see the concern on their faces.


The Greatest Generation.


Today marks the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the beginning of the end for Germany as US, English, and French forces landed and secured beaches in Normandy, France.

One veteran who was going to attend ceremonies in France lost his passport in Chicago when a taxi cab drove away with his luggage which also contained his passport. He was originally from Chicago and was here for a short visit.

A Chicago alderman and his Congressman from California intervened to get him an immediate replacement one, so he was able to continue on his way.

I am surprised that no station showed "The Longest Day." However, I did watch documentaries on Wake Island, D-Day, and Pearl Harbor on the History Channel.

The Greatest Generation. We Salute You.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dead Page: Last Titanic Survivor Dies


Millvinna, her brother and mother, were among the 700 who survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912. Her father, however, went down with the ship along with 1500 others..

She died at her nursing home near Southampton, England where her family boarded the ill-fated ship. Her death, May 31st, also came on the 98th anniversary of the ship's launching, May 31, 1911.

She was always willing to talk about her experience on the Titanic, although, at age 6 weeks, she was too young to remember about it, but her mom filled her in.

She, her mother Georgette, 32, father Bertram, 27, and brother Bertram, Jr, 23 months, boarded in 3rd class. Her parents had sold their pub in London and planned to settle in Kansas City and open a tobacco shop. Actually, they were originally booked on another White Star Line ship, but a national coal strike had caused it to be cancelled. They were offered bookage on the Titanic and took it.

To Be Continued. --Cooter

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Giving the Last Full Measure-- Part 2

Continuing with the Tribune commentary.

Sgt. WILLIAM CARNEY-- Helped lead the 54th Massachusetts, a US black regiment against the Confederate defenders at Fort Wagner near Charleston, SC. This battle was popularized in the movie "Glory."

Although shot three times crossing the sand, he managed to keep the flag aloft. "Boys, the old flag never touched the ground!" he explained as he made his way back to Union lines. The regiment lost nearly 50% of its strength in the attack.

Marine Corporal JASON DUNHAM-- In 2004, he was on his way to help an ambushed convoy in western Iraq when an insurgent attacked him. As two other Marines rushed to subdue the man, a live enemy grenade fell to the ground.

Dunham threw his helmet over it, then covered the helmet with his own body. He saved the others, nut was mortally wounded.

The first widely-observed Memorial Day was in 1868 when it was known as Decoration Day and was in honor of Civil War veterans. It has since been expanded to cover all veterans.

A Tip of the Hat to Our Heroes. --Cooter

Giving the Last Full Measure

This past Memorial Day was more than get-togethers and cookouts. It was to remember those who gave their lives and risked it for our freedoms and lifestyle.
The May 25th Chicago Tribune had a commentary by William J. Bennett and John Cribb about a few of these people.

NATHAN HALE-- A Connecticut teacher who joined the Patriot Army and volunteered when Washington asked for people to gather information behind British lines. He was captured and hanged, but left us the words, "I only regret that I have one life to lose for my country."

Lt. Cmdr EDWARD "BUTCH" O'HARE-- For whom Chicago's O'Hare Field is named. Most people passing through the airport know nothing of the man. When a wave of Japanese bombers surprised the aircraft carrier USS Lexington in the Pacific during World War II, he fought them off in his Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat, shooting down five and disabling a sixth in minutes.

When he landed back on the carrier, he said, "Just load those ammo belts and I'll get back up." He didn't need to, though, as his actions had thwarted the attack and saved the Lexington.

Unfortunately, he later disappeared in the Pacific during a night attack and wan never heard from again.

We Owe You a Lot. Thanks Veterans. --Cooter

50th Anniversary of Family Dollar Stores

I saw in a flyer, that the Family Dollar stores were celebrating their 50th anniversary. Until about eight years ago, I was unfamiliar with them, but now I see then pretty much everywhere. Either them, or that easily confused Dollar General. My nephew worked a short time as an insurance adjuster for one of them. I like the deals they have and some of the items are quite good.

A little Wikipedia look up, and I found that family Dollar is not a real "Dollar" store as many items are more than a buck (unlike Dollar Bill's and It's a Buck).

It was founded in 1959 by 21-year-old entrepreneur Leon Levine in Charlotte, NC. It remained a predominantly southern US store through the 1960s. By 1969, there were 50 stores in the Charlotte area. I guess I would have known about them had I been from there.

In 1981, the 400th store opened and 700th in 1983. Growth slowed in the 1990s, but 3,500 were added since the turn of the century. As of March 1, 2009, there are 6,509 stores in 44 states. With the economic malaise, they should do well.

Give Me Cheap Most of the Time. Cooter

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

World War II in June

My Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor calendar for this month has the following things happening this month.

June 4-6th-- Battle of Midway, 1942
June 6th-- D-Day, 1944
June 15th-- US Marines invade Saipan, 1944
June 19th-- The "Marianas Turkey Shoot, 1944
June 22nd-- Japanese resistance ends on Okinawa, 1945

Featured WW II poster was for the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps with a picture of a young woman in uniform. It reads, "Enlist in a Proud Profession! Join the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. A Lifetime Education--Free! If You Can Qualify. For information go to your local hospital or write U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, Box 88, New York, N.Y."

The monthly picture was from a diorama by Norman Bel Geddes, depicting the lead elements of Marine Fighting Squadron 221 (VMF-221) intersecting the Japanese air strike formation heading toward Midway in the morning of 4 June 1942. The planes in the foreground are F4F-3 "Wildcat" Fighters.

A lot of Major Events This Month. --Da Coot

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Concentration Camp Message Found

On April 28th, ABC News reported that workers demolishing a wall of a building that was part of the Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp found a message written by prisoners 65-years ago.

It is known that at least two of the signees survived, but nothing is known of what happened to them after the war.

The message was in a bottle planted in the wall of a building of the State Higher Vocational School in the southern Poland town of Oswiesim that had served as a warehouse for the German guards. It was hand-written in pencil and had the names and camp ID numbers of seven prisoners including 4 Poles and a Frenchman from Lyon, all ages 18-20.

More than one million souls died at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

I'm Hoping Any Survivors Can Be Found. --Cooter

Bits O' History: World War I-Era Soldier Dies-- German WW II POW Building Burns

Some New News About Old Stuff.

1. WORLD WAR I-ERA SOLDIER DIES-- The April 28th Louisville (Ky) Courier Journal reports that Rex Robley, a WW I-era soldier died just 4 days shy of his 108th birthday. He met his wife Gracie at Camp Taylor in Louisville in 1919 before being sent overseas and married in 1922 when he returned.

He never saw combat and enlisted after the Armistice was signed. The 18-year-old, 115-pound Army private did Military Intelligence at 3rd Army HQ in Germany.

2. GERMAN WW II POW BUILDING BURNS-- The April 28th Mexia (Tx) News reports that a building used to house German POWs during WW II burned Saturday. Also lost were the town's Tour of Lights Christmas decorations that were housed in it.

Texas had twice as many German POW camps as any other state. There was a problem finding places for the huge influx of German prisoners as the war progressed. In April 1943, 150,000 members of the Afrika Corps arrived, and after that an average of 20,000 a month. Many were sent to Texas because of availability of space and climate. By the end of the war, 78.982 were housed in 14 camps.

The one in Mexia was for Naval officers only and opened in June, 1943.

After the war, the Mexia State School, covering 215 acres and housing 500 disabled persons with 1,400 workers used the site. It serves a 14 county area.

Again, most present-day Americans do not know of all the German and Italian prisoners held in the US during World War II.

Old Stuff, Gotta Love It. --Old Coot

Dead Page: Lincoln Scholar-- 'Scribe' of Resistance

Two authors died in the last two months.


Famed Scholar of Abe Lincoln; won two Pulitzer Prizes

Also known for his Civil War and American South writings, died at age 88. Professor emeritus at Harvard University. Won Pulitzer Prizes for biographies on abolitionist Charles Sumner and novelist Thomas Wolfe.

His stature among Lincoln experts was so high that an award was named for him, the David Herbert Donald Prize for "excellence in Lincoln studies."

His first Lincoln book was in the late 1940s and he kept writing about his favorite subject for more than 50 years.

May 20th Chicago Tribune, by Hillel Italie, AP.

MAURICE DRUON (1918-2009)

Chicago Tribune April 17th, AP.

French author and fighter in France's World War II Resistance Movement against the German occupiers, age 90.

He had also served for over four decades on Academie Francaise, the body that oversees the French language and usage.

In his mid-20s, he joined the resistance movement and co-wrote "Le Chant des Partisans," also called "The Partisans' Song."

"Man of a Thousand Voices"

The May 30th daily look had a write up about Mel Blanc who was born on that date back in 1908. This man was the voice of several generations of Americans.

He was the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Woody Woodpecker, Speedy Gonzalez, Tweety, Sylvester, Elmer Fudd, Frito Bandito, Marvin the Martian, Pepe LePew, Barny Rubble, and Mr. Spacely. He said that voicing Yosmite Sam was the hardest on his vocal cords.

He died July 10, 1989, and his grave in Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California, has the words, "THAT'S ALL FOLKS." This is a man I grew up with. Thanks for bringing all the fun.

Quite a Guy. --Cooter

Other items of interest happening on on May 30th:

The first Indy 500 in 1911.

The 30-foot tall Goddess of Democracy built at China's Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bits O' History: Where's Cleopatra?-- Dem Old Cars-- Got Some Bucks Lying Around?-- Freedom's Tower

Some New News About Old Stuff.

1. WHERE'S CLEOPATRA?-- I see that archaeologists are looking in Egypt to find not only Cleopatra's final resting place, but also her lover's, Mark Anthony. They committed suicide in 30 BC. Three sites are being investigated.

2. DEM OLD CARS-- Even with the economic problems today, that is not stopping folks from buying their classic cars. The May 18th Chicago Tribune reported that more than 1,250 old classic cars like Vettes, GTOs, and Cudas were at auction at the 22nd Annual Spring Classic at the Indiana State Fairgrounds May 13th-17th. Sales were about $35 million. They also had over 300 old auto-related neon lights for sale.

3. GOT SOME BUCKS LYING AROUND?-- The Top Five-sellers at the auction.

1. 1966 Shelby 427 SC Cobra-- $1,065,000.
2. 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra-- $1,000,000
3. 1967 Shelby GT500-- $825,000
4. 1964 Cooper King Cobra C-- $600,000
5. 1970 Chevrolet LS6 Chevelle-- $375,000
Those Shelby Cobras must be in high demand. I could go as high as $12,000.

4. FREEDOM'S TOWER-- The Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor, sent me a monetary request for funds to help preserve Pearl Harbor's famous airfield control tower on Ford Island. Structural engineers warn that it may collapse without immediate restoration due to all the years of neglect and corrosion. Definitely something worth preserving. However, the old property taxes I pay this week got my extra cash.

It's a Money Thing, You Know. --Da Old Coot

"Don't Give Up the Ship"-- Part 2

This information comes from which spotlighted the story.


The timbers of the Chesapeake were bought for 500 British pounds and used to build the Chesapeake Mills in Wickham, Hampshire, England, in 1820 after the ship was broken up. The mill continued operations until 1976 and still stands today.

The Chesapeake's mess kettle and officers chest is located at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Until 1991, the figure head of the Chesapeake was displayed outside the offices of the Olau Line in the Old Royal Naval Shipyard until it was damaged in a move. I'm not sure that it still exists.

In 2000, a piece of the Chesapeake taken from mill renovations was returned to the United States. Of interest, it was mounted on a wooden plaque that came from renovations of the famous British warship HMS Victory.

Captain Lawrence's body was buried in Halifax, where the ship was taken after the battle. It was later returned to the US and reinterred at Trinity Churchyard in NYC.

The HMS Shannon continued service and had its name changed to HMS St. Lawrence (of interest since Lawrence was the US Naval captain) in 1844 and was broken up in 1859.

In 1855, the 51-gun screw frigate HMS Chesapeake was launched and served until the 1870s.

The 196th anniversary. Out of defeat, a slogan.

Like I Said, "Don't Give Up the Ship."

"Don't Give Up the Ship"-- USS Chesapeake

Today marks the anniversary of the lop-sided victory of the 38-gun frigate HMS Shannon over the 38-gun frigate USS Chesapeake June 1, 1813, off Boston Harbor. Chesapeake commander James Lawrence was mortally wounded and while being taken below, urged his men, "Don't give up the ship!"

Unfortunately, within 13 minutes, they were forced to surrender. However, three months later, Captain Oliver Hazard Perry used Lawrence's words on his flag at the American victory at the Battle of Lake Erie. The words are still used in the US Navy today. I have a small military flag set and one of them is blue with those words in white.

The Chesapeake was one of the original US frigates, including the Constitution and Constellation. The Shannon's crew were highly trained and experienced compared to the Americans, a major factor in the battle. I've seen it last as short as 13 minutes and as long as 30.

The action must have been extremely hot and close, as I saw that the Shannon was hit 258 times and Chesapeake 362.

The USS Chesapeake then served in the Royal Navy until it was broken up.

Don't Give Up the Ship! --RoadDog