Journal Entry  -  September 16, 1999  -  Day 5

Thursday Morning Position Report
8:00 a.m., Pacific Daylight Time
Latitude: 41 Degrees, 32 Minutes North
Longitude: 125 Degrees, 22 Minutes West
Days Run: 73 Nautical Miles since last 12-hour report
Speed: 6.08 Knots (Average) with fair wind and a following sea

Total Run:  550 Nautical Miles from Puget Sound's Blake Island
Total Average Speed:  5.85 Knots
Hours From Departure:  94 Hours
Distance To Go This Leg:  632 Nautical Miles to Long Beach for re-fueling
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  8:00 a.m., Tuesday, September 21
Present Course:  180 Degrees due South until Latitude 40 degrees when Sea Victory will alter course to conform to the eastward bend of the California coastline
Seas & Swells:  Combined at 12 Feet
Wind25 Knots from the North
Barometer:  1019 Millibars, Steady, Remaining High Pressure
Air Temperature:  56 Degrees
Visibility:  10 Miles, Hazy
SkiesClear with a Hazy Horizon

Position:  At 3:30 a.m. this morning, USS New Jersey passed the latitudinal parallel separating the states of Oregon and California. Presently, she is due west of the Klamath River, and west by south of Crescent City, California, just south of the famous Point St. George.  We are 57.5 nautical miles from the nearest northern California land mass.

Projections, Corrections & Miscellany...

One month from today, USS New Jersey is scheduled to arrive in Panama, a lengthy 2,948 nautical miles from our immediate destination of Long Beach, California.

The total distance from our original Bremerton, Washington departure to Long Beach will be 1,190 nautical miles.  The combined Pacific Ocean segment of the voyage will be 4,138 nautical miles.  Then, from Panama's Atlantic port of Cristobal to the waters of New Jersey on the Delaware River, USS New Jersey will travel more than 2,000 additional nautical miles, just about half the distance of the Pacific journey.

From time to time, we trust not often, there may be a need to correct or clarify references in our reports.  Such a time presents itself now, courtesy of a former veteran who served aboard the destroyer USS Hale (DD-642).

In our 8:00 p.m. Position Report of Tuesday, September 14, our story called: "Storms East and West, Now and Then" contained a probable error.  We wrote, referring to the three destroyers which capsized in that vicious typhoon, that: "Each destroyer had a crew of some 500 men." That number appears high for those vessels, even though WWII conditions sometimes called for higher than designed for crew sizes.

Bill Mansfield of Braintree, Massachusetts, notified us by email that "the size of the crews was not 500 as stated, but in the 350 range."

We thank Mr. Mansfield for his contribution, and will reflect his clarification in the story.

Ray Mann, resource historian at the Ship's History Branch of the Naval Historical Center in Washington, D.C., generally confirmed Mansfield's information this morning.

The three destroyers involved were the USS Hull, the USS Monagham -- both Farragut Class destroyers built in the 1930s -- and the USS Spence, a Fletcher Class destroyer built later and bigger than the others.

The Design specifications for the crew of the two Farragut Class ships was 160.  For the USS Spence it was 273.  Mann cautions us not to assume the crew sizes -- higher or lower -- of any of the vessels at that time without referring to records available at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, access to which we obviously do not have at this writing.

Let it be stated, then, that for purposes of our report, the 500 crew size has not been verified.  Therefore, we must conclude that the size was something shy of that, more likely approximating the design requirements of the ships.   Whether the ships' crews in December 1944, under severe wartime conditions, contained more than the designs called for remains the question.  We will pursue this information as best we can.

Thank you, Mr. Mansfield.

And our thanks as well to the Naval Historical Center in Washington, which has been the fountainhead resource for much of the historical references to BB-62, as well as much of the photography.  Their courtesy, professionalism and dedication under a deluge of public requests, inspires confidence in the term "public service."

We enjoyed baked albacore tuna for dinner last night, thanks to Able Seaman Fred Davis's bait and line, and Cook C.J. Good's culinary expertise.   It was delicious, according to everyone.

Two nights ago, a fleet of more than 40 west coast tuna trollers were scouring our area for their own catches.  Most boats reported in a 7:00 p.m. short-wave conference call that they were successful.

Their assessments indicated the combined catch was more than 1,000 tuna, varying in size and quality from good to so-so.  Most of the fishermen and women referred to catching "schoolies," but we were not able to learn the definition of that reference.  Our conclusion was that it probably meant "juvenile," or smaller than desirable.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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