Re: Help identify ship quarters drawing
Posted by Ron Carlson on April 23, 2009, 1:10 pm, in reply to "Help identify ship quarters drawing"
OK, I'll take a run at this... |
The locations (if not the contents) of the forward three berthing compartments and the forward head in Mike's sketch are very close to the main deck layout currently found on SS JOHN W BROWN. We have fewer racks in the compartments than shown in the sketch but presumably the compartments could accommodate the greater number of racks shown. The notation of "12 seats" is even in the approximate location of the smaller of our two crews' mess rooms, which may indeed have 12 chairs. (I can't remember; I always eat in the larger mess room.)
In fact, take a look at this page, which has diagrams of the deck layout of a typical Liberty: http://liberty-ship.com/html/topics/hulldeck.html. Scroll down to the last diagram and you will see that compartments #19 and #27 are both labeled "six gunners." The corresponding compartments in Mike's sketch show seven racks starboard side and eight racks port side, but close enough. In the same diagram, compartment #28 is listed as "Stewards" (as is true on the BROWN today), and a short distance aft is compartment #29, described as "POs mess" and roughly in the same location as the "12 seats" notation on Mike's sketch. In the same diagram, on the starboard side, there is a head (not labeled in the diagram) a short distance aft of compartment #19, just as is true with Mike's sketch.
On the other hand, the after berthing area in the sketch is completely different from what is on the BROWN. (The layout on the BROWN somewhat corresponds to the layout seen in the diagram on the web page noted above.) But, similar to what was noted in an earlier message thread about Liberty ship armament, there were no doubt different layouts from ship to ship.
The total number of racks in Mike's sketch, if I count correctly, is 37. Add in at least one officer (perhaps more) and that makes for an AG detachment of at least 38. That's a very large AG complement for a Liberty ship. In his discussion about the officer's log that he has, Mike mentions that the officer served on "the troopship JOSEPH T. ROBINSON" among other ships. A troopship would have had a larger-than-normal AG crew, so the sketch Mike has MIGHT represent the layout aboard JOSEPH T. ROBINSON, which in fact was a Liberty ship.
Moreover (I'm on a roll here, folks), searching ancestry.com for SS JOSEPH T. ROBINSON, I find she arrived in New York on 22 April 1944, having sailed from Oran on 5 April. Those dates are within the date range of the log that Mike has. Her AG crew totaled 36 enlisted men (plus one additional name that was crossed out for some reason), which closely corresponds with the maximum available number of racks. There were three officers, who would have berthed elsewhere: LT(jg) Edmund Roy Williams, LT(jg) William O Roberts, and ENS Thomas A Jenkins. Was the owner of the log you have any of these three officers, Mike? And does the log say anything about one AG crew leaving the ship? The crossed-out name is something like S1/C Kenneth James Schirmer (last name not very legible in the listing).
I love mysteries.
Ron Carlson, Webmaster