Re: Patrick Napier
Posted by Ron Carlson on December 25, 2011, 9:55 pm, in reply to "(no subject)"
Dear Joan, |
I found some information on a Patrick Edward Napier who served aboard SS EDWARD B. HAINES upon the ship's arrival in New York on July 29, 1946, having sailed from Honolulu on an unspecified date, and proceeding through the Panama Canal approximately July 20. The ship had originally left New York on or about July 30, 1945. While a comprehensive list of the ship's ports of call is not part of the record I found, among her crew of 34 men upon her arrival were at least three who joined the crew while the ship was in Melbourne in February 1946. So this appears to be a close match with the voyage that you reference.
Patrick Edward Napier held the position of purser aboard EDWARD B. HAINES. This is an administrative position, not directly involved in the operation of the ship, responsible for such tasks as personnel records, payroll, purchase of supplies, and other related paperwork as required by the captain of the ship or by the shipping line that operated the ship. He also served as the pharmacist, meaning he had a supply of medicines, drugs and medical supplies and had some first aid training. On ships that did not carry a physician, as was the case here, the pharmacist was the go-to person for any medical or health concerns, although his training in medical procedures was typically very limited. The purser/pharmacist is technically not an officer but he probably took his meals with the ship's officers in the officers' mess. The captain was a Bert Ray Leavitt.
Patrick Napier was described as age 19 (so presumably a birth year of 1926 or 1927), 5'10" tall, 180 pounds, with a scar on his right cheek. He had been a member of the ship's crew during her most recent previous voyage, and he had total sea time (as of the time the ship departed New York in July 1945) of two months. There is no other identifying information in the record.
I found bits and pieces of other information about Patrick Edward Napier with respect to his service in the merchant marine. Most notably, a Google search turned up a reference to a Rev. Dr. Patrick E. Napier, an alumnus of Berea College, in an article in the Fall 2010 issue of the college newsletter. The article makes a passing mention of his service in the merchant marine in 1943-1946. He later served for 32 years as a teacher and administrator in various high schools before being ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1988. See http://www.bereamag.com/archives/2010/fall/profiles/profiles/. He is also an authority on square dancing, having written a book, Kentucky Mountain Square Dancing. Also see http://bcnow.berea.edu/2011/12/berea-college-honors-five-alumni/ and http://www.bereacollegealumni.com/s/925/index.aspx?sid=925&gid=1&pgid=882. From other sources it appears that Dr. Napier currently lives in Bowling Green, KY. See http://www.whitepages.com/name/Patrick-E-Napier/Bowling-Green-KY/2njy2i1. It seems there is a good chance that this may be your Patrick Napier, if you wish to contact him.
Ron Carlson, Webmaster
Armed Guard / Merchant Marine website