This site is "template based" and
isn't really a separate, independent site although it looks like it is. It is hosted by register.com and is just sort of
a site on their site. The templates do provide a lot of options but are, nevertheless, limiting. I may soon have to change
this to a "real" website where I am free to organize it anyway that I want to. It will cost a bit more money and require
a bit more ability to run it but I guess that I will get to it one of these days soon. I'm hearing from more and more people
all the time and hope to be receiving more and more interesting information and photos. (26 JUL 04).
26 JUL 2004.I just heard from Don Shields who was a self-described "military brat" who returned from the Philippines to the
States in July of 1956 on the BARRETT. I don't yet know a lot about the details of his journey but he says that he has some
pictures of the cabin class area and even a picture of LT Sharkey! Amazing! I think that he will be getting those pictures
to me soon somehow and I'll get them into the photo album. Thanks, Don, for writing.
12 DEC 04: No pix yet!
CORONATION ("CONNIE") HELM: 21 SEP 2004. I just heard from Connie! She was one of the corpsmen on board while I was there.
More later on her on the "Muster" sheet. Connie tells me that the other Wave on board at the time, Mary Ann Short, died sometime
back from cancer. Connie has some pictures she is going to send me for the web site.
12 DEC 04: No pix yet!
AMERICAN LEGION MAGAZINE: 29 SEP 2004. The American Legion Magazine for October 2004 ran a notice for me concerning a possible
USNS BARRETT reunion. I'm pleasantly surprised at how many people saw it and have contacted me. I'm trying to get back to
everybody so if you haven't heard from me yet, you probably will. I don't know that we will ever get enough people together
for a reunion but we should be able to get some additional names, photos, and stories. I already have some and promises of
12 DEC 04: Nothing since last entry.
JOE COLON: 16 NOV 2004. I just today made contact with Joe.
Joe was the Chief Master at Arms on the BARRETT from sometime in 1952 to sometime in 1953. More on Joe later. He seems to
have a lot of stories to tell. Joe was on the west coast but went to the east coast to meet the BARRETT. He made one trip
on her to Germany and then made the trip to the west coast. What a fantastic trip that must have been. I'll see what stories
he can come up with and what pictures, if any. He's a really interesting, bright guy to talk to.
JAMES M. DYKES,
JR. 17 NOV 2004. I just heard from James who lives in Tunnel Hill, Georgia. James was a six year old dependent who, along
with his mother and two year old brother made the trip to Bremerhaven. He believes it was July or August of 1952 and was the
B's second or third trip. Navsource.org says that the BARRETT was placed in service 21 MAR 52. His mother is still living
and she is going to look into her diaries to verify dates. James said he still has a Neptunis Rex certificate. I have never
seen one of these or even heard of it. James said he would scan it and send it to me. James reminded me of the lifeboat drills.
I had forgotten those. Remember them? He remembered Disney movies for the kids in the Promenade area and the friendly Filipino
dining room stewards that made the trip so memorable. We weren't doing anything special for kids when I was on board that
I can remember but then that was more the Chaplain's area of responsibility as I recall. 12 DEC 04: No pix yet!
TAYLOR: 1 JAN 2005. I just located Larry Taylor We have been emailing. Larry was 12 years old in 1955 when had came to the
PI aboard the B. There is a link to Larry's recollections of the BARRETT and George Dewey High School on the LINKS page. He
says he made four trips in five years on the B! I'll have to find out more about that. Sounds almost like he was a professional
stow-away! More about Larry and the details later. He thinks he also has some photos that we can publish. It's funny what
people remember. Larry remembered the telephone sized elevator that occasionally got stuck between floors. I don't remember
it or where it was located. If I ever saw it I probably took one look at it and said "No way. I'm not getting in that thing."
SMITH: 21 JAN 05. I just today heard from Barrett Smith from Thomson, GA. General Barrett was his great, great uncle! More
about Barrett, the General, and the BARRETT later as well as elsewhere on the site.
17 JUL 08: HOWARD BARTHOLF alerted
me to a magazine article that purports to have the true facts about General Barrett's "mysterious" death. It's in the August
2008 issue of Naval History published by the U. S. Naval Institute, beginning on page 40. It makes for interesting reading.
It pretty much establishes the General's death as a suicide.
17 OCT 08: Someone also advised me of a voluminous work on
the General. I got it at our local library and found it to be quite worthwhile. It's called "A Character That Inspired,
Charles D. Barrett" by Thomas Fitzpatrick.
HOWARD E. BARTHOLF: 25 FEB 05. Howard, who lives in Richmond, VA, has
been in touch with me about the B. If I haven't written about him yet, I soon will. Howard was never on the BARRETT but traveled
on the UPSHUR to Vietnam in October 1966. Since they were identical ships, if you were on one, you were on the other also.
Howard sent me some information on General Barrett which you can call up at http://tinyurl.com/bubwx
Howard has made some
tremendous and sustained efforts to find the BARRETT's logs but....no luck yet. So far he has only been able to find out what
"might" have happened to them or where they "might" be. One of the "mights" is that they might have been destroyed. Given
the history of that ship I can't imagine that the logs could be gone. Keep at it Howard!
VICTORY AT SEA: 25 JUN 05.
Remember those great films and that great music? If you haven't seen those you have really missed some inspiring history.
I have heard that they are, in their entirety, out now on CD and I just located them. You, too, can find them on a search
engine. I ordered mine. This one site had the CD for only $19.95 + $6.95 shipping. But...I heard or read that some of these
CD's have poor video and audio quality. Once I get mine and get a chance to look at them, I'll let you know how they are.
If they are good, and I hope they are, it will be one of the best $30 or so that you ever spent. And show them to your kids
and grandkids. I would bet for sure that they have never seen them.
19 AUG 05: Well, it took about two months to get
them but they are really quite good in their audio/video qualities. They are probably as good as can be expected or even better
than we could have expected given the quality of the films to begin with. I have only watched about an hour and a half's
worth so far but I highly recommend them. Now remember, they come from old, old films but they have done a great job in professionally
recapturing the sight and sound of those old films. It is money well spent.
RETURN TO THE BARRETT: 22 JAN 2006:
Sometime on June 7th, 2006, the all-volunteer Ventura Liberation Navy will board the BARRETT, seize control, liberate her
and sail her to Port Hueneme, CA. At the moment, the "Navy" has only one member with the rank of Fleet Admiral. As plans progress
and become more definite, the capable website staff will post more details. With steel very much now in demand and the price
of steel rising, and Congress having just recently appropriated money for the disposal of the fleet, "ship-breakers" (i.e.
salvagers) are hungrily eyeing these "Ghost Ships". I would imagine that soon most or all of these "Ghost Ships" will be gone.
Since they are never to be restored and used again, then it is much better all around to have them scrapped.
13 APR 2006:
Well, it was longer and harder than I anticipated that it would be but I just today got final, "official" approval to return
to the BARRETT for picture taking. I don't have the time and details yet worked out but I am officially approved now. Many
thanks to many for help and support and especially to the AP TROOP TRANSPORT GROUP and to Joe Colon of the American Merchant
Marine Veterans Association, both of whom readily came to my support and wrote sponsorship letters. I asked several others
who I thought would also readily help but they were so afraid of some sort of perceived liability to somebody for something
that they wouldn't help. It's awful to see grown men paralyzed with vague or imagined fears. I did also have several others
who were ready to help if and when I needed more help. More later.
27 JUN 06: OK, I've been there. I'm trying to get
these photos available with my limited ability and knowledge. So I'm starting at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonsan. Check
that out. It will be a while before I get them all on and even longer before I get the "comments" sections done. I think
that I'll still probably put some of the photos in the classmates.com photo album section also.