Saturday, March 08, 2008
U-Boats off Delaware Bay - 1942
As the German U-boats operated in their assigned positions, farther out in the Atlantic were the U-boat tanker ships loaded with fuel and supplies for them to continue their destruction.
In 1942 the coastal defenses had not been worked out for submarine detection. The U.S. Government did not order a blackout of seacoast cities until June 1942 and ships were not organized into convoys with armed escorts. For part of 1942 the C & D canal was still closed from the SS Waukegan collision with the St George Bridge that sent the bridge crashing into the canal and closing it. Ships had to run out into the Atlantic to go from Norfolk or Baltimore to Philadelphia. The U-boats would watch the entrance to Delaware Bay and the Chesapeake Bay as it constricted the ship traffic into a narrow area.
In sending the U-Boats to the East Coast German Admiral Karl Donitz said “There were admittedly, anti-submarine patrols, but they were wholly lacking in experience. Single destroyers, for example, sailed up and down the traffic lanes with such regularity that the U-boats were quickly able to work out the timetable being followed.”
The submarine attacks continued beyond this time of early 1942 thru out the war. It was lessened due to better anti submarine defense and observation.
Some better known ships that were sank due to war activity in the winter months of 1942;
On February 4th, 1942 the Panamanian United Fruit Company ship "San Gil" was hit by a torpedo, killing two engine room workers. The survivors took to the lifeboats and the U-Boat surfaced and fired fifteen shots into the ship to sink it. Unable to sink it by shell fire, they fired a second torpedo into it, finally sinking it. About six hours later the freezing men were picked up and transported to Lewis, Delaware.
From ENEMY ACTION DIARY it was stated “SAN GIL (Panamanian cargo ship 3598-tons) 38-05N; 74-40W, torpedoes and sinking (cannot receive). "Putting boats out." USCG NIKE picked up al survivors. Ship sank 15 miles south of Fenwick Island light. 38 survivors (2 members of crew lost - 1 man broken hand).”
On February 4th and 5th, the twin ships, S S India Arrow and SS China Arrow were carrying oil. On February 4th, the India Arrow took a torpedo and broke into flames, sinking. The ship lost 26 men. About a dozen survivors made it to Atlantic City. On February 5th the China Arrow was hit by two torpedoes, the U-Boat surfaced and finished off the tanker. Thirty men made it into three lifeboats that they lashed together and spent the next three days adrift until a navy patrol plane spotted them. A Coast Guard cutter was called to their rescue and they were taken in to Lewis.
From Enemy Action Diary “Lat. 38-06; Long 75-47. USCG NIKE located the 3 lifeboats previously sighted and picked up Capt. and 30 seamen of the S. S. CHINA ARROW. Torpedoed 1115 EST 5 February enroute Beaumont, Texas, to New York. One hospital case -- others good shape. Expected time arrival NIKE at Lewes, Del. 0330 8 February.”
The USS Jacob Jones, a 1090-ton Wickes class destroyer, was built in Camden, New Jersey, and commissioned in October 1919. She was assigned to anti-submarine patrols between Cape May to Norfork in February 1942. While steaming off Delaware Bay on 28 February 1942, USS Jacob Jones was struck by at least two torpedoes from the German submarine U-578, causing heavy casualties among her crew and completely wrecking the ship. The remaining crewmen abandoned ship, but more were killed in the water when depth charges exploded as she sank. Only eleven of Jacob Jones' men survived their ordeal of explosions and exposure to the wintry seas.
The 3,915 ton British Freighter Gypsum Prince was sunk just 1.1 miles off of the Cape Henlopen point on March 4, 1942. She was headed toward the port of Philadelphia with a full load of Gypsum (a substitute for fertilizer) when at 6:40 AM , while visibility was still bad, Lights out and radio silent she collided with the British tanker Voco sailing out of Philadelphia on an outward bound course. She is considered a “war casualty” because she was trying to avoid detection at night by running with her lights off and her radio off. As we know ships at night stand out like a Christmas tree on the water. They provided an easy target for submarines. Six crew members from the Gypsum Prince died, twenty were saved and carried into Lewis.
The S S Hvoslep, a 1650 ton Norwegian freighter, was torpedoed March 10, 1942, two miles east of the Fenwick Island Shoal buoy. Sixteen survivors were picked up out of a crew of 20. It is on the dive circuit
On January 27th 1942 the Francis E, Powell, a 7,800 ton Atlantic Refining Company Tanker, was torpedoed by U-Boat U-130. Altho it was sunk down by the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay it is mentioned because seventeen of the survivors were bought into Lewis, Delaware. Ten more were taken into Chincoteaque. Four were missing, assumed dead. The wreck is broken into at least two sections. The stern section is off of Parramore Island in 90 fsw. The section frequently dived off of Virginia Beach in 90 fsw is almost unrecognizable as either the bow or midship section.
At the site NJ Scuba Diver are maps and info on the Jacob Jones and other wrecks
Thursday, March 06, 2008
It is Carol Hill's Birthday
Carol Hill of Hill Top Studios is going to be 50 March 6th! If you see her, make sure to wish her a Very Happy Birthday!
The 1933 Bank Holiday
So why did they close the banks in 1933? The great depression had been going on for a number of years and people were unable to pay their bank loans. The assets they put up, mostly farms, simply had no buyers so the banks were not able to sell them or had to sell them at a greatly depressed value. Now days of course the government would step in and bail out the banks at taxpayers expense, but this was prior to 1933 and the banks were losing assets. As we know in the banking system the money you deposit is loaned out and the bank only keeps from 6% to 15% of the total amount of deposits on hand to pay customers checks and withdrawals. As banks begin to close their doors because they did not have sufficient funds available to pay their depositors, people in panic or smartness begin to withdrawal money from the banks that were still operating, creating a run on the bank. You may recall in the movie “It’s a wonderful Life” George Bailey tries to stop the bank run on his saving and loan bank and he explains the banking system to everyone. Well at this period in time gold was the standard that backed the US Dollar and people could request their withdrawal to be made in gold. If they couldn’t get gold, they took silver, if they couldn’t get silver they took paper back money. It was being removed from the bank vaults at the rate of $20 million a day. At this time The US didn’t print money unless it was backed by gold, since the gold was being hidden at home and not in the banks they couldn’t print more money. All went into the mayonnaise jar buried in the backyard. The president referred to this as hoarding and to be labeled a gold hoarder was an awful thing (also a smart thing). More and more banks failed. In December 1932 State governors started closing their banks. In February, Maryland Governor Albert C. Ritchie closed the 200 banks in Maryland. The Bank of Delmar had to close down, however, on the other side of the street in Delaware was the First National Bank of Delmar and it was open. Needless to say business started to increase for the First National Bank as not only was it the only open bank in Delmar, it was the closest open bank for people in Wicomico County Maryland. The Delaware banks remained opened until the President closed them on March 6th.
So the bank closed what is the big deal? First, you couldn’t withdrawal the money you had in them. Second, the amount of cash in circulation was not enough to make change at stores, or pay employees in cash (checks were useless without a bank to cash them at). The excess cash people did get went into that mayonnaise jar buried in the back yard. The States that had closed their banks a couple of months before the National Bank Holiday had even more of a problem trying to find cash to circulate, they went to scrip. Local institutions supplied their own money. Towns and counties, factories and unemployment agencies, a fish processor in Massachusetts, and a college in California all created money for their communities. Emergency issues came from all of the forty-eight states, plus the territories of Hawaii and Alaska and the District of Columbia. In Cambridge, Maryland 200 merchants put up $1,000 to issue scrip. When you purchased from these merchants you received your change in scrip instead of US cash. In the collectors world today depression era scrip is a valuable thing. Business had to scramble to find cash to pay their employees, An exchange was established at the business office of the Salisbury Times Building in Salisbury to change larger denomination bills into coin or small denomination bills so people would have change to pay for things. The Eastern Shore Public Service Company (Today’s Delmarva Power) disbursed $22,000 in cash to its 300 odd employees in Maryland, Delaware and Eastern Shore of Virginia to meet it’s payroll. Standard Oil Company paid it’s employees by money order.
During this bank holiday banks had to submit financial statements of their conditions and the federal government determined if they could open again. An army of examiners fanned out and checked the solvency of banks across the United States. They certified the sound ones and closed the unsound ones.
By March 13th, a Monday, the Government had started issuing regulations to the Banks to re-open, the Bankers studied them on Tuesday and most re-opened on Wednesday, March 15th, although some had limitations placed on them and some didn’t open.
Complicating the bank holiday in Wicomico County was the Savings Bank of Nanticoke caught on fire and burnt to the ground. When the vault was opened all the funds were found intact. The money was removed and the bank reopened about a week after the bank holiday was removed in a building adjoining the burn structure. In addition, Joseph G. W. Purdue, cashier of the Bank of Delmar, died March 1st from an illness. He was 76 years old and before working for the bank had been a school teacher. All adding to the rumors floating about the conditions of the banking industry.
When the banks re-opened there were three categories of re-opening. First banks that allowed 100% withdrawal of deposits made before the bank holiday. Second, were those that allowed only a 2% withdrawal of deposits before the Bank holiday. Third were the banks that didn’t re-open.
In Delmar, Delaware The First National Bank of Delmar re-opened on Wednesday, March 15th with 100 per cent withdrawal. The Bank of Delmar in Maryland re-opened but with a two per cent withdrawal limitation on deposits made before February 25th (the day the Maryland banks shut down). It would not be until May 19th when the reorganization of the Bank of Delmar was completed and it would be on a 100% withdrawal basis. It had also applied for membership to the Federal Reserve System.
In Wicomico County; the Salisbury National Bank, Farmers and Merchants Bank, Bank of Fruitland, Hebron Saving Bank, Savings Bank of Nanticoke, and the Saving Bank in Pittsville, all opened with 100 per cent withdrawal privileges. The Eastern Shore Trust Company in Salisbury, The Farmers Bank of Mardela, and the Farmers Bank of Willards opened under a two percent withdrawal of deposits made before February 25th.
By the March 15th all but 4 of the 52 banks in Delaware were open. Among those on limited restrictions were the Fruit Growers National Bank and Trust in Smyrna and the First National Bank of Milton.
Jets Over Delmar
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Iditarod 36 Wednesday up date
A little update on the Iditarod, The leaders have made the checkpoint at Takotna. they did the restart at Willow on Sunday and have gone thru the checkpoints at Yentna, Skwentna, Finger Lake, Rainy Pass, Rohn, Nikolai, McGrath to finally arrive at Takotna where most will rest. Besides the official website for the Iditarod you can also get news at The Anchorage Daily News. Mitch Seavey took the lead about 11 a.m. our time when he did not take a rest at Takotna, Lance Mackey and Jeff King are in second and third place at this time. The mushers must take two eight hour rest on the trail and one 24 hour rest on the trail. The mushers average from five to eight miles an hour. Three of the mushers have already been scratched form the race.
It is interesting to look at some of the rules for Iditarod.
Mushers must wear a numbered bib for identification and carry the following supplies on the sled: a proper cold weather sleeping bag weighing a minimum of five pounds; an ax, head to weigh a minimum of 1.75 pounds and handle to be at least 22 inches long; one pair of snow shoes with bindings, each shoe to be at least 252 square inches in size; promotional material provided by the ITC; eight booties for each dog in the sled or in use; one operational cooker and pot capable of boiling at least three gallons of water; and a notebook, to be presented to the veterinarian at each checkpoint. The notebook is for the musher to record information about the dogs and for the veterinarians to examine; the rest of the gear may be checked at most checkpoints.
The musher must use a sled or toboggan that is large enough to carry injured or fatigued dogs under a cover. He can ship one or two extra sleds to checkpoints along the trail and switch if necessary. No sled can be used more than once unless it is to replace one that has broken.
The maximum number of dogs on a team at the start is 16, the minimum is 12. At least five dogs must remain at the end of the race. No dogs can be added after the start of the race and all dogs must be either hitched to the tow line or riding on the sled. Mushers must exhibit good sportsmanship, cannot accept help along the trail except in emergencies, and must care for their own teams.
If a musher kills an edible big game animal such as a moose in self-defense along the trail, he must stop and gut the animal before proceeding. Any mushers that come upon the scene must stay and help. The gutted animal must be reported at the next checkpoint. Mushers must sign in at each checkpoint and sign in and out at all mandatory stops. Each musher must take one 24-hour stop during the race at a time that is most beneficial to the dogs. In additional to the 24-hour layover, he must take two eight hour stops at designated checkpoints.
Some photos stolen from the websites
Band Beef And Dumpling Dinner
Delmar School Board Election
School Board election
So far Shawn Brittingham and Greg Cathell have filed.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Delmar Utility Commission Opening
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Begins First Term
On his first day (a Saturday) in office he took immediate action by closing the banks and preventing a complete banking collapse. I will post more about this action in the next few days. His first 100 days in office saw a wide range of new agencies set up to implement his "New Deal". He increased government spending, had an unbalanced budget, and removed a number of personal liberties from the people.
He is famous for his inaugural speech in which he had the line "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself". He told the American people he was going to do something about all the economic problems they had and they believed him. His inaugural speech is below;
First Inaugural Address of Franklin D. Roosevelt
SATURDAY, MARCH 4, 1933
I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.
More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.
Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.
True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.
The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.
Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.
Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.
Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now.
Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.
Hand in hand with this we must frankly recognize the overbalance of population in our industrial centers and, by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution, endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land. The task can be helped by definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural products and with this the power to purchase the output of our cities. It can be helped by preventing realistically the tragedy of the growing loss through foreclosure of our small homes and our farms. It can be helped by insistence that the Federal, State, and local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced. It can be helped by the unifying of relief activities which today are often scattered, uneconomical, and unequal. It can be helped by national planning for and supervision of all forms of transportation and of communications and other utilities which have a definitely public character. There are many ways in which it can be helped, but it can never be helped merely by talking about it. We must act and act quickly.
Finally, in our progress toward a resumption of work we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order; there must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments; there must be an end to speculation with other people's money, and there must be provision for an adequate but sound currency.
There are the lines of attack. I shall presently urge upon a new Congress in special session detailed measures for their fulfillment, and I shall seek the immediate assistance of the several States.
Through this program of action we address ourselves to putting our own national house in order and making income balance outgo. Our international trade relations, though vastly important, are in point of time and necessity secondary to the establishment of a sound national economy. I favor as a practical policy the putting of first things first. I shall spare no effort to restore world trade by international economic readjustment, but the emergency at home cannot wait on that accomplishment.
The basic thought that guides these specific means of national recovery is not narrowly nationalistic. It is the insistence, as a first consideration, upon the interdependence of the various elements in all parts of the United States--a recognition of the old and permanently important manifestation of the American spirit of the pioneer. It is the way to recovery. It is the immediate way. It is the strongest assurance that the recovery will endure.
In the field of world policy I would dedicate this Nation to the policy of the good neighbor--the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others-- the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors.
If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we can not merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.
With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.
Action in this image and to this end is feasible under the form of government which we have inherited from our ancestors. Our Constitution is so simple and practical that it is possible always to meet extraordinary needs by changes in emphasis and arrangement without loss of essential form. That is why our constitutional system has proved itself the most superbly enduring political mechanism the modern world has produced. It has met every stress of vast expansion of territory, of foreign wars, of bitter internal strife, of world relations.
It is to be hoped that the normal balance of executive and legislative authority may be wholly adequate to meet the unprecedented task before us. But it may be that an unprecedented demand and need for undelayed action may call for temporary departure from that normal balance of public procedure.
I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption.
But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis--broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.
For the trust reposed in me I will return the courage and the devotion that befit the time. I can do no less.
We face the arduous days that lie before us in the warm courage of the national unity; with the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious moral values; with the clean satisfaction that comes from the stem performance of duty by old and young alike. We aim at the assurance of a rounded and permanent national life.
We do not distrust the future of essential democracy. The people of the United States have not failed. In their need they have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action. They have asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of the gift I take it.
In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come.
WAKE UP DELMAR
The date will be March 8, 2008 beginning at 10am. Fire crews from the Delmar Fire Department will be going within the town limits to ensure residents have working smoke detectors. If the home does not have a working detector crews will install one free of charge. If no one is home, the fire department will leave a door tag on the front door and town residents may call the fire department with a time they will be home, and the fire department will come and check to make sure all smoke detectors are working properly.
For more information or questions please call the Delmar Fire Department at 302-846-2530.
Howard's Note, I received this notice from the Fire Department, I assume this is an optional choice for the homeowners in town, if you don't want people going thru your house "inspecting" you can tell them "no".
Monday, March 03, 2008
Delaware Economic Development Presentation
Main Street Meeting
Delaware Main Street controls some grants and funding for revitalizing run down towns, so maybe we should all go to it tonight so we can get some tax money flowing back to Delmar.
Always a hard choice to either maintain some dignity on one hand and not beg for our own tax money or beg like hell to get money so we can tear down the LeCates Building, a hard choice.
Tyler Merritt Fund Raising
Kim Johnson Benefit Dinner
Sunday, March 02, 2008
St. George's Methodist Church
St. George's Methodist Church is located Northwest of Delmar. Not to be confused with the other St. George's Methodist Church in the eastern part of Sussex County, St. George's is one of those simple Gothic style country church that are found throughout western Sussex county. It is part of the Methodist circuit in which the minister also attends King's Church and Mt. Pleasant Church. St. George's was formed after a successful camp meeting in 1842, which converted enough people to form a congregation. The first church was built in 1844 and rebuilt again in 1888 and 1928.
Of note; St. George has a luncheon this coming Saturday between 11a.m. till 3 p.m. Oysters, chicken salad sandwiches, crabs soup, peas and dumplings - sounds good.
Franklin D. Roosevelt