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The Voyage Home from France


The voyage home started on 5 May, 1919 as the 26th Ordnance Casual Company started marching from Libourne (Gironde) France to its final destination before embarking to sail to the United States. I received from the National Archives in Washington D.C. copies of the Strength Return for the 26th Ord. Cas. Co. It shows that Capt. Allen J. Robinson was now in command of 90 enlisted men and 2 officers including himself. Below is what was wrote in the section entitled "RECORD OF EVENTS".

PROCEEDED BY MARCHING ON MAY 5th, 1919 FROM LIBOURNE (GIRONDE) FRANCE APO 911 AEF TO CAMP GENICART APO 705A ARRIVING THERE SAME DAY FOR FINAL PREPARATION FOR EMBARKATION TO THE UNITED STATES PER pp 60 S.O. 123 HQ. BASE SECTION #2 SOS AEF APO 705 DATED MAY 3rd, 1919.

PVT. BENDER, EDWARD L. TRANSFERRED FROM COMPANY PER G.O. 23 par. 1. PVT. PHILLIPS, CLARENCE A. TRANSFERRED FROM COMPANY PER G.O. 23 par. 1. EMBARKED ON SS BELLS FOR TRANSPORTATION TO THE UNITED STATES PER PAR. 3 E.O. 160 HQ. BASE SECTION #2 MAY 10, 1919

A. Robinson
Capt. Ord. USA
Commanding

Among the many items I received from the National Archives were the deck logs of the USS Radnor. this was the ship that the 26th Ord. Cas. Co. sailed to the United States on. According to the deck logs the Radnor dropped Anchor at 11:15 am in the Gironde River, Bordeaux France on 10 May, 1919.

Selected Log Entries for 10 May 1919:

12:58 pm Standing up Gironde River Half ahead.
1:29 pm Anchor down
1:30 pm Stopped Engine
1:31 pm Bow line on dock at Pauillace, France.
1:55 pm 40 ft. water, all secured engines rung off, nearly full flood tide.
2:05 pm Ship secured to Dock, draft forward 16' aft 20'1"

Leslie Adamson Lieut. j.g.

3:20 pm Draft forward 16' aft 20'1"
5:40 pm Hunter, E. Seaman 2c brought aboard by provost guard, drunk and disorderly while ashore (confined)
8:00 pm Lowth, H.F. MMIc brought aboard by shore patrol, Drunk and Disorderly (confined)

William R. Anderson Lieut. j.g.

9:35 pm Commenced loading troops.
11:50 pm Loading troops, 25 Officers, 1882 troops, 1 Knights of Columbus, 1 YMCA aboard. Draft forward 16' 02" aft 20'03"

John E. McQuigg Lieut. j.g.

Examined:

M. S. Harloe, Lieut. Commander
Commanding

At 10:00 pm during loading of the troops the winds were from the South East Force 2, temperature was 63° overcast sky. At 03:40 am Abandon Ship drill was held and at 03:50 All Secure. Capt. Harloe didn't give the troops much time to settle down that first day before the first drill. Cpl. Edington's Parade Station was near Hatch No. 1 on the Weather Deck on the Starboard Side. His berth was in Compartment No. 1 Hatch No. 1 Deck C Bunk No. 35. This was the card issued to him while sailing aboard the USS Radnor.


Troop Billet Card
U.S.S. RADNOR TROOP BILLET
Compartment: 1 Hatch: 1 Deck: C
Bunk Number: 35
Parade Station near Hatch: 1 Weather Deck Strbd. Side.

"In case of any emergency stand fast and keep quiet. If abandon ship call is sounded, fall in, on parade station on the weather deck. In actually abandoning ship, troops go over the knotted ropes provided, and are picked up out of the water by boats and rafts. Wear your life preserver at all times. Wear your haversack at all times, with mess kit stowed in it. Keep this card in your pocket."

"INSTRUCTIONS FOR TROOPS. A life preserver will be found in each bunk and will be replaced where found before debarking. The use of tobacco, either smoking or chewing, is prohibited at all times in the berthing spaces. Smoking is permitted on open decks only. No food will be eaten in the berthing spaces or latrines. Air ports must be kept closed at all times, except when opened by a sailor detailed for that duty. Do not throw rubbish, rolls of toilet paper, candy tins or cigarette packages in the latrines. Do not spit on deck, inside or outside. Do not throw paper or rubbish about the decks, there are cans provided for that purpose. Use them. Wash your mess gear in the troughs provided for that purpose. Do not touch drinking fountains with your lips. To do so may spread disease. Scrub your teeth and wash your hands before each meal. It will prevent "catching disease." Loud talking, gambling, profane or obscene language, and all unnecessary noise and confusion are strictly forbidden. In case of "Abandon Ship" remember there is lots of time, move as quickly as possible but do not crowd or push. To do so will cause confusion and possible loss of life."

On the morning of 11 May, 1919 the Radnor and her troops headed down the Gironde river bound for Brooklyn New York. The deck log was not clear on what time the lines were cast off but it was between 12:00 am and 3:20 am. The entire voyage took 13 days and expelled 177,320 gallons of fuel oil. The reading of the deck logs during the voyage is mostly compass headings and steam pressure readings and the like but from time to time there are some interesting notations. Below are some of the more colorful log entries.

11 May, 1919 - 8:30 am Hunter E. S/2c and Lowth Henry F. MM/1c released from brig. (they were confined on 10 May for being drunk and disorderly while ashore)

12 May, 1919 - 4:00am - 8:00 am watch: Regular morning routine carried out. Aft army head flooded, reported by Mr. Roos. Fresh Westerly breeze moderate swell increasing clear and pleasant. Making 8 knotts speed with 73 average revolutions on the propeller. Bag inspection held in the afternoon.

13 May, 1919 - 3:00 am Ran into heavy fog, whistle blown per rules of road. Fire drill and abandon ship drills in the afternoon.

14 May, 1919 - 4:35 pm Passed the Belgian bark Lomk. Steaming time 251 miles made good true course
S87° W total distance travled 839 miles.

15 May, 1919 - 10:29 am 8 men on the Binnacle list. Strong breeze and moderate sea from SW. 1:30 pm Captian held mast, disposed of several minor offenses. Rough sea, strong breeze, partly cloudy

16 May, 1919 - 10:20 am 9 men on binnacle list 5 crew and 4 passengers. Retarded clocks 18 minutes. Light NW breeze, clear, drifting clouds, moderate swell. 4:00 pm Abandon Ship, Drill. Cloudy, overcast, light drizzling rain.

17 May, 1919 - 9:00 am Binnicle list:

Dehonney, S.S. MA3c
Mc Carrick, T.S. Sea.
Thomas, D.C. MA3c
Hendricks, A.W. Sea.
White, A.S.
Davis, A.J. Sea.

10:00 am Captains inspection
1:00 pm Captain held mast - Paulson, E.C. Sea.2c sentenced to 3 days Bread and Water for being slow to obey orders.

1:25 pm Paulson E.C. Sea. 2c placed in the brig to serve above named sentence. Moderate sea, overcast, gentle WNW breeze.

7:00 pm Passed 2 Schooners bound east, passed 4 unknown Steamers bound east, passed USS General Goathals bound east. Westerly breeze, gentle NW Swell.

18 May, 1919 - 5:00 am Ship laboring heavy rough sea. 10:00 am Church Services. Speed is 8 knots 1:15 pm passed the SS Manitowoc Eastbound on Starboard beam. Rough sea, moderate gale, clear.11:30 pm Strong NW breeze, rough NW sea, both sea and wind moderating, Ship rolling easily.

19 May, 1919 - 10:25 am 5 men on Binnacle list. 1:23 pm Passed SS Marengo (br.) Eastbound on Starboard beam. Fine clear weather, Northerly swell.10:35 pm Smooth sea hazy heavy mist at intervals, temperature of sea water dropped tp 45° and raised again. Now making 12 knotts with 80 revs.

20 May, 1919 - 6 men on Binnacle list. 1:00 pm Released Paulson, E.C. S2c from brig after serving 3 days solitary confinement on Bread and Water. Light NW breeze smooth sea, clear and pleasant.

21 May, 1919 - 6 Men on Binnacle list. 2: pm Mast held. Coalman, W.W. Sea. 2c Charged with Neglect of duty, sleeping on duty. Award -Summary Court Martial. Bargas, E.C. Ma3c Charged with Disobeying orders. Pending.

22 May, 1919 - 10:25 am 5 men on Binnacle List. 5:30 pm Smooth Sea, running into continuous fog banks and rain squalls, light air, overcast. 10:00 pm Stopped to take soundings. 150 fathoms wire out and no bottom.11:00 pm Stopped to take soundings 180 fathoms wire out and no bottom. Half speed ahead. fog at intervals, fog signal sounded.

23 May, 1919 - 1:35 am Steamer whistle on starboard bow. 1:45 am Took soundings 72 fathoms wire 57 fath. water fine grey sand. 4:00 am Heavy low fog throught watch, blowing fog signal continuosly, frequent wind and rain squalls swell from SW. Temp 57° 5:19 Steamers whistle on port beam, stopped engin 9:30 am Steamer passed on port side eastward bound. 4 men on Binnacle List. 11:30 am Picked up Nantucket Shoal Lightship bearing 25° off starboard bow, took soundings 32 fath. water. 11:57 am Nantucket Shoal Lightship 2.5 miles abeam 11:55 pm Sighted Shinnecock Light 2 points forward beam

24 May, 1919 -

4:15 am Fire island light ship abeam
6:25 am Sighted Ambrose Light Ship hoisted pilot flag.
6:48 am Rung stand by to engine room Pilot boat approaching.
6:53 am Pilot F.W. Findt came aboard, Full ahead proceeding toward Ambrose channel. Course and speed as per pilots orders.
7:49 am Rimer shoal light abeam
8:07 am Norton point light abeam
8:30 am Arrival time 13 days 12 hrs. 37 minutes. 3260 miles traveled.
9:00 am Ship granted practigue, Quarantine boat shoved off.
9:40 am Alongside Pier #3 Bush Terminal
9:48 am Finished with engine, all secure. Draft forward 14'11" Aft 20'00"
10:25 am Commenced unloading troops
11:15 am Troops all ashore
11:20 am 150 Soldiers as police detail. 3 men on Binnacle list.

Back side of the YMCA post card. It is Soldier's Mail and did not cost any postage if it was mailed on the Ship or on the Dock. Its addressed to mrs. Lena M. Howard and ststes that Cpl. Edington arrived on 24 may, 1919 aboard the transport USS Radnor bound for Camp Merritt, NJ. His unit was 26th Ord. Cas. Co.

The words "First Soil" were wrote on the back of this photo. It is the handwriting of my grandfather. The place of this photo is probably at Camp Merritt, NJ as the 26th Ord. Cas. Co. got off the train fron Brooklyn, NY. Cpl. Edington is in the front row, 7th man kneeling. The officer visible in front must be Capt. Allen Robinson. Click here to see the names of the men.


Cpl. Edington was mustered out of the Army on 5 June, 1919 at Camp Custer Battle Creek, Michigan. The above documents are his discharge papers from the Army. His final payment roll from Camp Custer shows that he was paid in cash $104.66 for period of 1 May - 5 June, 1919. Cpl. Edington then headed for his home in Lansing Michigan.


Date this page was created on 15 December 1999 and last updated on 6/24/07

If you have research comments or additional information on this page e-mail them to: Joe Hartwell

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