Link: Copy link
Dear Sirs: I noticed that you said your grandfather in charge of theship bloemfontein in ww2. I was on the ship for many days in november 1942 to december 1942. My question is ---did he at any time mention the Mutiny in the harbor of New Caledonia? It is very important for me to find out as I was there and saw the whole thing. Enought time has passed so that no one will be hurt with the truth. Thanking You I remain h.lasswell@ comcast.net
The United States started escorting its maritime traffic to the Philippines as a result of the July 1941 decision to defend the Philippines. Several Pacific Fleet cruisers performed such escort assignments, including CHESTER, ASTORIA, and LOUISVILLE, and others. BOISE and PENSACOLA were simply the last ones. All had made Central Pacific crossings until PENSACOLA was routed further south due to the suspected and impending outbreak of war with Japan.Thanks Nelson,
I have not even considered the (very real) threat from German surface raiders. Have a good trip and be sure to take the safest route!
Hello BobThe Ship Movement Report Cards as they are called are in the NARA's Record Group 38, part of the Tenth Fleet WWII collection. Also included in this collection are the Naval Armed Guard Reports for U.S. Flag merchant and U.S.A.T. Transports and Convoy records. I was told by an NARA Archivist that the NARA has no Deck Logs or War Diaries for U.S.A.T. ships (they were all destroyed). The Ship Movement Report Cards are made of a heavy stock colored paper, about 12" X 6" and are written mostly in pencil(!). They include U.S. and Allied ships, U.S.A.T ships and a few U.S. Navy auxilaries (APs,AKs and AOs). I brought my camera in hopes to save time by taking photos of the many cards I wanted to copy but it would have been almost impossible to read them afterwards, some were extremely hard to read as it was just holding them in my hands. I had to copy them by hand, not fun. To get a good idea what they look like, the Australian Govenment website has some of their Ship Movement Cards online (including Boschfontein) at:
h--p://www.navy.gov.au/Publication:WWII_Mercha ... _Australia
I have the movements of USAT Frederick Funston to Guadalcanal between January 1, 1943 - January 13th, what ships she was with in that time period if you are interested.
I've been able to find very little about the Funston befor or after it was commissioned as a Navy vessel. However, from the early history of the 87th Armored Field Artillery Battalion....Hi Nelson: Here is a break down of TF 62.6 I pulled from War Diary's, Admin logs from the President Adams, President Jackson, President Hayes, Crescent City, Libra, Hunter Ligett, but not for Frederick Funston. In a letter I received the FF war diary was not available and the first WD for this ship start in April 24, 1943.
The information below is from the WD of the USS President Adams:
TASK FORCE 62, TASK GROUP 62.6: New Caledonia to Guadalcanal
(January 2, 1943 to January 5, 1943)
Task Organization: Task Group 62.6 - Captain Reifsnider.
(a) Transport Unit No. l (62.6.1) - Captain Kiland.
USS PRESIDENT JACKSON (FLAG)
USS PRESIDENT ADAMS
USS PRESIDENT HAYES
USS CRESCENT CITY
(b) Transport Unit. No2 (62.6.2) - Captain Reifsnider.
USS HUNTER LIGGETT (FLAG)
(c) Landing Unit No. 1 (62.6.3) - Colonel Jackson.
Sixth Marines, Reinforced.
(d) Landing Unit No. 2 (62.6.4) - Lieut. Col. Landers.
221st Field Artillery Battalion.
Third Echelon, 25th Division.
Battery F, 214th Coast Arti11ery Battalion.
Battery H, 244th Coast Artillery Battalion.
Section, Advanced Depot, 7th Medical Supply.
Detachment Co. C, 60th QM Laundry Battalion.
Rear Echelon, Americal Division.
51st Ordnance Co.
Marine Air Depot Squadron.
Naval Construction Battalion Personnel.
Miscellaneous Naval Personnel.
(e) Embarkation Unit No. 1 (62.0.5) - Colonel Sims.
Seventh Marines, Reinforced (JACKSON, ADAMS, HAYES)
Aviation Group, Cub CUE (CRESCENT CITY).
(f) Embarkation Unit No. 2 (62.6.6) -Lt.Comdr. BLUNDER.
Sixth Construction Battalion (HUNTER LIGGETT)
(g) Escort (62.6.7) - Commander BELL.
USS GRAYSON (FLAG)
Thanks for your efforts to dig up information on the history of the M.S. Bloemfontein. I entered this world on this ship on August 9 1946 (latitude 4 degr 0 min North - longitude 56 degr 26 min East). On this trip from Melbourne to Rotterdam the ship repatriated Dutch citizens. Among them my then-pregnant mother and my sister.I've been following the career of the motorship Bloemfontein.(named after my home town in South Africa) She was built in 1934 as a passenger/cargo liner for the Holland Africa Line, making regular sailings from Europe to Southern Africa. I have record of voyages on this run up to March 1939 but after that things got blurry. She was reported somewhere to be working in the East Indies during 1940 and I know that she was leased to the U.S. Army sometime towards the end of 1941.
On December 3rd 1942, the Bloemfontein left San Diego with 4000 Marines on board bound for Espritu Santo. The voyage was apparently less than memorable but what I found amusing is that the Marines from VMD-154, in their newsletter of April 2000 referred to her as a "converted ice breaker"! Fact is that she had a Maierform bow - built for improved speed and seaworthiness but not for breaking ice.
My questions follow:
1. It is not likely that her voyages to South Africa ended in March 1939. Has anyone got any information about her career from that date onwards?
2. The website ww2pacific.com places her in the company of the "Pensacola Convoy",at sea and passing through the Phoenix Islands on December 7th 1941. If the Pensacola Convoy were on their way to Manila, what were they doing so far south?
The Plum Convoy changed its route with the sudden onset of war.Jacques,
In the months and weeks before the coming of war in the Pacific, the U.S. ran a number of escorted convoys to Manila in order to reinforce its army and navy elements there, but primarily the army's garrison in the Philippines. The U.S. Army fervently hoped for war to be delayed long enough so that it could build up sufficient reinforcements in order to mount a fierce defense, at least of the Island of Luzon.
The U.S. Navy had the final word in the routing of these cruiser-escorted convoys (though with consultation with the army, to be sure), and in so doing attempted not to display predictable habits in their sailings. Some convoys were routed directly west, past the U.S. possession of Guam in the Marianas Islands. For example, the convoy just prior to the Pensacola convoy, escorted by light cruiser USS BOISE (CL 47), ran the Mandates gauntlet, arriving just before the outbreak of war. But as time approached that ignition point, other convoys and more and more merchantmen sailing independently were sent by the southern route: SW and W to and through Torres Strait between Cape York, Australia, and Papua New Guinea, continuing west, and lastly north to Manila Bay. The Pensacola convoy was slated to take that southern route, thus its presence among the Phoenix Islands, and it was not that much of a stretch to be diverted to Brisbane (with the approval of the Australians, of course, but one assumes that was readily given, considering the speed and proximity of the Japanese advance).