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On Sunday, the 3rd of November in 2002, deep-water diver Bob Foster discovered the wreckage of the USS YF-415, a Navy lighter that had sunk on the afternoon of Thursday, 11 May 1944. The YF-415 (YF = Yard Freighter) had been in the process of dumping condemned ammunition, pyrotechnics, and ordnance into deep water just outside Boston Harbor when something went very wrong.

According to survivors of the incident, there was a “Whoosh!” and then flames and explosions.

The YF-415

In not-too-distant waters, headed for the Atlantic on a secret mission to report on weather conditions prior to D-Day, my father’s ship, the USS Zircon (PY-16), caught sight of the YF-415 in trouble. The Zircon‘s official mission would be delayed.

Details regarding what happened aboard the Zircon in the ensuing minutes will probably remain unknown as the principals are no longer around to tell them, and there appear to be a few holes in the witnesses’ testimonies before the court of inquiry. What isn’t in question, however, is that my father and one other sailor, Paul Magera, lowered a motorboat into the cold, foggy Atlantic and went searching for survivors from the YF-415. On their first trip, they returned with eleven men, one of whom was severely burned and would die the next day.

Front Page, Boston Globe, 13 May 1944

Signalman Henry J. O’Toole joined my father and Magera for the next trip out and returned with three more men. A third trip yielded no additional survivors. Subsequently, my father was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for valour, which I believe is the highest award one can receive for valour in a non-combat situation.

Copy of my dad’s citation

These are the basic facts of an incident about which my three brothers and I barely knew a thing growing up. Dad didn’t talk much about his service, and we—no doubt more interested in baseball or hockey or music or girls—didn’t inquire. Or… any inquiries were met with curt, vague answers that likely satisfied us at the time. I recall my mother telling me that Dad had helped to pull men from the ocean during the war, but little beyond that. I recall, too, that my adolescent mind embellished the incident with the menace of sharks.

But that’s where it ended. I never saw his medal, only a bar of ribbons left nonchalantly, unceremoniously in a desk drawer. The only remnants of his naval service that I recall seeing as a kid were that bar of ribbons, a couple of beige “Navy blankets” (as they were referred to around the house), a canvas duffel bag (with “Power” written at the top) and his storage chest that was tucked into the shadows of my parents’ bedroom closet. It wasn’t until he died in 1992 that my brothers and I saw the above letter of citation he’d received from the Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet when my mom showed it to the priest prior to his funeral.

Some years later, once the internet became the internet, and possibly after the YF-415‘s wreckage had been discovered, I received an email from my brother Mike with information about the ship and its demise. I can’t recall now if it was the Northern Atlantic Dive Expeditions’ website or some other shipwreck site, but I didn’t pay it much mind beyond the satisfaction of having learned a few more details about that day.

And then, in 2014, on the 70th anniversary of the incident, I did a web search to see if any newspapers—in Boston perhaps—had published stories about the disaster. I believe I typed in “USS Zircon” + “YF-415” + “John Power.” What came up was a newsletter from NADE with an update on the incident, thanks to first-hand reports by Zircon sailors Isidore “Teddy” Bertone and Anthony Susinno, who had remained close friends after the war. In his telling of what happened that day, Teddy mentioned my father, “Johnny Powers.”

I cannot adequately describe the surreal aspect of someone I’ve never heard of in my life talking about my father.

I contacted Heather Knowles at NADE to let her know that my dad was the Johnny Powers in the newsletter, misspelled name notwithstanding (there’s no S on the end of our name). She sent me a photo that hadn’t made the cut for the newsletter—one I’d never seen before. It was a group photo of the Zircon‘s radiomen and aerographers, and there in the back row, looking like he was about to kick someone’s ass, was my dad.

Lt. McKee and his Radio Gang- Also Areographers and SonarmenBWsm
Three years later—because I am a weird mix of introvert and extrovert— I finally got in touch with Teddy Bertone. But I had let one too many years pass, and I deeply regretted hearing from Teddy that Anthony Susinno died only a month or two earlier. In the fall of 2017, I met Teddy and his family, and it was at that time that it occurred to me that there might be more sailors alive who were on the ship that day.  To this day, I have spoken with two: Clarence Livingstone, who didn’t recall the incident, and Richard Garrison, who reiterated the gruesome details of that day. I’ve also spoken with three other Zircon sailors whose assignments to the Zircon came later. (Clarence, who died in May of 2018, admitted that he wasn’t right after his experiences at Okinawa, where he lost several of his friends. I sent him photos from the Zircon hoping to jog his memory, but nothing clicked. His godson told me recently that he just didn’t want to talk about it.)

Isidore "Teddy" BertoneIsidore “Teddy” Bertone, 16 October 2017, Staten Island, New York

As best as I can recall, Dad never spoke with any Zircon sailors after the war ended, at least not after he and my mother moved from Staten Island (where Mom had grown up and where Dad met her) to Toledo, Ohio, where Dad had grown up. I had never heard the name of John Gigarjian in our household even though he was my dad’s best man. I had seen his photograph, of course, amongst my parents’ wedding photos but never knew his name (which is sort of untrue… it was written as “Gigarten” on my parents’ marriage certificate). Neither do I recall hearing the name Carl Lester Miller, although based on photos, my dad appears to have been his best man.

This “project” remains a work in progress. What began as research into the events of 11 May 1944 has become something bigger. I’m not a military fetishist, nor am I a big believer in the “Greatest Generation” myth. While indeed I’m interested in knowing what happened with regard to the YF-415 incident, my attention has mostly turned towards the men who served aboard the Zircon, and to honouring them for more than just their service.  It is the human element that has caught my fancy. Who were these four hundred or so men who came together during a five-year period?

With this blog, I hope to tell some of their stories, as well as more about a yacht named Nakhoda purchased from a millionaire and converted for war duty.


Photo of John "Chick" Gigarjian (left) and my dad, John Bell Power, taken on 20 January 1945 at my parents' wedding.
John Gigarjian (left) and my dad, 20 January 1945

For the longest time, I had no idea who the fellow on the left side of this photo was. This is one of five photographs in which he appears amongst the twenty-three photos taken at my parents’ wedding, on 20 January 1945. I knew him only as my dad’s best man.

No names appear on the back of the photos. No names were written on the pages of the album that the photos once occupied. I recall that the album had a deep wine-coloured covered and was bound with rivet-like posts—two or maybe three of them—and I seem to recall a decorative cord. The pages were black (like construction paper) and the photos were held to them with photo mounting corners.

On my parents’ Certificate of Marriage, the Witnesses’ names identified Dad’s Best Man as John Gigarten.

Mom and Dad’s Certificate of Marriage

For as long as I’ve had the Certificate of Marriage, I had never paid much attention to the writing on it. I had always assumed that the Witnesses’ names were signatures. Therefore, why would someone not spell his name correctly. Of course, had I taken the time to scrutinize the document just a wee bit, I would have noticed that the handwriting was identical. It’s possible that Gladys, mom’s best friend and Maid of Honour, had written the names in. Maybe Mom did, although the handwriting doesn’t quite look like hers. The priest perhaps? Someone in the church’s office?

I’ll never know, of course.

Years ago, when the internet was still rather in its infancy, I had a trial account at Ancestry, and I searched for John Gigarten in Ancestry’s database. Nothing. Not one single result came up. I probably even used my pre-Google search engine of the day, AltaVista. Nada. It seemed that there was not a human being on the planet with the name Gigarten. It never occurred to me at the time that the name was misspelled because again, I had assumed—without close scrutiny—that he signed the document and how is it possible that he would have written the wrong name? It was nothing short of baffling.

Fast forward to October of 2017…

I had work in Boston photographing a conference, so while I was there, I visited the YF-415 memorial for the Black sailors who were killed in that disaster, which is on the site of the former Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot (now Bare Cove Park), and later that day met the divers who discovered the wreckage of the YF-415 in 2002. (It was a weird coincidence that one of the divers, Bob Foster, attended Bowling Green State University at the same time I had, and that we had a mutual friend.) When the conference was over, I took a train to New York so that I could meet one of my dad’s ship mates, Isidore “Teddy” Bertone, who has been a driving force for this research project of mine. We met while a videographer recorded our meeting. While Teddy and I talked, I showed him my parents’ wedding pictures and when the above picture of my dad and his best man came up, Teddy excitedly exclaimed, “Chick!”

He explained that “Chick” was a cook on the Zircon, and then showed me a picture from shipmate Frank DeRupo’s wedding—”Chick” was the same guy in my parents wedding pictures! He was DeRupo’s best man, too. In all likelihood, “Chick” was probably a really great guy, but I’ve also wondered if maybe he was so popular because he was the ship’s cook (SC1c) and no one wanted to get on his bad side. I also wonder how many times he served as someone’s best man.

Sailors (from left): unknown, Teddy Bertone, Frank DeRupo, Gigarjian, Anthony Susinno, Mario Saponaro

When I returned from the trip, I began in earnest seeking out more living Zircon sailors. Because the YF-415 disaster was forefront in my mind with regard to the information I was seeking, I downloaded all of the Zircon’s Muster Rolls and Reports of Changes and set about trying to figure out who was aboard the Zircon on 11 May 1944. As I created my spreadsheet, I came across the name Gigarjian on one of the muster rolls, and a light went on.

So “Gigarten” was probably due to someone having misheard a name. Or perhaps my mom and dad weren’t familiar enough with John to know how he actually spelled his name, despite that Dad had spent two years with him aboard the Zircon, so took a guess without asking him. Maybe my dad always thought his name was Gigarten.

My older brother Mike, who has been working on our family’s genealogical history for probably twenty years created a “family tree” of Zircon and YF-415 crew members using his Ancestry account. He made a profile for Gigarjian within the tree, and I uploaded the wedding photographs I have of him to the profile. Not long after that, we received a note from one of Gigarjian’s daughter’s with regard to the photographs as she had never seen them before. It occurred to me then to create a Facebook group where we could come together to share photos, stories, documents… anything related to our fathers’ service on the Zircon. As of today, the group has about 170 members representing about a quarter or so of the 400-plus sailors that served on the ship at one point during its five-year commission.

Living in these times with the internet, it’s easy to forget the days when getting in touch with someone who lived a thousand miles away was either a chore (writing letters) or a major expense (long-distance telephone calls). I recall well my mom’s frugality with regards to household expenses. For example, once I traveled to Chicago alone, and Mom wanted me to call her collect when I got there. She would refuse the call, of course, as she only wanted to know that I arrived OK.

So it probably was with my dad and his former ship mates. The cheaper long-distance rates didn’t kick in until after 11:00 P.M. on weekdays, and as my dad rarely stayed up beyond 11:30 (he’d hit the sack after watching the local news), it’s unlikely he would have called Chick. I believe that the same rates applied to the weekends, so it’s possible that if Dad had wanted to catch up with Chick or anyone else he’d served with, he would have done it at that time, but I just don’t recall him ever spending that much time on the phone with anyone. Besides, nine months out of the year, his weekends were spent either playing golf or watching it (and baseball) on television.

4th Commissioning Anniversary Dinner

On Sunday, 25 March 1945, a dinner commemorating the fourth anniversary of the Zircon’s commissioning was held at a rooftop banquet room at Hotel St. George in Brooklyn, New York, not far from the Navy Pier. I have no idea if the entire crew was allowed to attend. I assume that with the war in Europe winding down—Victory in Europe Day was less than two months away—the Zircon’s services weren’t urgently needed, so… probably?

The program for the evening included the ship’s entire roster (or “rooster as it reads on the page!), but there’s no way of knowing how many people actually attended.

Program (click for larger version)… I wonder who did the artwork

At the time of the dinner, and as noted on the cover page, four of the ship’s original crew, or Plank Holders (or alternately, Plank Owners), were still with the ship. My dad wasn’t in attendance as he had been transferred from the Zircon to the YMS-75 a couple of months earlier. The number of officers on board by this time had been trimmed to just five:

Lieutenant James Loren Cook, Jr., Commanding Officer
Lieutenant Richard Prescott True, Executive Officer
Julius George Sills, First Lieutenant
Lieutenant Charles Andrew Blocher, Communications Officer
Lieutenant (j.g.) Ned Landis Lamprecht, Engineering Officer

Ralph Patrick AnnunziataFrancis Lawrence MacDonald
Fausto Plaganas ApostolPaul Magera
Edward Richard AusfeldtRichard Edward Mercer
Edward BabishCarl Lester Miller
Alvin Edward BarberAnthony Nigro
William Eugene BarnettEdwin Lathrope Oakley, Jr.
Richard Roy BeckwithThomas Augustine O’Neil
Frank Walter BernardWill P. Parker, Jr.
Isidore (“Teddy”) BertoneWalter Leo Parks
Frank Paul BielskisArdrey Vernon Peyton
Richard Harold BlustWilliam Ganeric Petrushonis
Otto Martin BoernerJames William Plant, Jr.
James Rudolph BurtonLouis Rene Richards
Raymond ButlerJames Michael Riley
Raymond Francis CarpenterIrwin Rubin
Charles LaVern DamonAngel Louis Ruiz
Charles Brant DeerTommie Rush, Jr.
Frank Nicholas DeRupoWilliam Richard Salomons, Jr.
Max Earl DeyMario Patrick Saponaro
Arlo Eugene EllisPeter Anthony Schmanski
Pete Richard FederoffGeorge Preston Seybolt
Richard Hamilton GarrisonIsiah Smith
John GigarjianLasal Smith
Buford Aubry GriggsTheodore Soltys
Louis Harper, Jr.Harrison Stone
Odis HendersonAnthony Charles Susinno
Joseph Ovila HuardLeonard Francis Therrien
Joseph Henry Hoser, Jr.Elster Johannessen Tufte
George Waldo HumphreyWilliam Walter Turney
Daniel Frederick HurleyLester Burton Wood
Rinaldo Biagio IannettoneIra LaFlorrid Zeek
Lonnie Johnson
Sailors I’ve been able to identify are in bold

A photograph was taken that evening by Knickerbocker Pictures, which appears either to have had a contract with Hotel St. George or was simply the photographer of choice by the hotel’s events coordinator, as I’ve seen several group photos on eBay which were taken at the hotel and had the Knickerbocker imprint on them.

4th Commissioning Anniversary Dinner (click for larger version)

When I received the group photograph to scan, I hadn’t paid much attention to the date, so I thought perhaps my dad was amongst the crowd. As my eyes went from face to face, I was disappointed to not see his, but my jaw dropped when I saw the face of my mom’s best friend, Gladys Osier, who attended the dinner with Dad’s Best Man, John Gigarjian. I would later confirm with Gladys, who was Mom’s Maid of Honour, that the two of them went out a few times after my parents’ wedding.

Considering the number of sailors on the roster versus the number of sailors in the photograph, I’m guessing that it was taken late in the evening after people had left. Also, there are more officers in the photograph that appear on the roster, so it might not have been a completely closed event. Perhaps past and/or future officers were in attendance?

Noticeably absent are the Stewards: Apostol, Ellis, Henderson, Johnson, Parker, Parks, the Smiths (Isiah and Lasal), and Stone.

If you recognize someone in the photograph that hasn’t yet been identified, please get in touch. Likewise if you happen to have a copy of the photograph that’s in better condition, as the creases in this one make it somewhat difficult to identify a few people.

Vintage promotional postcard for the Hotel St. George

Program and group photograph courtesy of Linda Oakley Letendre.

Ensign John Gay

When I began to write this post, I thought there was no one in John Gay’s family with whom I would be able to get in touch. That was because for the longest time, I had believed his name had a middle initial—G. I’m not sure where I had come up with the initial because Gay’s name does not appear on any of the muster rolls or deck logs that I had at the time I added him to my spreadsheet. I only discovered that he was an officer aboard the Zircon after receiving a bunch of photographs from the son of Arthur Fleming Drant (F2c), who’d served on the Zircon from the day it was commissioned on 25 March 1941 until 23 February 1942. Gay’s name was written on the back of a few of the photographs.

John G. Gay, Lieutenant Charles Frederick Havemeyer

I think that the G came from a news clipping I’d found in a Pennsylvania newspaper which announced on its society page that a John G. Gay had been accepted by the Naval Academy in Annapolis. It was the only such news item I had found for John Gay at that time. Simply put, I conflated one John Gay with the other because… the Naval Academy. With few exceptions, very little information about a ship’s officers is available via muster rolls, so it wasn’t until I obtained a tranche of deck logs that I found his name listed as the Zircon’s Communications Officer.

28 February 1942 deck log’s List of Officers

This process of trying to locate over four hundred Zircon families requires a little persistence. Failure is almost the norm. When I feel I’ve gone as far as I can go with someone, I move on to the next person on the spreadsheet. Eventually, I work my way back around to those that I had reached dead ends with earlier (I can’t count how many times I’ve been through the spreadsheet).

Gay (left) with Ensign Julius Peter Wilkowski*

I can only hope that in repeating the process, sources such as or GenealogyBank,com might have “new” information for me. Also, as more and more people create family trees at Ancestry, additional and (often) more reliable information becomes available, and in some cases, there are photographs, as I recently discovered while looking for Sylvester Craven, who was a Chief Commissary Steward in 1941 and 1942.

With Gay, however, I was stymied… for a long time. A week or so ago, though, I came across a Draft Registration card of one John G. Gay, who was an immigrant from Czechoslovakia, and I thought I’d at last hit paydirt. I wondered, though, if an immigrant would have so quickly risen through the ranks to Ensign, especially as there was virtually zero military documentation besides the Draft Registration card. As I looked into his family history, I found no survivors. He had one son who’d died young, and another who died but had no children. I started writing, however, thinking that he was the guy, despite my gut feelings.

Wilkowski (knee), Ensign Ed Thorne, Ensign William Dommerich, and Gay behind Lieutenant Commander Cornelius Martin Sullivan

But then, I discovered a Findagrave memorial for John Gay—with no initial—that had an obituary included in the description. Everything in the obituary seemed to line up with the guy I was looking for. There was no middle initial on the memorial, but that’s pretty common as people create pages based only on what’s on the gravestone, and sometimes, gravestones don’t include initials. And then, I found a duplicate memorial that had identical birth and death information, no obituary, but with links to other family members. I got a little giddy thinking that my mystery had been solved.

Using the birth and death dates, I was able to find a tree at Ancestry which included an image of his obituary, which I probably would have found had I not been searching for John G. Gay. With the information about his surviving family members, I was able to find an email address that worked for his daughter Phyllis, and she confirmed I’d found the right John Gay. But, she informed me, “(h)e was always known to us children as John Gay, there wasn’t a G for a middle name.”

Gay (left) again with Wilkowski

A case in point regarding new information becoming available throughout the course of this project, I’m 99.999999% certain that when I began to look for Gay in Ancestry’s military documents a few years ago, I didn’t come across his Draft Registration card. Discovering it now, I see that he registered in New York, which I believe only recently made these documents available.

Gay’s Draft Registration card

The obituary I found at Ancestry (and then was published in the Boston Globe, and it differs from what I found on Findagrave in that it’s pretty bare bones. The latter was published in the Southampton Press (which I obtained thanks to a librarian at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton) and provided a brief but good sketch of Gay’s life:

The Boston Globe version indicated that he’d died after a long illness, but did not mention that he’d been hit by a car.

Boston Globe, 18 July 1996

Gay was born in Boston 10 April 1915 to William Otis Gay and Annie Margaretta Dumaresq, and as noted in the obituary, he had six siblings: Sophie Margaretta, William Otis, Dorothea Ellen, Philip Dumaresq, Anne, and Colette.

His family is delineated in Colonial Families of the United States, which was published before Colette was born in 1921.

Colonial Families of the United States

Getting back to his service… he was Communications Officer on the Zircon from 30 August 1941 until sometime in 1942 (since I don’t yet have all the ship’s deck logs, I currently don’t know his detachment date), after which he was promoted to Lieutenant (j.g.) and assigned Commanding Officer of the Sub Chaser, CS-682, at the Submarine Chaser Training Center (SCTC) in Miami, Florida.

The above Report of Changes from 31 December 1942 seems to indicate that the SC-682 was commissioned on 9 January 1942, but I found no muster rolls from before the December date.

Later that year, he reported on the destroyer USS Sturtevant (DE-239) as its Executive Officer, and served for about seven months. Interestingly, the History of the Sturtevant gives him a middle initial… G.

History of the USS Sturtevant (DE-239)

Phyllis said that her father never spoke of his time in the Navy, that “he was badly affected by the war” and likely suffered from PTSD. But… once the family got a television, “he was crazy about watching Victory at Sea.

Post-war, Gay went back to working on Wall Street, an occupation which appears to have run in the family, as both his father and oldest brother worked in world of banking and finance.

*Wilkowski would later legally change his name to Peter J. Wills.

Harold Victor Horn

I’ve been a little remiss in getting this post together as Harold died two years ago today. I actually began writing it shortly after he died, but I knew that Teddy Bertone would feel heartsick to read about the death of yet another of his shipmates—he was already feeling blue at the time knowing that there were so few still alive. So I held off and held off and held off, thinking that the first anniversary of his death would be a good time to post. But then, the day before that anniversary, Teddy died. It was a bit much.

Because of Harold’s failing health in the last couple of years, I never got to talk to him, although I’d exchanged numerous texts with one of his daughters, Fawn, and spoke once with his wife, Jean. Fawn told me that she had begun to record conversations with him about his naval service, and because my dad said so little about his time in the Navy, I encouraged her to keep at it.

Side-by-side diptych of photographs of Harold Horn, taken in 1944 and 2018.
Harold Victor Horn, circa October 1944 and 2018

One interesting thing about Harold is that while he was born in Milltown, Delaware, he grew up in Wilmington, a little over three miles from where the Zircon was built—as a yacht for Frederick J. Fisher by Pusey & Jones—when Harold was three years old.

Harold’s Draft Registration Card

He enlisted just prior to turning 18, on 10 May 1944, the day before the YF-415 disaster, and coincidentally, sixteen years to the day before Fawn was born. In 1950, he married Jean, and they raised their four daughters—Fawn, Nancy, Kimberly, and Gail—not far from his childhood home.

After I contacted Fawn, and she and Nancy joined the Zircon Facebook group, and they shared how Harold treasured his time in the Navy, but particularly his time aboard the Zircon. The walls of their home are adorned with photos of the Zircon and a framed calligraphic version of the Zircon’s history. His love and pride of service was in such stark contrast to my dad’s tight-lipped attitude about his Navy days. Which is not to say that he neither loved nor was proud of his time in the Navy—I just wouldn’t have known one way or the other. (As I’ve mentioned previously, besides my parents’ wedding photos in which he wore his Navy Blues, there were very few reminders in the house of Dad’s Navy service.)

A Seaman, Second Class (S2c), Harold, was received aboard the Zircon on 1 August 1944 and was transferred to the PC-1087 on 25 January 1945, the same day my dad was transferred to the YMS-75. While it’s highly improbable, I like to think that they walked down the gang plank one last time together.

Diptych of two pages of the Report of Changes from the USS Zircon, noting Harold's arrival on the Zircon and his departure
USS Zircon (PY-16) Reports of Changes from 30 August 1944 and 30 January 1945
Group photos of Zircon sailors, likely all Seaman, taken circa fall of 1944. Harold Horn is in the back row, second from left.
Harold is in the back row, second from left.
Photograph of three sailors taken in a photo studio. Likely taken sometime in 1945 while Harold Horn was serving on the PC-1087. The two other sailors are unknown.
Harold (bottom right), likely with PC-1087 shipmates
History of the USS Zircon, Calligraphy by Deborah C. Adams

One of the texts I’d received from Fawn included a link to an interview she did just a few months before Harold died with retired Army veteran and author Paul Holbert, who regularly writes and video-blogs about veterans affairs. The first eight minutes of the interview is mostly pleasantries, with the discussion about Harold and his service essentially beginning at the 8:20 mark.

Paul Holbert interviews Fawn Victorie Horn Freeman about her father, Harold Victor Horn.

Of all the people I’ve spoken with since beginning this project, Teddy and Harold both seemed to have had a special affection for the USS Zircon.

Here’s a little more about Harold, taken from his obituary:

[Harold] apprenticed with T.T. Weldin & Sons in sheet metal and advanced his skills in the service. When he was discharged from the Navy, Harold finished his training and became a master sheet metal mechanic and contractor. In 1973 he opened Pencader Contractors, specializing in customized fabrication with his nephew, Harry A. Horn. Harold was a “Chevy” guy, loved NASCAR racing, and was a dedicated fan of Dale Earnhardt. In 2004, at the age of 78, he had the opportunity to drive around the Monster Mile track at Dover Downs.

Navy portrait of Harold Victor Horn
Harold Victor Horn

Isidore “Teddy” Bertone

This post is long overdue, but today seems to be a good day to get ‘er done.

A year ago today, Isidore “Teddy” Bertone died at the age of 96.

Diptych of a third or more of the Zircon's crew probably post-baseball game at Riddell's Bay, Bermuda, 1 October 1944, with a detail crop of Teddy Bertone.
Riddell’s Bay, Bermuda, 1 October 1944

It’s probably not an understatement to say that this blog wouldn’t exist without my having known Teddy. His desire to set the record straight about the events that unfolded on 11 May 1944, when the Zircon came to the aid of the exploding, burning, and sinking YF-415, is what really got the ball rolling for me to finding out more about the USS Zircon (PY-16) and every man that set foot on the ship during its five-year commission as a United States Navy vessel.

Group photo of the Zircon's mechanics taken likely late summer of 1944.
Teddy with his fellow mechanics, squatting… second from right

I’ve told this story before, but I guess it’s worth telling again that I never in my life had heard the name Teddy Bertone before 11 May 2014, the 70th anniversary date of the YF-415 disaster. On that day, I thought maybe somewhere—likely the Boston area—a newspaper would have run some kind of historical piece about what happened that tragic day. I had no luck in finding anything in newspapers, but I did manage to come across a newsletter, The Lookout (Winter 2013), published by North Atlantic Dive Expeditions, which had discovered the wreckage of the YF-415 at the bottom of the ocean on 3 November 2002. (NADE’s profile of the wreck is here.)

Photo of Teddy Bertone and Frank DeRupo sitting on the side of the Zircon, possibly in Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada.
Teddy and Frank DeRupo, possibly near Argentia, Newfoundland

In the newsletter, the author, Heather Knowles, mentions having spoken with two of the Zircon sailors, Teddy Bertone and Anthony Susinno, about the incident as they were aboard the Zircon that day, and they had mentioned (gulp!) my dad’s name. I contacted Heather to let her know of my connection and she got me in touch with Teddy’s daughter Lisa, but because I’m a weird blend of introvert/extrovert, that connection sort of stagnated for almost three years. Finally, I arranged to talk with Teddy in the spring of 2017, and scheduled a visit with him in the fall when I was scheduled to be on the East Coast for work.

Photo of Paul Beach, Teddy Bertone, Mario Saponaro, and William Barnett, posing with liquor bottles at a fake bar in a photo studio likely in Coney Island, New York.
Paul Beach, Teddy, Mario Saponaro, William Barnett, likely at Coney Island

Teddy lived with his daughter Nicole in Staten Island, so I arranged with my client to have my flight home depart from Newark, New Jersey, and when my work wrapped up, I took the train from Boston to see him. When we met, we were accompanied by a video team, whom Lisa had contacted. They were interested in doing a short documentary piece about the disaster and this sailors’-reunion-by-proxy.

Teddy Bertone and Otto Boerner in a small boat on a rocky shore in Bermuda
Teddy and Otto Boerner in Bermuda

Teddy and I and Lisa sat at the kitchen table, with photos sprawled in front of us, and at some point, Teddy proudly showed me his dress blues which he’d kept all those years. He was as proud of his service as anyone I’ve ever known, but according to Lisa, it had only been relatively recently that he’d begun to talk about it. It became important to him that the YF-415 story be told accurately. In a way, his wish became my command and I began using every possible resource to track down other living Zircon sailors, in the hope that I’d find someone else who was aboard that fateful day in 1944.

Photo of Otto Boerner, Teddy Bertone and George Humphrey walking on  Queen Street in Hamilton, Bermuda. (Circa 1944)
Otto Boerner, Teddy, George Humphrey on Queen Street, Hamilton, Bermuda

One of my favourite moments in that first meeting with Teddy occurred when I was showing him my parents’ wedding photographs via my tablet. Dad’s best man was one of his shipmates—a man whose name I never knew as a kid because I never bothered to ask what it was. (Or maybe I asked my mom and she couldn’t recall.) Anyway, as I swiped through the photos, I came to one in which Dad appeared with his best man.

“Chick!” exclaimed Teddy.

Photo of the author's father (right) with his best man, John "Chick" Gigarjian, taken at Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Staten Island, New York, 20 January 1945.
John “Chick” Gigarjian and my dad

He was so excited. Which got me excited. He then pulled out a photograph from the wedding of another Zircon sailor, Frank DeRupo, to show me that John “Chick” Gigarjian was also Frank’s best man.

Frank DeRupo Wedding Party… Teddy is second from left.

When I got home from New York, I immediately began searching for other living Zircon sailors who were on the ship that day, and eventually located two. one of whom, Richard Hamilton Garrison, I later hooked up with Teddy for a reunion by phone. I also set up a Facebook group, and as I found more families of Zircon sailors, I invited them to the group. Teddy loved being able to commune with the children and grandchildren of many of the men he served with on the Zircon, regularly contributing comments and photos. He was the lifeblood of the group.

Photo of the author and Teddy Bertone, 16 October 2017 in Teddy's home in Staten Island, New York.
Me and Teddy

I regret that I didn’t talk with Teddy as often as I would have liked. I occasionally sent off emails to Nicole asking various questions about his quotidian life aboard the ship, or if questions specific to the YF-415 incident popped into my head. I had arranged to talk with him on—as it turned out—the day after he died.

I’m getting a little emotional as I write this because I never would have imagined getting to know one of my dad’s World War II shipmates, much less becoming friends with one, and wanting to share with him every little nugget of information I found out about the Zircon or one of the four hundred or so men that came and went during its five-year commission as a naval vessel.

As I mentioned, he was as proud as anyone I’ve known to have served in the U.S. Navy and on the Zircon, his only seaward assignment during the war. And after waiting eighty-years, this Italian immigrant from the town of Castiglione in Sicily was proud, too, to finally become a United States citizen.

Image of the front of Isidore "Teddy " Bertone's Draft Registration Card.
Teddy’s Draft Registration Card

There are many. many questions I never got around to asking Teddy, but a couple occurred to me as I was writing this. The first is, where did the name “Teddy” come from? I asked Lisa and Nicole, who asked Teddy’s brother, Vincent, and no one seems to be quite sure. It possibly had to do with someone having trouble saying Isidore. A Teddy Bear might somehow have been involved as well (What?!?). I wonder if someone mistook “Isidore” for “Theodore” at some point, Teddy being a common nickname for Theodore in those days.

The second was: how did he feel about being at war with his native country Italy? His best friends aboard the ship (Tony Susinno, Frank DeRupo, Mario Saponaro, all of whom were born in New York)—whether by chance or by choice—happened also to be Italian. And, of course, his naval duty was essentially related to the German presence in the Atlantic, but he had to have been torn.

Photo of Isidore "Teddy" Bertone, taken by the author on 16 October 2017 in his home in Staten Island, New York.
Isidore “Teddy” Bertone, 16 October 2017, Staten Island, New York

Teddy, we hardly knew ye.

The Pilot Boat New York, Part II

The path to discoveries often take unexpected turns.

Recently, I did another newspaper archive search for articles about the Zircon’s life after World War II. Specifically, I was looking for somethinganything about the ship after John W. Mecom, Sr. purchased it from the Sandy Hook Pilots Association. It had served for about twenty years in New York Harbor by that time, and was about forty-three years old.

I couldn’t find anything substantive, although in my previous post I wrote about possibly having found it’s post-New York name. (Heavy emphasis on possibly.) I then searched again for anything about the ship when it was still the New York. Of course, trying to search for a ship with that name can be futile—to say the least—when there’s a city and a state by that name and probably thousands of businesses with it in their names.

I did an eBay search for Sandy Hook Pilots Association with the thought that maybe, just maybe someone have a press photograph of the ship for sale. I got lucky a couple of years ago when I purchased a copy of a press photo of the ship taken when it was undergoing the conversion from Navy vessel to pilot boat. So, you never know!

I found nothing on eBay, but somewhere, somehow along the way, I found a reference to the book, Always On Station: The Story of the Sandy Hook Ship Pilots, by Francis J. Duffy After looking to see if Duffy might still be alive (he isn’t), I found that he was associated with the Steamship Historical Society of America (SHSA), whom I contacted to see if perhaps the group happened to have a photo of the New York in its collection. Sure enough it does.

Aimee Bachari, SHSA’s Education Director, let me know that she had two negatives of the ship on hand, but no means in-house by which to scan the them. As a matter of wanting to know exactly what she had (I expected 35mm negatives), I asked her if she wouldn’t mind holding a negative up to a diffused light source and taking a photo of it with her mobile. I half-expected that she’d tell me to take a hike, but a day or two later, I got an email with this photo attached. A big, beautiful 4″ x 5″ negative! And well-exposed to boot!

I took the image into Photoshop, inverted from a negative image to a positive, corrected the perspective a little bit, converted it to black and white, and cropped it to get rid of most of Aimee’s hand. I cropped it again to little more than the ship.

In this form, it’s not great, but it is nonetheless gold.

Yesterday, I contacted a photo lab about a mile from where SHSA’s offices are to see how much it would cost for scans of the negatives (surprisingly not much) and then emailed Aimee to offer to pay for them. I’m even willing to pay additional as a donation. I’ve yet to hear back.

I then set about to determine where the photograph had been taken by opening up Google Maps and scanning the Manhattan and Brooklyn shorelines in 3D mode to see if I could recognize the buildings. They look pretty distinct to me, so I was hopeful. But then, the photograph was taken 29 May 1951, and there’s the possibility that the buildings were no longer there.

I contacted a friend of mine back in Michigan who grew up in New York to see if she might recognize the buildings. As luck would have it, she has an 85-year-old uncle who worked on the New York City waterfront during the 1950s. She sent him the photo and he immediately recognized the Whitehall Building, which is just above the boat in the middle of the 1951 photo.

Via Google Earth, this is the area where the ship was photographed. The Whitehall Building appears to have been having some work done on its façade when the image was recorded as there is black fabric covering the south side of the building.

The waterfront area has change quite a bit as almost all of the docks have been replaced by landfill.

Grand Mutter

After what seems like an eternity of not paying much attention to the Zircon, its crew, its history, and therefore this blog, something recently lit a little bit of a fire underneath me to try to find out what happened to the ship after it was sold to John W. Mecom, Sr. in 1973. So, I did a newspaper search hoping that additions to its collections of newspapers, I’d come across an article about the ship running aground in Corpus Christi in 1988.

I didn’t find anything about that incident, but I discovered an obituary in the 31 August 1986 Galveston Daily News for Bill Curry, whom Mecom had employed as the captain of his yacht.

While Curry died a couple of years before the incident in Corpus Christi, I hope that I might be able to find out from his children (I’ve attempted to contact only one as of yet, with no luck) if they know anything about the ship or have photographs or… something.

I also found this article in the 27 August 1989 Victoria Advocate which, while not about the ship per se, very possibly mentions the name that Mecom gave to to the Nakhoda/Zircon/New York after he purchased it—Grand Mutter.

I haven’t been able to find any other news stories which mention the Grand Mutter, but I’ve sent an email to Mecom’s grandson to see if at least he can confirm that that’s indeed the name that was given to it.

Just as I was about to publish this, I noticed that the latter article above mentions John W. Mecom, Jr. not John W. Mecom, Sr. Possibly it’s a typo or possibly I’m following a dead-end trail.

Edit to add (11 March 2023): After giving this considerable thought, I believe that the Grand Mutter is not the Zircon, but the yacht owned by younger Mecom.

The Method To My Madness (The Madness To My Method?)

When I started this research (should I put that in quotes?), I had no idea what I was getting into, really. I had a bunch of names on documents titled Muster Roll of the Crew and Report of Changes—all which which fell under the category of “muster rolls” on Ancestry—which I soon would transpose to an Excel spreadsheet, not knowing what I would do with the tidbits of information that was on them. Because I have no military experience, it took me a few times of poring over them to figure out that the literal muster rolls were done on a quarterly basis and any changes in personnel between the quarterly reports were recorded on the Report of Changes. So, if I were to try to determine who was on board on any given day, such as 11 May 1944, which was the impetus for this project, I would have to start with the most recent quarterly muster prior to that date, then do the addition and subtraction of sailors noted on the subsequent Reports of Changes. Besides noting the arrival or departure of sailors, a Report of Changes would also denote when a sailor’s rating was changed, if there were passengers aboard for transportation, and occasionally make note of when sailors were absent over leave. In a few instances, sailors’ home addresses were included when they were on sanctioned leave. There were a few cases in which sailors were listed as “stragglers” when (I assume) they failed to return from approved leave.

Quarterly Muster Roll (left) and Report of Changes

In the above image, the muster roll lists who was on the ship on 31 March 1944 (it’s one of three pages from that day) ; the Report of Changes from 11 May 1944 (one of two pages) indicates that seven men were received on board (“Rec.”), four were transferred off (“Tran.”), and four had changes in their ratings (“C.R.”), along with the dates the actions occurred and related notes. When I created my spreadsheet, I pretty much took as much information as was available on all the documents so that I could minimize having to go back to the documents themselves. (I probably should add columns for each time a sailor’s rating changed.) A couple of the columns are designated Dad and YF-415… these help me to identify which sailors served at the same time as my dad, and specifically on 11 May 1944, respectively.

A snippet of my Zircon Excel spreadsheet

As mentioned above, my first goal with this project was to determine which sailors were aboard the Zircon on 11 May 1944 so that I could try to find other sailors other than Teddy Bertone who might be alive. But as I learned more about the ship and its history, and as I learned more about some of the sailors in the news clippings I’d find, I went all in on trying to track down the over four hundred sailors that came and went over the course of the ship’s five-year commission as a Navy vessel.

I pretty much worked my way down the list alphabetically, but if something such as the rescue of the sixteen SS Otho sailors on 8 April 1942 caught my attention, I’d re-order the data to see which sailors were on board that day, and make them the priority. (I have additional, separate tabs for the crews of the Otho and the YF-415 as I’ve also spent gobs of time trying to locate families of those sailors. Shiny objects!

Once I make contact with a sailor or family member, I fill in the row of data boxes with yellow. Light blue means I attempted to contact someone via Facebook; the blue-green means I sent a postcard. Red text indicates an officer. The light pinkish colour is no longer significant (if I recall, it was an indication that I located a sailor’s family); dark blue indicates I’ve spoken with an actual sailor; the dark green are aviation-related sailors from when the Zircon was designated relief flagship for the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. I’ve not determined exactly what the aviation-related sailors did. I’m not even sure that they actually set foot on the Zircon… I’m kind of under the impression that they were assigned to the ship only on paper. Perhaps the deck logs will clear it up for me when I eventually get them.

Anyway, I keep plugging away at locating the families of Zircon sailors, regardless their length of duty aboard the ship, as there might be photographs or diaries or mementos out there somewhere.

And as if there weren’t enough tangents for me to follow with regard to the Zircon, I started a similar project and blog about the other ship that my dad served on (for almost five months), a mine sweeper, the YMS-75. The shutdown of the National Archives has brought that project to a screeching halt as well, but I hope to dive back to it in the coming year.

The SS Otho

On 3 April 1942, just a few months before my dad would board the Zircon, the merchant ship SS Otho was sunk off the east coast of the United States by a torpedo from the German submarine U-754 while en route from Takoradi, Gold Coast (British West Africa) to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The torpedo struck the ship’s starboard side below the stack at the bulkhead between the #3 tank and the engine room, and within fifteen minutes, the ship disappeared into the Atlantic. Most of the fifty-three men aboard the Otho managed to abandon the ship within five minutes in three boats and a raft. At shortly after noon on the 8th, the Zircon picked up that raft and sixteen of the Otho’s survivors. (Ultimately, only twenty-one men survived the attack.)

USS Zircon Deck Log from 8 April 1942
Wilkes-Barre (Pennsylvania) Record, Saturday, 11 April 1942, Page 1

The list of men rescued by the Zircon:

John Frank Augustine
Philip Westerly Babcock
Harold Joseph Bohnen
Torsten Carlson
Malin Derrickson
Alric Jackson Edwards
Carl Oscar Hansen
Robert Vincent L’Hommedieu
Edward Thomas Magruder
Acsielo M. Perez
Carl Foch Roberts
James Lee Tigner
Cristobal Velasquez
Parke Milburn Ward
Will Bussey Wiley
Stanley Anthony Zelinski

The Zircon’s deck log has Derrickson’s first name as “Maliu” and newspaper accounts such as the above Wilkes-Barre Record, reported his name as “Marlin.” Based on an Ancestry page and obituaries I’ve found for, I believe, his son and wife, Malin appears to have been his name. I’ve also found Malin used on a couple of sunken ships websites.

I’ve not yet made contact with any of the families of the sixteen survivors, but I found photos at of Torsten Carlson (who died just six months later when the SS Examelia was sunk by U-68 about twenty miles south of the Cape of Good Hope) and James Lee Tigner. Based on Tigner’s 2011 obituary, he and his wife did not have children as they had devoted their lives to missionary work for the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Tigner’s wife, Jayne, was instrumental in having a memorial built in London, Connecticut for those who had lost their lives in the Merchant Marines. I’m still searching for something about that.

Torsten Carlson (left) and James Lee Tigner

I also found a photo of survivor Edward Thomas Magruder with a few family members, including his sisters, Dorothy and Lorraine. Below the photo is the text that accompanies the photo on Ancestry. Employed by Pan American Airway Lines as a plumber, Magruder was a civilian on the Otho when it went down. A couple of years later he joined the Navy. It appears that he had at least two children from his first marriage. He died 2 December 1984.

“Dorothy Magruder (Eddie’s Sister), Eddie holding Glenn, Mom hugging Jean, Buddy in front of Dorothy, and Lainie holding bible. Summer of 1944.”

Since the Otho went down, it’s highly unlikely that many photos exist that might have been taken aboard the ship, although I found this photo at eBay, possibly taken in 1924 or 1925…

SS Otho

…and another at eBay that shows very little of the ship while underway.

Date on back of photo: 18 January 1941

The Otho was launched on 28 February of 1920, so it was just shy of being twenty-two years old when it went down.

The Tacoma Daily Ledger, 29 February 1920

As best as I can tell, the following sailors were aboard the Zircon the day of the rescue. Until the National Archives is open again, and I’m able to get deck logs from that month, I probably won’t know for sure.

Ignacio Acack
Arthur Merrill Adams
Gilbert Atwood Anderson
Joseph Francis Baldassare
Raymond John Battistelli
Frederick Joseph Beloin
John Stuart Bennethum
Joseph Cornelius Benson, Jr.
Harry Reno Blankenship
Samual/Samuel Booker
Thomas Brader
Berton Johnson Byers
Page Herman Carter
*Howard Cochrane
Francis Michael Conlon
*Edward Lee Crain
Sylvester Craven
Arthur R DeFields
William Louis Dommerich
Thomas Stephen Dunstan
John Robert Edwards
Burton Sandiford Evans
George Joseph Fager
Pete Richard Federoff
William Joseph Franey
John Gay
John Thomas Gleeson
Anthony George Gutsch
Louis Monroe Harper, Jr.
Edward Davis Howland
Walter Hudgins Gordon
Ronald Johnson
Daniel Johnson
Burris Beaty Jones
Charles Jordan
Randall Manuel Keator, Jr.
Alexander Joseph Kotarba
*Martin John Kuck
George La Roy
Edward Lawrence Larsen
James Francis Ledwith
George Love
Francis James Lynch
Paul Magera
Angelo Maiorano
John McGhie
John Charles McNicol
James Eli Monte
John Earl Morgan
Charles Milne Morris
William Mortimer Newman
Orla Ezra Nichols, Jr.
**Stanley Thomas Niciejewski
Alfred Lester Nickles
Henry John Niemczyk
Anthony Nigro
**Joseph Francis Nolan
Edwin Lathrope Oakley
**Robert Davidson O’Brien
Eugene Martin O’Connell
**Edward Daniel O’Connell
William Henry Oesterle
James Thomas O’Hagan
Erhard Linus Olson
Thomas Augustine O’Neil
Eugene Patrick O’Shea
Henry John O’Toole
Julio Sabila Pacalioga
John Herbert Peach
William Ganeric Petrushonis
William Edward Pitt
William Bibbins Post
*Edward Walter Ranski
William Richard Salomons, Jr.
Charles Owen Schauss
George Preston Seybolt
Michael Joseph Silvasie
Theodore Soltys
Christopher Sottile
William Dixon Stevens
Carl Stone
Kenneth Edward Thompson
Edwin Thorne
Frank Truhn, Jr.
Elster Johannessen Tufte
Anthony Joseph Viviano
Wellesley Plant Wheeler
Julius Peter Wilkowski (Peter J. Wills)

*Received for temporary duty on 3 April 1942 and transferred 22 April 1942. I suspect that they were aboard for training, as one was rated Seaman, First Class (Cochrane), two were rated Seaman, Second Class (Crain and Kuck), and one, Apprentice Seaman (Ranski).

**Niciejewski, Nolan, O’Brien, and O’Connell were transferred to the USS Sylph on 3 April 1942 for temporary duty. and returned for duty on the Zircon on the 22nd. It would seem that this was to make room for Cochrane, Crain, Kuck, and Ranski.

Riddell’s Bay, 1 October 1944

Riddell’s Bay, 1 October 1944

The banner cover for this blog was originally shared to the Facebook group I created in November of 2017. In the early days of the group, I was only looking for family members of the sailors who were on the Zircon on 11 May 1944, the day of the USS YF-415 Disaster.

A couple of those sailors were Edwin Lathrope Oakley and Henry John Niemczyk. I originally contacted Oakley’s son, who didn’t seem very interested in this project of mine, but passed along my message to his sister. She joined the group and posted a photo of about fifty loose photos (and a few news clippings) that she had. In all honesty, I hadn’t expected that there’d be so many photographs since I don’t recall that my dad ever had any. But indeed there were, and she agreed to send them to me. I was a little disappointed that my dad wasn’t in any of them, but I was more than pleased to share them to the group once I scanned them.

A month later, I tracked down Niemczyk’s son, Mike, and invited him to join the group. It wasn’t long before he posted the group photo, taken at Riddell’s Bay in the Bahamas. On the back of the photo, his father had written: “Riddel’s Bay – The Whole Gang” and dated it 1 October 1944. There are forty-six men in the photo, accounting for just under half of the ship’s full complement that day.

And there, in the middle-front of the group was my dad.

Dad amongst “The Whole Gang”

The feeling I had upon seeing this for the first time is almost indescribable. I can only compare it to what it must have been like finding gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1849. And, of course, it was gold for me. I can’t tell you how much I love the photograph. While seeing him on board the ship with the other Soundmen and Radiomen was trippy, in a way, since I’d never seen it before, seeing this one was something altogether different, as it showed him communing with his ship mates, some of whom he’d spent the better part of two and a half years of his enlisted life. This moment was but a sliver of a lifetime that I barely had known existed. (Recently, another Zircon sailor’s daughter sent me a copy of this for me to scan at 9600 dpi, and that’s the one I’ve included here. The print is about 2.5″ x 3.5″ and the image 2″ x 3″.)

Not long after he posted this photo, Mike shared a photo taken either just before or after this one. I’ll call it the outtake. There aren’t quite as many men in the photo and many of them appear either getting into position or getting up. A light leak mars the image, but I like it because my dad actually looks to have a smile on his face.

Riddell’s Bay, Take Two

I created a contour-line legend for the first photo (I suppose I should do it for the second as well) so that we, the Facebook group members, could more easily put names with the faces.

As of 27 July 2021, twenty-five of the forty-six sailors have been identified.

02. Michael William Magenheimer
04. Albert Craft Emmett
06. William Richard Salomons, Jr.
07. Joseph Henry Hoser, Jr.
08. Isidore Teddy Bertone
10. Henry John Niemczyk
11. Anthony Nigro
13. Raymond Francis Carpenter
14. Leonard Francis Therrien
16. William Arthur Green
19. Robert Forest Segar
23. George A. Krueger
25. Irwin Rubin
26. Lester Burton Wood
27. Ira LaFlorrid Zeek, Jr.
29. Angel Luis Ruiz
31. My dad
34. Rinaldo Biaggio Iannettone
35. Theodore Soltys
36. James Rudolph Burton
37. Louis Augusto Alves
38. Paul Buford Beach
39. Frank Nicholas DeRupo
40. Hervey Johnson Gibbs
41. Peter Anthony Schmanski

I’m most bummed that two of the faces are obscured by beer cans. In the outtake, the fellow who is #20 in the “good” photo is in profile, and it looks like it might be Ralph Patrick Annunziata. I think that there’s a good chance that #18 is Richard Hamilton Garrison, but since his family has chosen not to speak with me, I can’t confirm it.

A handful of other photos have since surfaced that also appear to be from the same period, maybe even the same day, at Riddell’s Bay. I hope to get scans of them but these are the best I have for the time being—mobile photos of photos. I’m 99.9% certain that my dad is in the first one. The hat he’s wearing in the group photo looks to be what he’s holding in his lap in this one. I’m also pretty sure that the fellow who had the beer can obscuring his face in the group photo also has a beer can partially obscuring his face in this one. The person who is second from left appears in so many photos I’ve seen, but I’ve been unable to figure out his name.

Robert Forest Segar (left), my dad (third from left), Leonard Francis Therrien (far right)
Theodore Soltys and William Richard Salomons, Jr.
Standing (left to right): Schmanksi, Niemczyk, Salomons, O’Toole, Bernard; Greene;
On the ground: #28 in “The Whole Gang” (unknown), Emmett, #21, Alves , #22
Paul Magera