Friday, February 4, 2011

James N. Ryan - Great White Fleet - Welcome Home!

Political cartoon from The New York Herald, February 22, 1909. Illustration shows Uncle Sam, George Washington, and Theodore Roosevelt welcoming the Great White Fleet as it returns to home port at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Credit:  Wikipedia - The Great White Fleet

On Washington's Birthday, February 22, 1909, the Great White Fleet returned home after its 14-month adventure.  I can't even imagine the emotions of all involved.  In hindsight, I'm really glad that "our" Jim was able to take part.  He was able to cram a lifetime of experiences into what would turn out to be a very short life.

We do not have much information on Jim's naval career after returning home.  One postcard reflects what was probably pretty typical -- time spent with the ship in dry dock undergoing repairs and upgrades. This card was mailed April 7, 1910 from the USS Virginia, six weeks after their return.

We are now at the Southern Drill (?) Grounds.  Will be here for three weeks.  Love to all from your son, Jim.

On July 1st, 1910 Jim was promoted to Fireman, 1st Class.  This was followed a month later to a promotion to "Acting Appointment to Blacksmith (Foundryman)."  According to his service record, nothing noteworthy happened until Jim stayed overleave from 4:00 PM October 6th to6:00 AM October 8th.  For this offense, he was tried by a "Deck Court" and fined $16.50 pay.  

His ratings suffered for that three-month period.  The rating for "Obedience" dropped to 1.5 on a five-point scale and in the column indicating whether or not he would be recommended for Honorable Discharge said "No".  The "5" was a rating for "sobriety."  Jim consistently rated well in this category.  The disciplinary procedures must have had their desired effect because Jim's service record remained complaint-free for the rest of his career.

But tragedy was just around the corner . . .

1 comment:

  1. id like to know what haoppend to james neval ireland jr named by his father james neverland ireland from the queen Elisabeth ireland the initials on the old testament is j.n.i you can reach me at if any further questions and anwsers thankyou and may godbless im am caring that name as of today since my father named me after him as well ....


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