High School Wall of Honor
Donald Allen Hill
Class of June, 1943
|Research done by Claradell Shedd, Class of 1953. PAGE IN PROGRESS|
|Donald Allen Hill|
|Don graduated in the North High class of June, 1943, He entered the US Merchant Marines in _____ in Des Moines. His next of kin was Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Hill. who lived at 5209 Hickman Road, Des Moines, IA. Don's service number was ___________.|
USMS (US Maritime Service) was first established under the Coast Guard
and later supervised by U.S. Navy officers. Many of its first recruits
in 1938 were from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Men, caught
up in the patriotic fervor of the time, came forward to serve in the
fledgling U.S. Maritime Service. There were 37 Official U.S. Government
Recruiting Offices set up around the country. Radio and newspaper ads
brought in the thousands of young patriotic men, as young as 16 years
of age, from every State who answered their country's call to serve.
Some offices were located next to Navy and Coast Guard offices. Many
men were sent to the USMS by U.S. Navy and Coast Guard recruiters who
said, "That's where your service is needed."
Thousands of active and retired mariners, Navy, and Coast Guardsmen were pressed into duty to serve as administrators and instructors in the U.S. Maritime Service. They believed then, and still believe today, they joined a uniformed, armed service! Many of these were cheated out of service and retirement time. They are still seeking veteran status from the Air Force Secretary. The USMS was an official U.S. Government organization, while the WASPs and most of the other groups who received veteran status were either under contract to the Government or unofficial organizations. WASP instructors and women who failed the training program received veteran status.
The USMS took over 250,000 raw recruits and turned
them into fighting mariners. They taught them operation of anti-aircraft
guns and cannon. They taught navigation, engine operation and maintenance,
and deck operations aboard training vessels that operated in hazardous
waters subject to mines and attack by German and Japanese submarines.
The United States Maritime Service trained men for
the U.S. Merchant Marine and U.S. Army Transport Service to transport
supplies and personnel in the largest fleet of freighters, tankers,
and transports in history to bases all over the world for U.S. and
Allied forces. Men at the fronts depend on this important service
for bombs, gasoline, shells, ammunition, food, guns, vehicles, planes,
medicine, and other materials for warfare.
history of S.S. Uruguay
The California was sold to U.S. Maritime Commission and refurbished (including removal of one funnel) for passage from New York to Buenos Aires by American Republics Line, operated by Moore & McCormack Lines. To carry out President Roosevelt's wishes for good will with South America, the California was renamed the S.S. Uruguay, and became the flagship of the Good Neighbor Fleet.
February 12, 1943:
While transporting 5,000 troops in an Atlantic convoy crossing, the USAT Uruguay was rammed U.S.S. Salamonie creating a 70-foot wide gaping hole. The tanker had steering equipment problems and hit the Uruguay amidships with a force that drove the tanker's bow into the ship's hospital. 13 Army soldiers were killed (7 dead and 6 missing) and more than 50 soldiers were injured. The impact lifted a soldier from his cot, dropping him on the tanker's deck. The ship withdrew and the transfer of the soldier was not known until after the troopship had turned towards Bermuda for repairs. (Note: Based on information provided by Jan Narkiewicz, we have determined that there were in fact three soldiers dropped on the tanker's deck. Two of them were lost at sea.)
A temporary bulkhead was constructed and three days later the ship was brought into a safe harbor. Master Albert P. Spaulding saved many lives, his ship, and her cargo. At a later date, the President of the United States took pleasure in presenting the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal to Albert P. Spaulding, Master of USAT Uruguay.
history of S.S. Argentina
The U.S. Maritime Commission took the 3 ships in 1937 and extensively refurbished them for the South American trade. They were then given to the American Republics Line, a subsidiary of Moore-McCormack Lines, to operate for the U. S. as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Good Neighbor Policy". The Pennsylvania was renamed Argentina, the "California" renamed "Uruguay" and the "Virginia" renamed "Brazil". Her passenger load was revised to 500 and one large funnel replaced her smaller two. She was also outfitted to carry 450,000 pounds of cargo, including 95,000 refrigerated. 10/01/38 began her operation as the "SS Argentina". She served on the route until the United States entry into the Second World War. 01/02/42 to 07/01/42 the "Argentina" was returned to the Maritime Commission and was converted to an Army Transport (USAT) for the War Shipping Administration. She sailed under her civilian name. 05/06/46 the "Argentina" was returned for civilian operations. 11/04/46 she went to Bethlehem Steel's 56th St Shipyard, Brooklyn NY for reconversion for liner service. 01/01/46 Moore-McCormack resumed operating her for the Maritime Commission. 08/05/58 she was de-activated and laid up in the James River Reserve Fleet. In 1964 the "Argentina" was sold to Peck Iron and Metals, Norfolk, VA for scrap; then subsequently sold again to Luna Bros and scrapped in Kearny, NJ.
|10/25/11. Died 04/03/11.|
|Music: "Heave Ho! My Lads! Heave Ho!"|
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