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Author Topic: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings  (Read 14650 times)

JNev

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Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« on: February 28, 2013, 01:23:22 PM »

N.B. I have inserted the relevant section of the post to which this post is a reply.  The purpose of doing so is to move discussion of this topic out of the "New Member Introduction" thread.  MXM, SJ

I have focused on the genealogy of Gerald Bernard Gallagher and his family looking for clues as to what happened to Gallagher's personal effects, last thought to be in Fiji in early August 1945.  Through this research, we definitively identified the "Miss Clancy" at Clanmere listed as the consignee for Gallagher's effects, found out what and where Clanmere was, and had a pleasant two day visit with the daughter of "Miss Clancy".

Current activity is focused on a long shot effort to find out what happened to the sextant listed as being in Gallagher's effects on Niku in late September 1941 and which evidently was given by Dr. McPhearson to the Captain of the Viti, Commander James Patrick Mullins, who died in February 1999 in Flintshire East, Clywd, Wales.  I evidently am the only one who thinks it odd that an empty sextant box was found at one end of Niku at the 7 site and a sextant without a box was found at the other end in the village.

Welcome aboard, Arthur - that's a nice set of credentials!

You are in good company regarding the sextant box - there are at least two of us with that curiosity.
- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 07:06:14 AM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 06:28:49 PM »

I evidently am the only one who thinks it odd that an empty sextant box was found at one end of Niku at the 7 site and a sextant without a box was found at the other end in the village.

You are not the only one. I share your view.
Woody (former 3316R)
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richie conroy

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 08:03:26 PM »

Hi Arthur

So in theory u are saying that the Sextant box that was found, along with bones of a woman and a mans skull etc by working party could be Gallagher's ? even though he has a pilot's licence an was of state of mind to know the identity of his equipment box.

Well in that case is it possible Amelia and Fred were alive until Gallagher found them ? he got rid of them, an that's how he knew which bones were male an which were female? 
We are an echo of the past


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Greg Daspit

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 09:58:52 PM »

A sextant is listed in the inventory of his property.
Maybe they simply did not list that the sextant was in a box.  Was it common knowledge a sextant came with a box for  it and its attachments?
Is there some other evidence that there was not a box for Gallagher's sextant?
Could Gallagher have used his sextant box as a receptacle for the same reasons a castaway may have? To keep stuff away from rats and crabs, after placing the instrument on a shelf or somewhere safe.
I don't think he kept a sextant if he found it with the box because it could have proved his theory that it may be Earhart's. It is interesting he described a possible paint finish for it.
Maybe this topic should have its own thread
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« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 10:18:34 PM by G. Daspit »
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2013, 02:55:25 AM »

Is there some other evidence that there was not a box for Gallagher's sextant?

No evidence that I have seen Greg. I just find it a little unusual that the other containers were listed first and then the contents. Seems that they would have done the same for the sextant box had there been one. Just my opinion of course.
Woody (former 3316R)
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 08:15:26 AM »

Is there some other evidence that there was not a box for Gallagher's sextant?

No evidence that I have seen Greg. I just find it a little unusual that the other containers were listed first and then the contents. Seems that they would have done the same for the sextant box had there been one. Just my opinion of course.

I thought the same thing Woody but the detailed person who prepared the list for Gardner items may not have seen the sextant to know if it had a box or not. The list states that the sextant was “On “Viti” which is Fiji and that it is noted suggest it was not the same island the list was made on. Without seeing it to know one way or the other, the list maker may have just listed Gallagher’s sextant was on Fiji. 
Or the final list maker was on Fiji and compiled a list including the inventory made on Gardner by someone else who was more detailed.
A combination of “brother officers” preparing the list could have different degrees of detail.
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 06:20:26 PM »


The list states that the sextant was “On “Viti” which is Fiji and that it is noted suggest it was not the same island the list was made on. Without seeing it to know one way or the other, the list maker may have just listed Gallagher’s sextant was on Fiji. 

Greg, I think Viti was a ship. See Viti.
Woody (former 3316R)
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2013, 06:38:45 PM »


The list states that the sextant was “On “Viti” which is Fiji and that it is noted suggest it was not the same island the list was made on. Without seeing it to know one way or the other, the list maker may have just listed Gallagher’s sextant was on Fiji. 

Greg, I think Viti was a ship. See Viti.

I think you are right. Thanks Woody. Explains why his compass might have been there too.
It still seems like the note is describing it being elsewhere so it may not have been seen while preparing inventory.
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2013, 03:43:31 AM »




I think you are right. Thanks Woody. Explains why his compass might have been there too.
It still seems like the note is describing it being elsewhere so it may not have been seen while preparing inventory.

Greg, if I read the Bones Chronology correctly, I think that the Viti was at Niki when Gallagher died, see Viti and Gallagher posts 61 through 63 at the bottom of this page and did not depart until the day after he died. This leads me to believe that some of the Viti crew may have been the ones who inventoried Gallagher's belongings. Just my opinion since it is not clear.
Woody (former 3316R)
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 07:08:03 AM »

Greg, if I read the Bones Chronology correctly, I think that the Viti was at Niki when Gallagher died, see Viti and Gallagher posts 61 through 63 at the bottom of this page and did not depart until the day after he died. This leads me to believe that some of the Viti crew may have been the ones who inventoried Gallagher's belongings. Just my opinion since it is not clear.

The most likely person to have inventoried Gallagher's belongings aboard the Viti was Dr. Duncan "Jock" Macpherson, who labored in vain to save Gallagher's life.  After Macpherson himself died in 1943, Gallagher's pocket watch, wrist watch, and signet ring were found among Macpherson's belongings.  "It was Dr. Macpherson's intent to take these items to Mr. Gallagher's parents when he next went to England on leave."
LTM,

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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2013, 07:10:42 AM »

Thanks Marty. I forgot about him.
Woody (former 3316R)
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2013, 07:33:08 AM »

TIGHAR researcher, expedition veteran and board member Arthur Carty has spent years trying to determine the disposition Gallagher's personal effects.  Art and his wife Janis are skilled genealogists and have been successful in sorting out the tangled web of Gallagher family members in England who could have ended up with the boxes shipped from Fiji - but, so far, no sign of the boxes. 

Gallagher's sextant was reportedly given to the captain of HMS Viti who, as best Art has been able to tell, was Commander James Patrick Mullins.  It is possible that the sextant still exists. Mullins died in February 1999 in Flintshire East, Clwyd, Wales.  Do we have any forum members in the UK who could help find contact information for surviving Mullin relatives?
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2013, 08:30:36 AM »

TIGHAR researcher, expedition veteran and board member Arthur Carty has spent years trying to determine the disposition Gallagher's personal effects.  Art and his wife Janis are skilled genealogists and have been successful in sorting out the tangled web of Gallagher family members in England who could have ended up with the boxes shipped from Fiji - but, so far, no sign of the boxes. 

Gallagher's sextant was reportedly given to the captain of HMS Viti who, as best Art has been able to tell, was Commander James Patrick Mullins.  It is possible that the sextant still exists. Mullins died in February 1999 in Flintshire East, Clwyd, Wales.  Do we have any forum members in the UK who could help find contact information for surviving Mullin relatives?
Ric, the date and location of death you cite seem to be incorrect.  I have found a reference in the New Zealand Martime Index that says Captain James Patrick Mullins, who commanded HMS Viti during the wartimes, was born in Wairoa, NZ, and died in Auckland, NZ, in March 1969 at the age of 76.  It would seem a great coincidence for two men of that name to have commanded the same ship.

If this is truly the man that Art is seeking, another reference (from a speech on 27 August 2010 by the dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Fiji National University) offers some intriguing leads for anyone seeking relatives of Captain Mullins.  The speech was given at the time of the launch of the "Andrews Family Postgraduate Fellowship" at the college.  In the speech, the Dean quoted the estate lawyer for the Andrews family:

Quote
The grant came from the Andrews Family Trust, set up by Paul J. & Margaret B. Andrews (husband & wife), formerly of Washington DC. Mrs Andrews was born in New Zealand in 1913 and moved to the US after World War II with Mr Andrews. He died in 1999 and she in 2001.

“This distribution is made in memory of the Grantor’s beloved twin sister, Moira Mary Tinline Johnston, RNZNS, who trained as a nurse at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva, and her husband, Lewis Lea Johnston, RAF, and the Grantor’s dear parents, Mary and William Tinline, of New Zealand, and the Grantor’s dear Uncle, James Patrick Mullins, RNR, of Fiji and New Zealand, and his wife, Nita.”

I find highly intriguing the ties between the search for Gallagher's sextant and the search for the bones that Gallagher found.  The sextant is reported to have been given to a man who was uncle to a nurse at CWMH in Suva where, for all anyone knows, the bones may have at some point been housed!
LTM,

Bruce
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2013, 08:41:02 AM »

Ric, the date and location of death you cite seem to be incorrect.  I have found a reference in the New Zealand Martime Index that says Captain James Patrick Mullins, who commanded HMS Viti during the wartimes, was born in Wairoa, NZ, and died in Auckland, NZ, in March 1969 at the age of 76.  It would seem a great coincidence for two men of that name to have commanded the same ship.

I agree.

I find highly intriguing the ties between the search for Gallagher's sextant and the search for the bones that Gallagher found.  The sextant is reported to have been given to a man who was uncle to a nurse at CWMH in Suva where, for all anyone knows, the bones may have at some point been housed!

I think it's very likely that the bones were housed at the CWMH but I don't find it anything more than coincidental that a nurse at the hospital was the niece of the captain of a ship that once visited the island where the bones were found. 
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Inventory and Disposition of Gallagher's belongings
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2013, 08:50:34 AM »

I agree.  But if this were a Hollywood script, Indiana Jones (for some outlandish reason) would be breaking into Captain Mullin's coffin to extract the long-lost sextant and -- surprise! -- find a small sack of bones resting at the captain's feet.   ;D
LTM,

Bruce
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