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 11 
 on: December 02, 2018, 11:07:15 AM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Ric Gillespie
Anyone have thoughts on which officer(s) were likely to have gone ashore at Gardner?  I presume it would be one of the junior officers.

I agree that it would most likely be a junior officer.  The best clue might be the officer's job aboard the ship for that cruise if a record can be found. Junior officers are given areas of responsibility - Personnel Officer, Operations Officer, Communications Officer, etc.
There's a list of officer's and their jobs in Colorado's deck log.  Bushnell's log might also have such a list.  Also, if there was disciplinary action for the loss of the sextant box that might ve recorded in the log.

 12 
 on: December 02, 2018, 10:02:56 AM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Jeff Christmas
Welcome to the forum, John.

I too have been trying to piece together the names of the Bushnell crew so as to cast a wide net and try to track down their personal histories as they relate to being in the Navy - specifically the survey expedition.  It looks like you’ve made further progress in getting details about the muster , whereas I’ve only been able to come up with a (probably incomplete) list of names of the crew.  I do, however, have a pretty good idea of the officers.

You said in your post that it would be a massive job to filter through the Navy Directories.  Well, I’ve already done that for the yearly directories from 1935-1940 and then found the easy button after the fact.  Yesterday I came across a different type of Navy directory from 1 Oct 1939:

https://archive.org/details/navydirectoryof1939unit_0/page/n3

Within the directory, on page 208, is a collated list of the Bushnell’s officers.  The list matches up reasonably well with what I’d previously pieced together from other sources but is more satisfactory as it represents a documented snapshot a mere month before the survey.  I've taken a snapshot of the page but am battling my computer and have not been able to load it up.  I will try again shortly.

Anyone have thoughts on which officer(s) were likely to have gone ashore at Gardner?  I presume it would be one of the junior officers.

FYI – Here was my best guess before finding the October 1939 directory:
(name, start date of Bushnell duty, home state)
Commander William Bryan Coleman, 21 June 1939, Illinois (Commanding the Bushnell)
Lt Commander Beverly Armistead Hartt, 23 Feb 1939, Virginia
Lt Commander Charles Horace Kendall Miller, 29 May 1937, Massachusetts
Lt Harry Nelson Coffin, 22 August 1938, Maine
Lt Vernon Long Lowrance, June 1939, North Carolina
Lt JG Thomas Donald Shriver, 18 Jul 1935, Wisconsin
Lt JG Delmer Francis Quackenbush, Jr, , Michigan
Lt JG James Hunter Fortune, Jr, 30 June 1933, Michigan
Med Isp Henry Dewitt Hubbard, 13 Jan 1939, Alabama
Paymaster Leonard Alois Klauer, 28 February 1938, Iowa

Quackenbush and Coffin are associated with other ships in Oct 1939.  There were five more Lt JGs on the October directory that didn’t show up in the documents I originally studied.  Note:  A few of these officers ended up retiring as Admirals.

Jeff Christmas

 13 
 on: December 02, 2018, 09:49:09 AM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Bill Mangus
Nicely done, John. 

It might be interesting to see if any descendants of these gentlemen have any interesting stories, papers or pictures from this voyage. Were these gentlemen the ones taking the star sightings and doing the computations?   Anyone up for some genealogy research?

Also, Bushnell's deck log might shed some light on how/why the sextant box got left behind (though since it probably happened while she was at Canton Island they probably didn't know anything in detail about activities on Gardner Island). 

 14 
 on: December 02, 2018, 07:58:13 AM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Ric Gillespie
Terrific research John.  Welcome aboard.


 15 
 on: November 30, 2018, 08:17:52 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by J West
This journal at the Smithsonian might give some details of the Bushnell expedition,

Therein lies a tale.  Way back when we were first considering whether the Nikumaroro hypothesis was worth testing, I discussed it with my old friend Tom Crouch at NASM.  He said, "As I recall there was a Smithsonian ichthyologist (fish guy) named Schultz on a US Navy expedition that surveyed those islands back before the war.  I think he wrote a paper.  It should in the Castle (Smithsonian headquarters building).  I'll be happy to check it out for you."

I thanked him profusely.
A couple weeks later he called and said, "I read Schultz's paper.  He was all over that island.  No sign of anything unusual."
Just for the heck of it, the next time we were in DC, Pat and I stopped by the Castle and looked at Schultz's paper ourselves.  He was not aboard for the November cruise.  He was never on Gardner.  I've never trusted Tom Crouch since.

Hi y'all, I'm newly registered, but have been lurking for decades. Fascinating history. I'll try to do an intro over on that thread WIGART.

About this USS Bushnell topic: starting a few months ago (slow, yes, have my own 'ship'- AKA: Hole in water you throw time and money into). I really dug into it (from my limited resources) using my Ancestry Fold3 access. I have concentrated before on my uncle's WWII destroyer, the USS Boyd, DD-544 (LtCmdr U.S.G. Sharp, Captain, later ADM and comcicpac during early VN war) .

I have the Muster Rolls for the entire "1939 Survey Area, South Pacific Is." expedition, from the Bushnell's Norfolk departure onward. A fair amount of information can be gleaned from even Muster Rolls. I made a rudimentary 'Movement of Ship' doc from it.

The four hydrologists (surveyors) embarked at Norfolk on 4 March 1939, bound for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to start, and remained through the vessel's next assignment into 1940 (at least).
The ichthyologist was embarked in San Diego on 1 April 1939, and left the ship on its' first return to Honolulu, in July/August 1939, after the initial cruise to the survey area.

The crew and ship spent a fair amount of time in their base port, Naval Station, Tutuila, American Samoa (Pago Pago).
One hydrologist's wife (Witt) is listed as a passenger on one of the Bushnell's several non-survey excursions, to some outlying AS islands for a Flag Day event, that may have lasted a week (looked like a party cruise...among others, embarked a large AS Navy rate band, wives, children, servants, etc).
The ship's crew was usually between 195-210 enlisted, with probably 10-15 officers. No officer roster found yet, I do have a 1939 Navy "Directory" which lists all Navy and USMC officers and assignments, but it would be a massive job to filter out the Bushnell's officers from that pdf.

The civilian survey crew's names and titles were:

Kennedy, George F.  Assoc. Hydro Eng.  (presumed the lead, as a report was written by him and is in the ships' Survey Papers on TIGHAR here (Part 4, pp 8-10): https://tighar.org/wiki/USS_Bushnell_Survey_(1939) )

Bigelow, Henry W. Jr.  Asst Hydro Eng.
Witt, Edward J.  Asst Hydro Eng.
Lang, Sheldon  Junr. Hydro Eng.
Schultz, Leonard P.  Ichthyologist


 :)  John

(edit)  Notice that my comment is still open to 'modify', so I'll try to add the source pdf pages for the "List of Nonenlisted Passengers of USS Bushnell" here (more as a test of upload):
"at date of sailing from Pearl Harbor, T.H. for 1939 Survey Area Date 17 April 1939" (and San Diego to PH)





 16 
 on: November 30, 2018, 05:39:48 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by James Champion
But the benedictine bottle is a bottle and floats. Of all the things discussed it the the most likely item to have possibly washed ashore and been collected by the castaway. It would be very useful for survival.

 17 
 on: November 30, 2018, 06:23:52 AM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Kevin Weeks
I like the night time plotting as a way for the box to have gotten to the 7 site. makes sense to me.
as for the benedictine bottle being used by them, I have a harder time if it was for alcohol. can't see them getting that many plot points done in one evening and also being drunk! if that was the case I wouldn't be surprised if our castaway was a member of the crew! lol.

now... we would be getting into something less likely here... BUT.... we know the earlier new zealand expedition had to do a similar but less complete survey over a longer period of time. they mention drinking the medicinal brandy over christmas as well as supplementing their rations with local foods. it's a possibility that this survey crew spent the night at some point out of camp doing the same thing. campfire, turtles etc. could all come from them. likely?? cant say, but not impossible.

 18 
 on: November 29, 2018, 07:53:30 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Ric Gillespie
Maybe this is a question for another thread, but why would Tom Crouch say something that was obviously untrue?

I don't think he was intentionally lying.  I think he didn't read carefully.  When I say I don't trust him, I mean I don't trust him to be careful. I've seen it several times.  In the 2010 Discovery Channel documentary he said, "Are you telling me that Betty Klenck was the only person to hear Amelia Earhart's distress calls?"

I could cite other examples.

 19 
 on: November 29, 2018, 06:30:54 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Alfred Hendrickson
A couple weeks later he called and said, "I read Schultz's paper.  He was all over that island.  No sign of anything unusual."
Just for the heck of it, the next time we were in DC, Pat and I stopped by the Castle and looked at Schultz's paper ourselves.  He was not aboard for the November cruise.  He was never on Gardner.  I've never trusted Tom Crouch since.

Maybe this is a question for another thread, but why would Tom Crouch say something that was obviously untrue?

 20 
 on: November 29, 2018, 04:01:09 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Bill Mangus
According to my handy-dandy moon phase calculator, the waning moon was about 20% full on 7 Nov 39. We don't know what evenings they may have been shooting the stars down by the Seven Site but, depending on cloud cover, the party would have had at least some natural light to augment the flashlights they presumably carried. Still pretty dark though to go wandering around in strange territory. Easy to not notice bones, etc in the underbrush.

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