Midshipman Days at Annapolis


Hic qui forte velint rapido contendere cursu

Invitat pretiis animos, et praemia ponit . . .

Aeneid, V.


TO DAN CALLAGHAN AS A YOUNG LAD of seven, as to every child of his generation, the United States Navy had become a sudden, glorious reality on Monday, the Fourth of July, 1898. For that day, to the crashing chords of John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever! was announced the destruction of Admiral Cervera's Spanish squadron at Santiago, Cuba. Immediately there sprang into the popular consciousness the epic of the powerful USS Oregon, steaming at full speed around the Horn, to be in time for the big fight. The picture and reputation of every ship in the American fleet became a byword, to street urchin and market manipulator alike. In town house and country store the pride of the nation was fed on the glowing accounts of war correspondents. Into the screaming headlines went Lieutenant Rowan, who delivered the message to Garcia; Commodore Dewey's magnificent "You may fire when ready, Gridley!"; the irreverences of Captain Bob Evans of the Iowa, and the plaintive "Don't cheer, boys, the poor devils are dying," of Captain Philip aboard the Texas.


Young Dan Callaghan imbibed the excitement from his contemporaries in the streets of his native Oakland, and came scampering home from school or play, shouting the latest headlines about the Battle of Manila Bay, or the exploits of Admirals Sampson and Schley. He was, of course, completely unaware of the possible misgivings of his parents, who were not so sure that the war was not an imperialistic urge, occasioned by the "yellow press" and the expansionist interests of Theodore Roosevelt, Senator Beveridge, Henry Cabot l.odge, and Captain Mahan. Nor could he appreciate the subtle fears on the part, for example, of the nuns in the local parochial school, lest these happenings forebode the destruction of the religious influences of Catholic Spain. So he wended his merry way, dreaming in his child's simplicity that someday he would grow up to be a man, and would follow the ways of the sea, becoming the stoker on a United States battlewagon, or maybe the skipper of a destroyer, like his future uncle, Lieutenant James J. Raby, or even an admiral. But immediately there was homework to do, spelling lessons to memorize, and arithmetic problems to master.


To add to his naval awareness, the family had recently become interested in a young naval lieutenant. Jamie Raby was a serious young man from Michigan, with a pronounced French as well as strong Catholic bias. As a young ensign, based at Mare Island in the late 1890s, he had sought out several local families among whom he might feel at home. At a party on board the old USS Philadelphia, he was introduced to a Miss Davis, well known among Catholics of the San Francisco Bay area. She in turn introduced the lieutenant to a young lady friend of hers named Callaghan, and the naval officer lost no time in fastening his attention on charming and outspoken Janet Callaghan. Courtship and marriage followed. Thereupon, a close friendship sprang up between young Lieutenant Raby and Charles William Callaghan, Janet's older brother.


Following the Spanish-American War, Lieutenant Raby was attached to the collier USS Nero, which was sent out to make soundings for the cable to Guam. I


Young Daniel, and the Callaghan family generally, followed his doings with considerable interest. They were particularly delighted by his description of the finding of the Nero Deep, a sounding of some 34,000 feet (a trifle less than six miles), the deepest portion of the ocean then known. In September, 1900, the Rabys moved to Annapolis for duty at the Naval Academy. Upon completion of that tour, they moved back to San Francisco. There Uncle Jamie was appointed inspector of machinery at the Union Iron Works in which the battleship South Dakota was being built. This gave him ample opportunity to show the young Callaghans various units of the United States fleet. And gradually there came over Dan a desire to enter the Naval Academy at Annapolis.


Dan first broached the subject to Grandmother Callaghan, then living at the family summer home in Soquel. It was in the summer of 1906, and he was beginning to consider what he should do upon graduating from high school. She cautioned him to bide his time, as an appointment to the Academy involved two matters that might not sit well with his father. One was the fact that it would preclude Dan's going to a Catholic college. But more than that, it meant that his father would have to ask a favor of a politician, which she knew "C.W." would be loathe to do.


Dan took counsel of his Uncle Jamie and when the time seemed ripe prevailed upon his mother to intercede for him. At first, his father wouldn't hear of it. But Dan waited until their next trip to Soquel and had Grandmother Callaghan clinch the matter. Thereupon "C.W." capitulated. He got in touch with Senator Perkins, an old friend of the family's, who procured Dan's appointment as alternate to Annapolis.


To Dan's surprise, his Jesuit mentors were not a bit opposed to his seafaring aspirations. They were well acquainted with his uncle, Lieutenant James Raby, and were proud of the record a number of their own graduates had made in outside institutions such as the Naval Academy. Annapolis, besides, had a reputation for being tough, both academically and in its physical requirements. Hence CW's one stipulation upon handing Dan his appointment was that he prepare himself well for the task. This Dan proceeded to do with vigor He redoubled his efforts at calisthenics. He buried himself in geometry and algebra, becoming for all practical purposes an academic recluse. He virtually memorized the program and academy regulations concerning the admission of candidates that his uncle Jamie procured for him from Annapolis.


In the early part of May, 1907, having just been graduated from St. Ignatius High School, he readied himself and left for the East. Fortunately, the Rabys were making a hurried trip to Annapolis and they took Dan with them, helping to get him located upon arrival, and entering him in Werntz's prep school. He lived at the Maryland Hotel where a Mrs. Gadd gave him intermediary mothering.


Suddenly, the excitement of the entrance examinations and the sullen heat of Annapolis crept upon the heavy-set, athletically built young man from San Francisco. Fortunately for him, his uncle's acquaintances and his letters boosted the boy's flagging spirits. In the warm June Annapolis days Dan was plugged away at arithmetic, algebra and geometry, struggling to stuff his memory with pertinent details of United States and world history. Occasionally, he would go for a stroll down by the Severn, or saunter through the academy grounds in search of shade and a breeze, and companionship. Or he might slip into St. Mary's, the town's Catholic church, where it was cool and dark, and where he could drink in the quiet loveliness of its stately Gothic lines, whispering a prayer or two for his immediate scholarly needs.


On the twenty-third of June, 1907, he wrote home:


Dear Papa, Mama and Sis:


Maybe I don't feel happy today! I could dance a jig around this place. My only regret is that you are not all here to rejoice with me. The news that I had passed came as a complete surprise to me, as I surely thought 1 had busted in Algebra and Geometry. The Algebra exam was a peach, a good deal harder than I ever got up against or ever hope to get up against. I just did pull through with a 2.6 in that subject. The names have not been published yet and I learned that I had passed through Mrs. Gadd, who telephoned to Lieut. Garrison . . .


I'll warrant Uncle Jamie's writing to his classmates had quite a good deal to do with my passing. I am almost positive that my Algebra paper was upped, as I don't think I did enough work on it to warrant a 2.6. Of course if they want to mark me that high alright. I am not kicking. I certainly did take a baloon (sic) ascension when the Algebra was handed me. It was all plain sailing until I struck the third question, then my troubles began. Immediately I began to get nervous and that lasted throughout the "exams."


The Geometry also was very hard. I think I got a 2.7 or 2.8 in that. Mr. Capron, a "math" teacher, who boards here at the hotel, has been very kind to me and has told me several of my marks, namely: 3.5 in Arithmetic, 3.2 in U. S. History and 3.7 in World's History. The lowest was the Algebra. I will get the rest of my marks when I am officially notified of my passing.


I had to laugh at Uncle Jamie. On the second night of exams I got a letter from him in which he started in by congratulating me on passing the exam. This came on the night I was feeling blue over the Algebra and it made me "bluer" still as I thought I had surely "busted." If you could see the list of things I will be according to Uncle Jamie's visions, you would die laughing. Here are some of them: Member, First Class, Captain '11 baseball team, Center Navy football Team, '08, '09, '10, Intercollegiate Record Holder, Shot Putter and Hammer Thrower, Commander of Midshipman Brigade (hurrah) and Star Member Class '11, besides being greatest college pitcher going. When you see Uncle Jamie just pinch him to wake him from his dream, and tell him I will be satisfied with plain "Middie" without any of the other numerous titles he mentioned, tacked on....


I am afraid, Papa, that I will need S10 or $15 more as my washing and board bill will soon come due and I had only $30 in the bank when the $275 came. I will need every bit of the latter for my outfit; so Papa if it will not be too heavy a drain on you, the extra money would come in handy....


1 am just taking it easy these days, loafing, eating (especially ice cream sodas) and sleeping. This last week has been a scorcher here. Phew! I almost perspire away at night. Sleep all the time with only a sheet over me and half the time without that much. I have discarded my underclothes and am wearing a gym shirt and track pants under my other clothes and suffer even then. We would think we were over a volcano if it ever got this hot at home.


I haven't felt so joyful since I left home as I do today. With lots of love and wagon full of kisses I am


Your affectionate son,



Penciled at the top of the letter, which runs to sixteen pages, in Dan's large and heavy script, is the brief note: "This is a regular book." It is. But it is worth quoting, for it is Dan Callaghan, approaching his seventeenth birthday, with a whole new world in prospect.


Dan spent the next few weeks in pure relaxation, going on several excursions around Annapolis and the eastern shore of Maryland. The heat of an Atlantic Coast summer was a new and unpleasant experience for him, as were the thunderstorms that came in from the Chesapeake. He writes:


Still hot as blazes here. I almost melted to a grease spot yesterday until I got out in the Bay.


We had the dickens of a thunder storm about 8:30 last night. The lightning scared the life out of me. I am surprised that nothing was struck by it, it was so near. I don't mind the thunder as I know it will do no damage, but I do not like the lightning a bit.


He also took the opportunity to catch up on his correspondence, about which, during most of his naval career, he seems to have been most conscientious. In another note home he mentioned the tremendous jubilation that swept over the candidates whose names were posted at an academy entrance as having successfully passed the mental test: "Some of the fellows almost went crazy; they formed in lines and went around the town singing and raising rough house generally,"


He followed with keen interest the doings of the Navy ball team and the crew, and was quite disappointed that "Navy only got third place in the Poughkeepsie race yesterday (June 26). They did not begin to show the 'form' that was expected of them."


Dan passed the physical examination on July 5 and was admitted and sworn into the academy on the following day. Thus began a confused but terrific two months known as "plebe summer," when the academy novice is put through a bewildering round of exercises, initiatory instructions, clothing drills, and a general orientation process. He learns the fundamental ins and outs of Bancroft Hall; how to rig and identify himself as a naval cadet; the meaning of sheer physical exhaustion; and the depths of teen-age lonesomeness. He also makes friends with his fellow bondsmen. With them, he exchanges tales and warnings about the horrible "hazings" that will be theirs when they join the regiment of midshipmen in September.


Dan had a close ally in a fellow Californian named Tom Starr King, 2nd, and they soon picked up with a group of fellow sufferers including Beirne Bullard of Wisconsin, Bob Griffin and Roger Paine of Washington, D. C., Ellis Stone of Arkansas, Lewis H. Brereton of Pennsylvania, and Scott D. McCaughey of the Windy City. They were quickly lost in comparing background notes, home-town proficiencies, and in organizing baseball, tennis and soccer matches. "Plebe summer" was a wonderful experience.


The class chronicler thus describes their plight on the sixth of July, 1907:


Then began the metamorphosis of a festive citizen into a meek midshipmite. After being soundly thumped and tested by the physical examining board we, almost three hundred strong, were sworn in. Can any of us ever forget the elation he felt as he walked through the yard from thc Administration Building to the office of the Senior Assistant in Bancroft Hall? A short-lived elation!


He pictures the typical plebe as:


A forlorn looking creature, whose body seemed one huge ache from setting-up drills, with hands and fingers daubed with the omnipresent stencil ink, blistered palms from those all-morning cutter (oar-rowed) drills, thew and odiferous white works (sailor uniform.) surmounted by a round white hat, and with feet stove up in those heavy regulation shoes.


Dan was no exception, as Charles Knights, a fellow graduate of St. Ignatius, found him on a visit to the academy that summer. What had made a particularly ominous impression on him was the accidental drowning of a classmate named Phinney, in the course of a swimming drill in the Severn, right after their admittance to the academy. Dan couldn't swim himself, and the incident did not make his learning any the more pleasant. However, the general tension was well relieved with songfests in the recreation room, intercompany track and sport meets, baseball games, and occasional sailing or cross-country jaunting parties.


Early in October that year, the First Class returned from cruise and the other upper classes from leave. Thus began the real plebe year, full of the pitfalls of academics, formation-minded officers, and persecuting first classmen. Dago (foreign language) and "math" seem to have been Dan's main scholastic worries. But he was accustomed to working hard at his books and managed to keep clear of the "tree." ["Tree": a list of midshipmen with unsatisfactory academic marks, posted each week. -ed.]


The plebe is the lowliest of individuals, with no rights and such inconvenient obligations as cutting square corners on his rounds through Bancroft Hall, keeping to the exact middle of the corridor, eating while poised on the very end of his chair, and being able to answer in exact formula any stock question put to him by an upperclassman. Dan, being a big hulk of a boy, got by fairly easily, though occasionally a tendency to clumsiness got him into minor difficulties. He was uncommonly large for his age, with a lot of chin, eyebrows thin at the end, a rather blunted nose, and a serious, set expression around a small mouth.


Dan's forte was his physical prowess, and he could hardly wait for the regular athletic season to begin. He played in the outfield on the plebe baseball team, and turned out for plebe football. What loomed largest in the plebe horizon, however, was the trip to Philadelphia for the Army game, late in November that year. It would be their first contact with "the outside world." Thus, when Navy trounced the "Boys in Gray," jubilation was unbounded. Until Christmas the discipline maintained by the upperclassmen was relaxed, and the plebes lived an almost charmed existence.


Dan weathered the semi-annual examinations, though some twenty-seven of his classmates "bilged." [Dismissed from the Academy because of failure in studies -ed.] He was the recipient of numerous encouraging letters from his uncle Jamie and through the latter's contacts at the academy, was occasionally invited to dinner by some of the instructors in the Yard. Among his classmates he was accepted as a nice, quiet fellow, with lots of energy—a reliable, stabilizing influence. One of them describes him as a "serious citizen," who never drank or smoked forbidden cigarettes, or went in for practical jokes. He was apt to give the impression of being a bit aloof, except for the fact that he was not adverse to making a speech, or offering suggestions in the course of section or class meetings. He willingly served on committees for doing something or other, and frankly enjoyed the opportunity this gave him to be in contact with other people.


On the whole, he was a friendly person, who got along well with the energetic, rough-house-raising gang, though he naturally abstained from their more outrageous doings. He took no part, for instance, in the "Irish-Orange affrays," originated by Francis "Rosy" Shea on the seventeenth of March, which started at three in the morning and usually ended in a battle royal. At the same time, he was a tower of strength to the more conservative type of boy who was constantly coming to him for advice, usually of a moral or religious nature, though not a few relied on him for classwork explanations.


With the graduation in June of the Class of 1908, Dan and his classmates adorned their left sleeves with the single, diagonal stripe indicative of their rank as "youngsters," and the following morning embarked aboard the USS Olympia for their first summer cruise, up and down the Atlantic coast. Landlubbers pure and simple, they were the butt of numerous salty jokes and no end of sharp practice by the regular crew, who were not overly fond of the "wise boys" from Annapolis. However, it proved a thrilling experience. They did manage to get fleeting liberty at New London and Bar Harbor—enough at least to give the more exuberant boys leeway for "gay blade" boastings. The next thing they knew, they were on their way home for leave with "real money in their pockets and a grin as large as the moon on their faces."


Dan arrived in Oakland exhausted from a five-day trip by rail. He was the pride and joy of Bill, Chad and Rosarie; but Jane, the new arrival, would hardly suffer him to come near her. He kept the family and the neighborhood alive with a serious though lively account of things back East. His father marched him on the rounds of relatives and friends, over to see his former Jesuit mentors, in to visit Archbishop Riordan and Senator Perkins. The nuns made a great fuss over him in St. Elizabeth's, particularly Sisters Benedicta and Diana, who were a trifle disappointed that he did not show up in uniform. But he showered them with pictures of the Academy, regaled them with tales of the horrible life led by Plebes, and left them his admirers forever. Then he started back east with the promise from his father that, come the spring, he would visit Annapolis.


Calculus and formal hops, with a substitute berth at first base for the varsity, claimed most of Dan's attention during the fall of 1908. He hurt his leg in an early football practice game which ruled him out of the game for good. Hence he was up in the stands at Philadelphia for the walloping the Army team administered to the Navy blue in November. He had to stand at attention with his fellow middies while the "kay-dets" cavorted through their victory march. It was a bitter pill to take, as the game was Navy's until "the ball bounded out of Lange's waiting arms into the hands of Army's rushing back," who obligingly streaked across the goal line.


A blizzard destroyed plans for marching the regiment down Pennsylvania Avenue for the Presidential inauguration on the 4th of March, 1909. But Dan had his father's forthcoming visit in May to look forward to, which he did with considerable relish. He had a great respect for his father's knowledge of men and the world—and properly so, for Charles William Callaghan was a keen business man, with excellent historical and philosophical insight and a clear incisive way of expressing himself that won him the enduring respect of all who knew him.


On the way east, "C.W." had stopped off at Chicago to call on some business connections, and was appalled at the slum conditions. In Annapolis itself he made the acquaintance of old Judge Magruder, and was soon involved in lengthy and lively conversations with the elder jurist concerning the race question, the general state of the United States Navy, and the policies of Teddy Roosevelt. Maryland had just disfranchised the Negro, and the old judge couldn't see how the Californians could stand having their children attend "the same school with Asiatic Japs and Chinamen." But along with more humanitarian arguments, "C.W." provided him with the unpleasant reflection that "there were only a few gunboats between our coastal cities and the Jap fleet." With the recent Russian naval defeat of 1906 to the Japanese credit, discriminative legislation was simply out of the question on the West Coast.


Dan naturally took great delight in displaying his father to his friends and acquaintances, and in showing him the many incidentals of midshipman life. Then he went sailing off, after June Week, on the Second Class cruise, which again headed up the New England coast. His father traveled separately up to Fall River, Massachusetts, in search of uncles and cousins on the McCombe side, and had the pleasure of again meeting Dan there, before heading back west. Dan followed home for his Third Class leave.


On their return to the East, Dan's class of 1911 held a dinner at the Belvedere in Baltimore, which proved a huge success. The next morning, as Dan wrote home, "we drew 40 pounds of texts and were handed a brand new Book of Regulations." Somehow or other, under the new system "inspections and demerits were as common as houseflies in June." But Dan had drawn a "buzzard" ["Buzzard": sleeve insignia in the form of a golden eagle worn by midshipmen petty officers -ed.], which meant that he was a class officer, and fared very well. Mechanics was the academic bugbear, Second Class year; Inaptitude, a new vocabulary acquisition that somehow foreboded doom, driving many a reluctant "fusser" ["Fusser": one who studies excessively; now known as a "slashed".] to the "light squad." ["Light Squad": midshipmen who contrive to study after the "lights out" signal.] Dan managed to stay "sat" without resorting to night cramming, yet did it in such a straightforward fashion as to avoid resentment. Boys of that age have a natural distaste for fellows who appear overanxious about outdoing the others.


That fall spirit lagged somewhat, especially when the Army game was called off because of the fatal injury of Cadet Byrnes. Dan's own classmate, Willy Wilson, was hurt badly in the Princeton game. To finish matters Dan's whole class had a run-in with the executive department—the lords of discipline, routine and behavior—and were restricted to the yard for the spring, without the privilege of attending a single hop.


In March, 1910, Lieutenant Commander James J. Raby and his family arrived in Annapolis, Jamie being attached to the English, history and government (the Bull) departments. The Rabys were given quarters in one of the large houses on Upshur Road, in the Yard, whereupon Dan and his gang moved in on Aunt Jen. Up to then they had managed well, as Starr King's mother had moved to Annapolis in the course of his "youngster" year, taking a house on King George Street, right outside the academy gate. Dan was also on intimate terms with the Congers, Scales and Bartletts, all of whom had presentable young ladies in the families. The ban on spring hops was thus eased somewhat, which proved a great relief for Dan. For although he was not particularly noted as a "lady's man," it is of this period of his life that his biographer in the Lucky Bag notes: "His claims to be a 'Red Mike' ["Red Mike": a midshipman who avoids dates or the company of young ladies -ed.] have suffered badly."


However, with the inauguration of baseball practice and the looming of final exams, plus the First Class cruise, little time could be spent in lamenting. Dan made first-string catcher's berth that year. As the Lucky Bag notes: "He had been only a passably good first baseman who on being shifted to catcher came into his own." Dan had a powerful throwing arm that infallibly shot down base runners, and a very considerable ability at steadying and soothing pitchers,- who are always temperamental souls.


On the last day of the annual examinations, it was customary for underclassmen to gang up outside the Seamanship Department with the fell intent of throwing the first Second Classman to come out of that exam into the brink. This was the ceremony which officially sanctioned the donning of Academy rings by the First-Classmen-to-be. Thereafter, preparation for the June hops and a cruise in foreign waters occupied their complete attention. The latter took the boys on board the battleships Iowa, Indiana and Massachusetts, to Plymouth and London, down the Mediterranean to Nice and Marseilles, back to Gibraltar, and home by the end of August. It was a tremendous experience to which the class chronicler does full justice in the 1911 Lucky Bag.


Dan returned from leave in October, 1910, to find himself in possession of three stripes and in command of the first battalion. His classmates conceded that "stripes were given out in a fair and equitable manner" that term. Hence they knuckled down to win themselves a good reputation for keeping order, while encouraging initiative among the underclassmen. They felt that the new regulations, introduced in 1910, were on the whole, a sensible set of rules, and they enjoyed the good opinion of the executive discipline department, which they promptly ceased to regard as a police outfit.


When the football squad, under the canny guidance of half-pint "Reds" Sowell and Jack Dalton, of the Class of 1912, went through a whole season without being scored upon, Academy morale reached a new high. "Reds" was an upstanding young chap, who had much of Dan's temperament and outlook, though only about half his size, vertically and horizontally. They were the closest of friends.


At Christmas, the First Class was granted a surprise two-day leave which Dan, of course, spent with the Rabys. He then settled down to the long pull before graduation. There was a typhoid scare that spring, which kept the boys subdued for a while, but it receded before the spring sport practice.


Dan was elected captain of the baseball team that fall, to replace Vinny Erwin who had become "unsat" [Not achieving a passing grade -ed.] in engineering. But he hurt his finger in early practice, and it kept him out of a number of games. However, the class chronicler wrote, in the midst of the season: "There is scarcely a man on the team who did not make some play worthy of mention. Above all, perhaps, Dan Callaghan deserves credit for the good game he caught in spite of a mighty bad finger." In the Amherst game that season, Dan caught A. B. (Beauty) Anderson for a 5-to-2 loss, despite Dan's remarkable putouts, but he made up for it the following week by coaxing Walter Seibert into a 7-to-0 shutout against the Maryland Athletic Club. As Fletcher Pratt has pointed out, the fact that the team lost nine out of sixteen games that season, including the all-important Army game, was hardly his fault. A study of scores shows that Navy was held back all year by a lack of batting power in the outfield, despite "Cap" Callaghan's hard work to keep his batteries in the low-score levels.


The "Irish-Orange affray" of March 17 that year, under the vociferous leadership of George D. Murray, had wound up a fiasco, due to the unwitting interference at three-forty-five in the morning of the duty officer. Dan had no part in it, exhibiting his usual dislike for such goings-on, reflecting his father's rather cool approach to things blatantly Irish. In any event, his three stripes disqualified him for such non-regulation activities.


Mainly under the influence of the Rabys, Dan had finally struck up a close friendship with Father James Barron, a Redemptorist then attached to St. Mary's church in town, who was a frequent visitor on Upshur Road. He thus renewed an intimacy with priestly mentors, which he had missed since leaving St. Ignatius. Always a sincerely religious chap, with a clear conviction and a good knowledge of his religious beliefs and duties, he still maintained a reserve in talking about such matters that was in keeping with Naval tradition. However, he frequently felt the need of tackling the Catholic padre about some issue that required clarification. For the first year or two in the Academy, he had been at a loss for such counsel, as in those days the Newman Club and the constant chaplain assistance of today were non-existent. He obtained the essential advice he needed about his moral and interior life in the confessional, but it was not until he came into contact with Father Barron that he was able to unwind all the doubts and difficulties that beset a young man between adolescence and maturity. He headed the Catholic Church Party his final year, and took a quiet delight in marching his contingent up Green and over the Duke of Gloucester streets to St. Mary's. All through his life he would speak of St. Mary's as a simple but exceptionally beautiful Gothic church that had always about it an air of quiet prayerfulness. His intimacy with Father Barron also set the pace for his later relations with Padres William Maguire, John Brady, Matthew Gleeson and Joseph Cammerman.


June Week and graduation commenced with the usual "No More Rivers" (to cross) ceremonies, featuring such recent song hits as Come, Josephine, in My Flying Machine and Alexander's Ragtime Band. Dan's parents came on from Oakland and were thrilled to see their little Danny marching on Worden Field, heading the First Battalion. They were feted at the home of the Rabys with a whirl of social and Academy events. Dan had a hand in producing the final play of the year, Lorania, and got tremendous enjoyment out of fitting out the boys in the female roles with some of Aunt Jen's discarded finery. Finally, diploma in hand and in civilian dress once more, Dan Callaghan headed home by way of Canada, stopping off at the shrine of St. Anne de Beaupre in Quebec at the earnest insistence of Father Barron. The family traveled cross-country to Lake Louise, then down through Seattle and home.


Dan had graduated as number 38 in a class of 193, which included George Murray, Norman Scott, Harry W. Hill Bernard Bieri, Oscar Badger, Calvin Cobb and Lewis Brereton, a lively gang who were to make their mark in American naval and military annals. The Lucky Bag biography, a publication of extreme candor, by no means always flattering, hit Dan Callaghan off very well:


Dan came to the Academy a quiet, steady fellow, and leaves it just as quiet but steadier. One of the very few men who have not changed their good habits and who have not acquired bad ones. He is a rare combination of straightforwardness, dignity and generosity that makes him one of the most respected and admired men in the Brigade. His claims to be a Red Mike have suffered sadly during the last two years.