War and Its Naval Aftermath


O tandem magnis plagi defuncte periclisi

Sed terrae gravior manent . . .

Aeneid, VI.


WORLD WAR I HAD BROKEN OUT in June, 1914, with an assassination that rocked the world. For two years the United States, despite major diplomatic clashes with both belligerents, had managed to stay clear of entanglement, finally re-electing Wilson president on the slogan, "He kept us out of war." But the military men of the nation, together with many of its statesmen, felt that the entrance of the United States into the conflict was inevitable. This fear was shared by Lieutenant Daniel J. Callaghan, finishing out an uneventful year as commanding officer of the USS Truxtun, in the early fall of 1916.


Dan had had half the heart taken out of him by his court-martial experience, the year before. But the sincere sympathy and encouragement he had received from fellow officers all over the service had braced him. There was likewise the steadying assurance of Uncle Jamie Raby that such an untoward event could be lived down. And on the domestic front, he was the proud father of a bouncing young boy, Judson. In the sacred sanctum of his heart, the realization that his wife Mary was one of the most attractive and well-liked young navy wives on the California coast likewise served to steady his view of life as a naval officer.


Dan's competence at handling men and machinery was being quietly but steadily recognized, as an occasional surreptitious peek at his fitness reports assured him. The onset of a national emergency brought with it the prospect of a vastly expanding naval program and the possibility of rapid promotion. T he Naval Appropriations Bill of 1916 had been recently pushed through a not too reluctant Congress. As a consequence, ten new battleships, six cruisers, ten scout cruisers, fifty destroyers and sixty-seven submarines were in the offing. The elan of the regular naval officer took an upward surge. Implementing this increase, the Navy began to recondition a number of its outmoded ships, taking the light cruiser New Orleans as one of its first projects.


Originally purchased from the Brazilian government in the course of our Spanish war, the New Orleans was an unlovely object by United States standards. It had been built by the British. Hence its quarters were exceptionally cramped, with officers' territory immediately over the screws. In addition, due to its Brazilian affiliations, all the markings on gauges, valves and movable parts were in Portuguese. It was to this ship that Dan was assigned, in November of 1916, upon the expiration of his tour of duty in destroyers. Knowing something of the vessel's background, Dan was at first none too happy over the assignment. Yet he realized that the billet of engineer was a definite advancement. The fact that he was still on the West Coast would prove a considerable domestic advantage.


Dan had hardly arrived in Bremerton, where the ship was being re-outfitted, when he realized his anticipatory error. The crew turned out to be an exceptionally happy collection of skilled and unskilled personnel; a combination of hardy old Navy chiefs, and a likable, smart and ambitious group of reservists from the Northwest. Of a sudden, Dan found himself once more. He plowed through the hold of the ship, checking gauges, sounding out boilers, insisting upon the inclusion of spare parts with American markings, wearing down even the sturdiest of the grease-monkeys in his section. In handball, squash, tennis, word went around that he was out for all comers; and Dan took them on, one by one, demolishing the opposition in his quietly infectious fashion.


The New Orleans had scarcely time to finish its shakedown cruise, fashioning a seaworthy crew out of its assortment of chiefs and landlubbers, when war was upon the nation. For in the early hours of Good Friday morning, April 6, 1917, the Congress of the United States declared war on Germany and the Central Powers. With all other available craft, the New Orleans was sent scampering into the Atlantic, to take up the tedious and all but thankless task of convoy duty. For a full year she plowed alongside of slow-moving cargo carriers, plodding from New York to Nova Scotia and back, or headed out across the Atlantic to be met a hundred miles off the English or Irish coast, and sent scowling back. It was tough, grueling work for officers and crew. But it bound its personnel together in an unbreakable clasp of comradeship. The doctor on board was a young surgeon named Ross T. McIntire, and the navigator, a Harvard grad named Winthrop Aldrich. In command of the ship when Dan first arrived was Henry M. Jensen, and among his shipmates were Teddy Larimer, W. Evans, and A. G. Kavanaugh.


Dan soon found himself acting as both engineering officer and executive, and was more than well pleased to find himself described in a fitness report: "This officer has combined the duties of Executive Officer and Engineer in a most satisfactory manner. He is able and diligent. I know of no other officer of his rank that I would prefer to have under my command." Thus read the comment of Captain K. M. Bennett in September, 1917. He followed it in March, 1918, with a similar tribute: "Mr. Callaghan is one of the best young officers I have ever known. His loyalty and subordination are marked, as are his ability and initiative. I had no anxiety in regard to the ship while he was left in command. He is worthy of advance to the next rank. He will make good."


Meanwhile, Dan was writing home to his father from:


An Atlantic Port March 3rd, 1918


Dear Papa:


About a month will elapse between this letter and the next one you will receive. It doesn't seem to me as if we had been in any time at all, and here we are going out again to brave the wily U-boat.


I have been so uproariously busy during these past four weeks since our return, that the time has flown at a great rate. I have been ashore four times in those four weeks and I really shouldn't have gone then, but I felt that a few trips ashore would change my perspective a bit. Unfortunately, it didn't. I am on the job every morn at seven and stay at it until ten or eleven at night, often much later. By nightfall I am as irritable and fidgety as a hibernating grizzly "bar."


This trip will be no sinecure either if prospects are fulfilled. In addition to the duties of my dual jobs, I received orders to appear before an Examining board, so I shall have to get in some husky licks at "boning." How I am going to work that in I cannot see, but must, someway.


Saw Uncle Jamie Raby for a few minutes yesterday, as he was leaving for Washington to spend three or four days. He looked well and seemed to be in fair spirits, though he says a few more trips will about finish him. He sends his love to all at home.


I am sending Mary some pictures that will give you some slight idea of how this ship looked when we arrived in port from our last trip. The reality was even worse than the pictures show.


This is just a hurried note to say "goodbye," Papa, and I must run. Have several thousand things to do in the next few hours.


Give Mama and all at home my fondest love and pray for me. I shall need all your prayers.


Affectionately, your son,



At the time of Dan's letter, the New Orleans was working out of Staten Island. Because of her age and lack of speed she usually drew the slower convoys—concrete-hulled monstrosities and all the other makeshifts, six and eight knot ships that sometimes showed a minus figure for the day's run against the wind. In an ordinary day's work, Dan would be faced with hundreds of odd situations, from rigging extra pens of light board around the main hatch in which to pile extra coal, to counseling a seaman second class who was worried stiff about his wife and the baby that was due any day. But Dan loved it, and his companions loved him, which meant that they made the most of a tough, harrowing but not impossible situation.


The only thing they seemed to mind was the fact that they never got a shot at a German sub or surface raider out of all that weary voyaging. Yet there were tales in official communiques, and unofficial gossip, reporting numerous U-boat contacts and sinkings. The allied cruiser Orama had been sunk in June, 1917, by the U-53 while on convoy duty; the U-58 was captured by two American destroyers in November, that same year. Then word began to circulate of frequent U-boat encounters, and anxiety was intensified with the news that in June, 1918, the U-151 had successfully laid mines off the Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay operating later between New York and Hatteras. But the New Orleans had clear sailing with no sight of Dan's "wily U-boat."


Another source of anxiety for the Allies was the German Navy bottled in the Baltic. It kept five great allied squadrons of battleships, cruisers and destroyers all but inactivated at Scapa Flow. Early in 1918, word was passed that the Admiral Seidlitz had managed to get loose with a number of German battle cruisers. There was immediate consternation. Two new battleships, the Mississippi and the Tennessee, were put in readiness for the chase, and out were sent every available scouting craft on this side of the Atlantic. Along went the New Orleans, though its battle power and cruising speed would have rendered it a typical "sitting duck" had it had the misfortune to have found the German force. It was halfway across the Atlantic, when, to the immense relief of all on board, word was passed that the Seidlitz and the accompanying cruisers were still squatting safely in port at home.


The only real excitement to which the New Orleans was treated was the rescue of a big, 16,000-ton, disabled British liner off the north coast of Ireland in a gale. There was no towing gear aboard either vessel, and it fell to Dan Callaghan to make arrangements to take her in tow. Four times a hawser was hauled aboard the cruiser from the liner, that was about three times the cruiser's size, and four times the cable parted. The Captain was for abandoning the job. But not Dan. With superhuman strength and the full cooperation of his men, he finally secured the cable. For forty-eight hours the New Orleans stayed with the stricken vessel hauling it out of danger finally handing it on to tugs from a North Ireland base. It was one of those minor dramas that call for greatness of soul and a stout heart. No one aboard the New Orleans had ever doubted Dan's determination or prowess. Now no one ever could.


A successful naval career depends upon several factors over and above a man's general competence. Such incidentals as having been shipmates with one of the future "powers that be," or having an exceptionally charming wife, or happening to have had duty in Washington immediately before or after a war, are often as important in the making of an admiral, as are 4.0 efficiency ratings and a line of battle stars. Dan was aware of such influences. And fortune favored him With a judicious seasoning of all three extra-naval graces. Ordinarily, the court-martial he had received in 1915 should have finished him. But a war had intervened. So had Dan's tremendous capacity for hard work. Hence, at the close of 1918, he received orders to the Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D. C.


The New Orleans had put into port early in November, 1918, and was on hand for the tremendous ovation that the news Of the armistice occasioned. Almost the first dispatch issued by the Navy Department after things calmed down was an order remanding Lieutenant Commander Daniel J. Callaghan from the cruiser New Orleans to the Navy Department. The story goes that upon the cessation of the war there was a mad scramble out of the Washington shore-duty jobs, and that Dan reported into his particular billet to find complete chaos in possession.


The job Dan was taking over was not a particularly pleasant one, for it had to do with the reassignment of warrant and chief petty officers who had been reduced in rank with the end of the war. It was a position open to pressure and influence—from that of the "little woman" who wanted her paymaster located in Vacaville, California, to that of the pretentious congressman demanding that Joe Gooch be sent to Honolulu. Dan's scrupulous sense of justice, together with an inherent dislike of refusing to do things for people, caused him many an unhappy dilemma as he tried to maneuver the "go-go" tree in order to send Jack Doe to the Arkansas because his pal Jim Bilk was there, and to please Moe Ice whose six children were clamoring for him down in Charleston.


He had always an interest in human behavior, realizing vividly the importance to an individual, to his family, and to the Navy, of placing a man where he most wanted to be. But at the same time Dan formed a habit of quietly deflating people who took themselves too seriously, though he did his best to do so painlessly. On the purely political side of things he was not very accommodating, having the usual official fear lest somehow or other a little "P.I." (political influence) creep into his record. Like his father before him, Dan had little use for the game of politics. He was a seadog through and through.


Dan's one great consolation during his Washington tour. was the fact that Mary came on with Jud, and they got an apartment in Georgetown, where they settled down to two solid years of home life. It took a little conditioning on his part to overcome some of the virtues of a solitary he had picked up in his seven years at sea, but he was soon acting the boon companion naturally, mixing cocktails for his guests, passing out cigars and cigarettes, while indulging in none of these fancies himself. Friends and guests who visited his home in Washington, then as well as later, are unanimous in praising his thoughtful hospitality, and the excellent dinners Mary served.


For himself Dan privately confessed to a dislike for the pseudo-gaiety of the whole Capital atmosphere. He was particularly bitter against the weather. Being meticulous about his person, he found himself frequently taking three or four showers a day, and almost getting a beating from Mary for the number of uniforms he had in the wash or at the cleaners. But on the whole he managed to survive the strain of demobilization, with its laying-up of ships, its paring down of officer staffs, and the persistence of the department in persuading officers to leave a service that had room for only half of them, despite the excellence of their war records. Then, on the first of October, 1920, Dan Callaghan saw with a grin that he had received orders assigning him as fire-control officer aboard the brand new battleship Idaho.


Dan's two years in the Navy Department were an essential element in his later career. He obtained an insight into the workings of the Navy on paper, and a keener appreciation of the aim and ambitions, good and bad, that motivate the generality of mankind. He likewise came into contact, at least momentarily, with a number of people who would one day remember him to his advantage. Richard H. Leigh, assistant chief of the Bureau of Navigation was one; and Franklin D. Roosevelt, another.


Dan moved his family back to Oakland, California, packed his locker and reported for duty aboard the Idaho on the eighteenth of October, 1920. There he was soon completely at home, taking over as assistant fire control officer. At last Dan felt he was in his proper element. He had always had a penchant for gunnery work. Now, with a brand new battleship under him, he set to work with a zest that was amazing.


Dan was in control of the secondary battery, with A. S. Rees, popularly known as "T.N.T.," his senior officer. The boys referred to this watch station as the "smoke watch" because of the linguistic violence that accompanied Rees's orders, bellowed from above. Almost from the beginning Dan found himself taking over as godfather to the junior officers. He ran what amounted to regular classes in practical gunnery, and was most meticulous in his demands about the keeping of notebooks, which had to be submitted once a week for his scrutiny. No one got shore liberty until his book was okayed. Gunnery ensigns and j.g.'s soon found that Dan's scribbled "idle chatter," or "bologna," down the side of their "paddings" proved costly to their shorebound interests.


Daniel J. Callaghan was thirty years old now, a large and handsome man. He was a professional naval officer with a court-martial, a war, and a turn in the Navy Department under his belt. To his friends he was a serious religious-minded individual with a healthy interest in sports, in his family, in making a financial go of things. He had no known enemies. He soon found himself at work with an earnest group of men, eager to make a first class battlewagon out of their ship, and just as eager to knock a good time out of the process. On board, Captain C. L. Hussey was skipper, aided by F. R. McCrory as executive officer, and there was a young Catholic chaplain by the name of William Maguire with whom Dan found himself in constant contact. Padre Maguire had the makings of a fair pitcher, and Dan soon had him working out on the forward or after deck, stirring up spirit among the rest of the officers and crew.


When the Pacific units of the fleet dropped anchor off Panama that winter, the commander in chief appointed Dan playing-manager of the Pacific officers' team, with orders to beat the team from the Atlantic. Dan rose to the occasion, playing a fine game himself, and leading his teammates to a well fought victory. At dinner that evening in the Union Club he was like a young freshmen, bubbling over with enthusiasm.


People who knew Dan well characterized him as quiet though invariably cheerful. His sociability was of the calmer type, never running to the spectacular. Yet he seemed to enjoy the fleet and ship parties, being on hand with his inevitable glass of ginger ale, always ready to lend a hand to help one of his more boisterous shipmates back on board, once the festivities ended. He was notoriously a hard worker, as the boys in the gunnery sheds soon found out. Yet he was charitable to a fault. With him in the wardroom, nothing untoward was to be heard, nor did anyone find him criticizing superior officers or situations which he felt beyond his ken. His very presence, strapping, reserved, cheery, commanded respect and kept his less-disciplined shipmates under a moderate restraint.


He made fast friends with Padre Maguire, who catered to Dan's insatiable appetite for candy, and Dan could be found in his room at almost any time of the day or night "shooting the breeze," or modestly displaying the latest pictures he had received from Oakland of Mary and Jud. Or he might be going over the latest hardship tale he had just received from one of his enlisted men, or discussing the chances of the Cards and Cubs.


On the trip the Idaho made to Valparaiso, Chile, in 1921, Dan's popularity was transformed into a peculiar boomerang. When the ship reached the equator, he was given much rougher treatment in being made over into a "shellback" from a "pollywog" than were his officer companions. He was soundly spanked and rudely handled by the Royal Polar Bears in homage to King Neptune. Dan emerged from the tank black-and-blue all over, and in considerable amazement. It took a good deal of explanation on Padre Maguire's part to point out to him that the treatment he had received was due to the affection the men had for him. They had chosen this rugged means of showing that they knew he could "take it."


Dan served on the Idaho until June, 1923, enjoying every minute of his association with Captain Hussey, and then with Captain Joel R. P. Pringle, and a host of junior officers, winning fine tributes from the skipper such as the following from Captain Hussey: (1 April, 1921) "Lt. Cdr. Callaghan is an expertly fine officer. He not only contributes to the efficiency of the ship as assistant Gunnery officer, but in various other ways. He is in charge of the baseball team, playing himself at times. His thorough work as a senior member of the Hull Board was specially commendable.''


Some six months later Joel Pringle wrote: "As assistant fire control officer, he has been in direct charge of the Gunnery training of the ship's secondary battery (14 five-inch guns) and anti-aircraft battery (4 three-inch). His devotion to duty, sound judgment and ability to inspire loyalty in his subordinates have resulted in a constant and steady increase in the efficiency of the above mentioned batteries. At the recent battle practice of the Pacific Fleet in 5-inch guns, he made the largest percentage of hits of any ship of the Fleet. I regard him as an extraordinarily valuable officer and would select him for duty under any command. His value lies in his ability to handle personnel."


Dan's naval career was definitely taking on direction during his duty term on the Idaho. His efficiency in handling gunnery crews and problems was steadily mounting. The Idaho gave him his first real acquaintance with anti-aircraft batteries. Hits on the sleeves being towed behind aircraft were few and far between in those days, but Dan, along with many other younger gunnery officers, had an idea that this was a gun of the future. It took two decades to prove the validity of that hunch; but Dan hung on in the Mississippi and Colorado during the middle twenties; as battleship and fleet gunnery officer during the early thirties; as Presidential aide before the end of that decade. His persistence did not revolutionize naval thought on the subject. It took the Japanese air arm to do that. But he at least helped to prepare for the revolution.


The end of World War I had provided a lull in which grandiose plans for a full-sized Navy were dreamed of and spoken about by Naval authorities. The Wilson administration was all for arriving at parity with Great Britain, which meant not only building up our merchant marine, but carrying out the original building program of 1916, adding no less than ten battleships and six cruisers to the United States fleet. But hopes were soon shattered by a penny-pinching Congress, and the Washington armament conferences. Dan looked with great apprehension on the politicians' designs. He remembered back to the days of his early apprenticeship in the fleet, and the defeatist spirit of many an officer who had abandoned his naval career rather than face the hopelessness of their economy-haunted situation. He remembered back to the plotting that had promised him a lieutenancy at thirty-nine and a lieutenant commander's job at forty-seven. A war had changed all that. He was a lieutenant commander at thirty-two. And while he was definitely not interested in another war, just to favor his career, he was very definitely interested in being prepared for just such an eventuality. As one of his contemporaries commented on certain disarmament plans then in discussion: "Until our friend (speaking of Mr. F. J. Libby, then chairman of the National Council for the Reduction of Armaments) can bring us a signed agreement—that he can enforce—to stop the other fellow from aggression, we don't want him to tell the United States what is a reasonable degree of preparedness on our part."

Early in 1922 the 5-5-3 ratio of naval strength was agreed upon by England, the United States, and Japan. This called for the scrapping of several designated ships, and a ten-year naval holiday in the construction of capital ships. At the same time, the reduction in naval personnel from the 497,000 in 1918 to a mere 86,000 enlisted men in 1922 made life in the fleet a much more strenuous affair, particularly in carrying out fleet exercises and target practice. Hence Dan was writing to his father in December, 1922:



Long Beach, Calif. December 3, 1922


Dear Papa:


Since leaving Bremerton the days have slipped by with such rapidity that I can scarcely realize something over a month has elapsed since I last wrote home. Rosarie's letter of several days ago, was a well-merited reproach re my lack of epistolary effort and I shall endeavor to dash off at least a weekly screed in the future.


Ever since the ship has reached these southern waters we have been going at the gunnery business with great gusto—target practice has followed target practice with such speed that I am actually dizzy. And we have made only mediocre scores. Over seventy percent of the men who comprised the guns' crew were raw recruits, aboard less than a month and in my own battery, 5-inch, only one of the six officers concerned had been out of the Academy more than five months. Frankly, Dad, I am rather fed up with this Gunnery business. I thought I would surely be detached before I had to undergo a third Gunnery year; but no such luck....


I feel like a normal human being again with my family with me. We have a very nice, though far from elaborate apartment—comfortable and sufficient for our needs. Undoubtedly Nana has given you, since her return, a detailed account of the layout, etc., of our domicile, so I shall not weary you with repetition. Ordinarily, I do not get home at nights until 6:30 or later, and I leave in the morning at 6:45—so except on Saturdays and Sundays, when off duty, I am not home as many hours as I should like. But it is infinitely better than having no home at all to which I may repair. Next week I shall be away practically the entire week, as we shall be out every night getting ready for "Night Battle Practice." Mary is a trifle squeamish about being alone, but she will get over that. Jud is going to school at the sister's Parochial School here and doing fairly well. At least he is learning something about his religion, an education sadly lacking, except at home, in his previous schooling. He brought home a Holy Picture the other afternoon, for knowing so well his lesson in Christian Doctrine. So, I feel that he is progressing somewhat. But the brave lad does not concentrate in his lessons as well as he should. He is such an active little rascal he cannot keep still long enough to really buckle down to earnest business. I hope he will someday outgrow that tendency.


We had hoped Bill and Helen would spend Thanksgiving with us, but Bill wired that he could not get away. He stated he might be up this week-end but did not put in an appearance. It was just as well—the weather was terrible yesterday and this morning--a regular deluge, so had they come, their stay would not have been very pleasant, at least as far as the weather conditions were concerned. Hope they will be able to make it here for a weekend before Christmas.


Please tell Rosarie that her box of sweets was received the day before Thanksgiving and was greatly appreciated. Some of her candy helped to fill out our dessert at Thanksgiving dinner, in which we were joined by Father Burke and Ensign Evans from the Ship.

Must go to bed, Dad, as I have a long and strenuous day before me. Please write me when you feel the urge and let me know all the latest news of your condition and the news of home. I hope that all at home have escaped this mild "flu" contagion which seems so widespread in this neighborhood.

Ever affectionately,

Your son,



Dan stayed on the Idaho until the end of June, 1923, when he was detailed to the Board of Inspection and Survey, Pacific Coast Section, working out of San Francisco. He moved his family back to Oakland, and renewed his acquaintanceship with friends in the San Francisco area. Dan took up once more with the professors at St. Ignatius College and the alumni of his high-school days. He saw much of the Chamberses, close friends of the family. Mr. Chambers was the family financial adviser, and helped Dan with a few minor real estate projects.

Meanwhile Dan's work carried him up and down the coast, looking over newly built fleet auxiliaries at Puget Sound or Bremerton, inspecting destroyers laid up at San Diego and submarines bedded down in Mare Island. It was not a particularly wearying task, though there was much paper work and reports innumerable to be submitted and filed. But Dan enjoyed himself thoroughly, taking advantage of the situation to spend a good deal of time with his father, and the rest of the family. He stayed part of the summer with them in Soquel, participating in their festivities as well as their minor sorrows. He kept in trim physically by challenging some of his younger brother Chad's gang to tennis and handball matches, and followed West Coast sporting events with a keen interest.


He was sorry to have his two years of shore duty run out early in May, 1925, but he did have the pleasure, just previously, of standing as best man for a close friend of his, Charlie Rend. The wedding proved a gala reunion of their Navy crowd, with Padre Maguire (the youthful chaplain of the Idaho days), his brother Bill Callaghan, "Plug" Coman, etc., showing up for the occasion.


Dan reported on board the USS Colorado as first lieutenant on May 16, 1925. He was welcomed aboard by the skipper, Captain R. R. Belknap, and immediately set to work cleaning up ship. He found himself in charge of everything movable on board; master of the paintpot and the swabbing bucket, responsible agent for each particular that eventuates in shipshape conditions. Being by now an old hand at handling men, Dan soon had the young boys in steerage, as well as the older men in the wardroom, very much on his side. His robust and serious appearance, together with his calm competence appealed to chiefs and warrants as well, thus completing his team, and making for an immaculately caparisoned battlewagon. Then the fleet set sail for the Western Pacific and Australia.


On the way out, an order was received from the department commanding all the "bright work" topside to be painted over. Dan had just completed the overhaul and repolishing of the ship's brass. He was not at all pleased with the new order. But he set his boys to work once more with brush and pot. The job was hardly finished when Captain F. D. Karns strode aboard in Honolulu as skipper, replacing Captain Belknap. One of his first remarks upon inspecting the vessel was: "What the devil has become of the brass? Tell the first lieutenant to start the boys scraping immediately."


Dan, in some perturbation, approached the new skipper to inform him of the departmental order. " I don't give a continental for the Navy Department," was all the reply he got. "I'm running this ship, and I want polished brass." And for good measure, "So does the Admiral."


Dan blew up. But early the next morning, his boys were out there unearthing the bright work. For the rest of the tour he was the subject of constant ribbing on the subject. But he found Captain Karns an exceptionally fine boss to work for, a man with great spirit, a ready wit, and an urbanity of manners that Dan greatly appreciated. Karns was also a classmate and close friend of Jamie Raby, giving the two men a closer bond of interests.


Captain Karns had joined the Colorado in Honolulu. He was hardly settled aboard when the squadron pulled out for Australia and New Zealand. It was a flag-showing expedition. To make doubly sure of an Aussie welcome, they carried several million pounds of English gold. On the way down they stopped off at Samoa and the Fiji Islands, by-passing Noumea. On picnic and exploration expeditions, Dan helped Father Finn, the Catholic chaplain aboard, to ferret out Catholic missionaries scattered through these isolated spots. The missionaries gave them a great welcome, with never a thought of the tremendous part this area was to play in the final stages of many an American sailor's career.


The Australians and New Zealanders received the American fleet with open arms. Even at that time, they realized their almost complete dependence on the United States in case of a Pacific war. The fleet spent two weeks at each of the principal ports, and was wined and dined in style. The American sailors were taken into the Maori mountains and through the Bush country, stopping at the springs at Total Rua. They took a natural, great interest in the horse racing and steeplechases that confronted them on every side. Dan met a number of people, some of whom were to remember him when he returned to Auckland in the summer of 1942 to help hold off the very real Japanese threat.


On the way home, the Colorado again put in at Samoa, and Dan and Captain Karns, together with a number of the crew, set out for Apia and the tomb of Ensign John Robert Monaghan, USN, who had been killed in action there, on April 1, 1899. Dan knew the story well. Monaghan had been a classmate of Captain Karns and of his uncle James Raby in the academy. His life had been written by one of the Jesuits, Father H. H. McCallough. It was being circulated in St. Ignatius College back in 1906, when Dan was a high-school student there, and had helped to convince Dan and his father that a career at Annapolis and in the Navy would not interfere with his Catholicism. Captain Karns used to kid Dan a good deal about the strictness of his religious practice, as well as that of James Raby, particularly when fish would appear in the ship's mess on Fridays. Dan took it in a reserved though ready spirit, making no bones about his frequent attendence at mass, or about the rosary that hung continually at the head of his bunk. All in all, the Australian trip proved a healthful boon for the fleet, and familiarized Dan, at least, with a stretch of territory that it would later cost his life in protecting.


On the seventh of April, 1926, back in American waters, Dan was suddenly summoned to the captain's cabin and asked if he would mind transferring over to the Mississippi as gunnery officer. It was a strange procedure, but a flattering offer, as no one near his time had a gunnery job. Cleveland Macauley, the Mississippi's fire-control officer had been ailing for some time, and an immediate replacement was needed. Old Joel Pringle, mindful of Dan's gunnery interest and proficiency on the Idaho, had suggested to Captain Tom Hart that the young, strapping "Irishman" might be just the person. Sorry as he was to lose him, Captain Karns told Dan to take the job, pronto—which he did.


Dan thus described his plight on board the Mississippi a month or so later in a letter to his father:


I suppose Mary told you that Captain Pringle was wholly instrumental in my obtaining my present duty. I was somewhat dumbfounded when the Battleships Divisions Gunnery officer came aboard the Colorado and asked me if 1 wanted this duty, especially as 1 was just on the point of instigating some wire-pulling to catch me a destroyer command at San Diego. I had decided that a total of four years of battleship duty was a-plenty, and I saw visions of two more years of issuing out paint pots, snooping around for dirt and rust, etc., etc., ad nauseam!


The prospect was anything but alluring. But no one near my time had a gunnery job, so of course, it was a very flattering offer and one I could not possibly refuse. So here I am! And it has been one strenuous period for me, as this bucket was way behind schedule in practices, stood nearly at the bottom of the heap, to say nothing of the fact that I had to quickly learn the capabilities of the personnel, the condition of the material, and above all to learn to talk this gunnery lingo, which is a parlance and technique all its own.


I was of course tickled that we did so well on our long range practice which counts nearly one half of the whole year's gunnery work. In that one practice we succeeded in pulling up our year's standing from eleven (only twelve ship's in it) to six and possibly five, and for this particular important practice all dope points to the fact that we are in the lead, though by a rather scant margin. At any rate our hits (9) are more than any have made so far, and all ships have fired except two. In any event 'tis the best practice at long ranges ever pulled off by this ship, which is cause for some comfort.


I don't know that I can claim any of the credit for it, but in taking over the job, I was in the rather enviable position of having everything to gain and very little to lose. For if we did well, I could sit back with a sigh; whereas if we fell down, as everyone expected, I could point to the fact that my short incumbency prevented any untoward improvement.


I was impressed with the lackadaisical "underdog" air that was prevalent among the officers in the Gunnery Department, when I' came aboard. That's a mighty hard feeling to combat, but I got 'em all together a few days after reporting and told 'em my ideas on that attitude—probably made myself unpopular but at least succeeded in "jazzing 'em up" a bit. Also looked over the past firing records of the ship and picked out some prominent faults on which I harped in the few weeks prior to the practice. I am enclosing my screed on preparation for the practice.


Dan's scheme on preparation is a model of succinct instruction, and indicates absolute competence in every phase of fire-control mechanism and action. It tickled Captain Tom Hart no end to find Dan counseling his gunnery officers: "While it is realized that gun division officers have duties, in connection with their divisions, which require a certain amount of time, it is believed that by strict attention during gunnery drill periods, much can be accomplished toward preparing the batteries for this most important practice of the year (long-range battle practice). Eat, sleep, drink and think Gunnery for the next few weeks. To direct the attention of officers of the gunnery department toward some of those details essential for success in this practice, the following notes are promulgated. They are dictated by experience and by a perusal of records of previous firings."


There followed a detailed, technical instruction on the intricacies of main-battery fire control, aiming to eliminate every possible source of controllable error. Full safety precautions were insisted upon. Casualties of every possible kind are discussed and provided for. Dispersions of fire due to inaccuracies in the pointer elevations, in lining up director system, in bore-sighting, shell-loading and seating, in compensations for erosion, weight, electrical resistance were adequately analyzed and provided for. Plotting, spotting and range-finding were each analyzed and emphasized. Dan was definitely in there, working like a Trojan, and winning the men and officers over by the swiftness of his enthusiasm and the sparkle of his zeal. His fitness report reflected the success that was inevitable with him: "I can scarcely report too favorably on this officer. He is excellent generally and particularly; and he looks and acts the part. As gunnery officer, he is being highly successful and I unhesitatingly recommend him for almost any detail." It was signed Thomas C. Hart, USN.


Meanwhile Dan's heart and attention were centered on more immediate problems at home. His father had always been his confidant, as he had been for Uncle Jamie Raby. Hence Dan wrote:


Letter writing has been decidedly at a premium during this past hectic month, but at the present moment I have a breathing spell and shall acknowledge the two fine letters I have recently received from mother and yourself.


Was much interested in your account of the new real-estate venture engaged in by Uncle Dan and yourself. Where is this tract that you have started building operations on? Is it in the neighborhood of Maxwell Park? I hope you shall have better luck in disposing of your bungalows than I have had with mine. The burden of carrying that house of mine along from month to month is no light one, I can assure you, and if Mr. Chambers does get rid of it for me I'm through with this long distance real estate game....


Poor Bill [his brother, engineering officer on the cruiser Concord at this time -ed.] seems to be disgusted with life and I don't blame him. The scouting-fleet schedule seemingly does not take into account the fact that its personnel are human beings and desire to see their families more frequently than once in six months. The same tendency to crowd too many activities in a short period of time is also apparent in this [the Pacific] fleet, not nearly however to the same extent as in the other [Atlantic] fleet. The effect is ruinous to morale.


There are to be numerous vacancies in the engineering departments of these battlewagons in June, and if Bill wants a job I feel sure he could get one. The most promising one is on the New Mexico. Write Bill and tell him to get busy. All my friends have gone from the detail office, so what little influence I might have had there is no more. If Bill thinks it would help, I'll write to other people in the department, and see if any aid will be forthcoming. It would be fine for all hands if he could be ordered out here.


At the time Bill was serving in the cruiser Concord, as assistant engineering officer, working out of New York. Graduated from the Academy in 1918, he had served in destroyers during and after World War I, then reported back to Annapolis for postgraduate work in electrical engineering, winding up with his Master's degree from Columbia University. Dan was quite proud of Bill's ability to handle the more studious side of a naval career; and felt quite keenly the fact that they seldom saw each other. They did manage to get together when the fleets combined activities off the Panama Coast. But their main link was the family at home in Oakland, and principally their father, "C.W.," who was in constant touch with Uncle James Raby, and a number of other prominent naval officers.


Dan's interest in naval aviation was growing apace. Uncle Jamie, down at Pensacola, got his wings in August, 1926, the second officer in the Navy to qualify as a naval aviator while holding the rank of captain. He suggested to Dan that it might be a good idea for him to think of qualifying. But Dan always felt himself a salt-water navy man. His main interest in aviation was to improve methods for "shooting 'em down."


Towards the end of 1926, the fleet steamed down to Panama for exercises with its Atlantic counterpart. Under command of Admiral Charles F. Hughes and fifteen lesser admirals, the United States naval forces put on the greatest show of armored sea power ever attempted. Morale was high, for in the Navy Department Assistant Secretary Theodore Douglas Robinson was being hailed as a "Roosevelt in everything but name." As the fleet completed its complicated series of maneuvers and simulated battle moves, it deployed in full panoply over to the Republic of Haiti, there to salute Louis Borno, President of the Negro Republic. The next week it watched and waited while five super-dreadnoughts guided by spotter planes, directed the firing of 14 and 16 inch shells at targets some 30,000 yards (fifteen miles) away, demonstrating the accuracy and finesse of long-range gunnery control. On the Mississippi, Dan Callaghan, along with almost every officer in the fleet, echoed the sentiments of Captain Cluveriusi of the West Virginia, to the effect that "this firing off the coast of Cuba assured the continued building of super dreadnoughts; and could not but have a profound effect upon the naval development of the nations."


On the first of May, the fleet anchored in New York. There Admiral Hughes on his flagship Seattle paced the deck for forty-five minutes awaiting the arrival of the tardy but ever debonair mayor of New York, James J. Walker. Whereupon the 116 ships 2,227 officers, and 30,000 men were treated to a sixteen-day round of parades, speeches, photographing, and gay and gaudy entertainments. Despite the inconveniences of formal festivities and the press of sightseeing crowds, Dan welcomed the stay in New York. It gave him an opportunity to renew East Coast acquaintanceships; to catch up with his brother Bill and the latter's family; and to see the Rabys. But above all the great display of naval might seemed an earnest of easier days for appropriations and pay bills, as well as power developments, despite the threat of international limitations.


Leaving New York, the fleet proceeded up the New England coast, there to engage in a simulated attack, with the purpose of invasion. Despite the fact that for economy's sake; no guns were fired nor dummy-head torpedoes launched, the exercises were given as realistic a twist as possible. Of the supposed 75,000 troops carried by the "Black" fleet, some 20,000 were landed after the coast defenses had been reduced. But the defending "Blue" army under General Preston Brown managed to prevent the landing of more troops and, despite great difficulties, to concentrate and eventually repulse those who had come ashore. To the satisfaction of both sides, the games were conceded a draw. And the fleet headed back for home waters.


Dan's final year on the Mississippi was spent in a continuation of his reputation as a hard-working, forceful and industrious officer. It was generally recognized that the great gunnery improvements aboard were chiefly due to him; and he had no small part in the uplift in morale that could be noticed among officers and crew. Such was the observation of Captain C. M. Tozer, who relieved Tom Hart in June.


The interest in the fleet was centered on the Congressional naval-appropriations hearings during the latter part of 1927. Chairman Fred A. Britten found the Navy, in the person of Rear Admiral Charles B. McVay, thinking in terms of 1935 or of 1942. Hence the talk in the wardroom or on the bridge centered about the "basic naval facts concerning the United States fleet." Dan along with his colleagues felt that as the 1922 Washington Disarmament Conference had limited the United States to nineteen capital ships, immediate provision had to be made to assure the country of "absolute needs"— an adequate supply of auxiliaries from cruisers to minesweepers. In round numbers the United States possessed eighteen cruisers, one hundred three active destroyers, thirty-two subs and two aircraft carriers. But good naval doctrine called for a much larger complement.


As Dan explained to his father, the full fleet would be made up of a force somewhat as follows: 1) a fleet of submarines, scouting in a circle some 700 miles ahead of the fleet; 2) a line of scouting cruisers some 250 to 500 miles in advance; 3) a secondary line of cruisers with a complement of destroyers and aircraft carriers; 4) a circular screen of cruisers and destroyers ready to draw the enemy's fire, or (failing a fog) to draw a smoke screen across the activities of 5) the battle force. Finally would come the supply ships, transports and auxiliaries of every shape and size. This presupposed the combined activity of the fleet; but to carry out such an arrangement the United States needed twenty-five more cruisers, nine destroyers (plus the 173 held in inactive reserve), and thirty-two more submarines.


The battle fleet had returned to the Pacific, its eleven battleships, one cruiser, thirty-nine destroyers and two aircraft carriers, deploying in winter war games off the West Coast of Panama; after which it was readied, during April, 1928, for maneuvers with the Asiatic squadron in May and June off the coast of Oahu and in the Lahaina Roads. On the Mississippi, Dan felt he had completed his tour of sea duty. He began to scout around for a spell of West coast landlubbering.


Dan left the Mississippi in July, 1928, reporting for duty once again with the Board of Inspection and Survey, Pacific Coast section. He had had time to get his land legs under him while spending a month down in the country with his family. His new deal had been worked in part by Captain Karns, his old skipper on the Colorado, who had been looking for an efficient staff officer to act as secretary of his board. When he saw Dan's number up as due for a tour on land, he had made haste to secure him.


Then began a swift round of duties which took Dan and the inspection board from Puget Sound, where merchant ships and auxiliaries of all types were checked over and put through their paces down to San Diego where recommendations were made about the upkeep of the four-stacker destroyers laid aside in grease under charge of Captain Morris, and reports on subs and sub-tenders, which brought contact with men like Chester Nimitz.


Dan found a host of old friends on the board—old "TNT" Rees, of the Idaho days, and J. W. Woodruff and B. T. Bulmer, who were looking after the construction and engineering end of things. The board was augmented to seventy persons, when it came to putting the newly launched Lexington through its paces. Dan was appointed recorder, charged with getting out sixteen copies of each report, besides keeping abreast of travel orders for the board and the one hundred twenty people taking data.


In the spring of 1928, there had been a considerable flurry in the papers over the defects in the Saratoga. Despite the fact that it had made 32.2 knots in its runs off San Diego in June, stepping its turbines up to 210,000 hp, the critics were waiting for the sister ship, ready to pounce upon any gossip that reported defects in the internal mechanism; or hinting that in firing anti-aircraft batteries from different positions, its own smokestacks had been found to be too ready targets. Dan was happy to be able finally to report that the Lex was in first-class condition, that it had also made its 32.2 knots, hurtling its 32,500 tons of fighting steel, guns, seadogs, explosives and planes smoothly through the waters.


For two years Dan traveled between Bremerton and San Diego, day in and day out, examining hulls, guns, turrets, steam chests, shafts and propellers. He broadened his knowledge of naval construction, and got to appreciate the need of coordinating every phase of naval activity from planning ships to salvaging submarines. And as he approached his fortieth birthday, he could look back on eighteen years of naval service, in which he had made at least a modest place for himself in the annals of his country's service afloat.