Captain Charles A. Jarvis - a brief autobiography

I was born in St. Johns, Arizona Territory, Sept. 8, 1906. Christmas time of 1915 my mother, brother, sister and I moved to Port Angeles, Washington. In June 1921 I shipped out as a deckhand on the tow boats in the Straits of Juan De Fuca. Next, in October 1921 I shipped out in the focsle of the tall ships that carried lumber to ports around the world.

I enlisted in the US Navy in Seattle July 10, 1923. On Friday July 13, 1923 I entered gate 1 of the San Diego Naval Training Center. I was assigned to the A-6 company. My first assignment after leaving the training center was the USS Arizona. In 1925 I was transferred to the China station where I was assigned to the USS Hart DM8.

DM stands for Detachment of Mines. The US Navy took four, World War I four stack destroyers and made them into fast mine layers. By taking the 4 torpedo tube racks off the main deck and replacing with mine tracks down each side of the vessel. These tracks each held 45 mines. From December to April we were in the Philippines - Manila. In the summer time we were in China for training.

When Sun Yat Sin and Chang Ki's armies were fighting close to H???? (I have forgotten the name, but it was the last deep water port on the Yangtze River, 700 miles up river from Shanghai.) We stood guard around American and British property. The same in Shanghai from September to December 1926. All US Naval personnel in Shanghai during this time were awarded the Yangtze Medals.

I came back to the states in 1927 and was assigned to the USS Tennessee. I paid off December 24, 1927. I traveled around Southern California, Arizona, Texas and into Alabama where I enlisted in the U S Coast Guard at Mobile. I served one enlistment in the Coast Guard, then went back to the merchant marine.

I worked for the following companies: Morgan Line, United fruit Company and United States Line - where I was night bos'n on the Leviathan. American Export, whose ports of call were the Mediterranean and Black Sea, including Russia. I went third mate on a United Fruit Company Vessel in march of 1935. I left the company in early 1938.

I returned to Port Angeles where I worked in one of the pulp and paper mills. In February 1942 I signed on as chief officer of a Naval salvage tug, the USS Oriole ARS 3. She was operated by a civilian crew, under contract to Merritt, Chapman and Scott, a New York company. She was a World War 1 tug boat built to sweep the North Sea free of mines laid during the war. ARS is Auxiliary Rescue Ship.

At 165 ft. Loa and 40 ft beam she had a large crew. The Master, a salvage master, a chief officer and a second mate. Eight sailors, eight salvage men, a chief diver and an assistant diver. A chief engineer, first, and second assistant engineers, three firemen, three oilers and one wiper. A chief steward, two cooks and two messmen.

In December 1942 we were working to free a grounded Russian ship. A captain whose breath always smelled of apple juice, ran the USS Rescuer ARS 18, aground on Seal Cape Unimack Island, with a rock in the engine room. The USS Rescuer was an ex-steam schooner taken over by the Navy and out fitted as a salvage tug. All crew members got off the Rescuer, but there was loss of lives and injuries. Unimack is the first Island of the Aleutian group, Seal Cape is 6 miles east of Scott Cape which is on the southwest corner of Unimack Island.

We were on a US Navy gunboat, the USS Charleston for a couple of days, then we were put on the Russian ship to wait for another salvage tug to come pick us up and take us back to Seattle. While waiting on the Russian ship a storm came up, in which we lost our third engineer and the Russian captain. When the storm was over the crew of Scott Cape light house came and we rigged up a buoy line from the ship's foremast to shore. Both the Russian and American crews slid down this line to safety.

We were quartered at the light house for a couple of days until the Navy came and took us to Dutch Harbor. We were on our own to find commercial transportation from Dutch Harbor to Seattle. Merrit Chapman and Scott placed me as second mate on a salvage tug they operated in New York, while I waited to go captain on a new salvage tug being built at Bath Maine.

I was in Penn station when the PA system requested that I report to the company office on Staten Island. There I was told the Army had taken over all of the salvage tugs.

I then went to the WSA ( War Shipping Administration ) office on lower Broadway and put my name on the list for employment. Within 24 hours I was on my way to New Orleans, where I boarded the S. S. Carlos Carrillo as chief officer. My next ship was the S.S. Ralph Waldo Emerson. I then took a month off to raise my license from mate to captain.

When I reported in with my new captain license I was assigned as chief mate on the S. S. Adoniram Judson. We made one trip to South America with commercial goods and back to the U S with war materials. When the ship returned to New York I was given command. We loaded for the South Pacific and was one of the six liberty's and 18 LST's that made the d2 landing at Leyte. We were released by MacArthur in time to arrive in San Francisco 2 days before the articles expired. I stayed with the ship until it was laid up in the Hudson river in 1946.

In 1951 I was asked if I would go captain of the MV Sword Knot and be stationed in Japan. These small vessels shuttled army cargo from Japan to Korea. It was here in 1953 that APL and I agreed to disagree. In Jan 1955 I was employed by the Military Sea Transportation Service as a marine cargo specialist stationed in Japan. In 1967 I transferred from MSTS to the army payroll. I was stationed in Long Beach, CA at the same rating, where I worked until forced retirement in Sept. of 1976.

Adoniram Judson was a Methodist Minister, that left New York and went to Burma. He lived in Burma for over 30 years, without returning to the United States. While in Burma he translated the King James version of the bible into Burmese. There is story that after he had been in Burma for about 25 years he was visited by some Methodist ministers from New York. While he understood what they were saying he needed a Burmese translator to answer their questions.

Charles A. Jarvis March 18, 1997

I found this on the net:
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"Adoniram Judson (1788 - 1850) was America's First Protestant Missionary. Filth, fever, persecution and death were daily obstacles to Adoniram Judson, an American Baptist missionary and his wife, Ann. But a Burmese Bible, dictionary and grammar were bequeathed to a thriving Burmese church when Adoniram Judson died on April 12th, 1850. His monuments were "converted Burmans and the Burman Bible." His life makes a stirring story of faith and fortitude in the face of adversity and challenge."

Besides translating the English Bible into Burmese, Adoniram Judson compiled the first English to Burmese dictionary. Judson arrived in Burma in 1813 and completed the English - Burmese dictionary in 1849. He had begun a Burmese - English dictionary, but died before he completed it. It was finished in 1852 by another missionary, E. O. Stevens. These two dictionaries, respectively known as Judson's and Steven's, are in use to this day.

Today a Baptist college in Elgin, Illinois and the publishing arm of the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A .......... are named after Adoniram Judson, the first American to establish Baptist work in another country (Burma).

Greg Hayden

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