U.S. Navy Binnacle & Engine Order Telegraph From the Liberty Ship "JOSEPH PULITZER"
Product Code: AR01
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BINNACLE: Constructed in teak and brass, features a 9in. diameter compass card stamped by the maker Kelvin & Wilfrid O. White Co., Boston, New York, USA is housed under a brass hood. The gimballed ring is also marked Kelvin White Boston and F1479 also repeated on the body of the compass bowl. The hood is designed with handholds on each end, a removeable skylight porthole on top and a sliding door in the rear for additional viewing of the compass. A brass plaque on the pedestal is embossed "STANDARD BINNACLE MANUFACTURED BY THE A LIETZ CO. SAN FRANCISCO USA, ESTABLISHED 1882", and the registration number 24685 engraved below. Brass wings supporting black painted compensating spheres or'Kelvin' balls, the teak body with front-mounted clinometer is positioned just below the plaque made by the Lionel Corporation, New York, USA with arc degrees from 0 to 40 to port and starboard. A brass rod is positioned towards the top of the pedestal designed to open and adjust the interior compass light and a string pulled switch below that turns the interior light on and off. The hinged access hatch when open reveals the three magnetic rod holders for compass adjustment. The rear is mounted with a brass Flinders tube and the binnacle is mounted on a square plinth with brass bolts for deck attachment. 51" in height.
TELEGRAPH: bridge engine order telegraph constructed in brass with white glass made by “DURKEE MARINE PRODUCTS CORPORATION, STATON ISLAND, NEW YORK” and also marked "LENOX. MADE IN USA" as printed on the dials. This standing pilot house E.O.T. is constructed of heavy solid brass. The dials are white glass, and labled to indicate the "AHEAD" speeds- STAND BY, SLOW, HALF, FULL, and “ASTERN” speeds FINISHED WITH ENGINE, SLOW, HALF, FULL.
Measures 49 inches tall to the top of the handles. The dials are 9 inches across with the head measuring 10 ¼ inches wide overall. The flang at the base measures 11 ½ inches in diameter and is mounted onto a wood base measuring 16" in diameter.
Both of these instruments survive in outstanding functional and cosmetic condition and comes with documented history.
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HISTORY: From the previous owner- "The telegraph and binnacle that accompany this letter was a gift from the captain of a Polish salvage tug that towed the liberty ship "JOSEPH PULITZER" (the vessel from which they came) to the salvage yard in 1973. Her hull number was #0644, her keel was laid August 1942 and she was delivered in September 1942. She was active throughout the war in Europe and was laid up in the James River Idle fleet after decommissioning at the end of WWII. I was the pilot that piloted the tug towing the Joseph Pulitzer from the ghost fleet in the James River to Cape Henry, Virginia in 1973. Captain L.D. Amory III"
The SS "JOSEPH PULITZER" is listed as one of the Liberty ships that took part in the D-Day landings, June 6, 1944.
Bramble, Walter W. [H] Able Seaman, SS Joseph Pulitzer
In 1943, the SS Joseph Pulitzer, in which Bramble (then able seaman) was serving, transported troops, vehicles and Army supplies from a North African base to Gela, Sicily. This vessel, and others in the convoy, were subjected to many strafing and bombing attacks by enemy planes and also to bombardments from shore based artillery. During one of these attacks fragments from an anti-personnel bomb wounded all eight of the crew of the after three-inch gun, some so seriously that it was necessary to transfer them to a naval vessel for treatment. In this emergency, Bramble, who had some previous gunnery experience, volunteered and received permission to form a new gun crew composed of merchant seamen and Army personnel. For four days and nights this amateur crew performed valiant service in driving off enemy planes. It was credited with one plane shot down. Bramble's fine spirit, leadership and skill contributed materially to the safety of the ship and were in keeping with the high standards of the United States Mrchant Marine. [Bramble was from Baltimore, MD] Sep. 12, 1946. http://www.usmm.org/msm.html
A couple of hours after the Robert Rowan sank, four German planes attacked with fragmentation bombs, one of which wounded eight men inthe Joseph Pulitzer's 3-inch gun crew. The Pulitzer had a former Navy gun pointer in her civilian crew, so Captain Kingdon S. Thomas made him gun captain of a merchant seaman gun crew which "did some fine shooting." The new gun crew was drenched by water that night when raiding dive-bombers gave them some near misses. The third mate merely ended the log for the 8-to-12 watch with, "Army stevedores discharging cargo between bombs, bullets and barges." http://www.armed-guard.com/ag81.html