Posts Tagged ‘Paul Knapp’

New information–sort of!

Where was Flier 66 years ago today? | Posted by Rebekah
May 17 2010

So I spent the weekend about 600 miles east visiting with the family of one of the USS Flier survivors.  (I was not given permission to say who, but there are seven suspects).  Though he was known as a quiet man, he was, in his own way, fascinated with the story of the Flier, and the contents of his and his wife’s scrapbooks and records yielded such gems as the deck logs (daily accountings of what the Flier was doing, ) the sailing list from the Flier, and even the love telegrams that he sent to his new bride to assure her that he was safe and still loved her.  It really makes me appreciate how easily I can keep in contact with my family today though e-mail, VOIP technology, phone, Facebook…ect.)  To think that this lady, during the first year of her marriage only spent a few days with her new husband, and only got a one line telegram from him every few weeks to let her know that he was still alive is amazing.  That she carefully preserved all of them proves how much these little telegrams were her lifeline.

A part of me wishes that I had found these materials earlier, but things happen when they happen.  The deck logs in particular are amazing since they tell me exactly where Flier was 66 years ago on every day.  Today, for example, she was on a training run which started on the 15th, making practice runs, dives, and emergency procedures.  The officers that recorded today’s activities were Paul Knapp, William Reynolds, and John “Ed” Casey.  Some of these pages are handwritten and so faded that the information is gone.  Someday, I hope I cam make it to the Naval Archives to see the originals, but for now, this is an incredible gold mine!

Welcome Aboard Flier

Where was Flier 66 years ago today? | Posted by Rebekah
Apr 15 2010

Sixty six years ago today, Al Jacobson, fresh from Submarine School, reported aboard the USS Flier for his first assignment.

Five of the officers were left from the Midway incident:  Commander Crowley, Lieutenant Liddell (now promoted to Executive Officer), Ensign Herbert Beahr (called “Teddy”) Engineering  Officer, and Lieutenant John Edward (called “Ed”) Casey, The Gunnery Officer, and Herbert Miner, Communications Officer.

Joining them was Al Jacobson, 22, fresh out of school, and the Ensign under Instruction.  As he was not a qualified submariner yet, he was going to have a rough time: if he wasn’t on duty, eating or sleeping, his job was to study every cog, knob and system on the Flier until he could run them all if he had to.  In addition, his formal duties included Commissary Officer (in charge of ordering and planning food for the crew in cooperation with the cooking staff), Assistant Gunnery Officer (Helping Lt. Casey, the main Gunnery Officer , direct and man the deck guns)  Assistant Torpedo (Helping Casey with the Torpedoes) and Assistant Navigator (helping Lt. Liddell with the Navigation).  It was  a large undertaking, to be sure, but no more than most  new officers.

Also Lt. Paul Knapp, of San Francisco, taking the position of Engineering Officer.  He would be working with the three Motor Mac Chiefs (Edgar Hudson was still aboard.  By the time of Flier’s second patrol, there would be two more: William Brooks and James Snyder, though I have no evidence of when they joined the crew) to keep Flier running in top shape.  With four engines, four generators, two massive batteries, and a complex electronic system linking them all together, it was an important job.

Lt. Bill Reynolds of Industry, Pennsylvania, assigned to the Communications Officer Position.  He would oversee the communications that went in and out of the submarine, coordinate other known received communications, such as locations and positions of Allied and enemy convoys, weather reports, special communications, and more.  While the submarine risked discovery each time she sent a message, she could receive messages without risk of discovery.

There was also likely one more officer aboard Flier, but his name I cannot find: Once the Flier reached Fremantle, thirteen men were detached, and thirteen more joined the crew.  One of these new recruits was Ensign Philip Mayer, Officer Under Instruction, (like Al will be for the first patrol), so it stands to reason that there may have been one other officer on Flier for the first patrol that had been removed before the second.

That being said,  Flier carried nine officers on her second patrol, she had bunks for only eight.  So it’s just as possible, that this missing officer was not assigned to Flier at all.  If anyone knows the answer, please let me know.