Archive for March, 2011

History of Hargrave Secret Service

March 27, 2011


This is my attempt to recreate the billboard ad, in the advertisement blotter. I copied the Hargrave-bird logo from one of the many Hargrave signs. I used MS Paint to white-out the surrounding detail, and pasted into WordPad. Then I used MS Paint again, to move the text further up each side of the logo.

Hargrave Secret Service – Company Information

Hargrave Secret Service was one of the oldest protection and investigative companies in the United States with branch offices around the world. This was a world-wide network of Hargrave branch offices and/or investigative correspondents.

During the years that George Hargrave was president, he was known throughout the world as the granddaddy of private investigators.

One of the company’s more famous cases was the capture of John Dillinger in Chicago. The “lady in red” that acted as an undercover agent in the capture and shooting death of Dillinger outside a Chicago theatre was employed by the Hargrave Secret Service.

A uniformed guard of Hargrave Security Services, 1978

The Hargrave brand name has been in existence ‘since 1888’, it later became franchised nationwide. With international correspondents worldwide. The company has had a complex history of reorganizations, franchising, branches spinning-off after franchisor company dissolved, and the international operations (which had been independent) involved in mergers.

Hargrave Secret Service – Detective Agency Advertisement Blotter (1920’s)

In 1888, Edward J. Hargrave established the EDWARD J HARGRAVE SECRET SERVICE, a proprietorship founded in St. Louis, Missouri. By the 1920s, the firm was marketed as Chicago’s leading detective service. In the 1920’s the words “Edward J” were dropped from the company name. Edward J. Hargrave passed away in 1932. leaving the firm to George E. Hargrave. The Chicago office was the principal office, the business was franchised, and the company incorporated by July 1st, of 1969. The prior incorporation during the 1920’s, was Edward Hargrave’s incorporation of the business.

The original desk of Hargrave Secret Service, from 1888.

At the time, these companies were more like family companies. It was common for the sons of the owner, to open branch offices in principle cities, such as Chicago. Not just Hargrave Secret Service, but also the Pinkertons International Detective Agency and the William J Burns International Detective Agency. And used franchising to expand and grow their respective companies.

Original desk, front view.

On November 12th, 1932, Edward J. Hargrave, head of the Secret Service firm which beared his name, died in the afternoon at his home after two days of illness. Edward J. Hargrave was 64 years old.  Source: New York Times – Nov 12, 1932.


Hargrave sign 1 (EJH)




These are artifacts from the original ‘Edward J Hargrave Secret Service’, from a past era when the firm was  owned and operated by if’s original founder.

Dillinger and the ‘Lady in Red’


Dillinger FBI fingerprint card with mug shots of front, and side of face.

Driving across the Indiana-Illinois state line in a stolen vehicle, Dillinger violated a federal law and thus caught the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. An investigation concerning the facts of the escape had been carried out some time later by the Hargrave Secret Service of Chicago, Illinois on  the orders of the Illinois governor. The governor and Illinois state Attorney General Philip Lutz eventually chose not to release information because they did not want Dillinger to know of the informants with whom they spoke. As a result the findings about the gun in the escape were never made public, and this, coupled with Dillinger himself actively perpetuating the wooden gun story as an ego boost, is a reason many believe the “wooden gun” escape was real. The truth behind the infamous gun may never be known.

The woman who gave up Dillinger was a paid operative for Chicago’s old Hargrave Secret Service, a private detective agency.

Lady in Red

Anna Sage the “Lady in Red” was a paid operative for Chicago’s old Hargrave Secret Service, a private detective agency established in 1888.

Dillinger’s last day of freedom was July 22nd, 1934. Dillinger attended the film Manhatton Melodrama at the Biograph Theater in Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago with his girlfriend, Polly Hamilton, and grothel owner Ana Cumpanas (a.k.a. Anna Sage), who was facing deportation charges. Sage worked out a deal with Purvis and the FBI to set up an ambush for Dillinger and drop the deportation charges against her. When they exited the theater that night, Sage tipped off the FBI who opened fire into the back of Dillinger, killing him. Sage had identified herself to agent Melvin Pervis by wearing an agreed-upon orange and white dress, which due to the night lights, led to the enduring notion of the “Lady in Red” as a betraying character. Though she had delivered Dillinger as promised, Sage was still deported to her home country of Romania in 1936, where she remained until her death 11 years later.

Interestingly enough, in 1991. While I worked at Wisconsin Electric Power Company, in downtown Milwaukee for Burns International, part of a made for TV movie called Dillinger was being filmed. Probably because of all the marble walls.

Antique Hargrave sign used to deter burglars and vandals.

CIA Connection

In 1963, after the presidential assassination of John F. Kennedy, the CIA considered using Hargrave Secret Service, for investigating the homicide.

Click on the links below “Page 1” and “Page 2”  to see the documentation.

MEMO: HARGRAVE SECRET SERVICE                                                                                NARA Record Number: 104-10164-10463

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM                                                                                  RELEASED IN FULL 1998

Page 1

Page 2

Information from declassified CIA documents pertaining to Hargrave Secret Service:

Hargrave Secret Service, 6 West Randolph Street, Chicago, IL

The telephone directory reflects the company was formed in 1888 and has offices and/or representatives in the principle cities of the world.                           Albert Johnson, an ex-FBI man doubts that these are any more than investigative correspondents.

George E. Hargrave is sole owner, and is the son of the founder.                               He is a big, 250 pound man who has been married 5 times.                                       In business, he is the type to put on a big show and is not averse to putting more men than necessary on a job in order to charge his client a higher price and profit accordingly.

Richard Cain, Chief Investigator, Cook County Sheriff’s office distrust Hargrave. He said he knows him personally and does not regard him as a discreet person.

CIA document from December 23, 1963, Released as Sanitized in 1998.

The Milwaukee branch of Hargrave Secret Service, had been franchisee-owned (1972).

My father’s business card, which my mother wrote on from the 1960s.

Hargrave Badge & Patch Sets (if available), & Trade Names

HARGRAVE SECURITY INTERNATIONAL, INC. The international operations had spun-off in 1978. At the time George E. Hargrave (the franchisor) dissolved his corporation. This was the Hargrave entity that G4S acquired in England/Europe. Hargrave Security entities in the United States were unaffected by this, and were not acquired.


Hargrave Security badge & patch

In 1970, the largest private detective agencies re-structured themselves as private security (guard) agencies. This is called the ‘security-boom’. They shedded private detective work, except for that which pertains to combating industrial espionage. As industrial plants were their target market.

Hargrave Security Service badge

Hargrave Security Patch of the 1970s.

In 1970, the top private detective agencies restructured themselves as private security agencies, and dominated the market.

HARGRAVE POLICE –  (late- 1960’s/early-1970’s style)


Patch Comparison- Original Hargrave Police & Milwaukee Police Department (mid-1960’s styles)

This HARGRAVE POLICE patch is based on the Milwaukee Police patch, of the 1960’s era. Notice that the pattern design of the outer edge of the Hargrave Police patch is less defined, than the MPD patch it’s based on. Also the Hargrave Police patch has a larger, 6-point star (the color is yellow), and that it’s location is lower. The patch cloth is navy blue cheesecloth.

The other style I’ve seen is based on the Wisc Highway Patrol patch (upside down triangle), with red boarder, the words “HARGRAVE POLICE” in red lettering (on upper half of patch), and a red 5-point star on lower half. This earlier patch, has the words larger, and too close to a 6-point star, which itself is much larger.


The above pictured HARGRAVE POLICE badge, is of a lower number sequence, and does not continue where the MERCHANTS POLICE, INC. badge number sequence left off.
This is because, this is an earlier HARGRAVE POLICE badge. But still newer, than the HARGRAVE SECRET SERVICE OF WISCONSIN, INC. badge (franchise-style), also pictured in this article.

This Hargrave entity only operated out of the Milwaukee branch office, and did not exist anywhere else.

Hargrave Police, badge and patch set.


This photo appeared in an advertisement for Hargrave Security Services,

in the Milwaukee Sentinel, October 20th, 1975.

The people in this advertisement represent undercover, private detectives and one security guard from Hargrave Police, affiliated with Hargrave Security Services. Whether these persons are actually private detectives and a Hargave Police security guard, or just actors for the ad, is unknown. I think they’re actors. The Hargrave Police patch, worn by this security guard, is the same one that I have closeups on in this article.

Ralph P. Utt, Chief of Investigation, Hargrave Secret Service of Wisconsin, Inc.

The state-license number of his private detective license is 1070-63.

This was my father’s boss at Hargrave. My father David L. Griffin, was a private detective (state-license #423-63), Security Manager (during the 1960’s), and had also underwent training at a polygraph school in New York, during which he stayed at the Plaza Hotel.

The franchise-owner with permission to use the Hargrave name, was Harold S. Leich. Another state-licensed private detective, whose credential number was 2766-63. Harold S. Leich also owned two (2) other private protection agencies, Merchants Police, Inc., which was founded in 1893, by his father, Frederick Leich (a former Milwaukee County Coroner). Merchants Police, Inc. was the largest contract security firm in Milwaukee, and in the State of Wisconsin, from the time it was established (1888) to 1973. The Badge-R Protective Services, Inc., is the other security firm, and he also owned Guardian Janitorial Services, Inc.


Franchised versions of the Uniformed Division of Hargrave Secret Service badge and patch.

Incorporated and then franchised by George E. Hargrave, the son of the founder. Their target market is presumed to be grocery stores, to which they offered store detective and retail security guard services. They offered general detective work to the public, businesses, and government.

Office Building where Hargrave Secret Service of Wisconsin, Inc. was located during the 1960s.

Hargrave Security Service of Wisconsin, Inc.   (invoices)







Founded in 1888, by Edward J Hargrave (the founder), the company was a DBA, as it was unincorporated while he owned it.

If anyone has any photos ( .jpg ) of any Hargrave Secret Service or Hargrave Security Services or Hargrave Police, that they would like to see added to this article, just let me know, and I’ll add it.

I have an image of my father’s business card and some images of Hargrave Security Service patches (for the left shoulder area). One idea is if anyone has any of other Hargrave patch or badge designs, or even a sample of the company letterhead. The Detective Agency Blotter from the 1920’s era, is a good example of a photo adding more to this article.

Hargrave Secret Service and Hargrave Security Services were of the franchise.

Hargrave Police was operated only in Milwaukee, during the 1964 to 1970 era.

Wasmuth – Historic Ship of the Past

March 27, 2011

USS Wasmuth (DD-338)/(DMS-15)

USS Wasmuth DD-338 (original configeration)  Clemson-Class Destroyer

USS Wasmuth (DD-338/MDS-15) was a Clemson-class destroyer built at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, launched on September 15th, 1920, and commissioned on December 16th, 1921, Cmdr. W.P. Gaddis in command.

Early Service

Laid down at the Mare Island Navy Yard in August 1919, the USS Wasmuth commissioned into US Navy service in December 1921 as the 146th member of the Clemson Class of Destroyers. Entering service with the US Pacific Fleet after her shakedown cruise, the Wasmuth and her crew spent the spring of 1922 engaged in fleet maneuvers and exercises off San Diego before she was called to port and ordered to decommission in June 1922, and decommissioned on July 26th, 1922. A victim of treaty limitations and defense budget cuts following the First World War, after only six months of routine service.

In reserve at San Diego for the next eight years, the Wasmuth’s almost-new condition found her selected for recommissioning on March 11th, 1930, whereupon she rejoined the US Pacific Fleet. Wasmuth operated as a destroyer for the next decade, participating in an intensive slate of tactical exercises and maneuvers being undertaken by the US Navy in the Pacific.

The Wasmuth made her only departure from the Pacific Ocean in 1934 when she joined Destroyer Flotilla 2 in the Caribbean Sea for exercises aimed at defending the Panama Canal.

USS Wasmuth DMS-15 (after conversion, 1942), converted to high-speed minesweeper (DMS)

With global events in a steady march towards war as the late 1930’s wore on, the United States embarked on a building program aimed at upgrading its Destroyer Force, with newer, more heavily armed and far-ranging destroyers. Which saw the Wasmuth and many of her sisters made obsolete in their designed role as Fleet Destroyers.

Nevertheless, the sheer number of older, but still serviceable Clemson Class Destroyers (flush-deckers) saw many of them, including Wasmuth chosen for conversion to other types of vessels which could benefit from their speed and range. Entering the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard in November 1940, the Wasmuth underwent a major overhaul and conversion into a Chandler Class High-Speed Minesweeper, which saw among other things the removal of her torpedo battery and the upgrade and relocation of her four-gun main battery and an antiaircraft battery of .50-caliber machine guns. In place of her torpedoes, the Wasmuth shipped the winches, paravanes and wiring of her new minesweeping gear. Her conversion completed in April of 1941, the Wasmuth put to sea for training and excercises wearing the hull designation DMS-15 to signify her new role in the Fleet.

World War II

Conducting type training and patrols as a member of Mine Division (MineDiv) 4 through the remainder of the year, the Wasmuth and her crew maintained an increasingly tenuous neutrality patrol assignment around the Hawaiian Islands, as relations between the United States and the Empire of Japan deteriorated. Anchored in a nest with her MineDiv 4 sistership in the North Loch of Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7th, 1941, the Wasmuth and her crew entered the Second World War with the rest of the US Pacific Fleet as they came under massive aerial surprise attack. Going to general quarters, gunners on the Wasmuth sent up over 6000 rounds of .50 Cal fire at their attackers during the raid, and were credited with the downing of one Aichi D3A-1 “Val” before their ship was able to get underway and clear the harbor. Spending several nervous days actively patrolling the area around Oahu for anemy contacts, the Wasmuth and her sisters operated around the Hawaiian chain and between Johnston Island and Pearl Harbor conducting patrols and escorting convoys into the spring of 1942.

USS Wasmuth DMS-15 (after conversion, 1942) Stern View

Later Service

After a brief stopover in the mainland US while escorting a convoy back and forth to Hawaii in mid-1942, the Wasmuth stood out of Pearl Harbor for Northern Waters in August 1942, arriving in her new operating area of Alaska where she joined Task Force 8 at Kodiak. Once again assigned to patrol, escort and minesweeping duties, the Wasmuth and her crew operated in their inhospitable new theatre through the fall and into the winter of 1942, supporting US Forces operating across the far-flung Aleutian Islands. After forming up with a Westbound merchant convoy at Dutch Harbor around Christmas Day 1942, the Wasmuth put to sea escorting the force around midday on December 26th, bound for Adak. Less than a day after the convoy set out, the Bering Sea began to lash the force with increasing winds and seas as it passed North of Atka, slowing the entire convoy as it labored through the storm. Forced to take the seas from its Starboard Bow, the entire convoy was rolled and tossed about by the wind-driven waves, with the smaller escorts like the Wasmuth having the hardest time of it.

Several hours of heavy rolls and blue water crashing over her deck and superstructure began to take their toll on the Wasmuth’s topside fittings, and with her entire complement ordered below decks for safety there was likely no notice that the heavy seas were wrenching the gates of her stern-mounted depth charge racks loose. Shortly before midday on December 27th one of the gates failed and allowed two of the armed ready charges to roll off the rack and into the sea, where they began their descent to their set detonation depth. With the speed of the convoy barely enough to make headway against the swell, the Wasmuth was essentially still on top of the two depth charges when they went off, sending a shockwave to the surface with lifted the Stern of the 1,215 ton ship clear out of the water before it came crashing back down with enough force to wrench her entire fantail free of the ship. With her watertight doors secured and the ship in essentially battle-ready condition due to the severity of the storm, the Wasmuth was likely spared rapid flooding and sinking from the massive damage sustained by the ship, however with no rudders and damaged propellers and shafts she was no longer controllable and at the mercy of the storm. Fortunately for her crew, the ship turned bow-into the wind and swell which allowed damage control parties aboard her to set up her emergency pumps and secure any areas where she was taking on water.


For three hours the Wasmuth’s crew fought to save their vessel in a full gale in the Bering Sea, however it became clear the pumps were not holding out against the inrushing water. All non-essential crew were ordered off the foundering Wasmuth and were transferred by highline to the US Navy Tanker USS Ramapo (AO-12), which in itself was an incredibly dangerous undertaking. Roughly three and a half hours after the explosion of her depth charges, the Wasmuth’s Stern was completely submerged and allowing water to enter her internals through deck fittings and portholes. With the ship in imminent danger of rolling or sinking in the Gale, Wasmuth’s Captain passed the order abandon ship and was the last man pulled off the stricken ship onto the Ramapo. After musters revealed that her entire crew and two passengers were safely aboard the Ramapo, the tanker departed the area and left the Wasmuth to her fate.

The following morning the still-floating Wasmuth was sighted by a patrolling aircraft with her decks awash and only her bow superstructure and portions of her midship still above the surface. When a midday patrol was conducted in the same area, only an oil slick remained on the surface, indicating the Wasmuth had lost her battle with the sea in this general area on December 29th, 1942.

For her actions in the Second World War, USS Wasmuth received one battle star.

About Wasmuth

While I have the last name Griffin, from my father, his mother’s maiden name was Wasmuth. The ship was named after Henry Wasmuth, a 19th century ancestor on her side of the family.

Henry Wasmuth – was a United States Marine during the American Civil War. Born in Germany in 1840, but later a naturalized American citizen – enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on June 11th, 1861. Ultimately attached to the Marine detachment of the sidewheeler Powhatan, Wasmuth took part in the assault on Fort Fisher, N.C., on January 21st, 1865.

During the battle, Ensign Robley D. Evans, AKA: “Fighting Bob” Evans fell wounded from a Confederate sharpshooter’s bullet. Private Wasmuth picked up the seriously wounded young officer and carried him to a place of comparative safety – a shell hole on the beach. The private stayed with the future admiral, ignoring the latter’s urgings to take cover, until a sharpshooter’s bullet pierced Wasmuth’s neck, cutting the jugular vein. Within a few minutes, Wasmuth dropped in the edge of the surf and died. He died at the age of 24 or 25 years old. Evans later wrote: “He was an honor to his uniform”.

Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans

According to and several other webpages, Henry Wasmuth held the rank of Corporal (2 chevrons), which is the rank above private (one chevron). There were many Corporals on the front lines, during the Civil War.

Robley Dunglison Evans  (AKA: “Fighting Bob Evens”)

Henry Wasmuth

Second Battle of Fort Fisher

Great White Fleet


USS Wasmuth (DD-338) was named for him.

Construction of the USS Wasmuth

California Governor W. D. Stephens speaks at the keel laying of the USS Wasmuth on 12 August 1919 at Mare Island Naval Yard. Honorary keel layers were Miss E. V. Avison and Miss G. E. Bean (riveters), Miss M. G. Young (holder on), and Miss J. M. Kramer & Miss E. Barton (rivet passers). All the keel layers were draftsmen at Mare Island Navy Yard.

Photo of California Governor W. D. Stephens at the keel laying of the USS Wasmuth at Mare Island Navy Yard 12 August 1919.

Workmen are seen placing the keel of USS Wasmuth on 12 August 1919 at Mare Island Navy Yard immediately after the launching of USS Litchfield from the same building ways.

Bow view of the USS Trever and USS Wasmuth on the building ways at Mare Island Navy Yard on 2 August 1920.

Bow view of the USS Trever and USS Wasmuth on the building ways at Mare Island Navy Yard on 2 August 1920.

Miss Gertrude E. Bennet (Sponsor) is shown christening the USS Wasmuth on 16 Sept 1920 at Mare Island Navy Yard.

At sea circa 1930. Photo from the collection of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.

Circa 1921-1922.

Balboa Harbor, Panama Canal Zone. Aerial photograph taken 23 April 1934, with U.S. Fleet cruisers and destroyers moored together. Ships present include (left to right in lower left): USS Elliot (DD-146); USS Roper (DD-147); USS Hale (DD-133); USS Dorsey (DD-117); USS Lea (DD-118); USS Rathburne (DD-113); USS Talbot (DD-114); USS Waters (DD-115); USS Dent (DD-116); USS Aaron Ward (DD-132); USS Buchanan (DD-131); USS Crowninshield (DD-134); USS Preble (DD-345); and USS William B. Preston (DD-344). (left to right in center): USS Yarnall (DD-143); USS Sands (DD-243); USS Lawrence (DD-250); (unidentified destroyer); USS Detroit (CL-8), Flagship, Destroyers Battle Force; USS Fox (DD-234); USS Greer (DD-145); USS Barney (DD-149); USS Tarbell (DD-142); and USS Chicago (CA-29), Flagship, Cruisers Scouting Force. (left to right across the top): USS Southard (DD-207); USS Chandler (DD-206); USS Farenholt (DD-332); USS Perry (DD-340); USS Wasmuth (DD-338); USS Trever (DD-339); USS Melville (AD-2); USS Truxtun (DD-229); USS McCormick (DD-223); USS MacLeish (DD-220); USS Simpson (DD-221); USS Hovey (DD-208); USS Long (DD-209); USS Litchfield (DD-336); USS Tracy (DD-214); USS Dahlgren (DD-187); USS Medusa (AR-1); USS Raleigh (CL-7), Flagship, Destroyers Scouting Force; USS Pruitt (DD-347); and USS J. Fred Talbott (DD-156); USS Dallas (DD-199); (four unidentified destroyers); and USS Indianapolis (CA-35), Flagship, Cruisers Scouting Force. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.


USS WASMUTH was a Clemson-class destroyer, and a total of 156 destroyers of this class were constructed. One of her sister ships, the USS CORRY DD-334, was another destroyer of the Clemson-class, and her current condition, is an indicator, as to the current condition of the wreck of the USS WASMUTH DMS-15 (FKA DD-338). Research as to her location turned up the following:

Wreck of USS CORRY
Longitude & Latitude for USS CORRY (DD-334): 38°10′0.47″N 122°17′14.87″W

Wreck of USS CORRY DD-334   ACME Mapper 2.0 – 7.5 km NxNW of Vallejo CA

Accessing satellite imagery, using the Longitude and Latitude (information that pertains to the location of USS CORRY DD-334), results in obtaining this high-resolution satellite image of the USS CORRY (DD-334).

After being decommissioned, at the Mare Island Navy Yard, USS CORRY DD-334 was stripped and sold for salvage on October 18th, 1930 in accordance with the terms of the London Treaty for the limitation of naval armament. The partially dismantled USS Corry’s remains, consisting of most of her hull and a small portion of her superstructure, were sold. Taken about a mile from the Mare Island Navy Yard, she sunk in shallow water in the Napa River, about a mile from the Mare Island Navy Yard, she was later abandoned at that location.

The USS CORRY DD-334 has been partially submerged, for approximately 5 decades.
Most, if not all of the wreck, is now composed of rust. The ship is partially flooded, and areas of the ships outer skin have curroded away. This is the process, in which a wreck is or has converted into an iron ore deposit.

USS WASMUTH DMS-15 (FKA D-338) had been sunk in deep water near Alaska, since 1942, and the damage that sunk her, broke off part of the aft section. She broke in two pieces, and the primary portion of the ship stayed afloat, much longer than the aft, which sunk when it broke off. The aft section that broke off, could be miles apart from the wreckage of the main ship. The USS WASMUTH DMS-15 (DD-338) has been on the ocean surface, in deep water (high tonnage per square inch) for nearly 70 years. The metal would be half as thick as when it sank in 1942, and would be all rust.

The decay rate, the process of rusting, to become an iron ore deposit, would be much more rapid for USS WASMUTH, as it sunk in deep water, while the USS CURRY (D-334) was only partially sunk, in shallow water. The outer skin of USS WASMUTH would now be gone. What is viewable would be severely rusted-out.


The anchor from U.S.S. Wasmuth had been recovered by the US Navy at some point in the past, and is on display at M.I.T., although I don’t know when it was recovered. But it appears to be in great shape.

Anchor from U.S.S. Wasmuth is at M.I.T.

U.S.S. Wasmuth Dedication Plaque at M.I.T.

Clemson-Class Destroyer

The Clemson-class was a series of 156 destroyers which served with the United States Navy from after World War I through World War II.

Rear Admiral Robley Dunglison Evans,

the Great White Fleet

and the

USS Wisconsin (battleship #8)

Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans, (1901).

USS Wisconsin, Fourth Divisional Flagship, Great White Fleet (1901).

The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from December 16th, 1907 to February 22, 1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of 16 battleships divided into two squadrons, along with various escorts. Roosevelt sought to demonstrate growing American military power and blue-water navy capability.

There is a lot of historic information, and since it is another subject matter, that pertains to the historic importance of the Great White Fleet, and Rear Admiral Rodley D. Evans role in that historical event.  As previously mentioned, Henry Wasmuth (an ancester of mine), was born in Germany, naturalized as a U.S. citizen,  joined the Marine Corps in 1861, saved the life of then Ensign Rodley D. Evans (nicknamed “Fighting Bob Evans”) during the Civil War during the Assault on Fort Fisher, at the cost of the life of Henry Wasmuth,  Henry Wasmuth was shot in the jugular vein, by a confederate sharpshooter.

For more information regarding the Great White Fleet, click on the link below:

Great White Fleet

Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Edmund Fitzgerald

March 26, 2011

SS Milwaukee

SS Milwaukee, the famous car ferry.

The Car Ferry MILWAUKEE. On October 22, 1929, the car ferry MILWAUKEE became one of Lake Michigan’s most famous shipwrecks when she floundered during a gale en route from the City of Milwaukee to Grand Haven, Michigan under the command of Captain Bob “heavy weather” McKay.

Subsequently, it was not uncommon for the Milwaukee to sail in heavy weather. Because the car ferrys were huge vessels with reinforced hulls, they were thought to be unsinkable. She lost this battle with the storms and the lives of 52 people were lost with her. Today she lies about four miles northeast of the North Point Lighthouse.

SS Wisconsin

SS Wisconsin, steel freighter

The steamer Wisconsin was a steel freighter of 215 feet in length. On the night of October 29, 1929 off of Kenosha, Wisconsin, the Wisconsin’s cargo of iron castings, automobiles, and boxed freight shifted during a north gale. The ship’s pumps could not keep up with the incoming water. The tug Search, two Coast Guard vessels, and a local fishing boat came to assist and take passengers aboard. While waiting for her running mate, the Illinois, to come from Milwaukee to tow the Wisconsin to Kenosha port, she suddenly plunged beneath the pounding waves. Nine crew members went down with her, including the captain who was pulled from the water but died later on shore. The same day the stock market crashed in October of 1929, the steamer S.S. Wisconsin sank. Black Friday, they called it. Financers took their own lives, destroyed by the stock market crash that began the decade-long Great Depression.

Today, the Wisconsin lies in 90 to 130 feet of water, 6.5 miles east-southeast of Kenosha in 130 feet of water. The superstructure is gone with I-beams and supports remaining. Inside the wreck much machinery, and cargo can still be seen along with three automobiles, a Hudson, Essex, and a Chevrolet touring car.

SS Edmund Fitzgerald

Edmund Fitzgerald in the Great Lakes

SS Edmund Fitzgerald (nicknamed “Mighty Fitz,” “Fitz,” or “Big Fitz”) was an American Great Lakes freighter. It was known for its size and became famous after sinking in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew. At the time of its launch on June 8, 1958, the Fitzgerald was the largest boat on the Great Lakes and remains the largest boat to sink in the Great Lakes. It was one of the first boats to be at or near Maximum St Lawrence Seaway size which was 730 feet (222.5 meters) long and 75 feet (22.9 m) wide. The Fitzgerald was a record-setting “workhorse”, often breaking its own records. For 17 years the Fitzgerald carried taconite from mines near Duluth, Minnesota, to iron works in Detroit, Toledo, and other ports, setting seasonal haul records six different times.

The Fitzgerald departed on its final voyage on Lake Superior from Superior, Wisconsin on the afternoon of November 9, 1975, under the command of Captain Ernest M McSorley. It was en route to a steel mill near Detroit, Michigan, with a full cargo of taconite ore pellets, and joined a second freighter, the Arthur M. Anderson. By the next day they were in the midst of a massive winter storm with near hurricane-force winds and waves as high as 35 feet (11 m). Shortly after 7:10 p.m., the Fitzgerald sank suddenly in Canadian waters approximately 17 miles (15 nautical miles; 27 kilometers) from the entrance of Whitefish Bay at a depth of 530 feet (160 m). Although it had reported having some difficulties before the accident, the Fitzgerald sank without sending any distress signals. Its crew of 29 perished in the sinking and no bodies were recovered.

When the wreck was found by aircraft on November 14, it was discovered that the Fitzgerald had broken in two. The cause of its sinking is the subject of many theories, books, studies and expeditions. Each theory includes the large waves of the storm combined with additional factors such as structural failure, taking on water through the cargo hatches or deck, topside damage, failure to secure the hatch covers, and shoaling.

The sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald is one of the most famous disasters in the history of Great Lakes shipping. The disaster was the subject of Gordon Lightfoot’s 1976 hit song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.

Superhero Movies & TV Shows

March 21, 2011

Superman   (2012)

Director: Zack Snyder
Producers: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas, Thomas Tull, Deborah Snyder, Charles Roven
Writers: David Goyer & Christopher Nolan (Story), David Goyer & Jonathan Nolan (Screenplay)
Music By: Tyler Bates
Release Date: December 17, 2012
Distributed by: Warner Bros. in association with DC Entertainment & Legendary Pictures

Cast List
– Henry Cavill as Clark Kent / Superman
– Emily Blunt as Lois Lane
– Corey Burton as Voice of Brainiac
– Eric Bana as Lex Luthor
– Paul Dano as James “Jimmy” Olsen
– Chris Cooper as Perry White
– Bruce Greenwood as Jonathan Kent
– Mary Steenburgen as Martha Kent
– Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Bruno Manheim
– Ed Harris as Gen. Samuel Lane
– Maura Tierney as Det. Maggie Sawyer
– Christopher Meloni as Det. Dan Turpin
– Amber Heard as Catherine “Cat” Grant
– Dileep Rao as Ron Troupe
– Matthew Settle as Steve Lombard

Born as Kal-El on the planet Krypton, Clark Kent grew up to find he was not the average boy. Developing strange new powers every year of his adolescence, his parents tought him to blend in, stay out of the spotlight to avoid suspicion. Arriving in Metropolis an average 28 year old reporter with plenty of field experience on every continent without a purpose in life. Arriving at the Daily Planet for a temporary contract, the inspiration from bottom end reporter Lois Lane and enthusiastic photographer Jimmy Olsen give him the strength to become Earth’s savior. Returning home for guidance from his adoptive parents, Clark realises he was put on Earth for a reason, a reason he has chosen to ignore because he has wanted to live his own life but now realises that the world needs him. Inspire, he digs up his spaceship to find a suit left to him by his real parents before shedding his disguise to become a hero.

Dubbed Superman, he is soon pressured by the goverment who fear the power of Superman, Lex Luthor who wishes to hire Superman and use his power to further his already booming business LexCorp and the press who want to know everything about the Man of Steel. Superman’s presence on Earth soon draws the attention of a cold and intelligent threat lurking in the depths of space: Brainiac, an artifical intelligence on a constant quest to collect the knowledge of the universe. Brainiac’s threat has a deeper connection to Superman than he thinks and may hold the missing knowledge Superman craves about his true origin and real parents. If Superman can gather the inner strength along with the encouragement of Lois Lane, he can defeat Brainiac and become our greatest protector.

Bizarro will also appear in this movie.

Green Lantern

Here is the movie’s official description; or at least, the one that’s posted on iTunes’ website:

In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan. Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, how have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and will power, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), if Hal can quickly master his new powrs and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may porve to be not only the key to defeating Parallax… he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.

NBC Picks Up Wonder Woman TV Show

David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman

Good news for people desiring new live-action Wonder Woman TV show.

David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman will replace Smallville, as the live-action superhero comics television show. But not on the CW, but on NBC.

It had previously been announced that David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman project wasn’t going to happen due to cost and a lack of interest from networks.

The project is described as a reinvention of the iconic D.C. comic in which Wonder Woman — aka Diana Prince — is a vigilante crime fighter in L.A., but also a successful corporate executive and a modern woman trying to balance all of the elements of her extraordinary life.

Vigilante crime fighter in L.A.? Hopefully that just means she’ll be fighting crime without any official capacity of the LAPD. Sure Wonder Woman has sometimes been protrayed as a fierce Amazon, but I’d hate to see her taking an extreme Punisher/vigilante route. Then again, that could be an interesting twist.

The pilot-script has leaked, and been sent to several people on the Internet.

The script reveals these facts:

In addition to Wonder Woman’s alias, Diana Prince, she will have a third, more powerful persona named Diana Themyscira, the confidant C.E.O. of Themyscira Industries.

But it appears that this Diana has placed her company in the hands of trusted confidant Henry Demeter, a 40-something man who runs the day-to-day operations. While this man has been a father figure to Diana, he could be a future contender for her heart. Also Vying for Diana’s affections is Ed Indelicato, a blue-collar tough guy slighty younger than Henry who has close ties the police department. But this guy is too devoted to his job to show Diana much attention beyond professional devotion.

Long ago, government man Steve Trevor, crashed onto Wonder Woman’s island and brought her back to New York, but now they’re split up. She still loves him, though, and it’s obvious that their relationship is going to be a focus. Steve Trevor, a thirty-something veteran of the army who now works in the Justice Department.

Serving as Diana’s confidants are a pair of ladies named Myndi and Etta. Her BFF and best friend Myndi Mayer is a sexy 30-something press secretary who dresses to the nines. She’s the one who encourages Diana to get out there and meet men. Etta Candy (a role that’s pretty much written like a job offer to Melissa McCarthy), also in her 30’s, is Diana Thermyscira’s sunny personal assistant who is always supporting her boss.

As for the Amazon herself, this Amazonian princess from Paradise Island fights for justice, but also dreams of living a more normal existence. Wonder Woman will be portrayed by actress Adrianne Palicki.

Wonder Woman’s Basement Boys                                                                                     She has a CSI-ish group of science-nerd 20-somethings living in her basement that dance to Kanye West” and will doubtlessly help Diana solve any number of crimes in further episodes.

Diana might not have an invisible jet (if she did, I didn’t see it) but she has a whole rainbow’s worth of over coloured aircraft.

Her nemesis is Veronica Cale, who in this continuity is an evil scientist and rival business woman with a secret, nefarious plan that you’ll probably guess ahead of time.

Update: This Wonder Woman pilot has been rejected by NBC.

Found the download link for the cancelled Wonder Woman pilot. The complete pilot episode.

Click Here, to Download WW pilot

Spiderman (reboot)

The New Spidy Costume

Columbia Pictures

In theaters July 3rd, 2012.

Andrew Garfield as Spiderman aka Peter Parker

In this 2012 reboot, Spiderman (Andrew Garfield) is the hero, and Dr. Connors, a Lizard man is the villain. Sounds kinda sick. Tobey Maguire was perfect for the Spiderman role.


Actor Chris Hemsworth portrays Thor in the new movie.

Captain America

Captain America in action.

The Red Skull


Distributed by: Walt Disney Pictures (Disney acquired Marvel Comics in 2010)

In Theaters May 4th, 2012                                                                                                                                                                                  Directed by: Joss Whedon                                                                                                                                                                                                Starring: Don Cheadle…James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes / War Machine                                                                                                               Robert Downey…Tony Stark / Iron Man

Scarlett Johansson…Natasha Ramonoff / Black Widow                                                                                                                                  Samuel L. Jackson…Nick Fury                                                                                                                                                                                  Jeremy Renner…Clint Barton / Hawkeye                                                                                                                                                                Chris Evans…Steve Rogers / Captain America

Synopsis: The Avengers will bring together the super hero team of Marvel Comics characters for the first time ever, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk and more, as they are forced to band together to battle the biggest foe they’ve ever faced.


The Hulk (reboot)

The new show will air on ABC, and will focus on the Bruce Banner/Hulk character in his mid-20s and even though it’s another origin story, it will be told in a respectful but powerful way.

Although The Hulk’s recent big screen appearances have been realized entirely with CGI, the show will mix in prosthetics and puppetry. Fans can expect a few wild tweaks on the old look.