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Savannah IV CL-42 - History


Savannah IV CL-42

Savannah IV
(CL-42: dp. 9,475, 1. 608', b. 69', dr. 19'2", s. 32 k.
cpl. 868; a. 15 6", 8 5", 4 aa.; cl. Brooklyn)

Savannah (CL-42) was laid down on 31 May 1934 by the New York Shipbuilding Association, Camden N.J.; launched on 8 May 1937; sponsored by Miss Jayne Maye Bowden, niece of Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr., of Georgia; and commissioned in the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 10 March 1938, Capt. Robert C. Griffin in command.

Following a shakedown cruise to Cuba and Haiti in the spring, Savannah returned to Philadelphia on 3 June for alterations followed by final trials off Rockland, Maine. The cruiser, prepared to protect American nationals should war break out in Europe, sailed from Philadelphia for England on 26 September and reached Portsmouth on 4 October. However, the Munich agreement had postponed war, so Savannah returned to Norfolk on 18 October. Following winter maneuvers in the Caribbean, the light cruiser visited her namesake city, Savannah, Gal, from 12 to 20 April 1939. She got underway from Norfolk on 26 May; transited the Panama Canal on 1 June; arrived at San Diego on the 17th; and soon shifted to Long Beach.

Savannah arrived at Pearl Harbor on 21 May 1940 and conducted battle readiness and training operations in Hawaiian waters until 8 November. The light cruiser returned to Long Beach on 14 November and soon thereafter was overhauled in the Mare Island Navy Yard. She steamed back into Pearl Harbor on 27 January 1941 and remained on the Hawaiian Sea Frontier until 19 May when she set course for the Panama Canal and reached Boston via Cuba on 17 June.

As the flagship of Cruiser Division 8, Savannah conducted Neutrality Patrol in waters ranging south to Cuba and back up the seaboard to the Virginia Capes. On 25 August, she got underway from Norfolk to patrol in the South Atlantic as far as Trinidad and the Martin Vaz Islands in the screen of aircraft carrier Wasp The task group then swept north from Bermuda to Argentia, Newfoundland, where Savannah arrived on 23 September. During the next eight weeks, the cruiser helped cover British merchantmen and Allied convoys to within a few hundred miles of the British Isles, replenishing at Casco Bay, Me., or at New York.

Savannah was in New York Harbor when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. She sailed that day for Casco Bay, and thence proceeded via Bermuda to Brazil, arriving at Reeife on 12 January 1942. She joined the screen of aircraft carrier, Ranger, in patrolling north of Bermuda. That island became the cruiser's base as she watched over Vichy French warships based at Martinique and at Guadaloupe in the French West Indies. She departed Shelly Bay, Bermuda, on 7 June and entered the Boston Navy Yard two days later for an overhaul completed by 15 August. Savannah then sailed for readiness exercises in the Chesapeake Bay that would prepare her for the invasion of North Africa.

The cruiser became a unit of Admiral H. Kent Hewitt's Western Naval Task Force which would land some 35,000 Army troops and 250 tanks at three different points on the Atlantic coast of French Morocco. As part of the Northern Attack Group, commanded by Rear Admiral Monroe Kelly, Savannah departed Norfolk on 24 October and rendezvoused with the Western Naval Task Force four days later at a point about 450 miles south southeast of Cape Race. The Task Force, including the outer screen, covered an area approximately 20 by 30 miles, making it the greatest war fleet sent out by the United States up to that time. Shortly before midnight on the night of 7-8 November, three separate task groups closed on three different points on the Moroccan coast to begin Operation "Torch."

Savannah's Northern Attack Group was to land Brigadier General Lucian K. Truscott, Jr.'s 9,099 officers and men, including 65 light tanks, on five widely separated beaches on either side of Mehedia. Their objectives were the Port Lyautey city and all-weather airfield, the Wadi Sebou, and the Sale airfield.

On the morning of the 8th, Savannah commenced firing against Vichy guns near the Kasba, which had been firing on the landing boats. She also temporarily silenced a battery which had opened up on Roe, enabling the destroyer to avoid disaster. By the next morning, Savannah's six-inch guns had scored a direct hit on one of the two 138mm guns in fortress Kasba and had silenced the other.

During that same day, Savannah's scout planes set a new style in warfare by successfully bombing tank columns with depth charges, whose fuses had been altered to detonate on impact. The scout planes, maintaining eight hours of flying time daily, struck at other fire targets, and also kept up antisubmarine patrol.

Savannah's planes located an enemy battery which had been firing on the destroyer, Dallas, and eliminated it with two well-placed depth charges.

This action aided Dallas in winning the Presidential Unit Citation for safely landing a U.S. Army Raider Battalion up the obstacle-strewn Wadi Sebou just off the airport near Port Lyeutey.

Savannah's scout planes again bombed and strafed enemy tanks on the Rabat Road on the morning of 10 November. Throughout the day, her gunfire aided the Army advance. Hostilities fittingly ended on Armistice Day, 11 November. Four days later, the light cruiser headed home and reached Norfolk on the last day of November. After brief voyage repairs at New York she sailed on 25 December to join the South Atlantic Patrol, arriving at Recife, Brazil, on 7 January 1943.

Savannah's primary concern was the destruction of Nazi blockade runners in the South Atlantic. Teaming with escort carrier, Santee, and a destroyer screen, she put to sea on 12 January on an arduous patrol that brought no results. She put back into Recife on 15 February and again steamed out to search for blockade runners on the 21st. On 11 March, she departed the formation with destroyer, Eberle, to investigate a ship which had been sighted by an aircraft from Santee.

The German blockade runner, Kota Tjandi, a former Dutch ship called Karin by her crew, was brought to by shots fired across her bow by the two American warships. As a boarding party from Eberle arrived alongside, powerful time bombs, planted just before the Karin's lifeboats got underway, exploded. Eleven of the boarding party were killed, but a Savannah boat rescued three from the water. Savannah also received 72 German survivors on board, quartering them below decks as prisoners of war. She returned to New York on 28 March and was overhauled to prepare her for a Mediterranean assignment.

Savannah departed Norfolk on 10 May 1943 to protect troop transports en route to Oran, Algeria. She arrived there on 23 May and began preparing for Operation "Husky": landings on the coast of Sicily at Gela. The cliffy coast there was topped by heavy coastal defense batteries, and no landing place could be found short of a 5,000-yard stretch of shore about a mile east of the mouth of the Gela River. Poised on the plateau above was the Hermann Goering Panzer Division, ready to strike with other combat troops.

Savannah provided fire support to the 1st Infantry "Rangers" before dawn on 10 July. As soon as the first light appeared, the cruiser launched several scout planes. Swift German Messerschmitts intercepted with tragic results. Senior aviator Lt. C. A. Anderson was killed in flight, although his radioman, Edward J. True, was able to land the riddled plane on the sea and get picked up shortly after the plane went under. Three of her four spotter planes were shot down that day.

On the morning of 11 July, the ship was the first to respond to a call for naval gunfire at two points on a road leading into Gela. She knocked out several tanks before shifting her fire to the Butera road to aid advancing American infantry. Soon friend and foe became so enmeshed in the battle, that naval gunfire could no longer intervene. The cruiser destroyed more tanks later in the afternoon, however, and she finished out the remaining hours of daylight by helping the "Rangers" repel an Italian infantry attack.

The next morning, Savannah supported them with more than 500 rounds of 6-inch projectiles as they advanced toward Butera. That day, she gave medical attention to 41 wounded infantrymen, hit enemy troop concentrations far inland, and shelled their batteries high in the hills. On 13 July, Savannah had but one call for naval gunfire; she answered by hurling several salvos on the hill town of Butera. Before the 1st Division pressed on into the interior, it thanked Savannah for "crushing three infantry attucks and silencing four artillery batteries " as well as for demoralizing the Italian troops by the effect of her fire. The next day, Savannah sailed for Algiers.

Savannah returned to Sicily on 19 July 1943 to support the 7th Army's advance along the coast. On 30 July, carrying the pennant of Rear Admiral Lyal A. Davidson, the fighting ship arrived at Palermo Harbor to provide daily fire support. Her guns helped to repel enemy aircraft raiding the harbor on 1 and 4 August. On the 8th her task force supported the landing of the 30th Regimental Combat Team, including artillery and tanks, on a beach nine miles east of Monte Fratello.

Savannah returned to Algiers on 10 August to train with Army units for the invasion landings to be made at Salerno. Leaving Mers-el-Kebir Harbor on 5 September, her Southern Attack Force entered Salerno Bay a few hours before midnight of the 8th.

Savannah was the first United States ship to open fire against the German shore defenses in Salerno Bay. She silenced a railway battery with 57 rounds, forced the retirement of enemy tanks, and completed eight more fire support missions that day. She continued her valuable support until the morning of 11 September when she was put out of action.

A radio-controlled glide-bomb had been released at a safe distance by a high flying German plane and exploded on sister cruiser, Philadelphia. Savannah increased her speed to 20 knots as a twin-engined Dornier (D-217) bomber came in out of the sun. United States P-38 fighter aircraft and Savannah's gunners, tracking the plane at 18,700 feet, failed to stop the E-mailed bomb. It pierced through the armored turret roof of the Number 3 Gun Turret, passed through three decks into the lower handling room where it exploded a gaping hole in the bottom, and tore open a seam in the ship's port side. For a half hour secondary explosions in the gun room hampered firefighting efforts.

Working quickly, the crew sealed off flooded and burned compartments, and corrected her list. With some assistance from salvage tugs Hopi and Moreno she got underway on her own power by 1757, bound for Malta.

Savannah lost 197 men in this action. Fifteen others were seriously wounded, while four were sealed in a watertight compartment for 60 hours. These four were not rescued until Savannah had already arrived at Grand Harbor Valletta, Malta, on 12 September.

After completing emergency repairs, Savannah departed on 7 December for Philadelphia by way of Tunisia, Algiers, and Bermuda. She arrived on 23 December and remained there for the next eight months. While her battle damage was being repaired, an additional secondary battery and a new antiaircraft battery were installed.

Savannah's navy yard overhaul was completed on 4 September 1944; she was underway the next day, and reported to the Commander, Fleet Operational Training Command on 10 September for shakedown and refresher training. She returned to Norfolk on 12 October for readiness training with Cruiser Division 8 and sailed on 21 January 1945 to rendezvous with cruiser, Quincy, carrying President Roosevelt to the Mediterranean, en route to the Crimea, for a conference with Churchill and Stalin.

Savannah entered Grand Harbor, Valletta, Malta, on 2 February. There, the President and his party debarked and continued on to Yalta by air. A memorial service was held at the graves of Savannah's men killed in action off Salerno, before she departed Valleta on 9 February and steamed to Alexandria, Egypt, to await the President who returned to Quincy on the 12th. The Presidential convoy departed the Nile delta on the 15th and returned to Hampton Roads on 27 February. Savannah got underway the next day and reached her new base, Newport, R.I., on 8 March. Until 24 May, she operated as a schoolship for nucleus crews of ships not yet commissioned.

After a visit to New York and installation of radarguided fire- control equipment for her 40 millimeter antiaircraft guns, Savannah became flagship of a midshipman training squadron under Rear Admiral Frank E. Beatty. She departed Annapolis on 7 June for training at sea with over 400 midshipmen embarked. After two such cruises to Cuba, Savannah debarked the midshipmen at Annapolis on 30 September, took on others, and sailed on 1 October for Pensacola, Fla. She spent the Navy Day celebrations from 25 to 30 October 1945 in her namesake city. She returned to Norfolk on 1 November to prepare for service in the "Magic Carpet" fleet returning veterans home from overseas.

Savannah departed Norfolk on 13 November and reached Le Havre on the 20th. The following day, she put to sea with 1,370 men and 67 officer passengers bringing them to New York Harbor on 28 November. She returned from a similar voyage on 17 December.

The light cruiser was shifted to the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 19 December 1945 for inactivation overhaul. She was placed in commission in reserve on 22 April 1946 and finally decommissioned on 3 February 1947. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 March 1969, and she was sold for scrapping on 25 January 1966 to the Bethlehem Steel Co.

Savannah received three battle stars for World War II service.


EMILY WOOD COXE WINBURN

Emily Wood Coxe Winburn died at home in Savannah on August 22, surrounded by her adoring family after a long and wonderful life. She was born in Darlington, SC, on April 5, 1933, to Thomas Chatterton Coxe, Jr. and Emily Wood Badham (‘Pank’) Coxe. She was predeceased by the love of her life, William Alfred Winburn III, whom she married on February 25, 1956.

Emmy, as she was known to her friends and family, attended Saint Catherine’s School in Richmond, VA, and was graduated from Sweet Briar College in 1955. She also attended the Savannah College of Art and Design. In 1953, she was selected as the South Carolina representative for the annual Maid of Cotton pageant. Her participation was not her idea, nor to her liking. During the parade at the national competition in Memphis, where she was selected as the runner up, she leapt from the float in order to catch a flight to Washington, DC, where she had a scheduled job interview with the FBI. Although a career in law enforcement never materialized, her role in the beauty contest was the inspiration for a book written by her mother entitled, Mother of the Maid.

Emmy moved to Savannah after her marriage and embraced the city, as it did her. Throughout the years, she participated in a variety of social and volunteer activities and organizations such as the American Red Cross, the Junior League of Savannah, the Chatham Club, the Married Women’s Card Club, and the Colonial Dames. She also delighted in her involvement with the Trustees Garden Club, and she sat on the Board of Directors of the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum. Emmy had a true passion for Savannah and was a great supporter of the arts.

Emmy could light up a room with her lovely smile and her vivacious personality. She had an innate sense of style and an eye for everything beautiful. She was always very active and had a variety of interests. She owned The Horse’s Mouth, a ladies clothing boutique, followed by Trips Travel. In her spare time, Emmy was a voracious reader she also enjoyed traveling, gardening, and Pilates. A true Francophile, she continued her study of French throughout her adult life. She was an art collector and enthusiast, working in oil painting as well as bronze sculpture. Emmy cherished her family and friends, weekends on the river in Bluffton and Beaufort as well as her family gatherings at Skufful Farm in Mont Clare, South Carolina. Emmy also loved to dance it was simply a joy to watch Emmy and her husband Billy skip the night away at parties.

Emmy is survived by her three children: William Alfred Winburn IV of Alexandria, VA, Emily Wood Winburn Bowron (Bill) of Birmingham, AL, and Thomas Coxe Winburn (Mary) of Beaufort, SC. She leaves six grandchildren, Emily Wood Bowron, William Alfred Bowron III (Caitlin), Thomas Mills Winburn, William Alfred Winburn V, Thomas Coxe Winburn, Jr., and Robert Badham Winburn. She is survived by her four siblings, Thomas Chatterton Coxe III (Mary Marshall), Richard Badham Coxe of Darlington, SC, Vicky Commander (Charlie) of Jacksonville, FL, and Patricia Ware of Richmond, VA, as well as many nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews. She also leaves her two beloved Yorkshire terriers, “Millie” and “Ticket” and an abundance of orchids and bonsai trees.

Her family wishes to express their appreciation to her caregivers: Pamela Elmore, Monika Deitch, Patricia Williams, and Teresa Foster, as well as Elizabeth Watkins, Kim Haywood, William Burrus and those who helped her on a regular basis, bringing joy to her life.

A graveside service will be held at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah on Saturday, August 26th at 10:00 a.m. followed by a celebration of her life in the house she held so dear.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, 41 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Savannah, GA 31401.


World War II [ edit | edit source ]

North Atlantic operations [ edit | edit source ]

The Savannah was in New York Harbor when the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor occurred on 7 December. She steamed that same day toward Casco Bay, Maine, and from there she steamed via Bermuda to Brazil, arriving at Recife on 12 January 1942. She joined the screen of the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-4), in patrolling the Atlantic Ocean north of Bermuda. This island became the cruiser's temporary base while she watched over Vichy French warships based at Martinique and Guadeloupe in the French West Indies. The Savannah departed from Shelly Bay, Bermuda, on 7 June, and entered the Boston Navy Yard two days later for an overhaul. This was completed by 15 August. The Savannah received a new commander, Leon S. Fiske, on 12 June. The Savannah next steamed to readiness exercises in Chesapeake Bay that would prepare her for the invasion of North Africa.

Invasion of North Africa [ edit | edit source ]

USS Savannah in Algiers, 16 July 1943.

The Savannah became a unit of Admiral H. Kent Hewitt's Western Naval Task Force which would land some 35,000 Army troops and 250 tanks at three different points on the Atlantic coast of French Morocco. As part of the Northern Attack Group, commanded by Rear Admiral Monroe Kelly, the Savannah departed from Norfolk on 24 October, and then rendezvoused with the Western Naval Task Force four days later at a point about 450 mi (720 km) south southeast of Cape Race. The Task Force, including the outer screen, covered an area approximately 20-30 mi (30–50 km), making it the greatest warship fleet to be sent out by the United States up to that time. Shortly before midnight on the night of 7 – 8 November, three separate task groups closed in on three different points on the Moroccan coast to begin Operation Torch.

The Savannah's Northern Attack Group was to land Brigadier General Lucian K. Truscott's 9,099 officers and men, including 65 light tanks, on five widely separated beaches on either side of Mehedia. Their objectives were the Port Lyautey city and its all-weather airfield, the Wadi Sebou, and the Salé airfield.

On the morning of the 8th, the Savannah commenced firing against Vichy guns near the Kasba, which had been firing on the Army troop's landing boats. She also temporarily silenced a battery which had opened up on the USS Roe, enabling that destroyer to avoid a disaster. By the next morning, the Savannah's 6 in (150 mm) guns had scored a direct hit on one of the two 5.4 in (140 mm) artillery guns in the fortress of Kasba and had silenced the other.

During that same day, the Savannah's scout planes started a new phase of warfare by successfully bombing some tank columns with their depth charges, whose fuses had been set to detonate on impact. The scout planes, maintaining about eight hours of flight time daily, struck at other shore targets, and they also kept up antisubmarine patrols. The Savannah's warplanes located an enemy battery that had been firing on the destroyer USS Dallas, and they eliminated it with two well-placed depth charges.

This action aided the USS Dallas in winning the Presidential Unit Citation for safely landing a U.S. Army Raider Battalion on the obstacle-strewn Wadi Sebou, just off the airport near Port Lyautey.

The Savannah's scout planes again bombed and strafed enemy tanks on the Rabat Road on the morning of 10 November. Throughout this day, her gunfire aided the Army's advance. Hostilities fittingly ended on Armistice Day, 11 November 1942. Four days later, the Savannah headed for home, and she reached Norfolk on 30 November. After brief repairs following her combat missions, at New York City, the Savannah steamed on 25 December to join the U.S. Navy's South Atlantic Patrol, arriving at Recife, Brazil, on 7 January 1943. Robert W. Carey was named commander on 17 February.

South Atlantic patrol [ edit | edit source ]

The Savannah's primary mission off Brazil was the destruction of any Nazi German blockade runners spotted in the South Atlantic Ocean. Teamed with the new U.S. Navy escort carrier USS Santee, plus a screen of destroyer, the Savannah put to sea on 12 January on a long patrol that resulted in no combat with the enemy. The Savannah went back into Recife Harbor on 15 February, and next, she steamed out again to search for blockade runners on the 21st. On 11 March, she left the task group along with the USS Eberle to investigate a ship that had been sighted by an aircraft from the USS Santee.

The Kota Tjandi, a former Dutch ship called the Karin by her Kriegsmarine crew, was brought to a halt by shots fired across her bow by the two American warships. Just as a boarding party from the Eberle arrived alongside, powerful time bombs, planted just before Karin's lifeboats got underway, exploded. Eleven sailors of the boarding party were killed, but one of the Savannah's boat rescued three men from the water. The Savannah also took 72 German sailors on board, and quartered them below decks as prisoners-of-war. The Savannah returned to New York Harbor on 28 March, where she was overhauled in preparation for her next assignment in the Mediterranean Sea.

Invasion of Sicily [ edit | edit source ]

The USS Savannah departed from Norfolk on 10 May to protect Army troop transports en route to Oran, Algeria. She arrived there on 23 May, and then began preparing for Operation Husky, the amphibious landings on the southern coast of Sicily near Gela. The cliffy coast there was topped by heavy coastal defense batteries, and no landing place could be found besides a 5,000 yd (4,600 m) stretch of shore about 1 mi (2 km) east of the mouth of the Gela River. Poised on the plateau above the beach was the Wehrmacht's Hermann Göring Panzer Division, ready to strike back against any amphibious landing, along with other German and Italian troops.

The Savannah provided naval gunfire support to the American 1st Infantry Division's "Rangers" before dawn on 10 July. As soon as the first light of dawn appeared, the Savannah launched two scout planes. Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf-109s intercepted them, with fatal results. Lieutenant C. A. Anderson was killed in flight, although his radioman, Edward J. True, was able to land the riddled plane on the sea. He was picked up shortly after their airplane sank into the sea. Three of the Savannah's four spotter planes were shot down on that day.

On the morning of 11 July, the Savannah was the first warship to respond to a call for naval gunfire at two points on a road leading into Gela. She knocked out several tanks before shifting her fire to the Butera road to aid advancing American infantry soldiers. Soon friend and foe became so enmeshed in the battle, that her naval gunfire could no longer intervene. The Savannah destroyed more tanks later in the afternoon, however, and next she finished out the remaining hours of daylight by helping the Army Rangers in repelling an Italian infantry attack.

The next morning, the Savannah supported the Army troops with more than 500 rounds of six-inch shells as they advanced toward Butera. That day, the Savannah's doctors and hospital corpsmen also gave medical care to 41 wounded infantrymen, while the warship bombarded enemy troop concentrations far inland, and also shelled their artillery batteries high in the hills. On 13 July, the Savannah had but one call for naval gunfire support. She answered by hurling several salvos on the hill town of Butera. Before the 1st Infantry Division pressed on into the interior, it thanked the Savannah for crushing three infantry attacks and silencing four artillery batteries, as well as for demoralizing the Italian troops by the effect of her fire. On the next day, the Savannah steamed towards Algiers.

The Savannah returned to Sicily on 19 July to support the American 7th Army's drive along the eastern and northern coasts of Sicily. On 30 July, carrying the pennant of Rear Admiral Lyal A. Davidson, the USS Savannah arrived at Palermo Harbor to provide daily fire support. Her guns helped to repel enemy aircraft raiding the harbor from the first to the fourth of August. On the 8th, her task force supported the landing of the 30th Regimental Combat Team, including army artillery and tanks, on a beach nine miles east of "Monte Fratello".

Invasion of Salerno [ edit | edit source ]

The USS Savannah returned to Algiers once again on 10 August in order to train with U.S. Army troops for the Operation Avalanche amphibious landings to be made at Salerno, Italy. Leaving Mers-el-Kebir Harbor on 5 September, her Southern Attack Force entered Salerno Bay a few hours before midnight of the 8th.

The Savannah was the first American ship to open fire against the German shore defenses in Salerno Bay. She silenced a railroad artillery battery with 57 rounds, forced the retirement of enemy tanks, and completed eight more fire support missions that day. She continued her valuable support until the morning of 11 September, when she was put out of action.

Savannah is hit by a German Fritz-X radio-controlled bomb, while supporting Allied forces ashore during the Salerno operation, 11 September 1943

A radio-controlled Fritz X glide-bomb had been released at a safe distance by a high-flying German warplane and it exploded 49 ft (15 m) distance from the USS Philadelphia. The Savannah increased her speed to 20 kn (23 mph, 37 km/h) as a Dornier Do 217 K-2 bomber approached from out of the sun. The USAAF's P-38 Lightnings and the Savannah's anti-aircraft gunners, tracking this warplane at 18,700 ft (5,700 m), failed to stop the Fritz X bomb, trailing a stream of smoke. The missile pierced right through the armored turret roof of the No. 3 gun turret of the Savannah, passed through three decks into the lower ammunition-handling room, where it exploded, blowing a gaping hole in her keel, and also tearing open a seam in the cruiser's port side. For at least 30 minutes, secondary explosions in the turret and its ammunition-supply rooms hampered any fire-fighting efforts.

Working quickly, the officers and sailors of the Savannah's crew sealed off flooded and burned compartments, and then corrected her list. With some assistance from the USS Hopi and the USS Moreno, the Savannah got underway on her own steam by 1757 hours, and steamed for the seaport at Malta.

Evacuating casualties from No. 3 turret

The USS Savannah lost 197 crewmen in this German counterattack. 15 other sailors were seriously wounded, and four more were trapped in a watertight compartment for about 60 hours. These four sailors were not rescued until the Savannah had already arrived at Grand Harbor, Valletta, Malta on the 12th of September. After having emergency repairs carried out at Malta, the USS Savannah departed on the 7th of December, bound for the Philadelphia Naval Yard by way of Tunis, Algiers, and Bermuda. She arrived at the Naval Yard on the 23rd of December, just before Christmas, and she remained there, undergoing heavy repair work for the next eight months. While the Savannah's battle damage was being repaired, an additional secondary battery of five-inch naval guns and a new set of up-to-date antiaircraft guns were installed.

Later wartime activities [ edit | edit source ]

The USS Savannah's Navy Yard repairs of combat damage, and the upgrading or her weapons, were completed on 4 September 1944. Nonetheless, she was never sent to a combat zone for the remainder of the war. She steamed out of Philadelphia Harbor on the next day, and then reported to the Commander, Fleet Operational Training Command on 10 September for a shakedown cruise and sailor's refresher training. She returned to Norfolk on 12 October for readiness training with CruDiv 8 and sailed on 21 January 1945 to rendezvous with the heavy cruiser USS Quincy, which was carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Mediterranean Sea, en route to Yalta, Crimea, of the Soviet Union for a conference with Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin.

The Savannah entered Grand Harbor, Valletta, Malta, on 2 February. At that island, the President and his party debarked, and they continued on to Yalta by airplane. A memorial service was held at the graves of the USS Savannah's sailors and marines killed in her bombing off Salerno. Next, the Savannah departed from Malta on 9 February and steamed to Alexandria, Egypt, to await the President when he returned to the USS Quincy on the 12th. The Presidential convoy departed from Alexandria on the 15th, and it arrived back home at Hampton Roads, Virginia on the 27th of February. The Savannah was underway on the next day, and she steamed towards a new homeport, Newport, Rhode Island, on 8 March. Until 24 May 1945, the Savannah was used as a school ship for the nucleus of crews of warships that had not yet been commissioned.


Savannah's Hottest Rooftop Bars & Restaurants

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Mercer House is a Rip-Off

Tourists who plan to pay $13 per adult in order to see the Mercer House should be aware of its reputation as a "tourist trap", a rip-off, a scheme or whatever you want to call it.

Do NOT go there expecting to see "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" memorabilia.

Nor will you hear anything in reference to the book, Jim Williams' pistol shooting of Danny Hansford, Williams' lavish parties, etc. You will be escorted into only 3 rooms and a hallway while under the watchful eye of an armed guard. You will be asked to leave the premises if questions persist about Jim Williams and his trials.

When Jim Williams died he excluded his sister from his will except for an insultingly small sum of money. $100. His will is available to the public at the Chatham County Courthouse.

In real life the two never got along. Williams named his mother as his benficiary. After Mother died, only then did Dr. Dorothy Williams Kingery, the sister inherit the Mercer House. 10 years later she is still trying to sell Mercer House at $8.2 million, having sold most of her brother's antiques years ago.

She is having a hard time paying taxes on Mercer House, thus she decided to open it to tourists who think "Hey Betty Bob, let's us go see where that Jim Williams done shot his boyfriend and had them fancy parties".

Once the tourists pay the $13, they are admitted into Mercer House where they are read the riot act before the "tour" begins.

Mercer House is sadly decaying. plaster & moldings are chipped and the place is dirty. The garden is umkempt.

And there's NO Midnight in the Garden here.

Caveat emptor (buyer beware).

The most unfortunate thing about this thing is that THE BOOK and the TV movie made it sound all glamorous. That's Fiction to the nth degree. It was a rather sordid unpleasant situation. Tourist Trap is the correct term. If she had been more sensible about the selling price for the house, I think she could have sold it. 8.2 million was a dreamtime figure.

You obviously care about other travelers to have bothered to post this warning. Here is something I have composed and saved on my computer as a suggestion for situations like yours. All you really have to do is copy and paste the information you have already written into the review box and give it a title.

You could write a review of Mercer House and add it to Tripadvisor's list of reviews. I'm sure others would appreciate your first hand knowledge. You are able to rate your experience from one to five.

To write the review, go to the Tripadvisor home page and click the link "write a review" and follow the instructions. You could also add pictures if you have any.

You can see other reviews by going to the Search box at the top of the page. You may have to scroll up. Enter Mercer House Savannah and click go. Currently they are 27 reviews. Yours will stay on top until a new review is written. It will be the most current description, something we all are looking for.

This topic will be pushed down the pages as new topics are added so it will only be seen by a few. If you write a review, it might be seen by a lot of grateful people.

The Mercer House is definitly a rip-off.

When you take the "tour", you are INSTRUCTED not to ask any questions about the book, Jim Williams, his partner Danny, or anything else.

The house is quite neglected and run-down. The Mercer House used to be the most grand of the grand old mansions. Sadly, those days are long, long gone. Jim's sister has sold off most of the antiques and let the house fall apart. It's a disgrace.

To his sister. Please sell the house and let someone who cares about Savannah, the house, and the legand of Jim Williams take care of it and give it the TLC that it so desperetly needs.

We took the tour of Mercer house about 2 weeks ago in mid-July. Wasn't impressed then and the more I think about it, the more disgusted I get with the whole experience.

Yes, Jim Williams was a very talented decorator/restorationist. And yes, some people so inclined do come to Mercer House to see his home and his abilities on display. But by the same token, our tourist guidebook of the area claimed that Savannah tourism has been up 46% since the Kevin Spacey movie about the killing in Mercer House was released in the 1990s. So it shouldn't come as a shock to anyone - especially the family - that a good number of the visitors to this house were brought there by the killing that occurred there and the book & movie about it.

But here's all the reasons I agree that the Mercer House tour is a rip-off:

Firstly, our tour guide was some young guy who was as hyper as a Mexican jumping bean. While trying to look around the gift shop he kept telling us to take our time because we still had several minutes yet before our tour was to start, yet kept hyping that he didn't want to be late getting started because there was only so much time between tours, blahblahblah. He had me kinda uptight before the tour even started!

Then there was that creepy "security" guy inside the house. He was wierd and really hovered over everyone like one of the posters said "fearful that someone was gonna breathe on something." He made the whole experience resemble being an 8 year old kid and going to visit your prissy oldmaid aunt's house and feeling so uptight because she's fussing that you might get rowdy and mess up the house or break something. Give me a break! We did have to PAY to come in the place - and a princely sum of $13 a head mind you - so they oughta think about treating their visitors more like paying customers and less like trespassers.

Then there is the fact that during the tour we could only look at the 4 ground floor rooms and the staircase and they didn't allow much time to do that even. All the while the hyperactive tour guide constantly harped on the fact that we had to respect the privacy of the family who still lived there on the upper floors, etc etc. All of this just made for an abbreviated and rushed tour of "just another fancy mansion" in the historical district.

Then the most galling thing of all was the blatant hypocracy of "the family" regarding the reason that Mercer House is such a tourist attraction in the first place. Since I'd both read the book and saw the movie, I was delighted to learn on this visit to Savannah, that Mercer House was open for tours. I asked a question about the shooting in the room in which the movie showed it happening and our tour guide got all twitchy and bluntly said "we don't talk about that around here." Oh, really. Well, they sure don't mind making a buck outta the deal because in their gift shop before the tour started I saw all kinds of copies of the book (hardcover, softcover and audio) for sale along with both VHS and DVD copies available. AND there was a picture of Kevin Spacey in costume as Mercer House owner and subject of the book and movie Jim Williams on the desk in the very room I asked the question about. The picture was faced out at the visitors path thru the room so you were supposed to see it. Not only that, but the current family owner and resident (Jim Williams' sister Dorothy as I understand it) was in the "special features" part of the "Midnight in the Garden. " DVD talking about her brother and the house, etc. Another staff member told me that if they're caught discussing the shooting, etc in anyway, they're "fired on the spot!" Well, isn't that just hypocritical. They're more than comfortable to use the event to lure you to the house, more than happy to sell you any kind of copy of the book or movie you want, but don't you dare ask anything about it.

Bottom line is, my advice to anyone thinking of touring the house is, "Save your money!" Pay to tour any of the other historical district homes that are open and you can get the basic gist of the architecture etc of the district and the affluence of most of the residents.


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T statistic = (Sample mean – hypothesised mean)/sample standard error

Hence we can see that how large or how small the T statistic is depends on how close or far away the sample mean is from the hypothesised mean. If the sample mean is close to hypothesised mean, we will get a T statistic close to zero. Whereas if the sample mean if far away from the hypothesised mean, we will get a larger T statistic.


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About Isaac Drayton LaRoche, V

ALICE A.-- RUTH E.-- ELIZABETH T.-- AIMEE T.-- ELLEN G.-- IDA D.-- ISAAC D.JR.-- ROBERT D.LAROCHe ISAAC DRAYTON LAROCHE AND MARIA ANNA RICHARDS HAD FOUR CHILDREN: Guy LaRoche--WALTER PAUL --RALPH D.--LODO M.--EVA A.LAROCHE. findagrave link elizabeth sophia oliver 13065091 findagrave link 13065100 isaac Birth: 򑞒 Savannah Chatham County Georgia, USA Death: Sep. 6, 1826 Savannah Chatham County Georgia, USA [Edit Dates]

his wife was: Elizabeth Sophia McIntosh Oliver sisters: Ruth LaRoche/R.R.Richards Nellie LaRoche/Proffessor FRelix Lising Ida LaRoche/L.L. Hunt Eva LaRoche/Gilbert W. Allen Amy LaRoche/William E. Dunwody Alice LaRoche/Edgar Williams brothers: Robert D.LaRoche Walter P.LaRoche John LaRoche

A HISTORY OF SAVANNAH AND SOUTH GEORGIA Author: William Harden @ p. 694 THE LA ROCHE FAMILY HISTORY. In the year 1733 two brothers landed in America from the shores of England. Their names were John La Roche and Isaac La Roche. John La Roche was appointed by King James to assist in planning and laying off the present city of Savannah, and one of the sixteen tithings of the city according to the original plan was named in compliment to him by Gen. Oglethorpe La Roche Tithing. Some few years later on John La Roche returned to England and took up his abode in the royal family as privy counsellor to the king. Isaac La Roche decided to adopt America as his home and married Elizabeth Drummond, a lady of beauty and rare mental culture who had immigrated to America from Scotland a few years previous to her marriage. Elizabeth and her brother, Dr. Archibald Drummond, were the only surviving members of the Drummond family who had left their highland home for the New World.

Shortly after the marriage of Elizabeth her brother, Dr. Archibald Drummond, went to the West Indies and finally settled at or near Kingston, Jamaica, where he accumulated a large fortune. He never married and at his death bequeathed his large property by will to his sister, Elizabeth La Roche. The latter entrusted the recovery of this legacy to General Flournoy, of Augusta, Georgia, who from some cause failed to press the suit to a successful termination.

To Isaac La Roche and his wife, Elizabeth, were born one son, who was also named Isaac, and two daughters, Sarah and Elizabeth after the birth of the third child their father died and their mother married again. Isaac on reaching the years of manhood married Eliza Oliver, who was the daughter of John Oliver of Augusta, Georgia. Her father was a graduate of Oxford College, England, and after coming over and settling in America he uniformed and equipped a military company at his own expense, to serve in defense of their country against the British. He was quite wealthy and while a resident of Augusta, Georgia, was a co-partner with General Fash in a large mercantile business in Charleston, South Carolina. From this late marriage were born the following children: Sarah E. La Roche, James A. La Roche, Oliver A. La Roche, Isaac D. La Roche, Adrian V. La Roche, Lawrence and John La Roche. Soon after the birth of John, the father died and their mother married Doctor Beaudry, to whom one child, a girl, was born. Isaac La Roche, the father of the children named above, three of whom are yet living, died about the year 1822. One of his sisters married a Mr. Votee, this one was Sarah Elizabeth married a Mr. Craft.

James Oliver, grandfather of the children of Isaac La Roche and Elizabeth La Roche, nee Oliver, married Sarah McKay, who being left an orphan in early childhood, was reared by her uncle, Randolph Spalding, near St. Mary's, Georgia.

The brothers and sisters of Isaac La Roche were: Alice, deceased, was the wife of Edgar Williams Ruth, deceased, was the wife of R. R. Richards Amy, wife of Wm. E. Dunwody Nellie, wife of Prof. Felix Lising Ida, wife of L. L. Hunt Isaac,and Robert D. Walter P. Eva, wife of Gilbert W. Allen.


Savannah IV CL-42 - History

The men and women of the Mackay family in Savannah, with their love of letter writing and interest in their family and their times, have provided fascinating glimpses into our past. A Savannah Family, 1830� is a continuation of the Mackay family history which it has been the privilege of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia to present both at the Andrew Low House Museum on Lafayette Square in Savannah and in its publications.The society’s publications now cover the five generations between 1795 and 1901. Chronologically by subject matter they are as follows:

The Letters of Don Juan McQueen to his Family, Written from Spanish East Florida, 1791� with a biographical sketch and notes by Walter Charlton Hartridge (Columbia SC: Bostick & Thornley, 1943).

The Letters of Robert Mackay to His Wife, Written from ports in America and England 1795� with an introduction and notes by Walter Charlton Hartridge (Athens GA: University of Georgia Press, 1949). Note: Mrs. Robert Mackay (Eliza McQueen) was the daughter of “Don Juan” McQueen.

A Savannah Family, 1830�: Papers from the Clermont Huger Lee Collection including “A Sketch of the Life of Frederic Augustus Habersham written for his three little children by their mother Leila Elliott Habersham the summer of 1863” compiled and edited by Anna Habersham Wright Smith, (Milledgeville GA: Boyd Publishing, 1999). Note: Leila wrote the Sketch after her husband’s death at the Battle of Chancellorsville VA. Margaret (Mackay) Elliott and Eliza (Mackay) Stiles, mothers of first cousins Leila (Elliott) Habersham and Mary (Stiles) Low, were the daughters of Robert and Eliza (McQueen) Mackay.

The Light of Other Days by Caroline Couper Lovell, (Macon GA: Mercer University Press, 1995). Note: Caroline was a great-granddaughter of Robert and Eliza (McQueen) Mackay, and her book covers the period 1862�.

Leila Elliott Habersham wrote in her strong handwriting on eight and a half by eleven inch lined paper, in a notebook three quarters of an inch thick, bound with a leather spine and marble patterned cardboard covers with leather reinforced corners. She painstakingly sewed original letters from friends and family members into the leather spine. Since writing paper was difficult to come by at that time, Leila used every square inch, not even wasting space with paragraph breaks.

Leila Elliott Habersham’s niece Miss Caroline (“Lina”) Pinckney Huger inherited and maintained this collection of family papers in her home in Bluffton, South Carolina, passing it on to her niece Clermont Huger Lee of Savannah. A cousin brought me the Sketch of the Life of Frederic Augustus Habersham, with Clermont’s permission, and asked me to look at it, saying it was very sad and difficult to read, but since I owned the portrait of Fred’s father Joseph Habersham Jr. (a fourth great uncle) it might be of interest. Taking time from my architectural work to transcribe it as an interesting family relic, I realized Leila’s Sketch would be of great interest to those trying to understand this complex period. I was fascinated by the characterizations of Andrew Low and his wife Mary Cowper Stiles. It was this larger interest that caused me to bring the sketch to the attention of the Historical Activities Committee of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia, which is responsible for their publications.

Clermont Lee called attention to the later family letters in her collection and suggested that the book should not end with Fred Habersham’s death in 1863. Even though The Light of Other Days partially covers the postwar period, Caroline Couper Stiles (Mrs. Todd Lovell) was born in 1862. Those who reached maturity before the war saw this critical period of the late 1860’s and early 70’s in a very different light. In fact, Caroline, not having any direct knowledge of the war, missed much of the real situation, particularly in describing the Fred Habersham family. This was largely because families at the time pulled themselves together tightly and kept their pain to themselves, putting on a brave front which the younger generation accepted at face value.

The first phase of this project was to transcribe the Sketch, then break it into parts at points where the action changed significantly, then introduce paragraphs and punctuation as required. Original letters that are sewed or pasted into the sketch are printed in Italics to differentiate them from Leila’s narrative writing. The Appendix provides genealogical charts for the Elliott, Habersham, and Mackay families and the Index includes most names by which an individual is addressed.

The Epilogue is composed primarily of letters to and from members of Leila’s immediate family.

The second phase of this project consisted of identifying the people and situations described in the letters and Sketch. Many people mentioned are missing or misidentified in published genealogies due to a number of circumstances, including high infant mortality, similarity of names, large extended families, lack of descendants, and the postwar diaspora. One exception to this is The Story of An American Family, privately published by Stephen B. Barnwell (Marquette: 1969) which was invaluable assistance on the Elliott family. I had a head start on the Habershams, benefiting by existing family papers in my possession. Clermont Lee was a great source of information on the Mackay, Elliott, Habersham, and Huger families. I also consulted innumerable books, old newspapers, and many files in the special collections of the Georgia Historical Society. Slowly the cryptic references in these letters blossomed into real individuals and situations. In fact, this collection of such intimate documents reversed the usual process of struggling to breath life into characters from dry facts, often having to resort to outright fiction. The writers of these letters caught my attention immediately, though not knowing who or where some of them were or why or what they were doing. Identifying the time, place, and context was great fun and provided the support for their fascinating stories to unfold.


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‘The Lees Are Complex’: Descendants Grapple With a Rebel General’s Legacy

Few American families are as deeply embedded in the nation’s history as the Lees of Virginia. Members of the clan signed the Declaration of Independence, served the new nation as judges and generals, lawmakers and governors, and one, Zachary Taylor, even became president.

For decades, the family appeared to be united in promoting the adulation of its best-known member, the pre-eminent Confederate general Robert E. Lee. But now, as tempers flare around the country over Confederate monuments and what they stand for, the Lees are grappling anew with the general’s checkered legacy. And along with many other families, they are divided over what to do about public statues of a famous forebear.

“Like so much else in this world, the Lees are complex,” said Blair Lee IV, 72, a retired real estate developer from Maryland who describes Robert E. Lee as a “distant cousin.”

“The war pitted brother against brother and cousin against cousin,” he said, “and we’re still at this today.”

Some of the Lees have issued public calls for the statues to come down, and want to distance the family from the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville, Va., to protest the proposed removal of a Lee statue there.

But others want the monuments to the general to remain where they are, and Blair Lee is among them, even though he is descended from a branch of the family that sided with the Union in the Civil War.

“I don’t understand how tearing down Confederate monuments advances the cause of racial harmony in this country,” said Mr. Lee, whose father was governor of Maryland in the 1970s. “If we’re looking for people to be angry about, why not erase the names of English monarchs from many places?”

The statue debate provides a glimpse into how the Lees of today are reacting to what historians say has been a masterful propaganda campaign aimed at restoring and bolstering white supremacy in the South through the mythology of the “Lost Cause.”

White southerners appropriated the term from Sir Walter Scott’s description of the failed 18th century struggle for Scottish independence, and used it to soften and romanticize the Confederate rebellion, according to James C. Cobb, a historian.

Robert E. Lee himself opposed building public memorials to the rebellion, saying they would just keep open the war’s many wounds. But after his death in 1870, admirers in the South made him the centerpiece of the Lost Cause campaign. His remains are kept in a Virginia mausoleum near those of his wife, their seven children and even his horse, Traveller — an echo of the reverence some Latin American nations lavish on their national heroes.

The propagandists insisted that under General Lee, the South had fought nobly for the principles of self-determination and states’ rights, despite having little hope of defeating the more industrialized North. Slavery, in their telling, was a side issue, and had been a fairly benign institution that offered blacks a better life than they would have had otherwise.

By glossing over the maintenance of slavery as the South’s overriding war aim, the proponents of what came to be called the Lee cult diverted attention from General Lee’s own record as a slave owner, and from any discussion of how the Lee family tree came to include African-Americans.

“There was a rebranding campaign that promoted a total fallacy about what the Civil War was about,” said Karen Finney, 50, a great-great-great grandniece of Robert E. Lee. Her mother, Mildred Lee, a social worker, is white her father, Jim Finney, a civil rights lawyer, was black.

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“It’s simple: my ancestor was a slave owner who fought to preserve slavery,” said Ms. Finney, who worked as a spokeswoman for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. “If his side had won, that system of enslavement would have included me as well. Supporters of the statues still want to persuade people they’re not about white supremacy. It’s time to bring the statues down.”

Though they are on different sides of the statue debate, what Ms. Finney and Blair Lee IV have in common, along with hundreds of other close and distant relatives, is their ancestral connection to Richard Lee, an early settler of Virginia in the 17th century who is thought to have come from Shropshire in England’s West Midlands.

Over the decades, that ancestry came to confer considerable prestige, abetted by the creation in 1921 of the Society of the Lees of Virginia, an organization to “promote a better knowledge of the patriotic services of the Lee Family.”

Carter B. Refo, the society’s membership secretary, declined to discuss the statue issue or the Lee family’s long association with slavery before the Civil War. “The Society has a policy of not making public statements, so I am unable to help in that regard,” he said.

Lee descendants maintain a tradition of curating the family’s place in history. Edmund Jennings Lee compiled a genealogical tome in 1895 that remains an important reference work on the family. Today, one of the descendants who helps organize and edit the family’s papers is Robert E.L. DeButts Jr., who works in the financial crime compliance group at Goldman Sachs.

Much of the admiration for Robert E. Lee centers on his long and distinguished military career, on his opposition to secession, on claims that he disliked slavery and on his postwar years, when he supported reconciliation between North and South as president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Va.

“There was this promotion of the general as a Christian gentlemen who only fought to side with his homeland, the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Glenn LaFantasie, a professor of Civil War history at Western Kentucky University. “Of course, Lee was much more than that, an owner of slaves and a man who sought the capture of his runaway slaves. He fought to perpetuate slavery.”

When his command, the Army of Northern Virginia, invaded Pennsylvania in 1863, some units went on a spree, kidnapping fugitive slaves for their Confederate former masters. Lee urged his soldiers to avoid “the perpetuation of barbarous outrages upon the unarmed,” but did not stop the kidnappings.

Slavery’s importance in forging the fortunes of the Lee family has gained greater attention through the work of Elise Harding-Davis, 70, a prominent African-Canadian historian who says that she, too, is a relative of Lee’s.

Ms. Harding-Davis said that Lee family documents had corroborated oral history in her family that Kizzie, her enslaved great-great-great-great-great grandmother, was a daughter of Lee’s father, Henry Lee III, known as Light-Horse Harry, a Revolutionary War cavalry commander. That would make Kizzie the Confederate general’s half sister.

“We don’t take pride in being Lees, but in being pioneers of North America,” Ms. Harding-Davis said, emphasizing that her ancestors moved to Ontario generations ago in search of freedom. “When you understand the ugliness of the Civil War, and what Robert E. Lee fought for, you know that the statues must come down.”

Researchers at Stratford Hall, the historic plantation in Virginia where Lee was born, have described the kinship claim by Kizzie’s descendants as “tantalizing” and offered the hope that with further research, “maybe their journey will indeed lead to the Lees of Stratford.”

Other descendants remain proud of Robert E. Lee, while rejecting what the far right of today would have him symbolize.

“There are a lot of wonderful things General Lee is known to have done, and this is the antithesis of what he wanted,” Tracy Lee Crittenberger, 58, said of the violence in Charlottesville, where white supremacists and their opponents brawled in the streets and a man plowed his speeding car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one woman.

“But we have to acknowledge we’re not living in General Lee’s time period any more,” said Ms. Crittenberger, an admissions official at the Madeira School, a private boarding school for girls in McLean, Va. “If communities decide to take the statue down,” she said, “then I’m not against it.”

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