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Remembered Today:


George Sawyer and the US Navy

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I have the wartime log book/diary of George Sawyer and would love help in identifying him. From the book I know he first enlisted in the navy in 1908 and served almost 16 years to 1924. He was on USS Balch when war was declared and served on Balch convoying ships with Destroyer Fleet 7 until March 23rd when he was transferred to Passage West Ireland. April 5th he was transferred to USS Leviathan. This is were it gets interesting. I believe he was transferred to Leviathan as a guard for the German prisoners of U-58 when they were sent to the United States. A complete list of German personnel is included in the diary (and really why would you need that information if your job is not dealing with them?). He transferred off Leviathan when they off-loaded the German prisoners at Hoboken and was transferred to the Brooklin Navy Yard. He served the rest of the war on USS Israel and was in Gibraltar at the time of the armistice. Fascinating wartime chronicle but I have no idea who he was or what he did in the navy. After he reenlisted in 1920 he left Israel and went to Omaha, Nebraska (recruiting officer?). The log book continues until he left the service in 1924. I include a photo of his pay in case that would give a clue to his rank. His purchasing is also interesting. Was he quartermaster so he was making sure they had enough dressers for clothing or does that mean something different in navy terminology? 





















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I'm not an USN expert but I guess that he was possibly aboard a ship on convoy escort duty - Halifax and New York were both transatlantic convoy destinations from the UK.


In Royal Navy terminology a quartermaster was known as a purser or pusser - I don't know whether the same applied in the USN.

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Michael Lowrey

You might be able to get a copy of George Sawyer's personnel records from the U.S. National Archives if you can otherwise find enough information on him (you might have enough from the diary to identify him enough for NARA to find him). See: https://www.archives.gov/personnel-records-center/military-personnel/ompf-archival-requests


There looks to be a $70 fee.

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58 Div Mule

Can't help but observe that a certain Humphrey Bogart served on the USS Leviathan returning troops to the US in 1918/19.


58 DM.

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