The above is not from the scrap book, but was borrowed from the web.

I have nothing against the USS Galveston. Really. My great uncle, however, served aboard, and left me with a scrap book memorializing his time in the Old Navy. The book has not a single photo or memory directly associated with the Galveston. It contains post cards and photographs, however, that echo navy life of the time.

The pictures come in three flavors. The largest category is humorous line art, cartoons of the Old Navy. It is not entirely politically correct, though compared to Tailhook, one cannot complain too much. Disrespect is shown to other races, to the female gender, to officers (gasp), civilians, sailors, and to the Navy itself. If disrespect is shown, one cannot say that anyone was left out. Those who wish to remain blissfully unaware of sexist and racist tendencies in the US Navy of the early 20th Century (surprise!) are warned to go elsewhere. The contents are provided for historical interest, and should not be taken as reflecting the values of the webmaster.

The cartoon pages are Navy Life, Army Life, Suggestions, Officers, Babes, and Viva.

The pictures perhaps reflect the personality of my great uncle, Marvin Perrault, as much as the navy. By my father's account, Marvin was a distinct character. He entered the navy as an enlisted man given the only available alternative was to enter jail as a civilian. He retired around 1947 with 23 years in the navy and his 20 year pension. Brig time doesn't count. My father tells a story of walking the sidewalks of my home town with Marvin, and suddenly hearing the report of a gun nearby. Marvin had decided that the sidewalk needed to be shot.

I am not quite sure of the time the pictures were taken. The scrapbook contains China pictures. The Galveston sailed from China to Panama in 1918. My first thought was that the pictures might have been taken at about that time. I have since learned Marvin entered the navy in the mid 1920s, and served during the Nicaragua intervention in the late 1920s. Given the bobbed hair and flapper fashions on the ladies in the cartoons, I would guess these pictures were taken in the late 1920s.

I also found a similar series of pictures at a USS Argonne (AS-10) page. The time period and the method of labeling the pictures is nearly identical. I suspect there were official or semi-official Navy and Marine photographers selling their pictures to the crews.

The second group of pictures are shore leave shots taken in Panama. Nothing controversial here. If anyone can place the year the pictures were taken based on cars, uniforms and stuff, I'd be interested in hearing from you. The pages are grouped roughly around Kelly's Bar, street scenes, and tourist shots.

There is a third set of pictures. They document a reign of terror in the Chinese ports in the early 20th Century. I have scanned in only three of the mildest. They are labeled ""Getting the knife into action, one stroke is enough," "Executing girl students," and "Chinese executing a woman." I decided not to web the death of 1000 cuts, the stretching death, or the rest of the more gruesome shots. Even choosing the milder shots, I put a HTML "adults only" rating on the page. A child protected browser will hopefully block the page.

It is easy to be romantic about the Old Navy. The modern Navy has done its share in suppressing Communism, but one should also remember the excesses of Imperialism, and why some cultures still reject the modern west.

Bob Butler

USS Massachusetts Photo Tour


While I had no relatives on the Massachusetts, I was able to walk aboard with a camera...

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