uss concord ships bell
The ships bell on naval vessels has much heritage and history. Legend has it that the Cook shined the bell daily and the boatswain made the first pot of coffee each morning. A tradition that I personally witnessed was baptisms conducted on our ship (Concord) performed by the ship's chaplain and witnessed by the babies parents and select crew members. As a young Hull Technician I was tasked with taking the bell from its bracket, turning it upside down and positioning it inside a holder which was dressed with decorative bunting. The baby was then placed inside the bell and the chaplain sprinkled the child and said a blessing. Once the ceremony was over, the bell was engraved (using a letter punch set) imprinting the child's name and date of baptism. It was this event that sparked my desire to locate our ships bell, and try and locate the babies and families and tell their story to our members. After much writing back and forth to the Navy History Heritage Command the bell was located. Unfortunately the bell was polished so well that the names have been removed. If you had a child that was baptised in this bell I would like to hear from you. Regardless the bell has been located and you can go visit it and touch the only available piece of ships history (other than the ships minuteman statue) available. Below is the physical address, and the organization which helped locate our bell.
I originally wrote the curator at the Navy History Heritage Command on March 28th 2011. At that time the exact location of the bell was unknown and the paperwork trail was uncertain. Through patience, persistence and hopefully not harassing the good folks at NAVHISTHERITAGECOM the bell was found and it looks great. The bell is presently located at the:
Military Sealift Command
Washington Navy Yard, DC
The bell is located in the main entrance lobby on the first floor. Actual pictures of our bell is below. If you visit her, send me a pic with you and the bell and I'll add your story to this story!
THE SHIP'S WHO WORE THE CONCORD NAME!
As webmaster, I received an email last month from the daughter of a USS CONCORD sailor who had recently received a lot of old photos from here step-mom. Among those were her Dad's Navy pictures and she wanted to know if we, the association, would be interested in seeing them. She said his name was Darwin W. McMahon and would have served on the CONCORD between 1935 - 1939. I thanked her for considering our website and contacting us but explained that there was more than one ship that had worn the name and the one her dad was on was most likely CL-10. It got me to thinking however that a CONCORD sailor is a CONCORD sailor and it if she wished to share some of her stuff I would add it to our site. I did a little research and here goes.....................By the way Jo Ann if you are reading this, thanks for the idea and your dads service to the ship and the country! A final note. Jo Ann wrote back and said that her Dad had been a member of a USS CONCORD Association "the Minutemen" and she has searched and found one man from that group still with us at age 93. WOW!
Curtis Creek sent in information about another WWII veteran (his grandpa) who sailed USS CONCORD CL-10. Very interesting to say the least and gives an insight into what the Navy was like back in the early 40's! Scroll to the bottom to read Curtis's email and his grandfathers stories about his time on our namesake.
The first mention of a USS CONCORD was a brief line in Wikipedia of A sloop-of-war launched in 1828 and commanded by Commodore Matthew Perry in 1830. Unfortunately she was lost when she ran aground on a sand bar off Mozambique.
USS CONCORD (PG-3) was the second ship to wear the title and was a 1710-ton gunboat of the Yorktown class according to the Naval Historical Center. She was commissioned in 1891 and operated in the Atlantic area until 1893 when she was transfered to the Pacific for the rest of her career. She saw battle in the Spanish American War and participated in the Battle of Manila in 1898. After 1898 CONCORD served in the Philippines area and the Pacific until she left active service in 1909.
USS CONCORD (SP-773) 1917 - 1937, was the third ship of this title and later was renamed Mendota and Muscotah (both as YT-33). A 353 gross ton tug built in 1898 at Philadelphia, she was commandeered by the Navy from the Staples Transportation Company of New York in 1917. Later purchased outright, she was placed in commission after outfitting by Boston Navy Yard. Late in 1917 she helped tow French submarine chasers from Bermuda to the Azores, then went on to Brest, France where she served through the end of WWI and for nearly another year afterwards. Returning to the US IN November 1919, she was assigned to the Washington Navy Yard. In 1920 she was redesignated YT-33 and renamed Mendota. She was again renamed in January 1932 becoming Muscotah, and remained active until placed out of service November 1934. She was sold at the end of April 1937 as per the Naval Historical Center.
This brings us to our Predecessor USS CONCORD (CL-10) 1923 - 1947, the ship sailed by Jo Ann's dad Darwin McMahon. A 7050 ton Omaha class light cruiser she was built in Philadelphia and Commissioned November 1923. Designed for combat, the vessel carried 12 six-inch guns, 4 three-inch guns, 3 anti-aircraft guns, 6 torpedo tubes, 2 catapults and 2 seaplanes. In 1924 she made her shakedown cruise in the Med and around Africa. During the next several years she served with the Lant based Scouting Fleet making occasional visits to the Pacific for Fleet maneuvers. Her homeport was changed to SanDiego in 1932 and she operated mainly in the Pacific afterwards. As tensions with Japan increased she moved with the Battle Fleet to Pearl Harbor in 1940. When the US entered WWII in 1941, she was on the West Coast undergoing overhaul. She served in the Southern Pacific February 1942 escorting convoys and patrolling off Central and South America. September - November 1943 she served as flagship to Real Admiral Richard Byrd during his survey of Southeastern Pacific islands. An accidental gasoline explosion during this cruise damaged the ship and 22 crew members lost their life. Following repairs she was transferred to the northern Pacific and spent the rest of WWII patrolling, interdicting enemy shipping and conducting bombardments of facilities in the Kuril islands area. Just after the end of the fighting, she supported the occupation of northern Japan. CONCORD passed through the Panama Canal October 1945 and was decommissioned at Philadelphia. She was sold for scrapping in January 1947.
This just in, Ben Barresi found yet an even earlier mention of a CONCORD..........sorta. Seems even Blackbeard the pirate sailed one! http://www.qaronline.org/history/history.htm
Darwin W. McMahon's personal pictues aboard USS CONCORD CL-10:
Hi my name is Curtis Creek. My Papaw was in WWII on the USS Concord CL-10. Here is his story that he wrote, and was printed in a book. I hope you can put this on your web page. I have read this story so many times,but he has told us this story more than I can ever count. Of course all of this story is true, this is a cleaner version. Us grand kids have heard all the horror that happend on his ship. Things that brought tears to my Papaws eyes, and he was a man that never cried. I sure miss my Papaw....RIP PAPAW .....
Marvin Eugene " Bud " Law
1927 - 2010