Sam Houston

S.S. Sam Houston

Patriotism is
Abundant At
Beaver Dam

Ensign Stevens, Home
for visit, Was On Ship 
Torpedoed in Atlantic

By W E Daniel

Owensboro Messenger Staff Writer

Beaver Dam, Ky. Four men stood
before the Messenger staff writer
on a recent visit here to prove the 
patriotism of this thriving Ohio
county town, two in person and two
in silhouette.  They were: Mayor
Latna Oldham, in his fourth term;
Ensign Harrison Stevens, home from 
four days in an open lifeboat after 
his ship was torpedoed in the At-
lantic; Chaplain Evans T. Moseley,
in the Hawaiian Islands, and Dr.
Hays Treikel, who has closed his of-
ice to enter service August 10.

Mayor Oldham, dairyman and
general farmer, is contributing ma-
terially and in civic leadership to
the national defense, Ensign Stev-
ens Is a vita1 part of that defense.
Chaplaln  Mosely, former pastor of
the Beaver Dam Baptist church, is
using his talents and experience, as
minister to help preserve the spirit-
ual strength of the men in uniform.
Dr. Thelkel has put aside the prom-
ise of a highly profitable practice
to serve in the army. And in the
Baptist church a 20-starred flag  
epitomizes the meaning of their la-
bors, and the unquestioning loyalty
of the many other boys  vho have  
cone from this community into
various branches of service.
   Joy In Stevens Home

There was joy in the Otis Stevens
home near town when the broad-
shouldered son arrived a few days
ago and pride in the, heart of his
young bride, the former Peggy Mc-
Kenney, who knows the trials of a
wife at home while the husband is
away in constant peril. They were
married last January in Detroit, a
day after the former science teacher
in the Beaver Dam high school com- 
pleted a course in  Northwestern
University, Chicago, and was award-
ed his commission. And after a too-
short period of companionship in
New Orleans while the young off-
cer was with the Gulf patrol she
came home to await, and for what?

Sunday morning June 28 the ship
with Ensign Stevens aboard  was
steaming on the rolling waves of
the Atlantic, when at 9:45 a tor-
pedo, from a German submarine
pierced its side. Combustible ma-
terials on the Ship were ignited and
the crew took to lifeboats. The sub-
marine surfaced near the flimsy craft
and called the American comman-
der aboard.  The Germans knew his
name, his destination and the cargo
he carried. After a  brief parley, he
was allowed to return, to the lifeboat
and the sub subnierged.

For four days the boats were
tossed about, finally coming near a
small rock island up whose  pre-
cipitous sides the men clambered
with the aid of a ladder thrust
down by one of the few inhabitants.
An American patrol plane on routine
duty came near and dropped down to
inquire about signals of distress.
Then away to summon help which
came with a ship that conveyed the
stranded navy men to the states
and hospitals for treatment.

Saw Atlantic In Varying Moods

Some of the crew had died and
others were suffering from exposure
and burns sustained aboard the ship
that was destroyed by flames. The
BeaVer Dam man still feels some ill
effects from inhaling fumes as he 
sought to recover a few articles from
his quarters, but  his clean living
and rugged physique are rapidly re-
turning him to normal, and save for 
slightly perceptible nervousness he
is the same Harrison Stevens who
taught here.

Reared far inland from the ocean
Ensign Stevens was fated to see the
Atlantic in varying moods, and to
witness and remember examples of
German attacks on the high seas.
Fron the quiet of a Sabbath morn-
ing while his family here prepared
for church he was hurled from a
secure footing on deck to grasp at
supports while his ship reeled under
the fierce impact, and sharp blazes
sent the men overboard, leaving
men dead and dying, victims of the
murderer. As night fell rain spat-
tered their open boat and made even
less palatable tho scanty rations of
crackers and chocolate, washed down 
with water that bore little resem-
blance in taste to that on his
father's farm.

Ensign Stevens is home for a few
days, to chat with old friends, to
sleep without a lurking submarine
to disturb, to enjoy wholesome food,
and to store his reserve strength for
whatever is out yonder. And at
home Mayer Oldham and others
cultivate their own and the com-
nunity's strength to make stronger
the boys who go away to represent
them. And the former pastor, and
the physician who has closed his
office, are part of the vigor of Beaver
Dam expressed in action.

Picture of Crew of SS Sam Houston


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