The U.S.S. Florida and a U.S. Marine’s Great War Scrapbook

  • Author: Michael Foight
  • Published: May 24, 2016
"Grady H. W. Lockhart, U.S. Marines WWI"

“Grady H. W. Lockhart, U.S. Marines WWI”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently digitized, the scrapbook of Grady H. W. Lockhart, a U.S. Marine in the Great War, presents a different view that many imagine about service during the Great War. Far from the smoke of battle, Grady served as a sea-marine – assigned to an important battleship, the U.S.S. Florida; U.S. Marines still form detachments assigned to most larger United States Naval vessels.

U.S.S. Florida (BB-30)

U.S.S. Florida (BB-30)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Florida was assigned to the Atlantic fleet and cruised up and down the coast, taking Grady along.  While in port at several of the major cities of the Eastern seaboard on shore leave, Grady explored his surroundings.

New York City

New York City

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Florida provided a covering and invasion force during the United States occupation of Veracruz, Mexico in 1914, and between visits to domestic ports, support for the occupation forces in Cuba. Lockhart was part of a highly elite unit: 14 personal from the Florida were awarded the Medal of Honor for service during the Battle of Veracruz.

 

Cuba Bay

Cuba Bay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marine Guard, U.S.S. Florida, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, March 20, 1916

Marine Guard, U.S.S. Florida, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, March 20, 1916

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon United States entry in the war, the Florida (BB-30) was assigned to the 6th Battle Squadron of British Grand Fleet steaming out of ports in Scotland.  Based near the Firth of Forth, Scotland, gave Lockhart plenty of opportunities for shore leave to explore the city – in Glasgow and Edinburgh – and the Scottish countryside, and to mingle with British soldiers and sailors.

Group with Colours, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders

Group with Colours, Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depictions of everyday fleet life are numerous; Grady collected some humorous views of life on sea duty, as can be seen in his photograph of the largest and smallest dog mascots of the Atlantic fleet!

 

The Biggest and Smallest Dogs of the Atlantic Fleet

The Biggest and Smallest Dogs of the Atlantic Fleet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The U.S.S. Florida was also part of the force that escorted the German High Seas Fleet into the Firth of Forth;  German sailors later scuttle the ships to deprive the British of a potent force of war.

Later the Florida joined the convoy that escorted President Woodrow Wilson to France for the Paris Peace Conference.

 

U.S.S. Florida in high seas

U.S.S. Florida in high seas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



INVASION — 1916!

  • Author:
  • Published: March 14, 2016

Mexican forces led by General Pancho Villa crossed the border attacking the town of Columbus, New Mexico on the evening of March 9, 1916. Although Villa’s Division of the North was driven off, tens townspeople and eight members of the 13th Cavalry, garrisoned at Columbus were killed. Even as Columbus was being looted and put to the torch, the cavalry and townspeople rallied, driving off the attackers who lost one hundred men, killed or captured.

Villa’s actions led President Woodrow Wilson to authorize a punitive expedition into Mexico to capture of kill Villa. General John J. Pershing’s Pancho Villa Expeditionary Force scoured the northern portion of Mexico for over a year but failed to apprehend Villa, despite the use of motorized forces and biplanes acting as spotters. The Kaiser had earlier supported the usurper General Huerta, hoping to distracting Americans from the European War by giving them a worry f their own to the South. Ironically it was the anti-Huerta, anti-Carranza (Huerta’s successor) Villa who gave the Kaiser his “southern discomfort.”





 


Last Modified: March 14, 2016