Monday, July 25, 2011

Maritime Monday - Service Record Pt. 4

Here we see another page from the Service Record of Estel E. Dillman, my paternal grandfather.  This particular page has a number of different pieces of information on it, so let's look at them one section at a time and talk about the significance of each.

First, it has the usual name, service number, rate, date and command information.  This is how we keep track of who this particular piece of paper is reporting on.  We can see that as of 13 May 1940, my grandfather was a Machinist Mate 2nd Class aboard the U.S.S. Brooklyn, having previously served aboard the U.S.S. Chaumont.  I discussed both of those ships, including links to Wikipedia articles about them in previous posts.

Next, we see that on 7 Mar 1941, my grandfather crossed the equator and was initiated as a Shellback in a ceremony I also described in an earlier post.  A week later, he crossed the International Date Line.  So far as I am aware, there is not a similar ceremony for crossing the date line as there is for crossing the Equator.  As I served in the western hemisphere, I did not have opportunity to cross the date line to find out.

Next, the record details his participation in the first expedition to Iceland for a month in the summer of 1941.  Better than a winter visit, I'm thinking!  Remember, though, that this was during World War II in Europe, and even though the United States were not formally involved in the war at that point, we were aiding our allies by providing suplies, and our ships were targets for German u-boats.

Next we see that on 01 Nov 1941, Estel was promoted to Machinist Mate 1st Class, which is the E-6 paygrade.  This is an upper supervisory level just below middle management if you want a civilian equivalent.  Sailors at this level are starting to do more management and supervision of lower ranked men, but are still very much in the thick of getting the work done.  They still get their hands dirty frequently.  They also train the lower ranks by providing guidance and experience working with the equipment involved.

In my own service record, it is unusual to have several different kinds of event recorded on a single page as it is on this one, but this page is by no means unique in Estel's service record.  Also, these old service record pages are narrow, where my service record has full letter-size pages.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2011 by Daniel G. Dillman