WWII Navy Ship Named After Its Hometown of Quincy
The heroic saga of the USS Quincy, a United States Navy cruiser, which helped U.S. Marines get ashore at Guadalcanal in August 1942 during the early days of World War II only to be tragically sunk by Japanese ships soon after, is the subject of the Saturday, June 16, program at Fort Devens Museum. The talk, presented by guest speaker Bob Begin, starts at 11 a.m. rather than at the Museum’s typical starting time of 1 p.m.
Just prior to the talk, at 10:45 a.m., the Museum holds its annual meeting. Museum members and visitors too are cordially invited to attend the brief meeting to find further what the Museum is all about and vote on the coming year’s Board of Directors.
Speaker Begin will tell about the history of this U.S. vessel, which includes evacuating 490 refugees of the Spanish Civil War and taking them to safety in France. Prior to World War II she patrolled the North Atlantic to protect neutral America’s ship convoys as Europe was embroiled in open warfare, an assignment that lasted into the early days of America’s involvement in the war. Finally, she was part of the fleet assembled for the invasion of Guadalcanal, shelling its occupying forces and adding fire support to the Marines as they went ashore to capture the island in one of the bloodiest conflicts of the war in the Pacific Theater.
The Battle of Savo Island in which the Quincy and two other American cruisers were sunk, was, according to Begin, “one of the worst disasters in America’s naval history,” so that “for many years there was a shroud over the details.” Begin’s concern that “the men lost and those who survived should have their story told” led him to carry out painstaking research about the ship, its very dimensions and construction; to find out analyses of the battle “from both American and Japanese aspects”; and to interview survivors and the families to record their experiences related to the ship and its exploits.
Back of that effort, Begin says, is a “love of history, particularly naval history.” And that relates to an “interest in ships and the sea” enhanced by growing up in Maine and when traveling to Portland seeing “those great gray-hulled ships in port.” Following service as a draftee in the US Army, he moved to Massachusetts, pursuing a career “in the paper and film converting industry, culminating a 35-year career as a logistics manager” and now works part time in Needham.
Subject of June 16th Program at Ft. Devens Museum
This program is free but donations are appreciated. The Fort Devens Museum, open to the public from 10 AM to 3 PM on that day, June 16th, is located on the 3rd
floor at 94 Jackson Road, Devens, MA. The building is wheelchair accessible. For more information about this event please call 978-772-1286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fort Devens Museum
94 Jackson Road, Suite 305
Devens, MA 01434