A Look at the Book Entitled
An Illustrated History of a Great
and the Main Text Errors in It
Victor Edward Swanson
The Hologlobe Press
Postal Box 5263
Cheboygan, Michigan 49721
(Version 1.0 for the Internet)
(May 27, 2013)
Since 2007, I have been gathering information about The Mackinaw WAGB-83 (once known as The Mackinaw WAG-83), and although I have already seen well over 1,350 old newspaper articles about the ship, I know I have yet more to see, especially in old editions of the Cheboygan Daily Tribune, which are only available on microfiche at the public library at Cheboygan, where I have sat for many hours. I have gathered enough information to prove wrong a number of photograph errors in a book written by Mike Fornes entitled USCGC MACKINAW: An Illustrated History of a Great Lakes Queen (which I report on in another document) and to prove wrong some main text segments of USCGC MACKINAW: An Illustrated History of a Great Lakes Queen. This document reports on some of the main text problems with USCGC MACKINAW: An Illustrated History of a Great Lakes Queen (which was published in 2005).
On page 12, Mike Fornes has: "Radio station WSOO of Sault Ste. Marie strung lines to the dock to broadcast the proceedings and many newsmen and photographers were at the scene." The information about WSOO is wrong. It did not broadcast the event. The station did make recordings at the event. The recordings--transcriptions--were broadcast later, and the original schedule was to air some on Tuesday, January 2, 1944--from 12:15 to 12:30 p.m. and from 12:45 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., and if not all the material could be broadcast in the noon hour, it was planned that more would be offered from 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
On page 16, Mike Fornes has: "At the Soo, it took over for the icebreaker Chapparal, stuck in heavy ice in a narrow channel of the St. Mary's River. After freeing the Chapparal, the Mackinaw headed for Bay City to open a shipping channel there. The next stop was Chicago, where the giant icebreaker gave escort service to several newly-constructed naval craft en-route to ocean duty." The text presented by Mike Fornes is gummed up and nonsense and wrong in many ways. Between January 6, 1945, and January 9, 1945, three newly made military cargo ships were escorted from the Duluth/Superior area to Lake Michigan (one cargo ship reached Milwaukee on January 9, and two reached to Chicago late on January 9, 1945). In essence, the convoy was set up in three legs, and the first leg had The Woodrush leading to way (starting on January 6, 1945) to roughly the upper Soo Locks area, where The Chaparral (which is the correct spelling for the cutter) was working. The Mackinaw was docked at Sault Ste. Marie on January 8, and it left port in the morning (around 9:30 a.m.), and it led the convoy of ships on the second leg of the trip from the Soo Locks area to open water in the northern area of Lake Michigan. By the way, The Sundew, which was based at Manitowoc, Wisconsin, was involved in the portion of the trip in Lake Michigan, and, during the entire trip, some tugs were involved in moving the convoy. It is good that the convoy had The Mackinaw around, because, for one, a portion of the convoy got stuck about 13 miles off Beaver Island, and it was The Mackinaw that got the stuck ships moving. The Mackinaw let go of the convoy near Gull Island Lighthouse (at about 1:00 a.m. on January 9), and then it headed off for Bay City to help a ship. The Mackinaw did not go to Chicago on this trip to move three new cargo vessels of early January 1945.
This page has a listing of captains and commanders who were the commanding officers of the ship. One problem with the list is Harold J. Doebler was never a "captain" when he was the commanding officer of The Mackinaw. The first person who had the title of "captain" while the commanding officer of The Mackinaw was Carl G. Bowman; however, he attained the rank of "captain" while he was the commanding officer, moving up from "commander." Also, the list does not have Commander Arthur Engel, who was the commanding officer of the ship from late August 1952 to September 1952. In addition, John J. McQueeney was never a "commander" or a "captain" on The Mackinaw; John J. McQueeney was in charge of the vessel when it was out of commission in 1988 and 1989 (shut down by budget cuts), and he was a "lieutenant commander."
On this page, Mike Fornes has: "The day of the dance, Aug. 7, a group of cadets spontaneously went swimming in the Cheboygan River north of the moorings site after playing football in the warm sunshine. Cadet James B. Kehoe, a 19 year-old from Pittsburgh, Penn., drowned while swimming. The dance was cancelled, the softball game moved to another field in town and the fireworks display moved from the site of the Coast Guard moorings." From Wednesday, August 6, 1969, through Sunday, August 10, 1969, a 30th anniversary event for The Mackinaw was held at Cheboygan, and originally it was set up that on Friday, in the evening, two dances were going to take place, and one dance was designed for the cadets (who, of course, were males), who were going to get to dance with some 60 young women who had been signed up to enjoy the event. It was in about the three o'clock hour in the afternoon on Wednesday, August 6, 1969, that some cadets were playing football, and around 4:00 p.m., five of them went swimming, and one (Cadet Kehoe) died--drowned--trying to cross the Cheboygan River. The dance that had been set for Friday--August 8, 1969--for the cadets was cancelled.
On page 135, Mike Fornes called U.S. Representative a "Democrat," but, actually, he was a "Republican."
Here, the discussion focuses on the bow. On this page, Mike Fornes has: "Three years later, on April 6, 1967, the now famous slash appeared throughout the Coast Guard." Here, Mike Fornes indicates that The Mackinaw received the slash on April 6, 1967. The Mackinaw did not get the slash format till either the spring of 1968 or the early summer of 1968 (I have yet to determine the date). In the winter of 1967-1968, the ship had "83" on the bow; it had had some variation of the big "W83" from 1962 to 1967, and it had had some variation of the small "w83" from 1952 to 1962.
Also on page 140, Mike Fornes has: "The original paint job when the ship was commissioned was a basic white, with the simple designation "w-83" on its sides appearing one year later in 1945." To make it clear, I report that the bow of The Mackinaw did not get "w83" in any form till 1952. Between 1944 and 1952, the bow of The Mackinaw was only white. Now, between 1944 and at least 1950, the sides of The Mackinaw had no "w83" or even "83" for people to see. Some time in the early 1950s, probably in 1952, the U.S. Coast Guard put "w 83" on the stern of the ship. (I have yet to determine exactly what year it was when "w83" was put on the stern.)
Now, to learn about the many photograph errors in the book, you should see my document entitled A Look at the Book Entitled USCGC MACKINAW: An Illustrated History of a Great Lakes Queen and the Photograph Errors in It, which can be reached by using this link: Photograph Errors.
Note: On the Internet, his document is known as: www.hologlobepress.com/wagb83tx.htm.
Note: This document was first posted on the Internet on May 27, 2013.