WWI at Home Pt 38

Harry Lindahl

Harry Anderson Lindahl entered the Navy October 2, 1917 as a third class fireman. He was stationed at Goat Island, San Francisco for two months. In November he was transferred to Norfolk, Virginia where he was assigned to the USS Kearsarge. Harry made several trips on the ship up and down the Atlantic coast. On one of those trips he stopped at Boston and received a short course of instruction in an engineering school.

Harry was next assigned to the repair ship USS Bridgeport, which was literally a floating machine shop. Besides his duties as a fireman, he had charge of a gasoline launch.

Later, he was taken ill with diphtheria and was placed in a shore hospital. The USS Adirondack was his next ship. Harry received his first experience in handling high explosives while on board this ship.

In April 1918, Harry was drafted as a member of the crew of the USS Leviathan on which he made seven trips to France. The ship carried over troops and brought back wounded soldiers. The Leviathan travels at the rate of 28 miles an hour.

The ship was camouflaged and followed a zigzag course on its trips across the ocean. When she was escorted by submarine destroyers one could see them circling around her. Some of the destroyers can travel 42 miles an hour. In the heavens, Harry could hear the continuous droning of airplane motors above, and he could see them circling around looking for submarines. If one was sighted under water, a depth bomb was dropped and any submarine within a quarter mile of the bomb was put out of commission. When he first went aboard this ship, Harry was a fireman, but he worked hard and was twice promoted making him a first class engineer.

One day Harry narrowly escaped death when a safety plug, located inside the fire box, blew out. The force of the out coming steam blew all of the fire out of the firebox through its doors.

When the war was over, Harry applied for a release, and after some time he was transferred to the Bremerton navy yards, where he received his discharge in January 1919. Harry served the navy for 16 months and was one of the editors of the Leviathan paper.
Cheney Free Press January 31, 1919


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