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William Tolman was reportedly a mechanic from New England who got to Petropavlovsk on a whaling ship in 1813. Somehow he stayed behind and lived his whole long life in Kamchatka.
None of the sources I found reading about Tolman named the ship. I found nothing useful in the American Offshore Whaling Voyages Database. The author of a paper called "Yankee Whalers in Siberia" (1946) was also ignorant of this voyage. Likely it was not a whaler after all. The article Whaling in the Sea of Okhotsk says whaling operations in the nearby Sea of Okhotsk didn't begin until the 1830s; Whaling in the United States says that American whalers didn't reach Hawaii until 1820, and it's hard to imagine them getting to Kamchatka first. Worth noting, Peter Dobell sent two trade ships to Kamchatka from Canton in 1812.
What was the ship on which Tolman arrived?
Cruise ship “Silver Shadow” arrived today in the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
Today, on September 21, the cruise liner “Silver Shadow” entered the water area of Avacha Bay.
He delivered to Kamchatka more than 300 foreign tourists from different countries, as well as about 270 crew members.
This year the liner has visited Kamchatka for the second time. His first call at the port this year took place on May 17. For the first time the liner arrived to the shores of Kamchatka in 2004 and during this time brought to Kamchatka more than 5 thousand tourists.
“Silver Shadow” arrived in Kamchatka from America and this evening will go to the shores of Japan. During the day passengers of the liner will get acquainted with the history and culture of Kamchatka, go on sightseeing tours around Petropavlovsk, dip into the life of the indigenous peoples of Kamchatka in the ethnographic village of Kainyran, and taste local cuisine.
Silversea cruise ship “Silver Shadow” was built in 2000. It has a length of 186 meters, a width of 24.8 meters and a draft of 6 meters. The vessel is capable of accommodating up to 466 passengers on board.
Current State Of Russian Navy’s Intelligence Ships
Intelligence ships play a special role in both peacetime and wartime. This is a class of ships aimed at solving specific tasks at various points in the oceans, ranging from ensuring control of the naval forces to the implementation of electronic warfare against enemy forces and assets. In peacetime, intelligence ships solve a different set of combat training tasks, taking part in combat operations far from their native shores. In the course of the well-known events of the 1990s, the naval intelligence ship structure was greatly reduced, many units were retired from the Navy and scrapped, some were sold to private companies or transferred to foreign Navies. As a result, all the special-purpose brigades were disbanded, and the divisions were greatly reduced.
What is the situation today?
As of May 2019, the Russian Navy, being in varying degrees of readiness and technical condition, includes 20 intelligence ships of various ranks and projects. Of these 20, 6 units are in the Northern Fleet, 5 units are in the Pacific and Black Sea fleets, and 4 are units in the Baltic Fleet. But it should be noted separately that perhaps the modern Russian Navy continues to implement the Soviet practice of solving reconnaissance tasks with the help of floating workshops, to which electronic intelligence and special communications facilities were installed.
Today in the Mediterranean on a rotational basis, three floating workshops carry such tasks: PM-138 and PM-56 of the Black Sea Fleet and the recently restored PM-82 of the Baltic Fleet. In turn, PM-56 of the Black Sea Fleet in 2017 was upgraded with better radio equipment.
In general, the command of the Navy in recent years upgrades the intelligence ships in two main areas: upgrading existing ships, including restoring previously put in the reserve, and constructing new ones, which, in turn, has been implemented for two units. After 2010, Naval Intelligence Centers were established as part of the naval fleets of Russia, which in turn subordinated the divisions of intelligence ships. In general, each intelligence ship squadron in the fleets has its own operational area, in which it carries out its tasks, that is, its own area of responsibility:
- 72nd Separate Division of special purpose ships of the Baltic Fleet Intelligence Center (Baltiysk) is the operational zone of the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas, the Atlantic Ocean.
- 515th Separate Division of special purpose ships 1225 of the Pacific Fleet Intelligence Center (Vladivostok) – operational zone of the Sea of Japan and East China, waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
- 518th Separate Division of special purpose ships of the Northern Fleet Intelligence Center (Severomorsk) – the operational zone of the Atlantic Ocean and other areas.
- 519th Separate Division of special purpose ships 1229 of the Black Sea Fleet Intelligence Center (Sevastopol) – the Black and Mediterranean operational area, other areas of the Atlantic Ocean.
But it often happens that ships perform tasks outside their area of responsibility. In recent years, among them:
Medium intelligence Ship Priazovie, Viktor Leonov and Vasiliy Tatishchev are carrying out tasks in various points of the World Ocean which take between 6 to 8 months. Now let’s talk about the naval composition of the intelligence of the Russian Navy, following is a description each of the ships and its modern life:
1) Tracking Project 19141 ship Marshal Krylov of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1990. It is part of the 114th brigade of the ships for the protection of the water area of the Group of Forces and Forces in north-east Russia (Kamchatka). In 2011 and 2012 it carried out combat tasks in the North Pacific. It took part in the testing of new ICBM “Bulava”. In the period from November 2014 to October 2018, Marshal Krylov underwent a deep modernization of the entire tracking complex at Dalzavod Ltd. in Vladivostok. As a result, its capabilities were significantly increased. In March 2019, media reported on plans for another modernization of the ship’s systems and facilities, in particular the Zefir-T complex.
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2). Project 1826 large intelligence ship SSV-571 White Sea of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1987. It is part of the 518th separate division of special purpose ships of the Northern Fleet Intelligence Center. In the 2000s, the ship was put into reserve, and in 2014, gradual repair work began to restore the ship’s technical readiness. In February 2019, engine repair was completed on the ship. There is also information about plans to modernize the radio system, the system should be returned to the ship in 2019.
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3) Project 1826 large intelligence ship SSV-80 “Baltic” of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1984. It is part of the 515th separate division of special purpose ships of the 1225 Pacific Fleet Intelligence Center. The ship is an active participant in the combat services and maneuvers of the Pacific Fleet. It is regularly involved in operations in the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean. In 2013, as part of a scheduled repair, the ship received a new shipborne satellite communications station, Centaur-NM2C. Prior to this, the SAILOR communication system was also installed. In 2016, the SSV-80 performed long-term tasks in the South Pacific. It is the flagship of the intelligence division.
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4) Project 12884 command ship Slavutich Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy. Built in 1992. Until 2014, it was part of the Ukrainian Navy. In March 2014, as part of the operation to return the Crimea to Russia, it actually became part of the Black Sea Fleet. Enrolled in the 30th division of surface ships as a command ship. Due to the lack of a decision on the future fate of the Ukrainian Navy ships located in Crimea, it is not being exploited. Requires repair and modernization of the technical equipment.
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5) Project 18280 medium intelligence ship Yury Ivanov of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 2014. It is part of the 518th separate division of special purpose ships of the Northern Fleet Intelligence Center. It is the first intelligence ship built in the modern history of new Russia. The most modern intelligence ship in the Navy. In the period between 2015-2018, it succesfully reportedly carried out combations operations twice. One of its longest combat operations was held in 2018-2019, when ”Yuri Ivanov” carried out tasks in the Mediterranean Sea and the central part of the Atlantic Ocean. In the spring of 2019, the ship also made the transition from Severomorsk to St. Petersburg to undergo a smooth repair.
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6) Project 18280 medium intelligence ship Ivan Khurs of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 2018. It is part of the 519th separate division of special purpose ships of the 1229 Center for Intelligence of the Black Sea Fleet. In July 2018, it took part in the Main Naval Parade of the Russian Navy in Kronstadt for the first time. The first combat operation of the ship took place from September to December 2018 as part of the transition from Baltiysk to Sevastopol. In March-April 2019, the ship carried out missions in the Black Sea for the first time during NATO naval exercises. It is the flagship of the intelligence division.
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7) Project 864 medium intelligence ship Priazovie of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1987. It is part of the 519th separate division of special purpose ships of the 1229 Center for Intelligence of the Black Sea Fleet. In the period 2014-2017, the ship’s communication systems were upgraded. In 2013-2014, it performed tasks at various points in the World Ocean for a long time. In 2014, it participated in the operation of returning Crimea to the Russian Federation. After 2015, it twice carried out tasks as part of the Russian Navy Task Force. In April 2015, the ship evacuated more than 300 people (citizens of 19 states) from Yemen to Djibouti due to the exacerbation of the situation. At the end of December 2018, the ship entered combat service in the Mediterranean where it still is.
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8) Project 864 medium intelligence ship SSV-208 Kurils of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1987. It is part of the 515th separate division of special purpose ships of the 1225 Pacific Fleet Intelligence Center. In 2013-2014, after a scheduled repair, it received a new satellite communication station, Centaur-NM2C. The ship is the most active of the intelligence division. It is regularly involved in solving problems in the waters of the Sea of Japan, the Pacific Ocean and other areas.
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9) Project 864 medium intelligence ship SSV-535 Karelia of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1986. It is part of the 515th separate division of special purpose ships of the 1225 Pacific Fleet Intelligence Center. In June 2002, the ship was put into reserve and has not been used for a long time. In 2012, restoration work began on the ship, and by April 2017, the repairs at Dalzavod Ltd. in Vladivostok were completed. In the process of recovery, the ship received for service new radio communication systems, including the communication system “SAILOR” and the station for satellite communication “Centaur-NM2C”. Since September 2017, the ship has been actively carrying out tasks related to its intended purpose.
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10) Project 864 medium intelligence ship SSV-520 Admiral Fedor Golovin of the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1985. It is part of the 72nd separate division of special purpose ships of the Baltic Fleet Intelligence Center. After 2013, the ship underwent repair and modernization of its technical equipment in Baltiysk (33 SRZ). As a result it received the communication system “SAILOR” and the station for satellite communication “Centaur-NM2C”. In 2016, it carried out combat operations in the far sea zone. Regularly involved in maneuvers in the Baltic Sea. In April 2019, the ship completed regular scheduled repairs in Kronstadt.
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11) Project 864 medium intelligence ship SSV-231 Vasily Tatishchev of the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1988. It is part of the 72nd separate division of special purpose ships of the Baltic Fleet Intelligence Center. In 2015, the ship underwent repairs, and as a result of received the communication system “SAILOR” and the satellite communication station “Centaur-NM2C”. In 2015 and 2017, the ship carried out long-term combat operations in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. In July 2017, it participated in the parade on the occasion of the Day of the Russian Navy in Tartus (Syria). In 2018, it participated in the Navy Parade in Baltiysk. Regularly involved in maneuvers in the Baltic Sea. In April 2019, it completed an operation in the Baltic Sea.
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12) Project 864 medium intelligence ship SSV-169 Tavria of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1987. It is part of the 518th separate division of special purpose ships of the Northern Fleet Intelligence Center. In the 2000s, the ship was put into reserve, and it no longer in use. Plans to restore its technical readiness are not reported yet. Based in Severomorsk. For a while it has been used a source for spare parts for the same type mid-range intelligence ship Viktor Leonov.
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13) Project 864 medium intelligence ship SSV-175 Viktor Leonov of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1988. It is part of the 518th separate division of special purpose ships of the Northern Fleet Intelligence Center. In 2013-2014, having completed the repair, it received a satellite communication station ”Centaur-NM2C”. In 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 the ship actively took part in combat operations in the Atlantic Ocean. It is worth noting that the Viktor Leonov, in recent years can rightfully be considered a champion in terms of miles traveled, with a total number exceeding 60,000.
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14) Project 862/2 medium intelligence ship Temryuk of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1983. It is part of the 29th separate division of special-purpose nuclear submarines based on the Olenya Bay. The only intelligence ship of its kind. In general terms it is a Hydrographic survey vessel, and takes part in technical support for nuclear submarines and deep water nuclear special-designation submarines, including vessel control.
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15) Project 861M medium intelligence ship Equator of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1968. It is part of the 519th separate division of special purpose ships of the 1229 Center for Intelligence of the Black Sea Fleet. In 2016 and 2018, it took part in combat operations in the Mediterranean sea. Regularly involved in the exercises and maneuvers of the Black Sea Fleet in the Black Sea. During 2014-2018, it repeatedly underwent repairs and deep modernization of the radio communications system, including having received the SAILOR and Auriga communication systems. Took part in the operation to return the Crimea to the Russian Federation. Between October 2018 to March 2019 the ship was upgraded, including with docking. There were reports regarding the possible retirement of the ship from the Navy in the coming years.
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16) Project 861M medium intelligence ship Kildin of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1970. It is part of the 519th separate division of special purpose ships of the 1229 Center for Intelligence of the Black Sea Fleet. In 2017 and 2018, it took part in combat operations in the Mediterranean Sea. In July 2018, it participated in the parade on the occasion of the Day of the Russian Navy in Tartus (Syria). During 2013-2017, it repeatedly underwent repairs and deep modernization of the radio communications system, including having received the SAILOR and Auriga communication systems. Nowadays it is actively used for its intended purpose.
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17) Project 07452 small intelligence ship GS-31 “Chusovoy” of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1987. It is part of the 518th separate division of special purpose ships of the Northern Fleet Intelligence Center. The ship actively carries out operations in the waters of the Barents and Norwegian Seas according to its intended purpose. Participant in the maneuvers of the Northern Fleet. It was upgraded in 2016.
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18) Project 503R small intelligence ship Syzran of the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1981. It is part of the 72nd separate division of special purpose ships of the Baltic Fleet Intelligence Center. In 2012, the ship underwent moderate repair work and its radio equipment was modernized. Regularly involved in operations in the Baltic Sea.
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19) Project 503R small intelligence ship Zhigulevsk of the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1982. It is part of the 72nd separate division of special purpose ships of the Baltic Fleet Intelligence Center. In 2017, it participated in the parade for the Day of the Russian Navy in Baltiysk. In 2018-2019, it underwent scheduled repairs. Regularly involved in operations in the Baltic Sea.
Click to see full-size image.
20) Project 1824B small intelligence ship Uglomer of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy. It was commissioned in the Navy in 1989. It is part of the 515th separate division of special purpose ships of the 1225 Pacific Fleet Intelligence Center. The ship is kept in technical readiness, takes part in the Navy Day in Vladivostok almost every year. Takes part in missions in the near sea area.
Click to see full-size image.
It should be recalled that in April 2017, Project 861M intelligence ship Liman project861M of the Black Sea Fleet was destroyed in a collision with a civilian vessel in the Black Sea. Later the ship was completely destroyed due to the presence of secret equipment on board and the radio communication system. In December 2018, the newest intelligence ship Ivan Khurs of the project 18280 replaced it.
The Man From Thud Ridge
When Air Force Col. Jacksel M. Broughton arrived for duty at Takhli Air Base in Thailand in September 1966, Rolling Thunder—the air war against North Vietnam—was entering its hottest phase.
Broughton, 41, looked like a sure bet to go far: a West Point graduate, 114 combat missions in Korea, commander of the USAF Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team, commander of an air defense interceptor squadron, combat ready in every fighter from the P-47 to the F-106, and promoted to colonel in June 1964 with only 19 years of commissioned service.
At Takhli, he was vice commander of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, one of the two Thud wings in Thailand engaged in Route Pack Six, the part of North Vietnam where the air defenses were thickest and most lethal. Broughton often led a combined strike force of F-105s from his own wing and from the 388th TFW at Korat AB, Thailand.
F-105 Thuds hammer enemy positions in this Air Force Art Collection painting by Jim Laurier. In the distance is “Thud Ridge,” the small mountain range that screened the aircraft’s approach to Hanoi. (Painting by Jim Laurier)
In June 1967, Broughton was nine months into his combat tour and had flown 102 combat missions. He had already earned the Air Force Cross—second only to the Medal of Honor in the hierarchy of awards—two Silver Stars, and two Distinguished Flying Crosses.
Almost 50 years later, Broughton is well known for his combat memoir, Thud Ridge, which has been in print continuously since publication in 1969, with about half a million copies sold. The title refers to a string of small mountains that screened the F-105’s approach to Hanoi. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who flew missions in Route Pack Six as a Navy pilot before he was shot down and captured, calls Thud Ridge the “single best day-to-day account of combat flying in Vietnam.”
The book ends on a cryptic note, recounting an action of which Lt. Gen. William W. Momyer, commander of 7th Air Force, said, “The only thing that he [Broughton] did not do to accomplish his mission was to kill himself in the effort and but for his superior airmanship and guts he would have done that. I recommend Colonel Broughton be awarded the Air Force Cross.”
However, as Broughton said in Thud Ridge, “It didn’t work out that way. Two of my majors were accused of strafing a Russian ship near Haiphong as they fought for their lives. I fought for them with all of my might and instead of my getting a second Air Force Cross, all three of us received a general court-martial. That is quite a story in itself and one of these days I may tell that story, too.”
It would be another 20 years, though, before the full story was disclosed.
The Vietnam War was managed in detail from Washington, with combat effectiveness undercut by limited objectives, gradual escalation, and measured responses. In particular, President Lyndon B. Johnson and his Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, were distrustful and fearful of airpower. Johnson agonized over the questionable proposition that aggressive use of airpower might draw China or the Soviet Union into the war. To guard against any such provocation, airmen were saddled with an elaborate list of rules of engagement.
“The ROE consisted of a one-inch-thick stack of legal-length paper, hung vertically in a manila folder,” Broughton said. “The clasp at the top allowed for the constant changes that could be recommended by anyone up the chain of command who made more than 40 cents an hour. We were required to sign off that we had read and understood all of them before we were allowed to head north for the first time. Recertification was a periodic requirement.”
The rules came in two categories: geographical areas that could not be struck and conditions under which enemy forces could not be attacked.
“Alongside Thud Ridge—a north-south mountain range lying between our bases in Thailand and Hanoi—was the MiG fighter base at Phuc Yen,” Broughton said. “We would fly inbound en route to Hanoi, and I would have, say, five flights of fighters—four aircraft to each flight. And as I would approach Phuc Yen I would watch the MiGs come out and taxi to the end of the runway and run their engines up and get ready for takeoff. Now, I could have dumped my nose right then and got four MiGs on the ground on almost every mission up there. But I couldn’t touch them. … So I would go past the airfield and the MiGs would roll for takeoff and be on the tail of my last flight and in position to shoot down whomever they wanted to.”
In previous wars, rules of engagement were routinely ignored. In Korea, for example, US pilots were forbidden to cross into Soviet or Chinese territory, even in hot pursuit of enemy aircraft, but most of them did it anyway. Border crossers were punished lightly, if at all.
Jack Broughton removes his gloves after a mission over Hanoi in 1967. (Photos via Jack Broughton)
In Vietnam, the ROE were strictly enforced with little allowance for mistakes.
On June 2, 1967, Jack Broughton ran afoul of the rules of engagement, with disastrous consequences for his Air Force career. The wing commander was away on a trip and Broughton was the acting commander. He had flown a mission that day. After landing, he attended to some paperwork and went to the officers club to eat, still in his flight suit. During dinner, he was called outside by two of his pilots, Maj. Frederick G. Tolman and Maj. Alonzo L. Ferguson, who had just landed and were greatly worried.
Others in their chain of command—their squadron commander and the deputy for operations—were new. Broughton was known as a stand-up boss. The bond was special because on a previous mission, Tolman had “wiped out a large gun emplacement that was in the process of shooting me out of the sky,” Broughton said.
On June 2, they had flown as Weep Three and Four, with Tolman as flight leader and Ferguson as wingman. Tolman told Broughton he may have hit a ship at Cam Pha harbor while suppressing fire from anti-aircraft guns. Cam Pha was North Vietnam’s auxiliary port and like Haiphong, 40 miles to the south, off limits under the ROE. Guns—some of them in the protected area, some just outside the restricted lines—routinely shot at F-105s both inbound to targets and outbound. They fired at Tolman and Ferguson on their way to their target that day and Tolman, noting the exact location, planned to “hit them a lick” later.
On their return, they swept down on Cam Pha in a high-speed strafing run, Tolman in the lead. Fire from the ground was heavy and accurate. As Tolman hosed the gun emplacements with his cannon, he suddenly saw a ship in the center of the activity in the harbor. The F-105s climbed for altitude and headed south. The entire encounter with the ship took place in about five seconds.
The ship would be central in the gun camera images but the field of focus was too narrow for the film to show the ground fire coming up from all sides. For reasons of weather, Tolman and Ferguson diverted to refuel at Ubon, where they were taken to a mandatory intelligence debriefing. Shaken, Tolman denied firing his cannon. That was a false official statement on the record and there was no way to call it back. Ferguson was also implicated by not objecting.
Broughton saw instantly that the gun camera film was the only evidence the ship had been fired upon. “I could either follow the established procedures and they would be court-martialed for firing on an unauthorized target and making false official statements, or I could do something about it,” he said.
He made a quick decision. “Over the years, I have had hundreds of suggestions as to how I could have reacted differently, but none of the advice givers [were] there,” he said.
He called the sergeant running the film crew and told him to bring the film to him. There, outside the club, he had the sergeant open the containers, pull out the film, and expose it in the headlights of the truck.
“I could have let that film go through its normal channels and thrown Ted and Lonnie to the wolves,” he said. “I would have been clean, but I would have surrendered any possibility of further action on my part.”
A reconnaissance photo of Cam Pha harbor. Anti-aircraft fire—from the sites circled in red—prompted return fire from two pilots under Broughton’s command. Their encounter there changed Broughton’s Air Force career.
Or, “I could have pleaded their case up through the maze of supervision. ‘Perhaps we struck a ship—it was all a mistake.’ I knew that would not work. I had been through several investigations where our people had been dealt with severely for minor infractions of Washington’s restrictions.”
At 2 a.m., Gen. John D. Ryan, commander in chief of Pacific Air Forces, called with an instruction to “check and see if there is any possibility that Kingfish Four could have bombed a ship in the Haiphong area this afternoon and call me back immediately.” Broughton reported, “There is no possibility that Kingfish Four could have bombed a ship.”
He did not volunteer any further information.
Ryan Presses the Search The next day, the Soviets complained their merchant vessel, Turkestan, had been bombed in the roadstead at Cam Pha and said they had recovered an unexploded 20 mm shell from the damage on the ship. “The 105 does not eject fired shell casings,” Broughton said. “It spits everything that passes through the firing cycle into a big can in the nose of the aircraft and stores the brass there until the can is unloaded on the ground.” The shell in evidence was probably taken from the wreckage of an F-105 somewhere in North Vietnam. The Pentagon denied a US attack on the ship. “The incident was quieting down and becoming yesterday’s crisis,” said Phil G. Goulding, chief spokesman for the Department of Defense. “The press, swept up in other news events and particularly the Middle East War, did not pursue it.” The issue remained alive “because General Ryan wouldn’t let the Turkestan go away,” Broughton said. “He spent the next two weeks crisscrossing the Pacific with a C-135 full of PACAF detectives, personally searching for an answer.” Ryan confronted Broughton at Takhli June 17, this time asking his question more broadly. Broughton told him that the two-ship element he was looking for was Weep Three and Four and that he, Broughton, had destroyed the film. Broughton was relieved of duty immediately and by Ryan’s specific order put into a holding pattern as special assistant to the combat support group commander. Ryan denied the request of the wing commander that Broughton be made special assistant to him instead. Ryan insisted that it be the combat support group commander, several years junior to Broughton and formerly his subordinate. The Pentagon conceded US warplanes may have struck the Soviet freighter with cannon fire aimed at anti-aircraft guns protecting the port. A few days later, on June 29, two Navy fighters attacked the Soviet ship Mikhail Frunze in Haiphong harbor. The Defense Department announced that damage to the vessel was “inadvertent,” and that was the end of that. The Navy showed no interest in prosecuting its pilots for violating the ROE. Broughton (r) briefs President John Kennedy on air defense issues in 1963, while the head of Air Defense Command, Gen. Robert Lee, listens. Broughton was then commander of the 5th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron.
The next day, the Soviets complained their merchant vessel, Turkestan, had been bombed in the roadstead at Cam Pha and said they had recovered an unexploded 20 mm shell from the damage on the ship. “The 105 does not eject fired shell casings,” Broughton said. “It spits everything that passes through the firing cycle into a big can in the nose of the aircraft and stores the brass there until the can is unloaded on the ground.” The shell in evidence was probably taken from the wreckage of an F-105 somewhere in North Vietnam.
The Pentagon denied a US attack on the ship. “The incident was quieting down and becoming yesterday’s crisis,” said Phil G. Goulding, chief spokesman for the Department of Defense. “The press, swept up in other news events and particularly the Middle East War, did not pursue it.”
The issue remained alive “because General Ryan wouldn’t let the Turkestan go away,” Broughton said. “He spent the next two weeks crisscrossing the Pacific with a C-135 full of PACAF detectives, personally searching for an answer.”
Ryan confronted Broughton at Takhli June 17, this time asking his question more broadly. Broughton told him that the two-ship element he was looking for was Weep Three and Four and that he, Broughton, had destroyed the film.
Broughton was relieved of duty immediately and by Ryan’s specific order put into a holding pattern as special assistant to the combat support group commander. Ryan denied the request of the wing commander that Broughton be made special assistant to him instead. Ryan insisted that it be the combat support group commander, several years junior to Broughton and formerly his subordinate.
The Pentagon conceded US warplanes may have struck the Soviet freighter with cannon fire aimed at anti-aircraft guns protecting the port. A few days later, on June 29, two Navy fighters attacked the Soviet ship Mikhail Frunze in Haiphong harbor. The Defense Department announced that damage to the vessel was “inadvertent,” and that was the end of that. The Navy showed no interest in prosecuting its pilots for violating the ROE.
Broughton (r) briefs President John Kennedy on air defense issues in 1963, while the head of Air Defense Command, Gen. Robert Lee, listens. Broughton was then commander of the 5th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron.(Photo via Jack Broughton)
The Air Force, however, decided to throw the book at Broughton and the two majors. The court-martial authority in their case was the 355th TFW, but the charges and specifications were drawn up by a legal advisor from 13th Air Force and given to the wing commander to sign. There were two counts of conspiracy under Article 81 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and two lesser counts for destroying government property and the catchall general punitive article.
The specific accusations were destruction of seven rolls of government film and “willfully, with intent to deceive” concealing a “material fact” by exposing the undeveloped film. The potential penalty was dismissal from service with loss of pay and allowances, including retirement benefits, and 12 years or more in prison.
The pretrial investigation, required by UCMJ Article 32 before a general court-martial, recommended summary nonjudicial punishment with reprimands and fines imposed.
This was overruled by higher headquarters, citing “breach of moral code” and directing a court-martial.
The venue for the court-martial was Clark Air Base in the Philippines, headquarters of 13th Air Force. By the strange organizational setup in Southeast Asia, the wings in Thailand were under the operational control of 7th Air Force in Saigon but reported to 13th Air Force for everything else.
Seventh Air Force, the combat headquarters, had no part in the trial. However, among those ready to support Broughton without regard to possible consequences was Maj. Gen. Gordon M. Graham, vice commander of 7th Air Force, who said Broughton’s past accomplishments, courage, and leadership should “transcend any isolated errors in judgment made under the stress of combat.”
Few people other than those directly involved knew the time and place of the trial. Some material introduced in evidence was classified top secret. “That meant portions of the trial would have to be closed sessions, and it meant that air policemen had to guard the doors of the auditorium,” Broughton said.
The defendants immediately upset the apple cart with preemptory challenges that removed the designated president of the court-martial and two others and left Col. Charles E. Yeager, one of the best known fighter pilots in the world, as president of the court.
“When it came down to finding a colonel who was senior to Jack to head his court-martial board, every bird colonel in Southeast Asia ducked for cover,” Yeager said. “It was a damned mess and no bird colonel, hoping to be promoted to general some day, wanted to be involved. Everybody from the Joint Chiefs down wanted to nail Broughton and his pilots and make them examples. Nobody wanted to displease the Chief of Staff, but nobody wanted to nail Jack, either, because most of us sympathized.”
Col. Robin Olds, commander of the F-4 wing at Ubon, challenged himself off the court on the grounds of prior knowledge. He later said that Ryan, who “was conducting the investigation himself,” had discussed the case with him.
Broughton gets a snappy sendoff from his crew chief as he heads out for a mission over Hanoi. (Photo via Jack Broughton)
With the gun camera film gone, there was no evidence against Tolman and Ferguson and they were promptly acquitted of all charges. The court threw out the conspiracy charges against Broughton but convicted him of the lesser charges, with “intent to deceive” removed from the specifications. He was fined $100 a month for six months and admonished, probably not what PACAF had in mind. Nevertheless, “it was a kiss of death because the only way for a senior officer to survive a scandal of that magnitude was to have all charges against him dismissed,” Yeager said. “He would never again have a command.”
Also serving on the court was Col. Harry C. Aderholt, commander of the 56th Air Commando Wing at Nakhon Phanom AB, Thailand, noted for his combat orientation and standing up for his aircrews. Returning to the base after the trial, he told his pilots, “I’ve just come from the most disgusting episode of my life. I have seen a great injustice done. If you go out and hit the wrong target and mess up badly and come back here, don’t you tell anybody.”
On Oct. 15, the Miami Herald told a curious story in a Copley News Service dispatch filed from Hong Kong. It quoted an unnamed witness whose “report is accepted as genuine in diplomatic circles here.” The witness said he had visited Turkestan and seen the holes in the upper and lower bridge. The entry of the bullets had been horizontal rather than at an angle and the holes varied in size from 15 mm to 40 mm.
The indication was that it was the North Vietnamese gunners, trying to hit the low-flying airplanes, who raked the ship.
Following the court-martial, Broughton was assigned to the Weapon System Evaluation Group in Washington, D.C. It was an undemanding job and he had time on his hands. He used it to work on the book that would become Thud Ridge and on his appeal.
The court-martial was set aside in July 1968 by the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records, which said the felony conviction was disproportionate, especially when Broughton’s shortcomings were measured against his outstanding service in combat. The offense was more in keeping with nonjudicial punishment under UCMJ Article 15, as the Article 32 investigation had recommended. The board dismissed the court-martial findings in favor of an Article 15, with forfeiture of $300 for two months and admonishment.
An officer assigned to observe the proceedings told Broughton that one of the reviewers had said (although it was not made part of the record) the court-martial was the “grossest miscarriage of military justice he had ever seen.”
Upon getting the news of the board’s finding, Broughton applied for retirement forthwith and left the Air Force on Aug. 31. “I found it interesting that in the entire history of the United States flying forces, only one other officer had ever had a general court-martial set aside and voided. His name was Billy Mitchell,” Broughton said.
Thud Ridge was published in 1969, with an introduction by Hanson W. Baldwin, a longtime military editor of the New York Times. There have been six US editions so far, and it has been translated into several foreign languages. Broughton’s second book, Going Downtown: The War Against Hanoi and Washington, came out in 1988, with a foreword by Tom Wolfe. It was Broughton at his fiery best and, for the first time, told the story of the Turkestan incident and the court-martial.
Reversal and Rehabilitation Broughton readies for a mission in Maxine McCaffrey’s famous painting. The artist was deeply impressed by Broughton and the respect he garnered from his fellow pilots.
Broughton readies for a mission in Maxine McCaffrey’s famous painting. The artist was deeply impressed by Broughton and the respect he garnered from his fellow pilots.
“Few people in the Air Force knew much about the Turkestan issue, other than a sort of wispy knowledge that Broughton had been court-martialed,” said Richard P. Hallion, former historian of the Air Force. “By intention or chance, there had been no press coverage of the trial. Even though people were reading Thud Ridge, much of the Air Force regarded Broughton as having a cloud over his head, or worse. There were pockets of support for Broughton, but it was not until later—well after publication of the court-martial story in Going Downtown—that he was ‘rehabilitated,’ so to speak, in popular Air Force opinion.”
Among those who believed in Broughton all along was Maxine McCaffrey, best known of the artists who documented the Vietnam War. During the time Broughton was fighting to get his court-martial negated, her painting of him hung in the Pentagon E Ring, outside the office of Gen. Bruce K. Holloway, the vice chief of staff and an old fighter ace.
In her notes to accompany the painting, McCaffrey said, “At the several squadrons at all three bases I heard much about Col. Jack Broughton from the pilots themselves. It seems they had a rare kind of respect for this man who wouldn’t send his men where he didn’t fly himself. … Broughton fought for them to live. They admired him, respected him, feared him, and loved him.”
In 1997, the Chief of Staff, Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, established a professional reading program for Air Force members. There were 34 books, of which 13—Thud Ridge among them—were designated as the “basic list.” The Air Force ordered 10,000 copies and gave one to every junior officer upon promotion to captain. In 2009, Broughton was one of the noted airmen honored at the Air Command and Staff College’s Gathering of Eagles.
“There have been hundreds and hundreds of letters and calls of support over the years, and I still get them,” Broughton said. He continues to speak and write. His most recent book, in 2007, was Rupert Red Two, covering his career before Vietnam and his postretirement activities. Rupert Red Two was his call sign as a P-47 wingman in Germany on his first operational assignment in 1946.
“Jack Broughton was the finest combat leader at Takhli during my time there,” said Leo K. Thorsness, leader of the wing’s Wild Weasel SAM hunters, a POW for six years, and recipient of the Medal of Honor. “He was a leader who led with brains and guts. All pilots have some good traits Jack had them all. But one of his greatest strengths—supporting his pilots—was his downfall.
“Combining Jack Broughton’s leadership talent in getting the most out of his men, never asking his pilots to fly a mission he would not fly, and leading the toughest missions into Route Pack Six made Jack Broughton a combat legend,” said Thorsness. “I am proud to have served with him.”
Which ship took Tolman to Kamchatka? - History
By Mark N. Lardas
The Crimean War is usually considered a Black Sea conflict, but it actually took place on several frontiers of the Russian empire, including the Baltic and White Seas. In the summer of 1854, the Pacific squadrons of three nations—Russia, Great Britain, and France—fought the most unusual and anachronistic action of the war on the distant and forbidding Kamchatka Peninsula.
The ships, tactics, and commanders involved in that battle seemed more appropriate for Admiral Horatio Nelson’s world than the modern age of steamships and railroads in which the battle was fought.
Advent of the Steam-Powered Warship
In the 1850s, steam propulsion was still new. No nation, not even Great Britain, had yet established worldwide chains of coaling stations. Remote stations—and in 1854 no corner of the world was more remote from Europe than the northern Pacific—still relied on sailing warships. The squadrons were small and the ships generally elderly, relics of the period following the Napoleonic Wars. The British squadron had five such ships. Pique, the newest of the sailing ships, had been launched in 1834. The flagship President, launched in 1829, was a copy of the American-made 44-gun President, captured by the British in 1815. Two other ships, Amphitrite and Trincomalee, were completed in 1816 and 1817, respectively. Amphitrite and Trincomalee were both Leda-class frigates, a design that dated back to 1794.
Ironically, both the American class imitated by President and the British Leda class had been intended as those nations’ responses to the large frigates that France had commissioned after the American Revolution. The Americans had gone for large frigates, mounting 24-pounder main batteries. The British Leda-class frigates during the Napoleonic era were rated as 38-gun frigates, carrying a main battery of 18-pounder long guns. This design provided the backbone of the Royal Navy’s cruiser squadrons during the first two decades of the 19th century, but by the 1850s their age had long since passed. Their main batteries were lightened, and they and their sister ships were relegated to remote squadrons and training duties.
The sole English steamship, Virago, was a six-gun paddle wheeler. Launched in 1842, she was rated a first-class sloop and displaced more than the 40-gun Pique. Based on the design of the HMS Gorgon, Virago was one of 18 paddle steamers built for the Royal Navy. She was the only modern warship in either fleet, but like the rest of the squadron, she was past the leading edge of naval architecture. By the start of the Crimean War, the screw steamer was replacing the paddle steamer, with its vulnerable wheel-boxes, in the battle line of modern navies.
Comparing the FleetsA bristling line of cannons stands as a vivid monument to the Russian defense of Petropavlovsk in 1854.
Commanding the English force was Rear Admiral David Price, 64, who came from the same era as most of his ships. He had last seen combat as a midshipman in the Napoleonic Wars and had been on half pay from 1815 to 1834. Between 1834 and the early 1850s, he had spent his time commanding shore emplacements and serving at various administrative posts. By the time he attained the dream of most naval officers—personal command of a squadron of warships—he was ready for retirement. Instead, his first seagoing command in his career saw him leading ships into battle.
The French force was in little better shape. It consisted of four ships, Forte, Eurydice, Artémise, and Obligado.. While their designs postdated the Napoleonic era, they were still traditional wooden warships, sail-powered with smoothbore cannons. Their commander, Rear Admiral Auguste Fevrier-Despointes, had more seagoing experience than Price, including time in the Pacific. A year earlier, in September 1853, he had overseen France’s annexation of New Caledonia and served as its first governor general. Although six years younger than Price, Fevrier-Despointes was unwell. He would die aboard his flagship Forte the following year.
The allied forces dwarfed their opponent. The Russians had just three warships in the Pacific, all sailing vessels: the frigates Pallas and Aurora and the transport Dwina. Aurora, launched in 1833, had spent her entire career in the Baltic. At the outbreak of the war, Pallas and Dwina were in Siberia, while Aurora was en route home from Callao, Peru. Russian land forces were carefully parceled in small garrisons along a coastline that spanned half of the Pacific, from Vladivostok in Siberia to Wrangel in Alaska.
Great Britain and France had little interest in the North Pacific, which was one reason the posting attracted such superannuated commanders—the better leaders were needed elsewhere. For Russia, however, the active frontiers of Siberia and Alaska were on the cutting edge of Russia’s economic growth. With their abundant reserves of furs, timbers, and minerals, these provinces were as rich as they were isolated, and they rewarded hard, active, and competent leaders.
Rear Admiral Evfimii Vasilevich Poutiatine was one such leader. He realized that he could not attack with the forces he commanded, and that—even worse—he could expect no reinforcements from the czar. Accordingly, he chose to guard those positions he felt would be attacked by his foes. He sent Pallas far up the Amur River, using her guns and crew to fill out the garrisons there. He also decided to hold Petropavlovsk, an outpost on the Kamchatka Peninsula. To reinforce it, he sent Dwina with 350 soldiers from a Siberian line battalion, two 68-pounder mortars, and 14 36-pounder long guns. Compared with his opponents’ resources, it was a pitifully small force, but it represented a significant fraction of Poutiatine’s total reserves.
The Port City of Petropalovsk
Established by Russian explorer Vitus Bering in 1740, Petropavlovsk was one of the world’s forgotten ports. The port was named for Saints Peter (Petro) and Paul (Pavlo), the names of the two biggest ships in Bering’s final expedition. Isolated from the Asian mainland by the mountains that form the Kamchatka Peninsula, the desolate port could be reached only by sea. Yet Petropavlovsk possessed an excellent harbor, and the same mountains that blocked land travel sheltered the town from the worst of the subarctic winter weather. Halfway between Vladivostok and Russia’s Alaskan ports, Petropavlovsk was the only way station linking Russia’s Asian and American holdings. Although the town’s early growth was slow, by the middle of the 19th century the port had grown in importance, reflecting Russia’s increased interest in both Siberia and Alaska.
Petropavlovsk was an isolated outpost on the southeastern coast of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.
In 1849, the Russian government decided to develop Petropavlovsk as a naval base and make the town its major port on its Asian shore. A lighthouse was built at the entrance of Avachinskaya Bay that year. A new governor, Colonel Major Vasily S. Zavoiko, another active leader, was appointed in February 1850. Zavoiko began a major building program, constructing a wharf, a shipyard, a foundry, and new barracks. These facilities and the capabilities they provided the Russian Navy in the western Pacific made the town an obvious target once Russia found itself at war with France and Great Britain in the spring of 1854.
Zavoiko learned of the war’s beginning that May and immediately commenced to prepare his fortifications at Petropavlovsk. His garrison then numbered fewer than 250 men, but townspeople rallied to defend their tiny piece of Mother Russia. Virtually the entire population of 1,600 people participated in constructing earthworks. In the months that passed between the beginning of the war and the first arrival of the Anglo-French forces in Avachinskaya Bay, no fewer than seven batteries were carved into the steep slopes around the harbor.
A First Repulse of the Royal Navy
The first piece of good fortune for the defenders of Petropavlosvsk came in late June. On June 19 by the Julian calendar then used by Russia (July 1 by the Gregorian calendar used by the West), Aurora slipped unmolested into the harbor. She had departed Callao on the evening of April 24-25, evaded the French and British ships hunting her, and crossed the entire span of the Pacific in less than two months, even though much of her crew was suffering from scurvy.
Seeking refuge, Aurora sailed to Petropavlovsk, anchoring where she could command the approaches to the harbor. Zavoiko had her landward battery removed and distributed among the positions prepared by the governor.
On August 5, Dwina arrived at Petropavlovsk with her soldiers and guns. These reinforcements gave Zavoiko a garrison of 988 men with which to defend his isolated command. Of these, 350 were sailors and 54 were local volunteers. The locals, hardy hunters and trappers, were all expert marksmen and would play an important role in subsequent operations. Dwina anchored alongside Aurora in the harbor, behind a sand spit on which an 11-gun battery had been placed. Aurora could safely cover that battery and the three-gun and five-gun batteries on either side of the port. As with Aurora, Dwina’s guns on the side facing the shore were removed and distributed to the batteries. Four other batteries were placed along the inland approaches to the port.
The allied commanders, Price and Fevrier-Despointes, sailed into Avachinskaya Bay on August 29. Unaware that Aurora had gone to ground at Petropavlovsk, the allies earlier had detached Amphitrite, Artémise, and Trincomalee on independent cruises off the coasts of California to show the flag and protect British and French trade from the perceived threat posed by the Russian frigate. This left the invading force with the vessels Amphitrite, Artémise, and Obligado. and their combined crews of 2,600 men.
The allies had put considerably less thought into capturing Petropavlovsk than the Russians had into defending it. Possibly they expected that the mere appearance of their fleet would simply overawe the Russians into surrender. Instead, the Russians greeted the attackers with gunfire, which the frigates returned—albeit at too great a range for either side to be effective. The allies withdrew into the bay to consider their next move..
An Apologetic Death
The next morning they renewed their attack. But as President, Pique, and Forte drew into range, Price excused himself from the quarterdeck, retired to his cabin, and put a pistol to his chest. The responsibility of leading men into battle had proved too much for him—as, apparently, had his marksmanship. Price attempted to shoot himself in the heart, but missed. The bullet instead lodged in a lung, condemning him to a painful and lingering death.
What was intended as high tragedy soon devolved into grim farce. Price’s attempt at suicide left the allies leaderless. The day’s attack was abandoned. As the warships again withdrew into the bay, Price’s officers came to see their dying commander one by one. He apologized to each in turn for his action, explaining that he could not “bear the thought of taking so many noble and gallant fellows into action.” Fevrier-Despointes, too, came aboard President to see his counterpart as he lay dying.
In agony, Price called for the ship’s surgeon to finish the job. Finally Price died, leaving Captain Sir Frederick Nicholson, commander of Pique, as the senior British officer on the scene. Because the Royal Navy had the majority of the forces committed (and because Fevrier-Despointes was ill and disinclined to lead the force), Nicholson now found himself in command of the allied assault.
A Fight for the Russian Guns
Led by an aggressive Col. Maj. Vasily Zaviko, the Russian garrison at Petrpavlovsk beat back repeated land and sea assaults on the harbor at Avachinskaya Bay.
Price’s death blighted the ensuing assault. His vacillating on the 29th, followed by his suicide on the 30th, meant that Nicholson was attacking a force well aware of his presence and ready—indeed eager—to repel any invasion. The suicide had rattled British morale. Chaplain Holme of President wrote, “What all will say at home of an English Admiral deserting his post at such a moment we cannot conceive.” Yet Nicholson took the bit and renewed the attack on August 31.
At 8 am, President, Pique, and Forte, towed by Virago, took up positions to bombard the three Russian batteries guarding the approaches to the roadstead. By mid-morning they had silenced them. Led by Virago, 15 boats filled with French sailors and marines landed at the three-gun battery to the right, capturing it. Aurora began firing upon the invaders and sent a party of 200 sailors to repulse the French. The French, in turn, spiked the enemy guns and withdrew under heavy attack.
A combined British and French landing party was sent against the five-gun battery next. Once again the guns were rendered inoperable before a Russian counterattack pushed the invaders out of the battery. A third allied landing party was sent against the 11-gun battery on the sand spit shielding the roadstead. For a third time the Russians, supported by Aurora’s guns, repulsed the enemy. Ten hours of hard fighting had ensued, and both sides were exhausted. Although the batteries guarding the harbor were silenced, the allies could not follow up with an immediate assault on the harbor. Instead, the British and French drew off into the bay to renew the battle the next morning.
While the British and French slept, the Russians labored all night to restore their batteries. By dawn the batteries were again functional. Nonplussed by the renewed resistance, the allied ships withdrew to consider their alternatives. The pause lasted for three days. On September 2, Virago took Admiral Price’s body to Tarinski Bay for burial. During the trip, the steamer picked up three American sailors who had been in Petropavlovsk. The men, apparently deserters from a whaling ship, gave the attackers critical information about the defenses inside the Russian port, including the sizes of the garrison and batteries. They also volunteered knowledge of an easier way into the port than the sea route, promising to lead the allies into Petropavlovsk through a northern road.
The deserters were either fools or knaves. The “unguarded” inland route to the city was covered by three of the Russian batteries—one at the water’s edge on the northern slope of Mount Nikolayevka, a second at the southern flank of the mountain between it and Mount Signalnaya, and a third covering the inland northern road to Petropavlovsk. Ignorant of the arrangement, the British and French held a council of war and agreed to try the sailors’ route. They would attempt a landing near Mount Nikolayevka, then cross over the mountain and attack the town from the north.
Bloody Journey Inland
At 8 am on September 4, a force of 700 marines and sailors was landed near Mount Nikolayevka. The landing spot was also near two Russian batteries, but these were quickly silenced by fire from President, Forte, and Virago. Led by Captain Burridge of President and Captain Grandiér of Eurydice, the landing party moved up the hillside past the abandoned batteries.
The allies broke into three columns as they advanced. Two groups moved up Mt. Nikolayevka, while another began following the northern road to Petropavlovsk, hoping to take the town from the rear. Brush and brambles covered the slope, impeding the advance by the allied units. The garrisons of the silenced batteries had moved uphill ahead of the advancing invaders and were using the thick brambles growing on the hillside to provide cover while they sniped at the attackers. As the British and French struggled up the hillside and down the road to Petropavlovsk, they moved out of range of supporting gunfire from their fleet, losing the biggest advantage they held over the Russians.
Russian fire was heavy and deadly. The sharp-shooting Siberians translated their hunting skills into military purposes with devastating results, concentrating fire on the enemy officers. They killed Captain Charles Allen Parker, commanding the Royal Marines, and wounded no fewer than seven other officers with the landing party. The Russians, warned by the allied bombardment of their batteries, had rushed 300 defenders to oppose the advance. The allied advance faltered as the officers fell, leaving the men leaderless. In the face of stiffening Russian resistance, a retreat to the landing site was ordered. As the French and British began to withdraw, the emboldened if outnumbered Russians launched a bayonet charge, completing the allied rout.
Before the French and British regained their boats, they suffered 208 casualties, killed and wounded. By 10:45 the assault was over. The survivors were once more aboard ship, and the frigates withdrew from the range of the Russian artillery. The allies had now been repulsed on four occasions. When losses from the previous assault on the roadstead were included, the total was nearly 450 casualties, or one-sixth of the total force. Their commanding admiral was dead by his own hand his French counterpart was ill. Completely dispirited and low on ammunition, the British and French squadrons withdrew from Avachinskaya Bay on September 7. Before quitting the Kamchatka coast, they captured a Russian transport, Stitka, and a small schooner, Avatska, both of which were loaded with stores. It was a poor trade for Petropavlovsk.
Taking the Port
The reverse, as it turned out, was temporary. The following year the Royal Navy returned to Petropavlovsk with a new and energetic British admiral, Rear Admiral Henry William Bruce, in command. In addition to the ships that had attacked the port in 1854, the British committed Trincomalee and Amphitrite, reinforced by the sailing sloops Dido, Encounter, and Barracouta, and the screw steamer Brisk. The three French warships were reinforced by another sailing frigate, Alceste, and Admiral Fourichon had replaced Fevrier-Despointes, who had finally succumbed to illness.
Instead of strengthening and consolidating the defenses of the port, the governor-general of Eastern Siberia, Muraviov-Amursky, ordered the port evacuated on March 27, 1855. The situation in Siberia had grown more desperate after Pallas wrecked in the Amur River during the previous winter. Muraviov-Amursky knew the Russian Navy could send no reinforcements, and that the allies had more ships on the scene. Petropavlovsk was doomed.
Zavoiko obeyed the order with his characteristic energy, cutting paths through the ice covering the harbor to facilitate evacuation. He buried the garrison’s guns or loaded them, along with any useful supplies, aboard Aurora and Dwina. By mid-April, with the port still icebound, the Russians were gone. The batteries were empty of guns, the military storehouses were bare, and the treasury was broke. Civilians removed to the village of Avatcha, inland on the Kamchatka Peninsula.
Bruce had sent Encounter and Barracouta to watch the port, starting in early February, but bad weather forced the sailing vessels to stand well away from the harbor. Taking advantage of the snow and fog, the two Russian ships slipped past their guardians undetected and unsuspected. On May 30, the 12-ship allied squadron entered the harbor cautiously despite the lack of enemy fire. They found it almost entirely deserted, except for two Americans and their French servant.
The British and French destroyed the port’s arsenals, batteries, and magazine burned the barracks, bakery, treasury, and other public buildings and sank a whaler they discovered in Rakovia Harbor. They spared the civilian buildings in the town, including a warehouse claimed by the two Americans. Lacking any further incentive to remain in Kamchatka, the allies then left. They scoured the Siberian coast for the Russian forces that had evacuated Petropavlovsk and eventually found them. Aurora, Dwina, and four merchant ships were anchored well up the Amur River, positioned behind a shallow bar. Sheltered by their own guns and shore batteries, they proved too formidable an opponent to attack. The allies left them there, unmolested, until the end of the war.
Lessons from the Battle
The Battle of Petropavlovsk, forgotten in the West, is still commemorated in Russia as an outstanding naval victory. The Russians named one of their first ironclad warships Petropavlovsk, and kept a ship of that name in commission throughout the remainder of the life of czarist Russia. A later Petropavlovsk was sunk at Port Arthur during the Russo-Japanese War, and a third Petropavlovsk was one of the four Gangut-class dreadnoughts built by the Imperial Russian Navy before World War I.
The Russians are entitled to celebrate. Although the battle was a petty action in an ignored theater of a minor war, the Russian defenders of Petropavlovsk nevertheless fought bravely and skillfully, succeeding against a superior opponent. The Russian retreat the following spring was equally skillful, denying the allies their chance for revenge. Another factor encouraging fond Russian memories is that the Battle of Petropavlovsk was one of their rare naval victories in the 19th century—and a victory against the mighty Royal Navy, no less. Although the Russians were hardly facing a commander of Lord Nelson’s abilities during the battle, it was still a victory to be savored.
For the Royal Navy and the French Navy, Petropavlovsk was a cautionary tale about the declining effectiveness of peacetime navies. A good share of the blame for the allied loss lay in poor leadership. Both Admirals Price and Fevrier-Despointes belonged at home, in retirement, not commanding remote units of their respective navies for the first time in their lives. Price simply could not cope with the responsibilities of command. His suicide was less a cause for condemnation than for sympathy. Fevrier-Despointes was too ill to exert an active part in the activity, allowing command to devolve to a senior captain.
The British captains exercised more energy and bravery than judgment. They deferred to Price until his death. While this was to be expected in the 19th-century Royal Navy, they did not rise to the opportunity offered to them after his death. Instead of gathering intelligence and developing a plan that took advantage of Russian weaknesses, Nicholson simply charged into the port on the first day of his command, then allowed the Russians to rebuild the batteries the British and French had destroyed at the cost of more blood and ammunition. Finally, the landing on September 4 was done without adequate reconnaissance or, indeed, any planning at all beyond the point at which they landed.
After the War
The Crimean War ended in March 1856. Aurora left the Amur River that July and sailed back to Kronstadt, finally arriving after nearly a year at sea. She never saw service again, and was scrapped in April 1861. Admiral Poutiatine became the Russian envoy to Japan in 1858. Zavoiko was promoted to general by the end of the Crimean War, and he later helped found Vladivostok.
Petropavlovsk took a long time to recover from the war. Mainland ports appeared. Nickolayevsk-on-Amur became the principal Russian port on the Pacific coast before being supplanted by Vladivostok in 1871. Russia sold its Alaskan lands to the United States in 1867. Instead of being an important way station on the trade route to North America, Petropavlovsk had become the extreme eastern end of the Russian empire. By 1890, the port had shrunk from 1,600 to 506 inhabitants. Ten years later it only held 383 people. It took another Pacific war to restore the town to its former status.
Of the allied ships involved in the battle, most passed out of the battle fleet after the Crimean War. In many ways, the Battle of Petropavlovsk was the last act in the age of fighting sail. While pure sailing vessels would still see service as warships for the next 15 years, they served in supplementary roles after 1856. The wooden warship’s time was also limited, even for screw steamers. The year 1860 saw the launch of HMS Warrior, an iron-hulled, armored, steam warship. A year later, the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia/em> sounded the death knell of the sailing warship by destroying two wooden sailing frigates in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Only another ironclad, USS Monitor, prevented the destruction of rest of the United States Navy’s wooden warships in those waters.
One of the British ships in Price’s squadron, HMS Trincomalee, still exists. Used as a harbor vessel after 1871, she became a training ship in 1903. For the next 83 years, generations of boy sailors learned the ropes on her top deck. By 1983, this type of school ship had become obsolete, but because of her age (and an increasing fascination with the age of the sail), the ship was restored as a museum in Hartlepool, in northeast England, where visitors can see her today.
One odd echo of the battle remains. As with most navies, the Russian Navy reuses the names of ships that have fought illustrious actions. When the wooden frigate Aurora retired, her name was taken by another Russian warship, a light cruiser launched in 1897. The name proved as fortunate for the cruiser as for the earlier frigate. The cruiser Aurora was one of the few Russian participants that survived the Battle of Tsushima Strait. Then, in 1917, stationed in Petrograd, she fired the shots that launched the October Revolution. Surviving World War II in Leningrad, the cruiser was preserved as a monument to the Russian Revolution. Today, she is a museum ship in the Nevka River, the only surviving warship of the Imperial Russian Navy.
The ship was built in 1905 at the Schichau Seebeck shipyard in Bremerhaven for the Hamburg-American Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft (HAPAG or Hamburg America Line). In 1918 Thomas Kier, formerly captain of the SS Imperator, became captain of the Karlsruhe. In 1935 the ship was acquired by the Ernst Russ Reederei and it stayed in service for them until 1945.
On April 11, 1945, the Karlsruhe took 1,083 refugees on board in Pillau (today Baltiysk) and left the port at around 8 p.m. for the Hel Peninsula, where the ship arrived on April 12, 1945 in the morning. There, a convoy was formed with the steamers SS Santander, SS Karlsruhe and three minesweepers, which departed at around 9 a.m for Copenhagen.
The overloaded Karlsruhe was not able to keep up with the required speed of the convoy of 9 knots, and could only run a good 7 knots, and fell behind. On April 13, 1945, she was attacked by Soviet planes north of Stolpmünde (today Ustka in Poland) and hit with a torpedo. The ship broke in two and sank in 3–4 minutes time. The minesweepers of the 25th minesweeping flotilla, M 294 (Kapitänleutnant Volberts) and M 341 (Oberleutnant zur See Henry Peter Rickmers) were able to save only 150 of the approximately 1083 refugees (M294: 63 - M341: 87). The other 933 passengers perished.
The well-preserved wreck was located and inspected by Polish divers in July 2020. There has been speculation that a number of sealed crates on board may contain parts of the Amber Room from the Catherine Palace, which was looted by the Germans in 1941 and disappeared from Königsberg in 1945.  
In Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, there are fishing and fish processing enterprises. This is not surprising since the proximity of the marine wealth of the Pacific naturally contributes to the development of this sector of the national economy. There are both large and many small companies engaged in the extraction and processing of fish and seafood. In the period of salmon spawning, they are especially active.
The port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky has every prospect of becoming an important stronghold of the Northern Sea Route. Now there is a transshipment of a variety of goods. There is also a passenger service. In 2017, a new seaport was opened and made it possible for passengers of cruise ships and cruise liners to stay comfortably here.
The city has a well-developed tourism business. The beauty of Kamchatka attracts people who are ready to overcome great distances and spend a fair amount of money to see amazing places with their own eyes. Travel agencies develop numerous routes so that guests can look into every interesting corner of the peninsula. You can choose from various modes of transportation &ndash hiking, car, helicopter tours, by water on boats.
Ski tourism is gaining momentum. Since Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is located among the hills, ski resorts are literally inside the city. In addition, there are ski-biathlon tracks of international level in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
Mining companies also contribute to the economy of the city and the region. In Kamchatka, gold, silver, and platinum are mined.
History is full of stories of incompetence, negligence, and plain bad luck. Many of these are tragic, some a humorous, and a handful manage to be both. The story of the Russian Baltic Fleet during the Russo-Japanese War is my personal favorite in the last category.
|Borodino, Lead ship of her class and one of the newest Russian Battleships at the beginning of the war.|
In February 1904 the Imperial Japanese Navy launched an attack on the Russian Pacific Fleet which sat at anchor in Port Arthur (today's Lushunkou, People's Republic of China). The reasons Japan attacked are somewhat complex, but can largely be boiled down to the Imperial rivalry between Japan and Russia. The attack was a smashing success: three Russian capital ships were crippled and the Russians were temporarily paralyzed. The attack was such a boon to the Japanese war effort that it helped inspire the planning for Pearl Harbor nearly 40 years later.
|Makarov featured on a Soviet Stamp|
While the siege around Port Arthur tightened, Czar Nicholas II began to worry. If the Japanese had free reign in the Pacific, they would be able to finish off the Russian military in Manchuria and win the war before Russian troops could arrive overland across the Trans-Siberian railroad. Apart from it's now trapped and partially destroyed Pacific Squadron, Russia possessed to more fleets one in the
This is where things start to go horribly wrong for the Russians, and start to get interesting.
The Baltic Fleet was poorly suited for its mission. It would have to steam south (partially through the Suez canal, but for complicated geopolitical reasons mostly all the way around Africa) along a route which would see the fleet spending months in the tropics. The ships of the Baltic Fleet were not equipped for this they spent most of the year iced into their ports, and were designed to keep their crews warm for a short period of time (in the winter months they would live in land barracks). The crack sailors in the squadron had been sent east at the outset of the war, and the replacements were, in a word, inadequate. Most of them were peasant conscripts, men who had never seen a boat, much-less the ocean, and Rozhestvensky constantly complained about their quality. They frequently forgot orders, and they were totally unused to hot weather (which will be an issue later). He also had issues with his officers in one case he referred to his second in command as a "shit sack". Geography was another issue they were going to have to sail 18,000 miles, under coal power. Back then, these coal powered ships would have to stop regularly to refuel due to coals lack of efficiency. Unfortunately for the Russians, they had no coaling stations along the route, and for complicated reasons I won't get into, no other nation would offer their coaling stations to Russian use. This meant that the fleet would have to meet coal ships from the German-Hamburg-America line 30 times, in the open sea, to refuel. Finally, the battleships the admiral had, while new, were not very effective. They had taken a long time to build and had been constantly retrofitted during this time. They ended up being so top-heavy that during combat in high seas, they were unable to fire some of their weapons due to the fact that they would be under water! They were SO top heavy, the fleet would not use signal flags in rough seas for fear that the ships would become unstable!
|The route of the Russian Squadrons. Seriously.|
|Orel, only hours before running aground.|
That night things got really ridiculous. The fleet entered Dogger Bank, a region of open sea between Great Britain and Denmark. There several small boats were spotted in the dark, and. immediately
|Artist rendering of the incident|
|Damaged fishing boat and very shaken fishermen|
To his credit Admiral Rozhestvensky realized something was amiss and ordered his panicked crews to stop firing. They were so panicked that the Admiral himself was forced to knock one of his gunnery officers overboard to get him to stop firing! The Russians soon figured out what had happened and promptly fled. Some of the fleet, including Kamchatka, were scattered but the rest fled south. When she finally returned to the fleet, her captain reported that she had engaged THREE MORE Japanese torpedo boats and fired a further 300 shells! Another vessel, while leaving Tangiers, severed an underwater telegraph line, cutting communications between Africa and Europe for four days. The fisherman reported what had happened, and the British flew into outrage. TWENTY EIGHT British battleships and dozens of battleships were sent in pursuit of the Russians. At this time Britain was the most powerful empire in the wold, with a navy fleet more powerful than France and Germany's combined. The Russians pulled into port in Vigo, Spain, and here Rozhestvensky was ordered to return the officers responsible for the incident to Russia for punishment (the government of Russia also paid a large indemnity to the fisherman and their families). The admiral took the opportunity to free himself of several problem officers.
|Monument to the fisherman killed in the "battle".|
One of these, after returning to Russia, was put in charge of organizing reinforcements for the Baltic fleet. Having a chip on his shoulder for being sidelined by Rozhestvensky, this captain pulled together the worst vessels he could. Rozhestvensky had been aware of these ships, but refused to depart the Baltic with them due to their age and poor state of repair. He bitterly designated them the "Sink by Themselves" squadron, but these were the vessels sent to reinforce him!
As the fleet traveled south, men began to go mad from the heat and from the filth of the extra coal the ships were storing on board, with several men committing suicide or having to be confined to quarters. At one point Kamchatka once again reported that it had spotted torpedo boats, increasing the stress the sailors were under. On many ships sailors began taking pets on stops in African countries, including a Crocodile! These were unsuited for shiplife, and simply stank up the decks of the already overcrowded vessels. At Cape Town Rozhestvensky learned that Port Arthur had fallen, and that the "Sink by Itself" fleet was on its way. Hoping to avoid these unwanted reinforcements, he quickly steamed away, but after being ordered to Madagascar to await orders, they miraculously caught up. I say miraculously, because the fleet's commander had been given only one order: find the Second Pacific Squadron, whose location and heading was unknown!
The weeks waiting at Madagascar were terrible on the fleet. Men suffered from malaria and other diseases, including the Admiral his chief of staff was partially paralyzed from a brain hemorrhage. Funerals became a daily occurrence, and the men's discipline became even more lax. During one funeral, the Kamchatka accidentally fired a live shell during a salute, striking the Aurora once again. Gunnery practice was difficult because after Dogger Bank the fleet was low on shells (one of the supply ships meant to rearm them turned out to be carrying cold weather survival gear instead of shells). Officers were drunk, and one had accidentally purchased several thousand opium-laced cigarettes and passed them around the fleet. During one of the rare gunnery practices only one hit was scored, on the cruiser pulling the target ship. On one vessel the main gun became unusable when a large snake coiled itself around the gun and the sailors were unable to dislodge it. The sailors were an an awful mood: they knew the first Pacific Squadron had been destroyed, and that even with their "reinforcements" from the Sink by Itself fleet they were heavily outnumbered. The fleet was ordered to try to make its way to Vladivostok perhaps they could be of some use there.
The History of Milkovo
For the first time, Russians appeared on the territory of the current settlement at the end of the XVII century. It was a group of six dozen path-breakers headed by Vladimir Atlasov. The Yukagirs also came with them. The Cossacks set up a burg there, about 15 km from the current village, and called it Verkhne-Kamchatsky. It happened in 1697 as evidenced by a memorial sign erected in 1970 on the site of the oldest Kamchatka burg. Stepan P. Krasheninnikov, who arrived on the peninsula in 1737 on a &ldquoFortuna&rdquo sailing ship, gave the first written evidence in his &ldquoDescription of the Land of Kamchatka&rdquo.
At that time, Empress Anna Ioannovna ruled, she issued a decree on the development of Kamchatka. For this purpose, people were brought to these distant lands, and they began to build settlements. In 1743, five families built houses on the banks of the Imcherek River near the old burg Verkhne-Kamchatsky. The river was renamed as Milkovushka, and the village was called Milkovo. Nearby, in the camps, the indigenous inhabitants of Kamchatka, Itelmens, lived. The new settlers managed to establish relations with the locals, and an exchange of goods and experience began. The Itelmens soon realized the benefits of settled life in wooden houses and began to settle the same way and engaged in agriculture.
The indigenous population did not know, before Russians had come, iron tools and did not deal with ore smelting. However, in the middle of the XVIII century, a merchant from Irkutsk, Semyon Glazachev, discovered iron ore in these places and began to melt it. As a result, even a plant was purpose-built in Milkovo. The quality of the obtained iron was inferior to the imported ones, the production turned out to be unprofitable, so the plant did not exist for more than 20 years. However, while it worked some needs in iron things were met on the spot.
An important agricultural event that changed the diet of the locals occurred in 1780. Potato first appeared in Milkovo. With some apprehension, people tried an unknown product, appreciated it and began to grow. What&rsquos for wheat and rye, things were not so good. Attempts to grow them under local conditions failed. Still, the climate took its toll &ndash cereals froze because of frosts. Mostly, the residents of Milkovo traditionally engaged in hunting and fishing. So they lived.
In the XIX century, the development of the village continued. Travelers and sailors stayed here. Thanks to the crew of the sailing ship &ldquoNadezhda&rdquo (Hope), a hospital appeared in 1818. The sailors financed its construction and purchase of equipment. The first parish school opened here in 1870. After the establishment of Soviet power, life began to change more intensively. In the 30s of the XX century, Milkovo became the base for sled dogs training. They built a small airport and developed air transportation with Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The appearance of the village itself was also transformed, two streets appeared, houses stretched out for two kilometers.
In the war years, life in Milkovo was especially difficult but the residents tried to contribute to the victory, gave their savings for the construction of military equipment, 68 Milkovo residents saw duty. A memorial was built in their honor. After the war, the development of the village was especially noticeable in the 60s, when the long-awaited highway was laid to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Now, this road is renewed. For the first time, TV came to the life of the villagers in 1975, the construction of multi-story buildings was initiated the same year.
The Tuckers of Massachusetts
The ancestors of Adelaide “Addie” Tucker (1858-1922) of Ohio (Bonita Jackson’s great grandmother) had seven generations of history in North America before her marriage into the Clink family. Their English roots might be traced to the 11 th century and one Willielmus Tucker of Thornley, on the east coast of Britain a bit south of Newcastle upon Tyne, although that linkage has been called into question.
It is also possible, even likely, that the New World Tuckers are descended from the French Le Toukere family dating back to Roger Le Toukere (ca. 1273-ca. 1320), who would be Bonnie’s 19 th great-grandfather.
Robert Tucker & Elizabeth Allen
Bonnie Jackson’s 8 th great-grandparents.
Whatever their most distant and obscure antecedents, there is no doubt that the Tucker’s first American ancestor was Robert Tucker (1604-1681), native of Kent, England, who arrived in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1639. He afterward moved to Gloucester, then to Milton, about the time the town was incorporated in 1662, and purchased several adjoining lots containing in all about 117 acres. With his wife, Elizabeth Allen (1614-1653), he fathered six children. Elizabeth died in 1653, at just 39 years old. Robert passed on March 11, 1682, at age 77. He was a prosperous farmer, a prominent citizen active in town affairs, and bequeathed substantial possessions to his sons upon his passing. His house, built around 1680, was relocated in 1895 and still stands today on the Joseph Cutler Whitney Estate, at 678 Brush Hill Road, in Milton, Massachusetts.
Robert Tucker (1604-1682) and his brothers, John, and Henry were much taken with the exploits of their uncle, Daniel Tucker (1575-1625), who is credited with “discovering” Cape Cod in 1602 and later became a governor of Bermuda.
John Tucker (1600-1677) was one of the earliest settlers of Newbury, MA, while youngest brother Henry (1612-1687) had extensive properties in Virginia and Bermuda.
Robert and his descendants are the first generations of North American Tuckers. They resided in the Milton, Massachusetts area, south of Boston and the Neponset River. The 1887 History of Milton characterizes Robert thus:
“Robert Tucker occupied an important and highly useful position in the Town and the church during the earliest years of the settlement, and his numerous descendants have been among the most active and influential of our citizens through the entire history of the town.
Members of this family have graced the pulpit, the Army, and the Representative halls of the country. From the beginning, they have filled important offices of trust in the town and in the church.”
Hurd’s History of Norfolk Co. Mass. adds: “He was held in much esteem by his neighbors, and his character and education exercised an important influence here. His handwriting indicates a gentleman familiar with the pen.”
James Tucker & Rebecca Tolman
Parents of Ebenezer Tucker 7 th great-grandparents of Bonnie Jackson.
Few details survive concerning the life of, James Tucker (1640-1718), the eldest son of Robert and Elizabeth. He was born in 1640 in Weymouth, Massachusetts and married Rebecca Tolman (1647-1717), a Dorchester native, in 1673 in Milton. Her father, Thomas Tolman, had arrived in America from England aboard the ship Mary and John on May 30, 1630, after a 71-day voyage.
The couple had five (perhaps six) children. James Tucker died on March 15, 1718, in Milton, Massachusetts, at age 78, and was buried there. Rebecca died in Dorchester, at age 69.
Ebenezer Tucker & Jemima Daniel
Parents of Jedediah Tucker, their third child Bonnie Jackson’s 6 th great-grandparents.
Ebenezer Tucker (1682-ca. 1724) was born on May 20, 1682, in Milton. He married Jemima Daniel (1683-1762) on December 12, 1706, in his hometown. They had six children in 11 years. Ebenezer had one of the briefest lives of all the Jackson Colonial ancestors he died in May of 1724. He outlived his parents by a scant five years and his youngest daughter, Rebecca, wasn’t yet two when her father passed away.
Ebenezer’s wife, Jemima, was born in 1683 in Milton, Massachusetts. They had six children. After Ebenezer’s death, she married Henry Vose (1663-1752), the father of her daughter Experience Tucker’s (1710-1760) husband, Thomas Vose (1709-1760). She died in 1762 having lived a long life of 79 years.
The couple both bear Bible-based names. Jemima refers to the eldest of the three daughters of Job and Ebenezer originates in the Book of Samuel, referring to a rock Samuel set up to commemorate the Israelite victory over the Philistines.
Jedediah Tucker & Joanna Kenrick
These are Bonnie Jackson’s 5 th great-grandparents and the parents of Jedediah Tucker, Jr. (see the Union of the Tucker and Billings Lines page).
Jedediah Tucker (1712-1811) was born Sept 14, 1712, in Milton, Massachusetts. He died April 4, 1811, Boylston. He married Joanna Kenrick (1715-1759) in 1737 whose parents (John Kenrick and Johanna Shattuck) hailed from Cambridge and Newton. Jedediah served in the Revolutionary War in the 2 nd Massachusetts Regiment, with his name appearing on service records from 1777 through 1781. They had ten children. Joanna died December 14, 1759, in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Jedediah married thrice more: to Elizabeth Mower Lynde (?-1770) in 1761 then to Hannah Rice Smith (1714-1796) in 1790 and, lastly, to Elizabeth Coolidge (ca. 1741-1823) in 1796 at age 84. He died in April 1811, at the age of 98.
Why New York?
These are transitional years for the Tuckers. How is it that after five generations located in the Milton-Shrewsbury area of Massachusetts, the family ventured well north-west to New York and then on to Ohio?
During the Revolutionary War, both Jedediah, Sr. (1712-1811) and Jedediah, Jr. (1744-1827) served in the Massachusetts 2 nd Regiment, seeing action in the New York Campaign of 1776-77. Those battles took place just east of present-day Johnstown. Perhaps that is how Caleb Tucker (1774-1853) became familiar with this rural area of New York and relocated his family there around 1798 (the first Tucker child born there was daughter, Malinda, in 1799 the city was officially established only in 1760).
As will be seen below, the pioneer “bug” bit Caleb’s son as well, who moved from New York to Ohio just 40 years later.
Robert Fosgate and Sarah Howe
The parents of Keturah Fosgate Billings, and Bonita Jackson’s 5 th great grandparents, Robert and Sarah Howe were contemporaries of Jedediah and Joanna Tucker, above, but resided some miles to the northeast in Marlborough and Bolton.
Robert Fosgate’s ancestral line begins with his great grandparents, John Foskett (1602-1688) and Elizabeth Tufts (1605-1683), both born in England. Their son, John Fosgate (1636-1689) arrived in Massachusetts in 1658. He married twice. First, Elizabeth Powell (1642-1683), with whom he had two sons, Thomas Foskett (1660-1694) and Robert Foskett (1672-1741).
Not in doubt is the fact that Sarah and Robert were the parents of a daughter, Keturah Fosgate (see “Silvanus Billings & Keturah Fosgate” on the Union of the Tucker and Billings Lines page), Bonnie’s 4 th great-grandmother.
Sarah Howe (1714-1780) was born on December 24, 1714, in Marlborough, Massachusetts, the daughter of Josiah Howe and his second wife, Mary Marble. She married Robert Fosgate (1704-1741) on December 1, 1730, in Newbury, Massachusetts. They supposedly had as many as 17 children, including two sets of twins and one set of triplets. However, good documentation is lacking for this couple and birth and death dates make this impressive number of offspring unlikely. Robert’s death date is cited as 1741 but this seems incorrect. Sarah passed away between 1780 and 1784 in Bolton, Massachusetts.
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 Not all historians agree with this lineage: see The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1922, vol., LXXVI, pp. 234-35, for a contrarian view. However, with so many Tucker families in the New World, it is difficult to sort out accurate ancestries.
 Teele 1887, p. 578.
 Hurd 1884, p. 736.
 The death dates for both James and Rebecca are uncertain. Some sources suggest they died on the same day but this is probably an error. March 5, 1718 seems like the correct date for James’s passing.
 Few genealogies report all four of these marriages. My source is Ephraim Tucker’s 1895 Genealogy of the Tucker Family. Almost nothing is known of the latter three wives.
 This Sarah Howe is one of the most enigmatic of the personages recorded here. Details about her are few, fewer still are very reliable. Thus her ancestry is very tenuous. Her relationship to Robert Fosgate and daughter, Keturah, however, seem well enough established.
 There are numerous variations on this surname the most frequent being Foskett and Foskit.