Thursday, September 26, 2019

Quackenbush Square and Quackenbush House, Albany, New York

No matter where you live in North America this is home. This peaceful urban oasis is one of the most historic corners of Albany, New York. Pieter Quackenbosch, a native of Holland came to Albany about 1660. In 1668, he purchased an established brickyard on land which to this day bears his name.

The Quackenbush House sits on the southwest corner of the square where Clinton Avenue and Broadway cross. The foundations of the house date from the late seventeenth century. The brick house with its gable end facing the street in the Dutch manner, was built in two stages: the western section at the end of the seventeenth century or the beginning of the eighteenth century and the eastern end during this late eighteenth century. It is believed that the house was built with bricks fired in the Quackenbush kilns. While Pieter built this house for his family, in the following years it was also the home of Colonel Hendrick (Henry) Quackenbush who served in both the French Indian War and the Revolutionary War. Generations of Quackenbushes were born and lived in the house until 1865 when the house was leased as a bakery. In 1868, the family sold the house to an attorney. During the ensuing years, the house has been an antique shop, a bar, and a restaurant.

The pedestrian way that runs through Quackenbush Square was once Quackenbush Street with
sidewalks abutting the street; all were demolished in 1895 except for number 25 which remains on the north side of the square. In the 1870's, the Albany Water Department began acquiring land along Quackenbush Street and Montgomery Street (which ran parallel to Broadway). The complex grew as necessity dictated with many additions during the late nineteenth century. The city engaged the architectural firm of Edward Ogden and Son who built new structures and altered older ones between 1895 and 1897. The most prominent structures are the two handsome brick with stone trim industrial buildings which occupy the corner of Quackenbush Square and old Montgomery Street. These structures date from the last quarter of the nineteenth century and originally house steam pumping engines which pumped water from the Hudson (river) to the Bleecker and Prospect Hill reservoirs. These pumps were replaced in the first decade of twentieth century with two Holly engines.

In 1897, the facade of the original townhouse of 1852 was altered with orange brick and terracotta detailings and a stable was constructed behind it. In 1897, a link building united the old townhouse and the stable. In 1970s, several fires severely damaged 25 Quackenbush Square. In 1976, number 25 was rehabilitated, the street was closed, a pedestrian walkway created, and the area was named Quackenbush Square.

Quackenbush House in 1920's

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Don't Mess With His Whiskey! Justin Lowe Quackenbush

Justin Lowe Quackenbush (born 1929) is a United States federal judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.

Quackenbush was born in Spokane, Washington. His father, Carl Quackenbush, was a law student who eventually became a Superior Court judge in Spokane. Quackenbush received a B.A. from the University of Idaho in 1951. He received an LL.B. from Gonzaga University School of Law, his father's alma mater, in 1957. He was in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1954. He was a deputy prosecuting attorney in Spokane County, Washington from 1957 to 1959. He was in private practice in Spokane from 1959 until his judicial nomination. He was active in Democratic Party politics, regularly serving as the campaign manager for Tom Foley's successful Congressional election campaigns starting in 1964 for over a decade.

Quackenbush also taught at Gonzaga University School of Law from 1961 to 1967, and was an active Mason.

On May 9, 1980, President Jimmy Carter nominated Quackenbush to the seat vacated by Marshall A. Neill. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 18, 1980, and received his commission the same day. Because Neill was the only judge in the district, and had died in October 1979, Quackenbush and fellow appointee Robert J. McNichols immediately faced a tremendous backlog of cases.

He served as chief judge from 1989 to June 27, 1995, when he assumed senior status.

In 1991, Quackenbush was accused of illegally bringing whiskey into a Spanish restaurant that did not have a liquor license, and threatening to have the restaurant owner deported when she complained; Quackenbush paid a $100 fine for the misdemeanor liquor violation and apologized, saying that his immigration remark was a joke. The Judicial Council for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to discipline Quackenbush, citing his "exemplary" record.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Cafe Quackenbush, Los Alamos, CA

Part General Store and part cafe. The General Store specializes in fine art and antiques. Chef Jesper Johansson of Gotenborg, Sweden is at the helm in the Cafe. The Cafe has become a big hit with the locals.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Quacks 43rd Street Bakery, Austin, Texas

Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery is the present incarnation of Captain Quackenbush’s Intergalactic Dessert Company and Espresso CafĂ© which opened for business on the Drag, across the street from the University of Texas at Austin, back in 1983. Over the years, the long name was truncated by patrons and consequently it was formally shortened it to Quack’s. Known locally for roasting their own coffee, and for their desserts.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Quackenbush Coffee, Klamath Falls, Oregon

Quackenbush Coffee Company operated a Coffee Shop located in Klamath Falls, Oregon. They roasted their own coffee and were quite popular with the locals. They have since closed their doors.

Annatje Quackenbos - Never A Bad Day

The following reference to Annatje Quackenbos Lansing occurs in Mr. Hawley's Memoir of Col. Henry Quackenbush: Mrs. Anna, or Annatje, Lansing as she was christened, was the oldest daughter of Col. Hendrick Quackenbush of Albany, and Margarita Oothout of New York, a family descent on both sides from Holland, and in either city is there anymore respectable.

And in her case especially, blood told. I am sure her granddaughters, Mrs. Lord, Mrs. Van Santvoord, and Mrs. Freeman will bear me out in that. They will remember with what dignity she always met the duties of life, enjoying what it gave her of its good, and when reverses came, meeting them bravely and cheerfully, and they will recall, with loving memories, the sweet composure, the gentle face, and the tender affection with which she always received us, when we went to see her.

At that time she resided in the old mansion, on the corner of Broadway and Quackenbush Street [Albany] and usually received us in the rear sitting room, and as she appeared one day she appeared always — the black silk dress, the frilled cap, the lace around the neck, the white kerchief folded across the breast and fastened in front with an antique brooch. It is all before my eyes as if printed on the air. Yes! just as she was then I can see her now, seated in a low sewing chair and knitting stockings for some of us children, while she told us of her father, of incidents of the Revolution, when the city was surrounded with palisades, which perhaps you do not know, crossed Broadway (then Market Street) about half way between Quackenbush and Orange streets; of how the Indians appeared, when bands of them in their war paint and shouting the fearful war whoop, passed the city on their way to join Gates in the North, and more than all, of the terror and confusion in every household, when, hearing that Burgoyne was advancing upon Albany, the people loaded batteaux with their most precious goods to escape by the river, and of the relief when a second messenger from the army brought the news that instead of being defeated, our army had won a victory, and Burgoyne had surrendered.

Nor must I forget, what impressed me even as a boy, that grandma was never apart from, but always of, the company in which she was. With young and old it was always the same. To both ages she was equally agreeable, and it is easy to perceive why. There was never any gloom in her face, nor irritation in her manner.

God bless her memory to her descendants, and ever keep before them the lessons of her life, as a worthy expression of the obligation beneath the beauty in the chivalrous French saying, " noblesse oblige." Annatje Quackenbush died in 1852.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Captain Quackenbush's Intergalactic Dessert and Coffee Cafe, Austin, Texas

The Intergalactic Dessert and Coffee Cafe was the first coffeehouse in Austin, Texas. It originally served espresso coffee drinks only, and was located on the main drag across the street from the University of Texas

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Quackenbush Sisters - Lady Entrepreneurs And Telephone Pioneers

Two locally known and enterprising females decided that they would help bring Concrete, Washington into the 20th Century in a before-their-time fashion.

Sisters Kate Quackenbush Glover and Nell Quackenbush Wheelock were born in Clay, New York in 1866 and 1877, respectively. They both arrived in Skagit County in 1908 and shortly thereafter. Nellie Quackenbush Wheelock relates, "When I came to Washington State I weighed but ninety-eight pounds. I was so weakened by diseased lungs that I barely lived the trip thru the high Rockies". Nellie Quackenbush, a registered nurse could not practice her trade in her home state because of her health, thus she had two reasons for coming to Washington- her health and because her sister Kate lived in the Skagit Valley. She was married to a Frenchman named Jack Wheelock, a quiet, neatly dressed man who owned and operated the Commercial Hotel near Old Hamilton Depot.

Kate and Joe came to Concrete to cut shingle bolts on a claim they filed on up near Mt. Baker National Forest, and hauled the bolts into the Concrete mills.

Joe would take the bolts to town and spend the money in the saloons. The last time, two days passed, and Kate got mad. She walked to Concrete and sure enough there was Joe in the saloon. Kate picked up a ring used to tether horses on the street, walked into the saloon and beat the snot out of Joe, then loaded him across the saddle and walked on home. Anyone could see this set-up just wouldn't do.

Kate was hired by the Superior Portland Cement Company to manage their telephone exchange. Initially, Kate lived at the exchange building until the phone company became incorporated. Investing her wages over time, Kate was able to purchase controlling interest in the company, renaming the telephone system, "Skagit River Telephone Company". Kate and her younger sister Nell bought the existing telephone exchange building from Portland Cement as well – remodeling it to house the phone system on the entire lower level. After building an outside stairway to the upper level, Kate had the second floor converted to rooms they could rent, charging 50-cents a night.

Set on expanding their phone service to the areas east and west of Concrete, Nell climbed the poles and strung the lines. By 1918, the upriver phone lines extended to Hamilton and connected the Skagit River Telephone Company to the national phone system through Sedro-Woolley. The large logging camps and all government operations such as the local ranger stations and fish hatcheries had lines installed and served by the sisters' phone operation. Nell was also in charge of the work crew that dug and set all the company poles. She had a team of horses she drove to drag the poles into position, directing the pole setting, and she would then finish the job by installing the telephone wiring.

Kate was in charge of the switchboard operation (with the assistance of a young girl they had taken
in, Ethel Thompson). The phone service was equipped with hand-crank-style phones that would ring into the switchboard by a live operator and the telephone service these women gave was quick and often personal. In the event that no one answered the line being rung by the operator, Kate or Ethel would often promise to find them as soon as possible and have the call returned. When there was a problem with a line down, or a phone not operating properly, Nell would rush to service the problem. Beyond their telephone enterprise, the Quackenbush sisters were known in Skagit County for their ability to do almost anything they put their minds to. As a trained nurse, Kate sometimes assisted in childbirth as a midwife. Additionally, when she first arrived in the county from the east-coast, Kate worked on the homestead she shared with her then-husband (and later Concrete City Marshal), Joe Glover, helping to "prove up" on their timber claim on the upper Baker River, near Bear Creek. Together, Kate and Nell claimed the vacant lot between their home and their telephone office and built a chicken house – raising thousands of chickens and selling the eggs as well as some of the chickens. Nell and Kate also purchased a large tugboat in order to tow logs to a lumbermill on Lake Shannon and operated a fishing-boat franchise. Building a large float on Lake Shannon (just above the town of Concrete), they had approximately fifty fishing boats available for rent. Nell ran the tugboat for the mill-operation and Kate ran the fishing boat operation on the weekends, allowing them to still run the telephone company during the week.

1916 Pioneer picnic of upper-Skagit settlers

On the Fourth of July, 1916, families came by canoe, wagon and buggy load with their children to spend the day visiting with friends and neighbors and making new acquaintances at the Jesse and Matilda Qualls Cary farm. Some old friends and relatives came by train to Hamilton and stayed over, while others from distances came and camped out.

Long tables were placed in the big orchard to be covered with a variety of colored tablecloths, some with fancy linen. The tables were soon loaded with fried chicken and wonderful-smelling roasted meats plus breads, pastries and fresh-cooked garden vegetables. Large crocks of lemonade and big kettles of coffee over an open fire smelled very inviting to hungry kids that had been up early and traveled rough roads behind a team of horses. After dinner we had speakers that stood on a milk stand covered at the bottom by bunting. After that came the games for kids, gunny-sack and three-legged races, baseball and much more.

The picnic described above became a yearly event for a few years. We often saw at least a hundred people; sometimes more attend. Other popular events during this same time period were the barn dances when someone finished a new barn. The old settlers had

many old time musicians even before the later, better known music of Nellie Quackenbush Wheelock and her sister, Kate Glover. Capt. L.A. Boyd and his brother-in-law George Savage played their fiddles for many dances at Birdsview. The Savages built a rather large dance hall on the south side of the river near the Birdsview ferry landing. On Sunday this same hall served as a church and community meeting building.

With modern progress and some personal hardships came change for Kate and Nell's businesses. In July 1935, due to faulty business-dealings and technological modernization, the sisters were forced to
sell their communication enterprise to the Skagit Valley Telephone company (later known as Continental Telephone) with service based out of Mount Vernon, Washington – 30 miles (48 km) "downriver". To add insult-to-injury, the bookkeeper the sisters had hired and trusted with Power of Attorney and managing their finances was discovered to have been embezzling funds for quite some time. The bookkeeper was tried and sent to prison, but irreversible damage had been done to the company's finances as the greater portion of the company's bank account had been stolen, forcing Kate and Nell to sell. Following the sale of the telephone company, the sisters moved to an unimproved property near Birdsview, building a small house for themselves along with a barn and chicken houses. Later, with their chicken houses having burned from an electrical short, their debt increased from a lack of fire insurance. Then, having been in poor health since the 1930s, Kate died on November 21, 1944 at the age of 78, deeply in debt. Still suffering from her own mounting debts, Nell now was left with the burden of Kate's debts as well. In order to help pay off their combined debt, Nell bought an old tractor and worked wherever she could and long into her elderly years. Nell stayed in Skagit County up to her death in April 1969 at the age of 93.

Source: Concrete, Washington - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Skagit River Journal,

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Further Adventures of Colonel Hendrick "Henry" Quackenbosch

Col. Henry Quackenbush was a provincial officer in the British Army under Lords Amherst and Abercrombie during the French and Indian War. He was engaged in the attack on Crown Point and Ticonderoga, and was with Lord Howe when he was shot by the Indians. During the Revolutionary War he was Chairman of the Albany Committee of Safety, and member of the Colonial Legislature. He was appointed Captain, and then 1st Major of the 3d Albany County Regiment, October, 1775, and succeeded Garret Van den Bergh as Colonel of the 5th Albany Regiment in 1778. He was wounded when in command of his regiment in the last attack of the American troops led by Gen. Arnold against the British at Saratoga, and commanded the guard of 200 men who brought Gen. Burgoyne to Albany after the last battle, where he— Gen. Burgoyne — was confined in the house of Gen. Schuyler in the south part of the city. (Col. Quackenbush's daughter said the soldiers encamped in front of their house, and wine and refresh ments were brought them by her father's orders.) Colonel Quackenbush received an autograph letter from General Burgoyne thanking him for kindness and attention shown him while a prisoner. After the war Col. Quackenbush was one of the Presidential Electors.

The following references to the private character of Col. Quackenbush are selected from a memoir entitled "A Few Events in the Life of Col. Henry Quackenbush," written by his great-grandson, Henry Quackenbush Hawley:

A great name in history, as we all know, is built up much more from fortunate opportunity than from real merit. In fact, the true heroes of the world are seldom the men it delights to honor, but rather those who, from the force of circumstances, pursue a simple and retired life, practicing virtue and self-denial, because it is their nature so to do, and without the stimulus of applause, acting nobly and tenderly and generously, because they are genuine men.

It is these qualities, and not the bubble reputation, that makes God's noblest work, a true gentleman. And such was Col. Henry Quackenbush, in all that justly makes that character; in courage, in integrity, in lofty sentiments and personal honor, in rugged strength, in tenderness of heart, in pure love of country, he was a marked man, even in the time he lived — now a century ago — when the country was young, and engaged in the fearful struggle we call the " Revolution." He was then a very prominent private citizen of Albany, the Chairman of the Committee on Public Safety, and preeminent in social life. Many a time have I listened with intense interest to anecdotes of his life and character, related by his daughter [Mrs. Anna Lansing , my grandmother, and so illustrative are they of simple manliness of character, that I can never recall them without a feeling of personal pride that I am descended from so noble a gentleman.

There are now in Albany but three or four dwelling houses representing the old architecture of the city. Two of these, the Lansing residence, on the corner of Broadway and Quackenbush street (in which I was born), and the building now known as the Pemberton house (in which my mother was born), were in Col. Quackenbush's family. In the former of these he resided, and in the latter his son-in-law, Jacob I. Lansing (my grandfather). He was then a rich man, and his house was ever open to sustain the hospitalities of the city. "Many a time," my grandmother used to say to us children, as we clustered around her in the old house, " when a girl have I seen the entire Senate dine at this house." And I remember with what wonder I used to listen to her descriptions of the venison and game of all kinds, which persons dealing with her father used to bring him in great abundance, some in exchange for store goods, and others as tokens of regard, and of the number of slaves in the kitchen (young and old there were eighteen), and how each one had a separate duty. That was, of course, after the war had ended. Col. Quackenbush was then an extensive merchant, having embarked in a new business, to regain from commerce what he had given to his country in its time of need ; and for nothing should he be held in higher honor in times like these than for that sacrifice. "It never caused him a single regret," said my grandmother. "It was for his country", he said, "and, if necessary, he would do it again." And yet, what he did was to loan the government, when it was in despair and without credit, sixty thousand dollars in gold, returned to him after the war in Continental money, repudiated afterwards by Congress. And I remember well, when a boy, seeing a great chest in the garret of the old house filled with that money, then as worthless as rags. It was a great injustice, but perhaps at the time a necessity, as the bills

had been so extensively counterfeited that to redeem them was beyond the resources of the nation.

What I have related of Col. Quackenbush while leading a prosperous but unostentatious life after the Revolution, interest his descendants from the evidence it affords that their ancestor was a true gentleman.

That he was also a brave and resolute man is apparent from the following adventure, while he was in the Federal army, as Colonel of the Albany Regiment.

While serving in that capacity under Gen. Gates, he was ordered to take a batteau and make a reconnoissance upon the Lake (Champlain), to ascertain the position of the British ships. Accordingly he started as soon as it was dark, his men rowing with muffled oars. As he had been much engaged during the day, he instructed his men where to go, and then lay down, closing his eyes that he might not be distracted while thinking over his instructions. And thus matters remained for some time, the men silently rowing and their officer apparently sleeping. In the meantime, the boat having drawn near to the British line, the men stopped rowing and (thinking the commander asleep) began to whisper together.

"The Colonel is asleep," said one of them. “For one, I am tired of being starved. Now is our chance. Why not ?"

And they shipped their oars, and hurriedly debated what they should do with their officer. He was not asleep, however, but heard all that was said; and when the time for action arrived, he sprang to his feet, and seizing a stout boat-hook, fortunately at hand, knocked the leading traitor from the boat.

Then, drawing a pistol, he said sternly, "The man that speaks, or stirs, dies."

For a moment the men looked uncertain, when seeing in his eyes that he would do what he said, and the man overboard having risen and seized the side of the boat, crying for mercy, they also asked for it, and swore vehemently that if he would forgive them, they would be true as death.

"Well," said Col. Quackenbush, "I will trust you. Take in your comrade, but mark me, the man that in any way betrays us to the enemy, I will kill; now row."

And the men, completely cowed, obeyed silently, and the reconnoissance was safely made.

By a curious coincidence, Col. Quackenbush again met the same party after the army was disbanded. As his way homeward took him to another station of the army, to which Gen. Gates desired to transmit a large sum of money, he requested him to take charge of it. This he agreed to do, and while on his way, through a lonely road in the forest, he suddenly came upon a party of men bivouacked around a camp fire. Seeing a solitary horseman approaching, they rose hurriedly and separated, apparently to intercept him. This suspicious action for a moment caused Col. Quackenbush to hesitate, but it being the habit of his life to meet danger when it came face to face, he boldly rode up to the party.

And the event proved he was right, for when the men recognized him they shouted together, "It is the Colonel. God bless you, sir, and its mighty glad we are to see you."

"And so am I to see you, boys. Where are you going?"

"Well, Colonel, it's happy we'd be to go with you. Sure we'd be true to you. We'd follow you to hell."

"But I'm not going that way, boys, so we'll have to part. There are a few dollars to help you on; goodbye, and don't forget that your country needs good men and true. Be such; goodbye."

"Goodbye, Colonel," said the leader. "Three cheers for the Colonel," and as long as he was in sight the forest rang with the huzzas."

Colonel Quackenbush was not only a strong and brave man, but also of fine presence, being over six feet in height. The picture I have of him (a copy of a portrait by Stewart, I think) my grandmother said was an excellent likeness. If it is we have occasion to be proud of his appearance, as all the lines show it was that of a gentleman.

There is a family tradition that Col. Quackenbush received an autograph letter from Gen. Washington, which was borrowed by a relative and never returned.

Henry Quackenbush held many public offices, as a member of Assembly, etc. He died February 2, 1813, and a monument marks his grave in the Albany Rural Cemetery, bearing the following inscription:

Sacred to the memory of Colonel Henry Quackenbush, who, having lived the life, died the death, of the righteous, on the 2nd of February, 1813, aged 76 years. Colonel Quackenbush was with Lord Amherst at Ticonderoga, with General Gates at Saratoga, " in the days that tried men's souls ! "Chairman of the Committee on Safety, Member of the Colonial Legislature, Elector of President and Vice-President. In all the relations of life, virtuous; in all the stations which he filled, faithful; respected and honored in life, and lamented in death

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Capture Of George Cuck, Notorious Tory

The following is a true story based on History of Schoharie County, New York and Border Wars of New York by Jeptha R. Simms.

For those that have no idea what a Tory or a Whig is, let me briefly explain. A Tory holds a political philosophy (Toryism) based on a British version of traditionalism and conservatism. In politics, as the Loyalists of British America they opposed American secession during the American Revolutionary War. The Tory ethos has been summed up with the phrase "God, King and Country", and are opposed to the liberalism of the Whig faction. A Whig was a political party during the 1700's who fought for independence against England. "Whig" meant opposing tyranny.

The following incident transpired in the spring of 1780, in the Mohawk valley. The facts were related to the author by John S. Quackenboss, and Isaac Covenhoven, the latter one of the actors: George Cuck, a Tory who had become somewhat notorious from his having been engaged with the enemy at Oriskany, Cherry-Valley, and elsewhere, entered the valley of the Mohawk late in the fall of 1779, with the view of obtaining the scalps of Capt Jacob Gardiner, and his Lieut. Abraham D. Quackenboss, (father of John S.,) for which the enemy had offered a large bounty.

Cuck was seen several times in the fall, and on one occasion, while sitting upon a rail fence, was fired upon by Abraham Covenhoven, a former whig neighbor. The ball entered the rail upon which he sat, and he escaped. As nothing more was seen of him after that event, it was generally supposed he had returned to Canada.

At this period, a tory by the name of John Van Zuyler, resided in a small dwelling which stood in a then retired spot, a few rods south of the present residence of Maj. James Winne, in the town of Glen. Van Zuyler had three daughters, and although he lived some distance from neighbors, and a dense forest intervened between his residence and the river settlements, several miles distant, the young whigs would occasionally visit his girls. Tory girls, I must presume, sometimes made agreeable sparks, or sparkers, especially in sugar time.

James Cromwell, a young man who lived near the Mohawk, went out one pleasant summer evening in the month of March, to see one of Van Zuyler's daughters. Most of the settlers then made maple sugar, and Cromwell found his fair Dulcinea, boiling sap in the sugar bush. While they were sparking it, the term for courting in the country, the girl, perhaps thinking her name would soon be Mrs. Cromwell, became very confiding and communicative. She told her beau that the tory Cuck, was at their house. Cromwell at first appeared incredulous—" he is surely there," said she, "and when any one visits the

house, he is secreted under the floor." The report of his having been seen in the fall instantly recurred to his mind, and from the earnestness of the girl, he believed her story. Perhaps Cromwell was aware that the girl when with him was inclined to be whiggish - be that as it may, he resolved instantly to set about ascertaining the truth or falsehood of the information. In a very short time he complained of being made suddenly ill, from eating too much sugar.

The girl whose sympathy was aroused, thinking from his motions that he was badly griped (ill to the stomach), finally consented to let him go home and sugar off alone. Away went Cromwell pressing his hands upon his bowels, and groaning fearfully until he was out of sight and hearing of his paramour, when the pains left him. Taking a direct course through the woods, he reached the dwelling of Capt. Jacob Gardinier, some four miles below his own, and within the present village of Fultonville, about 12 o'clock at night, and calling him up, told him what he had heard. Capt. Gardinier sent immediatly to his Lieut. Quackenboss, to select a dozen stout hearted men and meet them as soon as possible at his house. The lieutenant enquired what business was on hand — the messenger replied — "Capt. Gardinier said I should tell you that there was a black bear to be caught." In a short time the requisite number of whigs had assembled, and the captain, taking his lieutenant aside, told him the duty he had to perform. He declined going himself on account of ill health, and entrusted the enterprise to his lieutenant. He directed him to proceed with the utmost caution, as the foe was no doubt armed, and as his name was a terror in the valley, to kill him at all hazards. The party well armed, set off on the mission.

The snow yet on the ground was crusted so hard, that it bore them, and having the advantage of a bright moon-light night, they marched rapidly forward. Halting a quarter of a mile from Van Zuyler's house, the lieutenant struck up a fire, and as his men gathered round an ignited stump, he addressed them nearly as follows: " My brave lads! It is said the villian Cuck, is in yonder house, secreted beneath the floor. The object of our visit is to destroy him. He is a bold and desperate fellow — doubtless well armed, and in all probability some of us must fall by his hand. Those of you, therefore, who decline engaging in so dangerous an undertaking, are now at liberty to return home."

"We are ready to follow where you dare to lead!" was the response of one and all. It is yet too early, said the lieutenant, and while they were waiting for the return of day, the plan of attack was agreed upon. At the stump was assembled Lieut Quackenboss, Isaac and Abraham Covenhoven, twin brothers, John Ogden, Jacob Collier, Abraham J., and Peter J. Quackenboss, Martin Gardinier, James Cromwell, Gilbert Van Alstyne, Nicholas, son of Capt. Gardinier, a sergeant, Henry Thompson, and Nicholas Quackenboss, also a sergeant It was agreed that the party should separate and approach the house in different directions, so as not to excite suspicion.

The appearance of a light in the dwelling was the signal for moving forward, and selecting Ogden, Collier, and Abraham J. Quackenboss to follow him, the lieutenant led directly to the house. As they approached it, a large watch dog met them with his yelping, which caused the opening of a little wooden slide over a loophole for observation, by a member of the family; but seeing only four persons, the inmates supposed they were sugar-makers. On reaching the door and finding it fastened, the soldiers instantly forced it — the family, as may be supposed, were thrown into confusion by the unexpected entrance of armed men.

"What do you want here?" demanded Van Zuyler. "The tory George Cuck!" was the lieutenant's reply. Van Zuyler declared 'that the object of their search was not in his house. The three daughters had already gone to the sugar-works, and their father expressed to Lieut Quackenboss, his wish to go there too. He was permitted to go, but thinking it possible that Cuck might also have gone there, several men then approaching the house, were ordered to keep an eye on his movement Abraham Covenhoven was one of the second party who entered the house. There was a dark stairway which led to an upper room, in which it was thought the object of their search might be secreted. Covenhoven was in the act of ascending the stairs with his gun aimed upward, and ready to fire, as Abraham J. Quackenboss, drew a large chest from the wall on one side of the room, disclosing the object of their search. Discharging a pistol at Nicholas Gardinier, the tory sprang out before Quackenboss, who was so surprised that he stood like a statue, exclaiming, "dimeter! dundcr! dunder!"

The wary lieutenant was on his guard, and as Cuck leaped upon the floor from a little cellar hole, made on purpose for his secretion, he sent a bullet through his head, carrying with it the eye opposite. He fell upon one knee, when the lieutenant ordered' the two comrades beside him to fire. Ogden did so, sending a bullet through his breast, and as he sank to the floor, Collier, placing the muzzle of his gun near his head, blew out his brains. Thus ended the life of a man, who, in an evil hour, had resolved to imbrue his hands in the blood of his former neighbors and countrymen.

When the first gun was fired, Covenhoven said the report was so loud and unexpected that he supposed it fired by Cuck himself, and came near falling down stairs. Had the party not divided into several squads, the peep from the slide window would have betrayed the object of their visit, and more than one would doubtless have fallen before the villain had been slain, for he had two loaded guns in the house, and a brace of well charged pistols, only one of which he had taken into his kennel. They also found belonging to him, a complete Indian's dress, and two small bags of parched corn and maple sugar, pounded fine and lumped together, an Indian dish, called by the Dutch qtcitcheraw — intended as food for a long journey.

After his death, it was ascertained that Cuck had entered the valley late in the fall — that he had been concealed at the house of this kindred spirit, who pretended neutrality in the contest, whose retired situation favored the plans of his guest, and was watching a favorable opportunity to secure the scalps mentioned, and return to Canada. The making of maple sugar he had supposed would favor his intentions, as an enemy was unlooked for so early in the season, and the persons whose scalps he sought, would probably expose themselves in the woods. He had intended, if possible, to secure both scalps in one day, and by a hasty flight, pursue the nearest route to Canada. As the time of sugar making had arrived, it is probable his enterprise was on the eve of being consummated; but the goddess of liberty, spread her wings in his path, and defeated his hellish intentions.

Van Zuyler was made a prisoner by the party, and lodged in the jail at Johnstown; from whence he was removed not long after to Albany. When they were returning home with Van Zuyler in custody, as they approached the sugar busk of Evert Van Epps, near the present village of Fultonville, one of them, putting on the Indian dress of Cuck, (which, with the guns and pistols were taken home as trophies,) approached the sugar makers as

an enemy, which occasioned a precipitate retreat. The fugitives were called back by others of the party, when a rope being provided, their prisoner was drawn up to the limb of a tree several times by the neck; but as he had been guilty of no known crime, except that of harboring Cuck, although suspected of burning Covenhoven's barn in the fall, his life was spared and he was disposed of as before stated. Cuck was a native of Tryon county, and was born not many miles from where he died

Saturday, September 14, 2019

A True Old Salt - Admiral Stephen Platt Quackenbush

It always amazes me that the Quackenbush family is so deeply embedded in the beginnings of this great country. A Quackenbush has been in every conflict or war since the French and Indian War. Several were members of the "Liberty Boys" or "Sons of Liberty”. Many more have served in various branches of service with distinction. Such is the case of Stephen Platt Quackenbush.

His first cruise was around the world on the USS Boston (1825), a sloop of war. The fourth USS Boston, it was an 18-gun sloop of war, launched on 15 October 1825 by the Boston Navy Yard and commissioned the following year. Stephen served aboard the Boston from 1844 – 1846.

Stephen's second ship was the USS Albany (1846), also a sloop of war. 1846-1850, The Albany(1846), The first ship with this name, was laid down at the New York Navy Yard sometime in 1843; launched on 27 June 1846; and commissioned on 6 November 1846, Captain Samuel Livingston Breese in command. Stephen must have joined the ship's company at or shortly after its commissioning. He served aboard the Albany from 1846 - 1850.

Stephen's next ship was a Sail Frigate name USS Congress. He served on the Congress from 1855 - 1861. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1855. On 19 June 1855, Congress sailed for the Mediterranean and there followed two years as flagship of Cmdre. Samuel Livingston Breese. Sailing from Spezia, Italy on 26 November 1857, she arrived at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 13 January 1858, and was placed out of commission.

In 1859, Congress was reassigned as flagship of Cmdre. Joshua R. Sands and the Brazil Squadron,
remaining in that area until the Civil War precipitated her return to Boston, Massachusetts on 22 August 1861.

In 1861-1862 he was in charge of the navy-yard at Pensacola, Florida.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, Stephen was was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and actively engaged in commanding the USS Delaware, USS Unadilla, USS Pequot, USS Mingo, and USS Patapsco.

USS Delaware (1861)

USS Delaware (1861) was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy for use during the American Civil War. It was the fourth ship to be named Delaware by the Navy. was to sink or capture Confederate ships, and to bombard forts and other military installations. Assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Delaware went up the James River on 26 December on patrol. In January 1862, she sailed for Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina as part of General Burnside's expedition against Confederate forces in the North Carolina sounds. Delaware took part in the capture of Roanoke Island in February, and she took part in the attack on Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where she shared in the capture or destruction of five Confederate gunboats and two schooners. Also in February, Delaware and seven other gunboats made a reconnaissance up the Chowan River. The mission was to destroy two railroad bridges above the town of Winton. During this mission she was nearly ambushed at the town wharf by a force of Confederate soldiers and artillery hiding among the brush near the dock.

The ambush was spotted in time to sheer off. The ships superstructure was severely shot up by rifle fire, but artillery overshot its mark. After sheering off from the dock Delaware returned fire and dispersed the Confederate militia. The next day, Delaware and the other gunboats returned to Winton and finding it deserted, the town was burned, In March, Delaware participated in the capture of New Bern, and captured four vessels.

His services in the sounds of North Carolina were recognized and appreciated by Flag Officer Goldsborough and General Burnside and also by Vice Admiral Rowan, whose flag he carried on board the Delaware, which Quackenbush, then Lieutenant Commander commanded in the battle of Roanoke Island, Elizabeth City and New Berne.

The USS Unadilla was a Unadilla-class gunboat built for service with the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She was the lead ship in her class and was used to patrol navigable waterways of the Confederacy to prevent the South from trading with other countries. The Unadilla joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron participated in the capture of Fort Walker and Fort Beauregard in Port Royal Sound, South Carolina. During the attack,the gunboat was struck six times but suffered no casualties and sustained only minor damage. Control of Port Royal Sound enabled the Union Navy to coordinate the blockade of the southern Atlantic seacoast more effectively for the duration of the war.

In January 1862, Unadilla joined Pembina on patrol in Wright's River, South Carolina. The gunboats fired on and drove back two Confederate steamers attempting to reach Ft. Pulaski, Georgia, and damaged three others.

USS Patapsco (1862)

The USS Patapsco was a Passaic-class ironclad monitor. She was named for the Patapsco River in Maryland. Assigned to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, she took part in a bombardment of Fort McAllister in March. In April, Patapsco joined eight other ironclads in a vigorous attack on Fort Sumter, and received 47 hits from Confederate gunfire during that day.

Beginning in mid-July, she began her participation in a lengthy bombardment campaign against Charleston's defending fortifications. This led to the capture of Fort Wagner in early September. Fort Sumter was reduced to a pile of rubble, but remained a formidable opponent.

On 14 January 1865, while participating in obstruction clearance operations in Charleston

Harbor, Patapsco struck a Confederate mine and sank in 20 seconds, with heavy loss of life. Out of a crew of 104, 61 men were lost and 7 officers out of 12.

USS Mingo (1862)

The USS Mingo, a stern-wheel steamer built at California, Pennsylvania, in 1859 and used to tow coal barges, was purchased at Pittsburgh by Lt. Col. Charles Ellet for the War Department early in April 1862. She was fitted out as a ram at Pittsburgh and headed down the Ohio River in April to join a fleet of rams which were organizing to counter the Confederate River Defense Fleet. In May the Confederate flotilla made a spirited attack on Union gunboats and mortar schooners at Plum Point Bend, Tennessee, sinking Cincinnati and forcing the Mound City aground. A short time later all but one of the rams had joined the Union flotilla above Fort Pillow ready for action. As the ram fleet and Western Flotilla prepared to attack, General Halleck's capture of Corinth, Mississippi, in May cut the railway lines which supported the Confederate positions at Forts Pillow and Randolph, forcing the South to abandon these river strongholds.

USS Pequot (1863)

The USS Pequot (1863) was a wooden screw gunboat of the Union Navy during the American Civil War. The ship was launched on 4 June 1863 by the Boston Navy Yard; and commissioned there on 15 January 1864, Lt. Comdr. Stephen P. Quackenbush in command. The ship was named for the Pequot Indian tribe resident in Southern Connecticut.

Personal Items Belonging To Stephen P. Quackenbush

The gunboat departed Boston in February 1865 and joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. She captured British blockade runner Don off Beaufort, North Carolina, in March, and helped the Army beat back a Confederate attack on Wilson's Wharf, James River, Virginia, in May. He received a shot that took off his right leg. Blockade duty occupied her until she participated in the first and the second battles on Fort Fisher which protected Wilmington, North Carolina, in February 1864 and January 1865, closing that last major Confederate port. She followed this victory by helping capture Fort Anderson, North Carolina.

With the end of the Civil War military life returned to a more leisurely pace. Lieutenant Commander Stephen Quackenbush was promoted to Commander in 1866, Captain in 1871, Commodore in 1880, and finally Rear Admiral in July 1884. Admiral Stephen Platt Quackenbush was retired in 1885 after 45 years of service.. Admiral Quackenbush was a member of MOLLUS (Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States) installation in the District of Columbia Commandery (Insignia No. 3137) and was awarded Order of the Magellan by the U.S. Navy.

Admiral Stephen Pratt Quackenbush passed away February 3, 1890 at his home in Washington D.C. and was buried at Oak Hill Cemetary, Plot: Stewart, Lot 517 East.

Fair Winds and Following Seas Admiral. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.


Friday, September 13, 2019

John Van Pelt Quackenbush - Surgeon General, New York

JOHN VAN PELT QUACKENBUSH, son of John N. Quackenbush; born in Albany N.Y., June 3, 1819; married. Sept. 9, I846, Elizabeth, daughter of Deodatus Wright and Louisa Maria Herrick.

Children: Louisa Maria, born June 24, 1848; married. March 31, 1875, to Lieutenant Commander Charles H. Davis, U.S.N., 3 children.

Dr. John Van Pelt Quackenbush entered the Sophomore Class at Williams College, and was a member of the Sigma Phi Fraternity. He graduated in 1838 and was as signed the honor of delivering the Greek oration. He studied medicine with Dr. Peter Wendell of Albany, and received the degree of M. D. in 1842 from the Albany Medical College, He practiced medicine successfully for many years, and in 1855 became professor of obstetrics and diseases of women at the Albany Medical College.

In 1868 he was elected President of the Medical Society of the State of New York, and under the administration of Governor Seymour, during the War of the Rebellion, he was Surgeon General of the State of New York. Dr. Quackenbush took a lively interest in politics, and in 1858 ran for Mayor of Albany, but was defeated. In 1876 he was selected as a delegate from the Medical Society of the State of New York to the International Medical Congress held in Philadelphia. Dr. John Van Pelt Quackenbush died June 8, 1876.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Ma And Pa Quackenbush

Eddie Page and Lillian Deskin played characters Ma and Pa Quackenbush during the 1940's and shared the stage with a group called the Louisiana Sharecroppers. Ma and Pa were master musicians and between the two they could play over fourteen instruments and every show they brought the house down. Although they weren't real Quackenbush's its very interesting that they chose the name Quackenbush for their characters.

Ma and Pa Quackenbush were also known as the Rural Sophisticates.


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Quackenbush's Gypsies - LCDR Robert S. Quackenbush

This story has been reprinted with permission from MCARA, Marine Corps Aerial Reconnaissance Association.

The Marine Corps Aviation Reconnaissance Association, Inc. (MCARA), was formed in 1990 to serve the interests of active duty, retired and former Marines of all ranks & MOS who have served or are currently serving in Marine Corps aviation reconnaissance or electronic warfare units.

South Pacific 1942-1943

PROLOGUE: The following story is an extract from a manuscript drafted by LCDR. George Carroll in the 1980s timeframe and edited by Cdr. Ficken in November, 1991. The relevance to the Marine Corps photographic history will be evident to the reader, however there are some minor inaccuracies and additions worth mentioning.

First, the USMC fighter squadron mentioned as being discovered on New Caledonia was VMO-251 which also just arrived and was in process of putting their F4F-3P aircraft back together at Tontouta airfield. They had about 15 photographers or photo technicians with them who were readily available and willing to fly photo missions in the USAAF B-17s stationed at Tontouta and later Espiritu Santo. After the critical Guadalcanal mission on 23 July, they continued to fly with the B-17s including a mission on 2 August over nearby Tulagi island, the site of a raider battalion landing on 7 August in conjunction with the main event on Guadalcanal.

From August until November, the photographers flew daily missions with the USAAF 11th Bombardment Group’s B-17s from Espiritu Santo up the Solomon chain in support of Navy & Marine Corps operations. Several of VMO-251's trained photo troops moved up to Guadalcanal and worked closely with the 1stMARDIV and Quackenbush’s Navy photo interpretation unit. At least 2 USMC F4F-7P long range photo aircraft began operating from Henderson Field during October 1942. VMD-154 arrived in November with their B-24D/PBY4-1 aircraft to provide dedicated photo reconnaissance support for the Solomon Island campaign, and it was their CO Lt. Col Bard that flew the mission on 4 December revealing the new Japanese airfield at Munda only 175 miles from Guadalcanal. They did not fly bombing or strafing missions in B-25 or P-38 aircraft as reported below. (Col H. Wayne Whitten, USMC (ret) Jun 2008).

In June 1942, LCDR. Robert S. Quackenbush, Jr., USN was ordered to the South Pacific Ocean area where he was to establish and operate the first U.S. Naval Photographic Aerial Reconnaissance--Photographic Interpretation operations in the Solomon Islands area.

Prior to LCDR. Quackenbush's departure from Washington, D.C., he personally went to

the office of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, where he explained his problems to a vice admiral regarding establishing a photographic reconnaissance-interpretation unit in the South Pacific.

The admiral, after listening to Quackenbush's statements for several minutes, asked "Commander, how many photo interpreters will you need?" Quackenbush replied "fifty." The admiral didn't really hit the ceiling, but he came close, remarking that fifty was ridiculous and further stating that Quackenbush could have four or five interpreters.

CDR Quackenbush replied to the admiral, "if that is all of the photo interpreters that I can have, I want my orders changed into some other business."

Quackenbush was able to convince the admiral by a simple example, such as how long it takes for one person to read a book, versus 30 people reading it simultaneously, then sharing the knowledge and comparing the photo interpreters to firemen who don't do anything when there is no fire except keep the firehouse clean, and when there is a fire, they want everybody to help them. The admiral turned around and gave Quackenbush his approval for fifty photo interpreters, that is--on paper.

Their aerial photo films were flown back to Espirito Santos for processing and printing, where a rush set of prints were made and flown back to Guadalcanal for the forward area photo interpreters to make what was then called first phase interpretation information which was distributed to the immediate ground and ship forces which were then engaged in combat operations with the Japanese forces in the Solomon Island area.

The photo interpreters at Espirito Santos also made the second and third phase interpretation of the aerial photo recon pictures, a duplicate negative and a set of prints of the VMD-154 aerial photos were sent to "JIGPA," (Joint Intelligence Group Pacific Area) at Pearl Harbor, an intelligence unit under the immediate staff of Fleet Admiral Nimitz.

Early in December 1942 VMD-154 photo recon PBY4Y-1 made aerial photographs of Munda on the Island of New Georgia, which revealed thru photo interpretation that that Japanese were building an air field at Munda. This photo interpretation information was reported to the Commander of the South Pacific who ordered a heavy cruiser division to proceed with a bombardment of the Japanese airfield then under construction at Munda.

VMD-154 Marine Air Squadron operated from Guadalcanal until about April 1943, when Commander Howell J. Dyson, USN arrived at Guadalcanal with his VD-1 photo recon squadron of eight PB4Y-1P four engine, high altitude, long range photo planes which operated from Carney field on Guadalcanal.

Early in December 1942, Major Charles H. Cox, USMCR joined the staff of Commander Aircraft South Pacific on board the USS CURTISS at Espirito Santos as photo intelligence officer under CDR. Robert S. Quackenbush, Jr., USN.

By mid-December 1942, CDR Quackenbush had several photo interpreters operating at the U.S. Marine command forward area on Guadalcanal, who were furnishing first phase photo intelligence information to the allied combat troop commanders who were engaged in the battle of the Solomon Islands. CDR Quackenbush at the same time had a number of photo interpreters operating at his headquarters at Espirito Santos.

The photo interpreters at Guadalcanal did their evaluation studies of the aerial photographs working in a small paramidal (ed. pyramidal?) tent day and night, which was

not an easy assignment under the heat of the tropics, plus the heat from the electric lamps, along with the tropical insects that were ever present to make life miserable for the photo interpreters.

The Guadalcanal photo interpreters got a quonset hut around the middle or latter part of December 1942, which greatly improved their operating conditions compared to their tent conditions.

By October 1942, Quackenbush's original Gypsies aerial photographers had grown to some 14 U.S. Navy photographers who flew in the U.S. Army Air Force B-17 bombers, from which they made aerial photo reconnaissance photographs during the various bombing missions on Japanese positions in the Solomon’s.

Late in October 1942, Chief photographer John Highfill USN in charge of some 20 Naval photographers reported for duty to CDR Quackenbush on the seaplane tender USS CURTISS at Espirito Santos where on board the CURTISS they operated a small photo laboratory for the processing, printing and map laying of the aerial photos being made by the Naval photographers flying in the Army Air Force B-17 bombers.

By January 1943, several quonset huts were erected at Espirito Santos which provided much better photo lab-photo interpretation facilities than those on board the USS CURTISS.

The U.S. Naval photo unit under chief photographer Highfill became known as "Quackenbush's Pioneer Band" which grew in a 13-month period Aug. 1942 to Sept. 1943 from one Naval officer, CDR. Quackenbush and two U.S. Marine Corps photographers to four commissioned Naval officers, three warrant photo officers, one civilian (Mr. Herb Meade), and 67 enlisted Naval photographers.

The South Pacific photo interpretation unit started in late July 1942 by CDR. Quackenbush, USN as the one and only qualified photo interpreter, which, in a period of some 13-15 months increased to some 75 qualified photo interpreters operating under the direction of CDR. Robert S. Quackenbush, Jr., USN in the South Pacific Ocean area.

During the Battle of the Solomon’s, the U.S. Navy had a number of PT boats that were operating in the coral infested ocean areas in the Solomon Islands.

These PT boats operated mostly at night traveling at high speeds through the coral infested waters, therefore it became a very important task for the photo interpreters to furnish information gathered from aerial photos, the location and water depth of the coral formations to the PT boat commanders, providing information to enable them to chart courses clear of the coral formations.

CDR Quackenbush furnished qualified photo interpreters who operated at the PT boat bases providing daily coral reef information along with other photo intelligence information to the PT Boat Command, upon which the PT boat crews placed high reliance and were most appreciative and thankful because this information saved PT boats and lives of the crews.

In my interview with BGEN Cox in 1971, quote "We found the waters so clear in the South Pacific that we could photograph the areas of the PT boat operations and by using the stereo comparagraph we could estimate the depth of the coral heads down to 12 feet or more."

"We could show the areas where it was dangerous for the PT boats and those fellows were indebted to us for life, they just thought there was nothing like the photo interpretation, as many others did." unquote.

BGEN Cox also commented during our 1971 tape recording, quote "It was estimated in the Pacific Ocean areas that photo interpretation photography was responsible for at least 85% of the total intelligence that was collected on the Japanese held islands." unquote.

The following description is somewhat typical in regard to the daily close look by trained photo interpreters at at aerial photographs made over Japanese held islands in the Pacific.

Early in December 1942, a small group of Naval photo interpreters at Guadalcanal were looking over some aerial photographs made by the U.S. Marine air squadron VMD-154 photo reconnaissance PB4Y-1P airplane that had made a flight over Munda on the island of New Georgia. In the aerial photos there didn't seem to be any evidence of any new developments of the Japanese held island, however young Ensign Swartz, an architect graduate from Georgia Tech, in his comparison of the aerial photo on the stereo viewer with previously made aerial photos of the same area, observed some changes in the ground cover among the coconut trees, so he brought the photos to the attention of Major Cox who at the time was the senior photo interpreter at Guadalcanal.

Ensign Swartz told Major Cox that in studying the present and previous aerial photos, there seemed to be a lot of coral in the coconut tree areas, which wasn't anything particularly new in the area, however, as Ensign Swartz looked at the area, the coral seemed to form a powder in an area near the water and started out there on the edges of the pattern about the width of an airfield runway, then there was another, and it was right on line, seeming to parallel the others.

Ensign Swartz stated to Major Cox, "I think the Japs are pulling a fast one, trying to build a runway underneath the coconut palms." Ensign Swartz further commented that "You know Major, that the coco palm tree roots are very shallow, and there seems to be little piles of coral all around in between a lot of these coconut trees, right in the area of the extensions of these plots that have been built."

Ensign Swartz said, "I think that what the Japs are planning to do is to go ahead and build their basic airfield runways, and then cut off the coconut trees below the runway level, fill in the holes with the piles of coral and start operating an airfield."

This particular area was re-photographed and a very close evaluation was made by the Guadalcanal photo interpreters who produced evidence that the Japanese were in fact building a new air field at Munda on the Island of New Georgia. This photo interpreters information was immediately passed to the commander of the South Pacific area, who ordered a heavy cruiser division ship bombardment of the area, which was a prime night time target one night during which the shell fire from the cruisers knocked the hell out of the new Japanese air field that was under construction.

However, the Japanese even with their manual labor and very few tractors would just fill in the shell holes about as fast as we could blast the field by our hit and run heavy cruiser night attacks.

The Japanese did finish the new air field at Munda on the Island of New Georgia with a lot of difficulty before our South Pacific forces landed at Munda in 1943, when we captured the island and used this Japanese airfield for our land-based aircraft squadron operations in the Solomon Islands in 1943-1944.

This photo interpretation information was typical of the kinds of things that were revealed almost daily and most certainly weekly by the photo interpreters reading the aerial photos made by the U.S. Naval and U.S. Marine Corps photo reconnaissance airplanes through all of the islands in the Pacific from Guadalcanal to Japan during World War II.

During the period from August 1942 to Sept. 1943, CDR Robert S. Quackenbush, Jr., USN with his aerial photo reconnaissance operations in the Pacific and his group of photo interpreters demonstrated the value of aerial photography of the Japanese held islands, which in the hands of, and through the eyes of trained photo interpreters, revealed military intelligence information which the top military commands of the various task forces held in high reliance in the pursuit of the war effort in the Pacific from Guadalcanal to Japan.

Late in 1943 to early 1944, CDR Quakenbush returned to the states where he was assigned duty in the Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, Washington, D.C. as Director of the Naval Photography Division.

In February 1943, Charles H. Cox was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, USMCR while on the staff of the Commander, South Pacific Force (Admiral WIlliam F. Halsey, USN) as photographic intelligence officer and officer in charge of the South Pacific combat intelligence center. Col Cox returned to the states in March 1944 and was assigned duty as officer in charge of the U.S. Naval Photographic Intelligence Center at the U.S. Naval Photographic Science Laboratory, NAS, Anacostia, D.C.

So in June 1942 LCDR. Robert S. Quackenbush, Jr., USN, by himself, minus the 50 photo interpreters, departed from San Francisco, California on board the Dutch merchant ship Fontaine bound for the South Pacific Islands and New Zealand.

On July 16, 1942, the Fontaine tied up at a dock at Auckland, New Zealand at about 6pm. The ship had only been tied up a few minutes when a messenger came aboard with a message that Vice Admiral Ghormley wanted to see LCDR. Quackenbush. VADM Robert L. Ghormley, USN then being the Commander South Pacific force.

Quackenbush left the ship Fontaine and proceeded to officially report into the staff headquarters of the admiral, and then proceeded to report to Admiral Ghormley where he got chewed out as to why he wasn't there sooner, and why he didn't fly down rather than take a long voyage via ship. Quackenbush's answer was that the reason for his passage via ship was that he didn't know where he was going.

Admiral Ghormley escorted LCDR. Quackenbush to a meeting of officers headed by RADM. Richmond Kelley Turner, USN, where he was briefed. They said they had been waiting for him, Quackenbush was very much flattered, but didn't know what for.

They informed Quackenbush that they were going to make an assault on Guadalcanal. At that point Quackenbush didn't know where Guadalcanal was, in fact he had never even heard of it. Admiral Turner a little later informed Quackenbush where Guadalcanal was located and how they were going to capture it.

Admiral Turner told Quackenbush, "all I wish from you, young man, is complete photo

coverage in order to drop pictures at sea to my forces who are now en-route in the Pacific to Guadalcanal."

Quackenbush told Admiral Turner that he appreciated his confidence in him, and that he didn't want to alibi his first assignment in the war, but that he was all by himself, had no airplanes, no photographers, no photographic equipment and no photo interpreters. The admirals only reply was "don't bother me with minor details."

The next morning, July 17, 1942, at the crack of dawn, Quackenbush was in a PBY Catalina Flying Boat, which was flown to New Caledonia where he reported aboard the USS CURTIS, a seaplane tender, the flagship and headquarters of Rear Admiral McCain, USN who was then Commander Aircraft Squadrons South Pacific.

Admiral McCain was surprised to see LCDR. Quackenbush, and asked what he was doing there. When Quackenbush advised the admiral that he was on his staff, the admiral said that was news to him, and wanted to know what Quackenbush was going to do. Quackenbush replied that they were supposed to obtain pictures of Guadalcanal and drop them on the command ship of the assault forces of the fleet that was then en-route to the Solomon Island area, the position of the assault force being unknown at that time.

Quackenbush told the admiral that the aerial photographs and the photo interpretation information on what, where and how much the Japanese had on Guadalcanal was needed by the commander of the assault forces prior to their landing at Guadalcanal.

Admiral McCain remarked "what are you going to use for aircraft?" with Quackenbush answering, "that is not my problem, that is yours, admiral" Quackenbush reminding the admiral that he had some PBY-Catalinas. Admiral McCain remarked "I wouldn't sent you up to Guadalcanal in a PBY, even if Ernie King himself said so." Admiral King was then the Commander Pacific Fleet Aircraft with headquarters at Pearl Harbor, T. H. directly under the Commander in Chief of the Pacific, Admiral Chester Nimitz, USN.

LCDR. Quackenbush waited until July 23, 1942 when two U.S. Army Air Force B-17 airplanes arrived from Australia, which were assigned to CDR. Quackenbush for aerial photographic reconnaissance of Guadalcanal.

The week between July 17 and July 23, 1942 CDR. Quackenbush discovered a U.S. Marine Corps fighter squadron at New Caledonia, and believe it or not, even though they were a fighter squadron, they had two marine photographers in their ground crew pumping gasoline.

The commanding officer of the U.S. Marine Corps fighter squadron was a Marine officer by the name of Johnny Hart, who in 1932 was a classmate of Quackenbush in the U.S. Naval Photography School at Pensacola, FL.

CDR. Quackenbush asked Johnny Hart for the services of the two Marine Corps photographers to fly with him in U.S. Army Air Force B-17 airplanes to make aerial photographic reconnaissance photos of the Japanese held positions on Guadalcanal.

The seaplane tender USS CURTIS had two Fairchild K3B 12" focal length aerial cameras, which were fitted for the small hole in the belly of the B-17 airplanes.

The two B-17 airplanes need full tanks of gasoline in the bomb bays in order to make the flight from New Caledonia to Guadalcanal and back, a distance of some 1000 miles one,

making the flight about 2000 miles.

On July 23, 1942 the two U.S. Army Air Force B-17 airplanes, with CDR. Robert S. Quackenbush, Jr., USN, in the nose of the lead airplane as mission director and navigator, with U.S. Army Air Force pilots and crew, and a U.S. Marine Corps aerial photographer in each of the two B-17 airplanes with Navy cameras departed from their base at New Caledonia bound for Guadalcanal knowing nothing about the weather, and very little about the many islands between New Caledonia and Guadalcanal. About the only thing they did know was where New Caledonia and Guadalcanal were located.

During their flight up from New Caledonia to Guadalcanal, they flew through two or three batches of real bad weather, which Quackenbush thought were weather fronts. When they arrived in the Guadalcanal area, the weather was clear as a bell, the two B-17 airplanes flying abreast of each other for parallel photo flight line coverage at an altitude of 12,000 feet. The two B-17 airplanes approached the island of Guadalcanal from Taiwan, which was to the east of Guadalcanal.

When the two B-17 airplanes were over their assigned target areas, CDR. Quackenbush gave the order via the aircrafts intercom system "start cameras," which his two U.S. Marine Corps photographers promptly did, taking vertical 60% overlap aerial photographs with the Fairchild K3B 12-inch focal length lens. The two B-17 airplanes were flying abreast of each other on parallel course with a distance between the two B-17s to give approximately a 40% photo flight line coverage.

The two B-17 airplanes after starting their aerial photo coverage were shot at by Japanese anti-aircraft shore batteries. Quackenbush said, they were lousy shots, he could see black anti-aircraft shell bursts all over the sky, but fortunately, none even close to the two B-17 airplanes.

The two B-17 airplanes were about half way through their assigned Guadalcanal target area, when they were jumped by five Japanese zero fighters on floats, as the Japanese had no air fields at that time on Guadalcanal.

The Japanese pilots of the five zero fighters made the mistake of attacking the two B-17 airplanes by making firing passes on the B-17 airplanes by splitting up and pressing their attack separately. Four of the five Japanese zero fighters were shot down by the machine gunners on the two B-17 airplanes. By the time that the fourth zero was shot down, the two B-17 airplanes had covered their Guadalcanal photo coverage assignment and had entered clouds just south of the island and were then on a course taking them back to New Caledonia.

During the time that the Japanese zero fighters had the B-17 photo planes in their sights, CDR. Quackenbush manned the machine gun in the nose of his airplane when one of the Japanese zero fighters made a firing run by approaching the B-17 from straight ahead,--on a collision course, according to Quackenbush, the Japanese pilot was a lousy shot and so was I, he was approaching us at a very high speed, guns blazing, I was scared, the zero passed underneath but very close to our plane,--none of his machine gun bullets hit our plane and I don't think I hit him, but it sure was scary for a few moments.

Due to the weather fronts that the two B-17 airplanes had to fly through, and the distance of 1000 miles in each direction, they didn't have enough gas to get back to New

Caledonia, so they had to land on an intermediate island. They radioed the USS CURTISS for a PBY Catalina to be sent to the island to pick up CDR. Quackenbush and the exposed aerial film which had to be taken to the USS CURTISS for processing and photo interpretation.

The first PBY Catalina arrived and was taxiing to the beach when it hit a coral reef and sank. Fortunately, Quackenbush and the aerial film were not on the sinking airplane so another PBY Catalina was sent to pick up Quackenbush and the film, which arrived after some delay. This airplane got Quackenbush and the aerial film back to the USS Curtiss at New Caledonia.

While chief photographer Murtha and a seaman helper developed and printed the aerial film, CDR. Quackenbush got a few hours sleep, some food, and proceeded to make the photo interpretations from the aerial photo regarding what, where and how much the Japanese forces had on Guadalcanal.

Within 48 hours after the photo recon flight over Guadalcanal, the photo interpretation information was flown in a PBY Catalina from New Caledonia to where it intercepted the Assault force led by the USS Mc CAULEY, with Major General Alexander A. Vandergrift, U.S. Marine Corps, who was the commanding general of the First U.S. Marine Division which was assigned the invasion mission on the Japanese held island of Guadalcanal.

The photo recon interpretation information of their target area on Guadalcanal was distributed to the various invasion force commanders prior to the actual landing assault on Guadalcanal.

CDR Quackenbush, with the two U.S. Army Air Force B-17 airplanes, Air Force flight crews, Navy aerial cameras and U.S. Marine Corps photographers made several photo reconnaissance flights over Guadalcanal during and right after the U.S. forces had landed and were in combat operations with the Japanese forces on Guadalcanal.

Shortly after our forces had secured a foothold on Guadalcanal, the Seabees built an airfield on Espirito Santos which was some 400 miles closer to Guadalcanal than New Caledonia. So the seaplane tender moved up to Espirito Santos, where CDR. Quackenbush, with the B-17 airplanes personally made eleven photo reconnaissance flights over Guadalcanal and other islands nearby on which the Japanese had various military facilities, and where we needed to know what, where and how much they had, so aerial photo reconnaissance missions were frequently flown over the Japanese held islands in the Solomon’s.

Shortly after LCDR. Robert S. Quackenbush, Jr., USN had reported to the Commander Aircraft Squadron South Pacific, he was promoted to the rank of Commander, U.S. Navy.

The seaplane tender USS CURTISS had a small photographic laboratory with one lonely Navy Chief Photographer W. J. "Bill" Murtha, who was in his late fifties and not in the best of health for long flying photo reconnaissance missions.

CDR. Quackenbush was in dire need for aerial photographers in the South Pacific, so he sent out an official dispatch to all commands in the South Pacific, info copies to the top Naval commands at Pearl Harbor, for the services of U.S. Naval photographers that were urgently needed in the South Pacific area.

The result of this urgent call for Naval photographers was some 14 enlisted Naval

photographers' arrival in a few weeks reporting to CDR. Quackenbush on the USS CURTISS for duty as directed by him.

CDR. Quackenbush sent out an urgent call for aerial cameras which were also arriving from various sources, so by the end of August or early September 1942, CDR. Quackenbush had some six to eight U.S. Army Air Force B-17 airplanes which were mainly assigned for aerial bombing purposes, however, on each of the bombing mission assignments, they carried a Navy photographer who made aerial photographs of the Japanese held areas during their bombing raids.

By early September 1942 Quackenbush's aerial photographic unit became known as "Quackenbush's Gypsies" camping out near the B-17 airplanes in pup tents, eating out of a box of "K" rations, awaiting orders to get aboard one of the B-17 airplanes for a combat flight over the Japanese held islands in the Solomon’s.

RADM. Quackenbush, during my taped interview with him in 1971, recalled that a few Navy photographers, (probably eight to ten) had reported for duty, and as Quackenbush had been on all of the first dozen or so missions over the Japanese held island, and got shot at by the Japanese anti-aircraft guns on each flight which was no fun.

So, as each photographer reported for duty, he was given orders for flight duty. One day, shortly after a first class Navy photographer had reported for duty, Quackenbush designated this fellow for an aerial photo recon flight in one of the B-17 airplanes. This first class photographer remarked to CDR Quackenbush, "Hell, I can't make this flight, I don't know anything about aerial cameras, I am a lithographer." CDR. Quackenbush retorted, "By God, you have a crow on your arm that tells me you are a first class petty officer Navy photographer, and you are going to make this photo flight, or you will be a seaman by sunset tomorrow evening."

CDR Quackenbush told this man that he had made some ten or twelve photo missions over the Japanese held islands and was tired of being shot at and that he was not going to fly combat photo missions when he had a Naval photographer sitting on his ass back at home base.

The first class Navy photographer (who really was a photo lithographer) saluted CDR Quackenbush and said: "Sir, I'll make the flight." This Naval photographer spent most of that night prior to his assigned photo flight, with Chief Photographer Bill Murtha, who demonstrated and taught him how to operate an aerial camera on a photo reconnaissance mission.

RADM Quackenbush remarked during our taped interview in 1971, that this first class Navy photographer became one of his best aerial photographers in the South Pacific during the 18 months that CDR Quackenbush and his Gypsies flew the photographic reconnaissance missions over the Japanese held islands during the Solomon Island campaign, 1942-1943.

Quackenbush's Gypsies

W. J. "Bill" Murtha, Chief Photo Mate, USN

E.P. Brown, Chief Photo Mate, USN

W.W. Collier, Chief Photo Mate, USN

J.R. Olsen, Photo Mate First Class, USN

R.E. McCracken, Photo Mate First Class, USN

H.E. Davis, Photo Mate First Class, USN

E.L. Ennis, Photo Mate First Class, USN

W.F. Hansen, Photo Mate First Class, USN

W. A. Blodgett, Photo Mate First Class, USN

J. T. Crofton, Photo Mate First Class, USN

W. L. Kirch, Photo Mate First Class, USN

W. J. Kolozy, Photo Mate Second Class, USN

F. W. Smith, Photo Mate Second Class, USN

F. E. Rice, Photo Mate Third Class, USN

Navy photographer F. E. Rice was lost in action while on a photographic reconnaissance mission on 2 February, 1943.

In October 1942, Chief Photographer John L. Highfill, USN, with some twenty Naval photographers from the Naval Patrol Wing One was sent from the Hawaiian Islands to the South Pacific where they reported to CDR Quackenbush.

This group of Naval photographers under Chief Highfill increased the original Quackenbush's Gypsies from one officer and 14 enlisted photographers to four officers and 83 enlisted photographers, one civilian Fairchild Camera Corp. representative and four officers who became known as the Pioneer Band.

During the 18 months that Quackenbush's Gypsies were engaged in photo reconnaissance operations in the South Pacific area, three Naval aerial photographers were lost in combat action with the enemy. They were: F. E. Rice, W. H. Hickey, H.D. Hogan.

Late in 1942, after Guadalcanal had been fairly well secured by our fighting forces, CDR Quackenbush had about six officer photographic interpreters operating at Guadalcanal in pyramidal tents where the aerial photographs were put through photographic interpretation phase #1 night and day on a 24-hour basis.

At night the photo interpreters had a 200-watt lamp shaded with a no. 10 can shining down on the photograph, and the tent flap closed to hide the light from Japanese night aircraft operations. So, between the perspiration, and the glaring hot light, and the native bugs, it was anything but ideal accommodations.

By late December 1942, CDR Quackenbush had arranged what turned out to be the first quonset hut that came ashore on Guadalcanal, and as it was being unloaded onto the beach, armed officer guards took turns guarding the entire operation from the unloading to its completed assembly, as things can disappear awfully fast in a war zone when there are no armed guards in sight.

To make the erection job easy, Quackenbush had the quonset hut erected in the edge of the jun

Quackenbush's officers, enlisted men, plus some Sea Bee help, got the photo interpretation and photo lab quonset huts quickly assembled and into operation on Guadalcanal, and also a cold storage meat reefer which they converted into a water cooler that was needed to cool down the 90-degree farenheit water for the processing of aerial roll film.

Also, early in 1943 Mr. Herb Meade, a civilian representative of the Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation joined Quackenbush's Gypsies for the purpose of maintenance of the large number of Fairchild aerial Cameras that were then getting into action in the Solomon Island area.

LCDR. D. F. Fraser, USN, Assistant Director of the Naval Photography Division of the Naval Bureau of Aeronautics made the necessary arrangements with the management of the Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation for the services of Mr. Meade, who did an outstanding job of keeping the aerial cameras in a number one readiness condition for their intended use for aerial photo reconnaissance operations in a war zone under hot, humid conditions in the tropics.

One of the most difficult problems in the tropics was the mildew and fungus that formed on camera lenses, so Herb Meade worked out a method with the combination of his limited resources and perseverance in doing a good job, he made some big wooden cabinets out of plywood, loaded them with electric light bulbs, and hooked them into a power generator to dry the camera. After a complete cleaning, he would store the ready camera in the heated boxes until they were called for.

Quackenbush and Charley Cox reported that after Herb Meade had his camera repair-reconditioning set-up in operation, there was never any shortage of aerial cameras when called for.

Herb Meade did have some help from some of the Naval photographers who were not on call for photo recon missions, some of these men he trained, and they passed their knowledge on to other Naval photographic reconnaissance units who set up a similar system for aerial camera recondition maintenance operations from Guadalcanal to Okinawa during World War II.

CDR. Robert S. Quackenbush, Jr., USN from the time he reported to Rear Admiral McCain on the USS Curtiss, and as each change of the top command admiral in the South Pacific took place, over a period of about 18 months, Quackenbush was the boss officer in charge of all photographic reconnaissance/photographic interpretation operations in the South Pacific.

All officers and enlisted men, who had anything to do with photography belonged to Quackenbush, who got no bucking from top Admiral Halsy and on down through the chain of command, primarily because none of the top officers in the South Pacific had any knowledge as to what aerial photo reconnaissance/photo interpretation service information could do in the war engagements with the Japanese forces on the various South Pacific islands.

The business of photography-photo interpretation was pretty much in the hands of Quackenbush and his aerial photographers and his photo interpreters, so it was left up to Quackenbush and his Gypsies to get the dope on the Japanese held islands in the

Solomon group and from all reports, they did a damn good job in getting the photo information on the enemy as to what, where and how much.

When Admiral Halsey, USN took over the South Pacific Command, Quackenbush was an officer on his staff and directed all photo reconnaissance/photo interpretation operations in the Solomon Island area.

Occasionally Quackenbush would encounter some minor problems with some of the Naval commanders or Marine Generals who really didn't understand what it took to get aerial photographic reconnaissance pictures, and the photo interpretation results, however as long as he got what they wanted, it was OK, but if Quackenbush for reason of his knowledge and training in the use of aerial photography-photographic interpretation wanted something else, then he got into some arguments, such as the time that Quackenbush wanted to put a photographer in every bomber that went out on a mission, to which Admiral McCain remarked that was just wasting talent, more people getting killed, we don't need it.

However, during the battle of Santa Cruz, there were six B-17 airplanes assigned to the bombing mission in which Quackenbush put a photographer in each B-17. They went out and bombed the Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku and upon returning from their bombing mission, the pilots informed Admiral McCain that they had sunk the Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku, causing Admiral McCain to write a dispatch telling his command chief that his B-17 aircraft had sunk the carrier Zuikaku. Quackenbush, just by chance happened to see the dispatch before it was transmitted to the Commander in Chief Pacific area at Pearl Harbor. Quackenbush said "Admiral, please don't send that dispatch yet, we had photographers in each of the B-17 bombers and as soon as the film has been processed, we then will have specific proof as to whether or not the Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku was sunk. Admiral McCain replied, "these Army Air Force boys said they sunk it and they sank it."

The processing of the aerial photos took an hour or so before all of the films from the six B-17 bombers were processed, and when they viewed the photos, they were perfect pictures of every bomb dropped from the six B-17 bombers, and the nearest bomb dropped was 500 yards from the Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku.

This raised the question as to what gave the B-17 pilots the impression that they had sunk the Japanese carrier Zuikaku. Well! the dropped bombs left a slick in the water which by the time that the bombing airplanes had made their runs and turned to come back, the Japanese carrier Zuikaku had moved into this bomb slick, which left the impression that the Japanese carrier had been plastered. However, the aerial photos showed the bombs hitting the water well ahead of the Japanese carrier, and the ship proceeding into the bomb slick.

Admiral McCarin was quite annoyed. However, he told CDR Quackenbush, I don't want you to ever send out another airplane without a photographer in it, which was what CDR Quackenbush had been trying to do for some time.

In another case CDR. Quackenbush was putting a Naval photographer in every Army Air Force B-17 bomber that was attacking the Japanese held positions at Tulagi on the island of Bouganville in the southern Solomon’s, when by chance Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher found out that Quackenbush's Navy photographers were going out daily on these

bombing missions, to which the Admiral had some objection which he expressed to CDR Quackenbush, who attempted to explain the reasons for the daily photo coverage of the target areas, but for some unknown reason, Adm. Mitscher couldn't understand the need for daily photos, so he told CDR. Quackenbush to "knock it off."

A few days later, through a chain of operational circumstances, a second Army Air Force B-17 flight was sent out in the late afternoon to bomb Tulagi, in which CDR Quackenbush had his Naval photographer in the airplanes, and during the very late afternoon bombing raid on the Japanese air field at Tulagi, the naval photographer took aerial photographs which really hit the jackpot. Aerial photos taken during previous bombing attacks on this Japanese air field which had been done on a fairly regulated time of day--between 10am and 3pm, showed an airplane count of an average of 25 Japanese airplanes on the field, but the aerial photo made on this very late afternoon bomber flight showed that there were over 200 airplanes, mostly bombers ready to take off on their mission to bomb the allied armed forces in the south Pacific Ocean islands.

From the information gained from the late afternoon aerial pictures, an early bombing strike was ordered which caught a large number of Japanese airplanes on the Tulagi air field which were destroyed or seriously damaged during our early evening bombing attack.

Admiral Mitscher was so well pleased with the aerial photographic information, which led to the successful early evening bombing strike on the Japanese air field at Tulagi, that he remarked to CDR. Quackenbush, "Is twice a day often enough?"

So those were some of the problems that CDR Quackenbush had in the early months of World War II in the South Pacific in trying to convince the top command officers that his Naval photographers could do the photography and not kibitzed.

Admiral Halsey was a great believer in what CDR Quackenbush and his Naval photographer-photo interpreter Gypsies were doing.

CDR Quackenbush and his South Pacific Gypsy aerial photo recon photographers and photo interpreter unit operated pretty much on their own with no real directives from the top commanders of the South Pacific force, Pacific fleet during the Solomon Island World War II operations.

In the latter part of 1942, Col Elliott Bard, U.S. Marine Corps in Command of Marine Air Squadron VMB-154 arrived and set up operations with a small photo lab at the Army Air Force base on Espirito Santos. This Marine air squadron furnished some aerial photographic coverage of various Japanese held areas for CDR Quackenbush and his photo interpretation group.

In Oct. or Nov. 1942 Col Bard, USMC with his VMD-154 U.S. Marine Corps air squadron, moved up to Henderson Field on Guadalcanal from which, in addition to bombing and strafing missions, they flew photo reconnaissance missions over various Japanese held islands in the Solomon’s using B-25 twin engine bombers and P-38 fighters as photo planes.