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History

How SSS Davy Jones began ...
Shipmate and Quartermaster Bob (Bobby) Roberts is working toward a written history of SSS Davy Jones and would welcome any input and/or assistance from former members and leaders of the Ship. Contact Bob at the address on the Contact Us page.
(The following is extracted from How Scouting Grew, published in 1968 by the Golden Anniversary Committee, General Greene Council, Boy Scouts of America, Greensboro, North Carolina. Some photos added.)

[1929] While 1929 will be remembered as the beginning of the great Depression, it will also be remembered as the year in which the Greensboro Area Council celebrated [a] very important “first.” The Council, under the direction of President [Paul] Lindley and newly appointed Scout Executive James Geeslin, entered a new phase of activity with the organization of its first Sea Scout Ship. Admiral W. D. Meyer secured from the government a 24-foot whaleboat, helped the boys recondition it, and named it the Etta F. Meyer in honor of his wife. That same year, Tom White, Mate, directed the first nine Sea Scouts in seamanship at High Rock Lake.

[1929] A clipping from a Greensboro paper shows local Sea Scouts launching the Etta F. Meyer flagship on High Rock Lake. Shown with the Scouts was Miss Adelaide Fortune who christened the ship.

[1931] A highlight of 1931 was a Scout Rally at which Paul Siple, who had accompanied Admiral Richard Byrd on his Antarctic Expedition, was featured guest. Here, Eagle Scout Siple (front row center) poses with a group of local [Sea] Scouts and Scout leaders.

[1937] Three Sea Scouts and a Sea Scout leader attended the National Jamboree in Washington which had been postponed two years earlier. Charles T. Hagan, Skipper of the Davy Jones, [Ship 3, Greensboro] was Mate for the Sea Scout Jamboree [contingent] ship from the Southeast [Region].

 
[1939] Davy Jones, the Council’s Sea Scout Ship, received the National Flagship Award, the highest honor possible to earn in the Sea Scout program. Accepting the honor at a Regional Meeting in Greensboro in April were Chairman of the Ship Committee W. R. [Ralph] Deaton and Skipper Charles T. Hagan, Jr. (above)

[1939] Excitement ran high among local Sea Scouts when a site for a camp was secured at High Rock Lake in 1936. Here, a group of Greensboro Area Council Sea Scouts enjoy the new facility.

[1940] For fifteen local Sea Scouts it was a year made memorable by a seven-day cruise on Chesapeake Bay in a 90-foot schooner. Included in those making the trip were Charles Gast, Ralph Deaton, Jr., and Joe Leake.

[1941] In March of that year, plans were announced by the Sea Scouts for the building of a 21-foot boat designed for cruising at High Rock Lake.

[1941] Scouts from the Greensboro Area Council helped Jaycees stage this fourth annual “Bundle Day” in 1941. The joint effort collected five carloads of toys, 15,000 garments, and a quantity of food, rugs, and furniture—all of which was turned over to the Salvation Army for distribution.

[1943] In August, [Randolph district Scouts] organized their first Sea Scout Ship in Cedar Falls.

[1949] Representatives of three branches of Boy Scouting are shown here as they appeared in 1949 displaying the flags given the local Council by the Greensboro Rotary Club. Presentation was made by Rotary President Arnold Schiffman. From left to right, the boys are: Van Woltz of troop 19 holding the American flag; Dale Whitfield of Cub pack 7; and Larry Crawford of the Sea Scout Ship Davy Jones holding the Council flag. Rotarians said the presentation was a continuation of the club’s program of Scout cooperation which has been outstanding over the years.


Additional historical photos

Organized in February, 1928, Sea Scout Ship Davy Jones is sponsored by the men's club of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. The ship boasts six Quartermaster Sea Scouts and 11 Eagle Scouts. Harold Ross, not present, is Skipper. The four mates, shown in the center, are Sol Kennedy, Edward Alexander, George Paschal, and Ray Pearman. (Photo believed to have been taken in early 1940's.)

Following being named National Flagship in 1939, Life magazine sent a photographer and reporter to the ship's base at High Rock Lake. They spent four or five days there, and the story was supposed to be on the cover of the September 1 issue. However, it never made the magazine due to Germany invading Poland and the story got pulled. The Sea Scout story was never used because war news took over so much of the magazine's space after that.

NOTE: The above text adapted from an interview of Sol Kennedy by Greensboro News & Record's Conrad Paysor in a story appearing in the newspaper on March 15, 1988. (Scroll down for full article.) Photo is by the Life magazine photographer. The story, "Glory Days for Sea Scouts," was published as the first of two related columns. Anyone who may have the second column is encouraged to send a photocopy for the ship's history.

     
Sea Scouts of SSS Davy Jones built and raced            Sea Scouts sailing an Atlantic class sloop.
Moth class sailboats like these at High Rock Lake.

   
The Davy Jones crew sailed the 90-ft. schooner, Ida May, out of Chesapeake for one of its long cruises.


     
More photos of the Ida May cruise.

  
The crew made an actual rescue at sea during this cruise.

The following two photos are from a little later period, perhaps mid-1950's:


Members of the ship are: seated, left to right: Mr. Royce Garrett and Mr. Ernest Ferris, Mates, and Mr. Sol Kennedy, Skipper. First row standing: Bill Byrd, Ronnie Murrelle, Jimmy Kistler, Edwin Meade, John Forbis, and David Wible. Second row: Jimmy Martin, Charlie Williams, Mike Powell, Ralph Stephenson, Bill Sides. Third row: Eddie Taylor, Bill McCuiston, Edmund Schenck, Bose Ravenel, and John Burwell.


Ship's officers are: front row, left to right : Mr. Ernest Ferris, First Mate; Bill Sides, Yeoman; Mike Powell, Eddie Murrelle, and David Wible, Boatswains; Mr. Sol Kennedy, Skipper. Second row : Eddie Taylor and Edmund Schenck, Boatswains; and Mr. Royce Garrett, Officer of the Deck.


From People and Places, Greensboro News-Record, Tuesday, March 15, 1988:    
 
Glory days for Sea Scouts
 First of Two Related Columns ... by Conrad Paysour

   Clinton Prenzel and John Laubenheimer were absent when some former Sea Scouts held a reunion recently.
   Yet they were present in the thoughts of the men who gathered at the City Club to remember the glory days of Greensboro Sea Scouting. On Dec. 29, 1946, Prenzel, 17, and Laubenheimer, 16, drowned at High Rock Lake.
   The men who met at the City Club to remember the two Sea Scouts also reminisced about the late 1930s and early and mid-1940s.
   “Sea Scouting will never again be as it was then,” Greensboro businessman Sol Kennedy said.
   Kennedy is a former Sea Scout and former Sea Scout Skipper. A Sea Scout Skipper is roughly equivalent to a Boy Scout Scoutmaster.
   It may be true that Sea Scouting will never again be as it was when Kennedy and the other men at the reunion were Scouts. But the men agreed that Sea Scouting in this area could recapture some of its former excitement as a result of a memorial established in Clinton Prenzel’s honor by his mother, the late Alberta Loeffler Prenzel.
   The memorial was one reason Tom Ward arranged the reunion. Ward, president of the General Greene Boy Scout Council, wanted the men to hear details of the bequest.
   It was the first word most of them had heard about the bequest from Alberta Prenzel, who died in June of 1985. Parts of her 1965 handwritten will were subject to different interpretations, and it took nearly three years to settle the estate.
   Alberta Prenzel’s principal wish, however, was clear: She wanted her estate converted into cash and given to “the Sea Scouts of the Greensboro Council of the Boy Scouts of America in memory of my son Clinton Erwin Prenzel.”
   Greensboro attorney John Hardy represented area Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts in the matter of the will. Ward asked him to come to the reunion and explain the details of the memorial. Hardy said that NCNB, executor of the estate, wanted to make sure it carried out Alberta Prenzel’s wishes. So the bank filed suit in Guilford County Superior Court, asking the court to clarify the will.

  Hardy said resident Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Albright ruled that money from the estate, which totals more than $130,000, should be held in trust with the income to be used to benefit of Sea Scout programs within the jurisdiction of the General Greene Council, Boy Scouts of America. All parties to the suit were happy with Albright’s ruling, Hardy said.
  Albright named Ward and Hardy trustees of this fund along with Alan Cone, Charles W. Cheek, Roger L. Searis and William S. Jones.
  Ward named an advisory committee to make suggestions about what to do with the money. Sol Kennedy, chairperson, and Ed Alexander, Bill Craft, Buddy Toler, Jere Woltz and Charlie Jones.
  The other reason Ward arranged for the reunion was to give the men an opportunity to reminisce about the hey-day of area Sea Scouting. Ward asked Kennedy to talk about some of the history of the Sea Scout “ship” sponsored by a Greensboro church. A ship is a Sea Scout unit comparable to a Boy Scout troop.
  “We were the social group at Greensboro Senior High School, now Grimsley,” Kennedy said.
  There were eleven Eagle Scouts, all of whom were also Sea Scouts, in the school at one time.
   The Greensboro ship was named the top one in the United States in 1939 and Life Magazine sent a photographer and reporter to the ship’s base at High Rock Lake.
  “They spent four or five days there, and the story was supposed to be on the cover of the Sept. 1 issue,” Kennedy recalled. “Of course, you know what happened.”
  What happened was that Germany invaded Poland and the story was never used because war news took over so much of the magazine’s space after that.
  But the magazine sent a set of the pictures to the ship, and Kennedy brought them to the reunion.
  Several of the Sea Scouts pictured in a group picture, including Sol Kennedy’s brother Pernell “Pink” Kennedy, were killed in World War II. Several others who were active in the ship also are no longer living. Just about all of the Sea Scouts became successful business or professional people.

Thursday: Old Days of Greensboro Sea Scouting recalled.
(If you can supply a copy of the second column, Thursday, March 17, 1988, please Contact Us.)




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