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SC-1275 photos, articles and log books courtesy of John L. Whetzal, Jr.; Patty Yaroch; Dayton Ziehm; John L. Whetzal III, SMSgt, USAF, (Ret); Bob Dillon; Ed Baker and families of the crew. Huge thanks to the courageous and dedicated crew of the SC-1275

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Dayton Ziehm in his Navy years during World War II
The Detroit News
Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Log Opens On WWII Veteran's Memories
Pontiac Man Gets His Ship's Records

PONTIAC -- Dayton Ziehm gently turned the weathered pages of the tomes, the fabric cover loosening in his hands.

What the 81-year-old Navy veteran held in his lap were log books recording activity on a World War II submarine chaser, SC-1275, the one on which he spent six months just before the war's end.

"Oh my God -- that was my ship," Ziehm said from his Pontiac apartment last week as he examined the books for the first time since he disembarked more than 60 years ago.

"I never thought I'd see this."

The books were sent to him by two veterans in California who came upon them unexpectedly.

Their gesture gave Ziehm a chance to revisit a moment in history -- and just in time: Ziehm is defying death each passing week. He has been diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer and kidney failure.

Had the logs arrived much later, "I might not be here, you never know," he said. "I really appreciate that. It brought back a lot of memories."

The SC-1275 chaser was one of more than 400 such boats used during the war. The vessels were only 110 feet long and traveled at speeds up to 20 knots. But armed with depth charges and machine guns, they threatened German U-boats in the Atlantic and assisted amphibious landings in the Pacific.

Ziehm's chaser, according to his recollection, patrolled the end of an Army Air Forces runway on the Guam coast. He recalled the rigid schedule by which the men took turns watching for Japanese submarines.

Ziehm never saw one. He did, however, encounter tight sleeping quarters, awful food and occasional bouts of seasickness. "There was a lot of bellyaching," he said.

Years after the war, the Navy turned over the chaser to the Federal Maritime Commission, along with other vessels, and lost track.

The journey the logs took to end up in Ziehm's hands, however, may give some clues to its fate.

In the mid-1950s, a teenage boy found them when he went exploring on a wooden boat half-sunken in the Sacramento River Delta, presumably by the Army Corps of Engineers, to help stem erosion from a levee break.

"I tucked them under my arm and as fast as I could I went back out and climbed down the rope," recalled C. Ed Baker, now 65 and an Air Force veteran, in a phone interview.

When recently packing up his Alameda home to retire with his wife to Louisiana, Baker turned the books over to a friend, Bob Dillon, a 65-year-old Navy veteran in
Oakland, Calif.

Dillon searched online for the boat's surviving mates and found Ziehm.

"I'm just tickled that all these pieces came together," said Dillon in a phone interview from Oakland.

Photo by Charles V. Tines/The Detroit News

Navy veteran Dayton Ziehm looks over the log of the ship he was on during World War II. His grandson, Brenden Yaroch, 11 looks on.


John Whetzal and William Rees
Hawaii
c. October 1945
How my Dad came to possess the PC-1275 log books…

This past October [2008] my Dad visited me and gave me his WW II scrapbook, which contained over 100 photos, post cards, etc. I began researching the ship he served on, the SC-1275, which led me to a (2002) email on the Splinter Fleet web site, from Dayton Ziehm, who had also served on the SC-1275. I emailed Dayton and since Dayton had moved into an assisted living home, his daughter Patty responded. Through emails with Patty I learned Dayton had the log books. I asked Patty if she would look to see if my Father’s (or a list of 10 of his shipmates) were in the log. Patty looked in the log and my Dad’s name was the 3rd entry on the 1st page, 5 November 1944, 1630, Auckland, NZ “Garrison and Whetzal going ashore.” As Patty’s father’s name was not in either log, she and her father believed the logs should go to someone who has a connection with the logs/entries, so she sent the logs to me and I forwarded them to my Dad. He had the logs for a week or so, reading the entries and reminiscing. My brother told me my Dad was like a kid in a candy store reading the log books. My Dad returned the logs to me just prior to losing his sight. I was very thankful that Dad got to see the log, read the entries that he and his buddies had made in the logs, and go back to an exciting time in their youth, and a monumental time in the history of our country.

I have made contact with 10 of the SC-1275 surviving crew/families and sent them either hard or CD versions of the photos in my Dad’s WW II scrapbook. I have spoken with several and stay in touch with Red Sizemore and Jim Garrison—both 84 years old--they are nice guys and full of interesting stories.

- John L. Whetzal, III

John L. Whetzal, Jr.

Photos from the Scrapbook of John Whetzal Jr.

Click on thumbnail for full size image.


1. Red Sizemore, Gunners Mate 1/c

2. James M. "Jim" Garrison, Gunners Mate 1/c

3. 40mm Gun Crew

4. 40mm gun

5. 20mm mount. Layer - Relyea, Loader - Barker

6. A. D. Ellis, RM 1/c

7. Al Godhue, Yeoman 1/c

8. Bob Horwath, MoMM 1/c

9. C. F. Schaur, MoMM 1/c

10. The Skipper - C. L. Endicott

11. C. M. Oden, EM 3/c

12. On a beached Japanese destroyer at Tulagi.
Callery and Dougherty standing on gun mount
Grozier, sitting on mount and John Whetzal, with hand on barrel

13. Cooper QM 2/c

14. Davis and Grozier, MoMM 3/c

15. Doc Belling

16. Dougherty and Davis

17. Jim Garrison and Dougherty scrapping
the hull

18. Dougherty RdM 2/c on Japanese Destroyer at Tulagi

19. c. October 1945
Dry Dock No. 4, Pearl Harbor Navy Yard
Pearl Harbor, Oahu, TH

20. Dubuc, F 1/c

21. Eugene Russell
Manila, Arkansas

22. Eugene Russell, Gunners Mate 3/c

23. Ellis

24. Equator Initiation

25. Eugene Russell and Ellis

26. Francis Relyae, BM 2/c

27. GM 2/c Jim Garrison and RdM 2/c Dougherty scrapping the hull

28. Govanna Inlet, Tulagi
Native "Bum" boat

29. Grozier, MoMM 3/c

30. Grozier and Buster, PhM 1/c

31. H. H. Hanshaw, MoMM 1/c
Oberlin, PA

32. H. H. Hanshaw on beach

33. H. J. Callery, MoMM 2/c

34. Machinist H. L. Henson

35. Third Officer H. L. Summers

36. Hanshaw

37. Hanshaw sitting out on Engineroom watch on the way to Frisco

38. "Black Gang"
1 - Hanshaw, 2 - Schauer, 3 - John Whetzal, 4 - Wood, 5 - Grozier and 6 - Barker

39. Hanshaw

40. Hensen, Wood and Gould

41. Horwath, MoMM 1/c on Japanese destroyer

42. J. E. Wood, MoMM 3/c

43. J. E. Wood
Santa Monica, CA

44. J. W. Harper, F 1/c

45. Japanese destroyer at Tulagi

46. John Casaly, SC 1/c

47. Liberty Party at Pearl Harbor
Russell, Dougherty, Henson and Grozier

48. Skipper M. L. White

49. Pop Ellis

50. Pop Stewart and T. E. Dougherty - Radarmen

51. Standing: Poteet, Hanshaw, Harper, Kneeling: Bryant and Ellis
at Rest Camp

52. Standing: Poteet, Hanshaw, Harper, Kneeling: Red Sizemore and Ellis

53. R. B. Davis, Ships Cook 3/c

54. R. R. Belling, CPhM

55. R. Simonis, GM 2/c
Redding, CA

56. Ray Prater, Gunners Mate 3/c

57. Red Sizemore, GM 1/c

58. William Rees, RM 2/c

59. Rosica as King Neptune

60. Shellback Conference

61. Red Sizemore and Rowan

62. Red Sizemore, Rosica, ENS Endicott and Relyea

63. The Skipper - ENS Endicott

64. Springer, SoM 2/c

65. Tulagi Baseball Diamond

66. Tulagi natives

67.

68.

69.

70.

71. John Whetzal and Wood

72. William Rees, RM 2/c

73. Wood

74. Wood and Gould (The Skipper)

75. Wood at Milford Beach
Auckland, New Zealand

76. Wood, Hanshaw and Grozier

77. Wood

78. Decommissioning party
November 1945
Left to right: Robert Davis, Eugene Russell, McRobbie, William Rees, Harry Hanshaw, John Whetzal and Hanson.

79. "We're the Sailor's of the 1275"
.

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