Readers of my blog know that I have an interest in writing about the history of the USS Patterson DD392 (13 Battle Stars) that sailed the Pacific during WWII and saw action in many of the well-known campaigns in that Theater. My father-in-law, Erwin A. Schroder, served as an officer on the Patterson from 1943 through 1945 when the ship was decommissioned and sold for scrap.
In the 1980s, one of the former crew, LeRoy W. Bergstrom, decided to compile what amounts to a cruise book for the ship. Entitled USS Patterson DD392 – Shipmates and Memories, it contains information about the ship including deck logs, newspaper clippings, diaries of some crew members, photos, and a variety of other materials. It ended up being a 2-volume set containing nearly 900 pages. It was no small feat to compile this set. Some of the materials were available only at the National Archives. Obtaining contact information for former crew members was a gargantuan task even with the help of the yearly ship reunions that began in 1976. The result, though in some ways crude, contains one-of-a-kind materials that exist nowhere else.
When my father-in-law received his copy of the books in the early 1990s, Simone and I decided to protect it as much as possible. We had the two volumes hard-bound. We suspected that many of these books would fade into history, so we recently offered our copies to the Navy Department Library in Washington, DC. They happily accepted the donation of the books. For our own use, I had the good folks at Blue Leaf Scanning make digital copies.
One of the features of the books is a set of cartoons/sketches that crew member “Andy” Bordwell drew at the request of the compiler, Bergstrom. The cartoons are mostly drawn from his own memories or from diaries of other crew members. Bordwell had an interesting life. As a young man, he spent time working with circuses including the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus that was second only to Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. After the war, Bordwell attended Penn State and eventually went on the serve as a professor of history at Kutztown University, retiring in 1983. A copy of his autobiography from the cruise book can be found here.
I decided to post all of Bordwell’s drawings in a pdf file. I include below two drawings that portray important events that occurred in 1943 within about 5 weeks of each other. The first is the sinking of a Japanese sub, I-178 and the second, a collision with the USS McCalla.