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1950 USAT Alexander M. Patch (USS Coontz) Souvenir Newspaper

  • Item: ML7011
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This is a 1950 shipboard souvenir newspaper made by some of the crew of the US Army Transport General Alexander M. Patch (formerly the USS Adm. Coontz). The newspaper, titled "The NewsPatch," is dated departing Bremerhaven Germany on 8 February, and arriving in New York City on 18 February. The paper's dimensions are 13x8 inches and has 12 pages, one of which is blank. It is typed with hand drawn graphics and the crew used a simple printing process on an inexpensive paper which is now somewhat brittle. The last page has fallen off.. Based on the dates of service of this ship, this appears to be the last run as an Army Transport. On March 1, 1950, the US Navy reacquired the ship and it became the USS Alexander M. Patch, and even saw service in the Vietnam War, and a relief effort at the Suez Canal.

The paper is a valuable record in that it lists crew, gives the history and specifications of the ship, has a welcome note from the commander and master, has a log of speed and dates, a welcome to America page (were there European immigrants on board?), and even has an autograph page of crew members (both Army and Navy). Officers include Transport Commander Lt. Col Edmund O. Zarnell, Master Edwin T. Cline, Helen E. Ryan WOJG, assistant to the commander, Joseph P. Reardon, Surgeon, Edwin T. Cline, Master, Caesar J. Auerbach, Chaplain (and editor), Leo T. Madison, Naval Commander John T. Bowers, and several men and women naval officers.

Few if any of these papers have survived, and it seems to contain information found assembled nowhere else, and as such, it represents a great piece of military history and memorabilia of a USAT ship. The Newsletter once was folded but most recently was stored flat. It will be shipped flat in an envelope with cardboard inserts. This is a nice historical piece, and the staples should be temporarily removed and the pages scanned for posterity.

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