Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

I don’t know much about the vintage of this photo. Someone in the front of the boat took a snapshot of the liberty party and sent it off to someone else, with the inscription “just the liberty party Chifoo China see all the old timers in the boat with all the stripes on there [sic] sleeves each one means 4 years”

Maybe site readers Iggy or Ed will have some insight?

There are very insightful updates in the comments, be sure to click over!

4 thoughts on “Liberty party

  1. Ed says:

    The US Navy established a summer anchorage at Cheefoo China in 1919, to relieve the crews who had be stationed in siberia that where removing US troops that had supported the failed white russian army during the Soviet revolution at the port called archangel. the Us navy stayed at Cheefoo with a few ships and conducted waht evolved in the yangtze river patrol as well. Mostly smaller US warships such as light cruisers, Destroyers and gunboats. watch the 1960s movie “the sand Pebles” with steve mcqueen to get feel for the whole us navy in China river patrol senerario. the us navy did help and somethimes seem to hinder chinese civil uprisings through the 20s and early 30s. the US pulled out of Cheefoo fully when we entered WWII and china was ocupied by Japan. these guys in there whites and the style of the petty officers caps make it late 20s to pre WWII , you may be fairly able to say that the man in the enter , at the front of the ship is Chinese, and in the US navy (very common for the us to have local nationals when patroling in forgien waters) . his “hash” marks show 16 years of service. the earliest this could be then is 1936, and the latest early 1940 before his 5th hash mark? just speculation, but there where no local chinese nationals in the us navy as seamen (as opposed to stewards and coal passers ) before 1920 . just a guess though. Cheefoo was a much liked port, and the us navy ws never able to re establish a pbase there becuase of the communist goverment after WWII. Best I can do with this nice candid photo.


  2. mousleyka says:

    I’ve not much to add to Ed’s commentary, except to say the US had boats there as early as 1905. http://sinojapanesewar.com/chefoo.htm has some old photos of the town and harbor with its fortifications. I would guess the snapshot is around 1936-7. The Japanese occupied Yantai (the correct name for Cheefoo) in 1938.


  3. Mustang.Koji says:

    There is a person on flickr that may be able to help, MSHenessey. Please see his collection on flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/msh-images/sets/72157624394488024/

    Otherwise, the photo quality would lead me to the mid 40’s latest. It certainly is not a Speed Graphic 4×5 image but likely 35mm due to its rectangular format?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: