Pensacola, FL (Off Shore) Battleship MISSOURI Disaster, Apr 1904
Leading the rescuing party was Capt. Cowles. The officers endeavored to keep him from going below, as men fell unconscious as they entered and had to be pulled out by their comrades, but, unheeding their advice, the commanding officer rushed below, followed by Lieut. Hammer, the ordnance officer, and Lieut. Davis.
Capt. Cowles caught up a dying blue-jacket in his arms and staggered to the deck with him. The bluejacket with two other from the handling room, had crawled partly from his place of duty when overcome.
Before the fumes of the burning powder had left the turret, officers and men were lifting out the dying and the dead. Three minutes after the explosion all were on deck and the surgeons from the Missouri, Texas, and Brooklyn were attending those still alive.
The twenty-five men of the turret were found lying in a heap. They had started for the exit when the first explosion occurred and had just reached there when the more terrible explosion in the handling room occurred which burned and strangled them to death.
Lieut. DAVIDSON, the officer in charge of the turret, had evidently given some command to the men, as he was on top of the heap of men, having fallen there after he had allowed them to pass him to get out of the turret.
The bodies were hardly recognizable, the flash of fire having burned clothing from the bodies of the men, while their flesh hung from them in shreds.
The faces were mutilated by the flames only. Only one man was breathing when the turret crew was rescued and he died a moment after he reached the deck.
The dead are:
W. C. DAVIDSON, Lieutenant, in charge of the 12-inch turret.
E. A. WEICHERT, Ensign, of the cruiser Cleveland, gun umpire.
W. E. T. NEUMANN, Midshipman.
J. P. V. GRIDLEY, Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps.
THOMAS WARD, JR., Lieutenant.
J. K. PEDERSON, Division Officer.
W. BOUGARD, Boatswain's Mate, second class.
J. BLOXAPUTLAN, ordinary seaman.
CHARLES RICE, Coxswain.
J. C. HARDY, seaman.
K. J. KIVLIN, apprentice, second class.
J. GADRIS, seaman.
N. SCHERBAUTH, ordinary seaman.
J. F. ROLANDS, ordinary seaman.
H. B. FRANKS, electrician, second class.
J. P. STARR, coxswain.
J. C. NUNN, ordinary seaman.
N. SODER, seaman.
C. E. MEYER, seaman.
P. R. CASTLER, ordinary seaman.
R. H. ALLISON, apprentice, second class.
R. C. TOBIN, ordinary seaman.
J. J. MULLIGAN, ordinary seaman.
J. W. COLE, landsman.
A. SMITH, Ordnance Sergeant.
W. S. SHIPMAN, Gunner's Mate, first class.
J. P. J. BROWN, private marine.
J. F. KENNEDY, Chief Gunner's Mate.
J. M. ROACH, ordinary seaman.
The injured are:
J. E. KNIGHT, seaman, may recover.
J. T. DONNELLY, ordinary seaman, dying.
R. S. STARR, seaman, will recover.
F. C. SCAUB, apprentice, second class, will recover.
O. B. MOE, apprentice, second class, dying.
New York Times New York 1904-04-14