Boston, MA Battleship Georgia Fire, Jul 1907


Fourteen Others Suffering From Burns


Spark, From Unknown Source, Set Fire to the Powder for the Eight-Inch Cannon, Causing the Fearful Accident.

BOSTON, Mass., July 16.----With two officers and six enlisted men dead and an third officer and thirteen bluejackets suffering from frightful burns, the battleship Georgia is again at practice to-day off Provincetown.

After leaving its dead and wounded on shore, the vessel steamed away last night.

Rear Admiral Thomas, in command of the board, has ordered an investigation into the cause of the disaster.

The accident was not an explosion. There was no report and only by the bursting of flame and smoke from the turret hatches and gun ports did those outside know that anything had gone wrong. It is supposed that a spark from the discharge of one of the other turret guns or from the Georgia's funnels, floating down the open hatch, set fire to the powder charge for an eight-inch cannon.

As the powder was unconfined, there was no explosion but an instant burst of flame, filling the turret with fire and the noxious gases from the burning powder.

The list of dead follows:

Midshipman FAULKNER GOLDTHWAIT, of Kentucky; Lieut. CASPER GOODRICH, son of Rear Admiral Goodrich, commandant of the Brooklyn Navy yard; Chief Turret Captain WILLIAM J. THATCHER, of Wilmington, Del.; Ordinary Seaman W. J. BURKE, of Quincy, Mass.; Ordinary Seaman G. G. HAMILTON, of South Framingham, Mass.; Ordinary Seaman WILLIAM THOMAS, of Newport, R. I.; Ordinary Seaman G. E. MILLER, of Brooklyn; Ordinary Seaman W. S. PAIR, of Brooklyn.

Injured---Midshipman John T. Cruse, of Nebraska; Boatswain's Mate Frank Schlapp, of North Adams, Mass; Gunner's Mate Charles Hassell, of New York; Chief Yeoman Arley Tagland, of Richford, Mass.; Ordinary Seaman J. G. Thomas, of Brooklyn; Ordinary Seaman L. Rosenberger, of Philadelphia, Ordinary Seaman E. J. Walsh, of Lynn, Mass.; Ordinary Seaman John O. Mullick, of Cleveland; Ordinary Seaman J. A. Bush, of New York; L. O. Meese, of Cleveland, O.; Ordinary Seaman H. L. Gilbert, of Southwick, Mass.; Ordinary Seaman J. A. Fone, of Trenton, N. J.; Ordinary Seaman C. L. Eich, of Frankfort, Ind.


Several additions to the death list resulting from yesterday's explosion aboard the battleship Georgia are certain. Seven of the injured are in a critical condition this morning and three of these, Seaman E. J. Edmund, James G. Thomas and L. O. Meese, are expected to succumb at any moment. The recovery of four others is extremely doubtful.

WASHINGTON, July 16.---Naval officers here are not only shocked, but bewildered by the terrible disaster on the battleship Georgia, which has resulted in eight deaths and the serious injury of thirteen more. They are utterly puzzled as to how the accident could have occurred. They thought that, profiting by previous terrible lessons, they had taken every possible precaution to prevent such disasters in the future.

Wilkes-Barre Times, Wilkes-Barre, PA 16 Jul 1907