News From Fort Schuyler

April 12, 2002 - Volume 6, No. 14

MEETING RUTH - Before it became the Training Ship EMPIRE STATE IV (1959 -1974), the Army transport, HENRY GIBBINS, had already sailed into history when it transported 982 Holocaust refugees to the United States in 1944 - the only refugees allowed to enter the US during WW2. The refugees' guardian angel, from the time they embarked in Italy until they were finally allowed to become American citizens in 1946, was RUTH GRUBER, a special assistant to Interior Secretary Harold Ickes. On April 9, 2002, Holocaust Memorial Day, Dr. Gruber spoke about this experience at the Yom Hashoah Lecture held at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan. A feisty, vigorous 91-year old journalist, photographer, and author ("Haven", "Exodus 1947", "Raquela") she told how the voyage on the GIBBINS changed her life and that of her charges. In "Haven", she writes of the GIBBINS, "Like some mythical leviathan taking us farther and farther from the furnace and hell of Hitler' s Europe, the ship had become a journey out of darkness and fear, out of despair and death, to hope and life and light." (p.114) For a rescue summary go to -

After the lecture JANE B. FITZPATRICK, Associate Librarian, presented Dr. Gruber with photos of the TSES IV model built for the Maritime Industry Museum by BARRY MARSH, Class of 1986, and invited her to visit the campus. Coincidentally, Ms. Fitzpatrick has her own links to the GIBBINS. Her father-in-law, Mark Fitzpatrick, a '42 KP graduate, sailed aboard the GIBBINS as a marine engineer in 1948 and her husband, Kevin, a '78 Massachusetts Maritime marine engineering graduate, knew it as the Training Ship BAY STATE during his cadet years.

ALUMNI AUTHORITY -The associate editor of the new 3rd edition of Modern Marine Engineers Manual - Volume II, is ALAN ROWEN, Class of 1965. Alan, who recently donated the book to the Luce Library reference collection, writes: "It may be worth noting that among the authors are a number of other alumni: ROBERT BEHR [Class of 1965] , AARON KRAMER [Class of 1954], and CONRAD YOUNGREN [Class of 1967]."

Alan, the Technical Director of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and Professor Emeritus of Marine Engineering at Webb Institute is also a Fort Schuyler parent. His son, Aaron, is a member of the Class of 2005.

MAYDAY MAYDAY ! "Maritime Careers: Implementing the Action Plans for Recruiting and Retaining Mariners" is the theme of a conference to be hosted by MITAGS in Linthicum Heights, MD May 1-2. According to an announcement ( ): "The American Merchant Marine has been impacted by a critical loss of professional mariners in recent years. The aim of this conference is to build a national consensus and plan that will project a positive image of mariners and create an appreciative awareness of the maritime industry. The conference will bring together representatives from the blue water, brown water, and inland markets that will assist in developing a national strategy for the recruitment and retention of potential candidates and operating professional mariners."

ANY TAKERS ? Several interesting job opportunities were forwarded to NFFS by CHRIS AVERSANO, Class of 1994.

General Engineer (Vessel Maintenance) GS-801-13 - Location: Office of Ship Operations Division of Ship Maintenance and Repair, Washington, DC. Closes:04/17/2002. The announcement is available at:

Yacht Captain - The owner of the former Presidential Yacht SEQUOIA requires a licensed officer to command the yacht which is based in Washington, DC and operates primarily on the Potomac River. The yacht is engaged in chartering. She is 104 feet long, wooden construction, twin diesels. Some engineering experience is a plus. Applicant should be conversant with Naval customs and will probably live ashore. For details, email Captain GILES KELLY, Class of 1942 at

SITES OF NOTE - Check out these maritime-related web sites highlighted in the Librarians' Index to the Internet: (1) Office of Naval Research 'Oceanography' site, aimed at students and teachers, " an amazing site that leads the user to the 'ocean in motion'; the seven major sea currents, the forces that drive them, and their perceptible effects." ( and; (2) "GPS and the EU's Galileo Program" which provides the U.S. government's position on the European Union's satellite navigate system which will be competing with its GPS system in coming years." (

LET THERE BE LIGHT - An article in the 04 April issue of Newsday, "A Landmark for Lighthouses" chronicles the struggle this Staten Island-based museum-in-the-making is having to open its doors to the public. The proposed National Lighthouse Museum, which will be located just south of the St. George Ferry Terminal, has been in the works since 1996, some thirty years after the Coast Guard closed the U.S. Lighthouse Depot at that site. Due to 9/11 economic fallout and a host of other problems, the museum is now not expected to open until mid-2003 at the earliest. See:

JOKE'S ON US - The former head writer for Saturday Night Live, PETER TAUBER, had cadets and staff rolling in the aisles at a special program on Tuesday evening. Sponsored by the Humanities Department and Luce Library, it was billed as an "intellectually humor-packed" evening of social commentary and political satire. According to the program's advertising blurb: "As a writer, Mr. Tauber has been compared to J.D. Salinger, Joseph Heller and Kingsley Amis. As a performer he's been compared to Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, Mort Sahl or Tom Lehrer." Obviously a man of many parts - or multiple personalities.

TIME OUT- Stay tuned for the next NFFS. California beckons. NFFS will skip a week (or two) for its editor to enjoy Pasadena, Venice, and points north, south and east.