A rousing good eyewitness sea (or seashore anyway) story involving a lot of professional mariner issues both on deck and, later in other historical comment, in court! Interesting to read alongside our current news and analysis of disasters at sea. From the USNI Archives column (originally published in 1916).
Also a link to an interesting analysis of historical data that suggests that the contemporary generally accepted cause of tsunami was not correct. The author makes a good case for a hurricane passing to the south as the culprit. The captain was court martialed and convicted, but only punished by loss of 20 places in the officer’s list, later reduced to 5 by the Secty. of the Navy! Argument has gone on to the present day about what the ultimate cause actually was.
Interesting that the Skipper of the Memphis (Edward L. Beach, Sr.), beside being a distinguished naval officer, was the author of a series of seafaring books for boys, and the father of a namesake son who went on to an even more illustrious career as a submariner in WW2 and later. Capt. Beach, Jr. was, among other things, the author of “Run Silent, Run Deep”, still probably the best book about the US subs in the Pacific. The junior Capt. Beach also authored a book on the Memphis loss that strongly concluded that the root cause WAS a tsunami, which the second link’s author seems to soundly debunk.
Just some short summer reading!