Monday, August 24, 2009

Ceremony at Cemetery 1949

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This official US Navy photograph from April 2 1949 shows the Captain W. J. Marshall of the USS Spokane, Rear Admiral Richard Cruzen, U.S. Counsel Orray Taft, Jr. and Libyan ruler at the time, Prince Taher Bay Karamandi, who is from the same family of the Bashaw Karamandi the US was fighting in 1804.

In her biography of the Naval career of Master Commandant Richard Somers, Glory at Last, Barbara Koedel wrote:

"In 1949, as a result of research by Mustafa Burchis, harbor master of Tripoli, and the United States Counsul Orray Taft, Jr., the graves of five men killed from the explosion of the Intrepid on 4 September 1804 were found in the Protestant Cemetery there."

"On April 2, 1949, the U.S.S. Spokane put in at Tripoli. In a short address, Rear Admiral Cruzen spoke of the exploits in the Barbary War; Captain W. J. Marshall narrated the Intrepid mission; and Consul Taft told of the research to identify the graves and unveiled a plaque: 'In honored memory of five unknown American seamen buried here who died in the explosion of the USS Intrepid, Tripoli Harbor, 1804.' Captain Lt. E. J. Sheridan read a short paper; an honor guard of Marines fired several volleys over the graves and played taps."

[ ] and available from the Navy Archives.

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