Thursday, March 31, 2011

Admiral Daniel J Callaghan Society -- March 31, 2011

Today I took a day off so I could attend the Saint Ignatius Downtown Business Lunch. This was the first one I had attended since the early 1990s. There was a much bigger crowd today at the Marines' Memorial. The school is inaugurating an Admiral Daniel J Callaghan Society to provide scholarships to kids who want to go into the military. Admiral Callaghan, SI 1907, won a posthumous Medal of Honor for his actions at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, where he died on the bridge of the cruiser San Francisco. His great-great-granddaughter, who is a student at SI, was there, as were three of his crew who were with him at Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal. The retired Senior Chief organizes the Memorial Day services at the San Francisco Monument.

Two of my classmates who attended Annapolis, retired Captain Dennis Murphy and Admiral Jim Shannon, were there. We had two tables full of members of our class. Dennis introduced Jim, who spoke about changing Naval doctrines and some of his experiences, and his thoughts about Admiral Callaghan living through the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, and then going to Annapolis, serving in FDR's White House, then commanding the San Francisco through Pearl Harbor and leading a vastly outnumbered and outgunned task force into battle at Guadalcanal.

He also spoke about Father Paul Capitolo, who is retiring. Everyone loves Father Capitolo. I asked him what he will be doing. He said he is not looking forward to being around other retired Jesuits -- being around the kids has kept him young.

One man said "It's hard to find places to honor the military in San Francisco."


Brad Bunnin said...

I"m a docent aboard the USS Potomac, and I play the role of Admiral Callaghan when he was FDR's Naval Aide, in uniform. I'd like to get in touch with the Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan Society. Can you tell me how to do that?

Brad Bunnin said...

I'm a docent aboard the USS Potomac, FDR's Presidential Yacht. Admiral Callaghan is honored on our ship, and I'd like to get in touch with the Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan Society. Can you tell me how to do that?

Joe Thompson said...

Brad: That's wonderful. I would contact the school ( and I'm sure they could put you in touch with the alumni who have organized the society.