NORWAY-L Archives

Archiver > NORWAY > 2002-08 > 1029601083


From:
Subject: Norwegian Sailors in American Waters - 205-216
Date: Sat, 17 Aug 2002 09:18:03 -0700


Acknowledgment

The following selection is taken from "Norwegian Sailors in American
Waters" published by the Norwegian-American Historical Association (NAHA)
in 1933. The volume is out of print and not available from NAHA at
http://www.naha.stolaf.edu/ where you will also find the first 33 volumes
of Studies and Records online. This chapter is published with the kind
permission of NAHA. The book this selection is drawn from is under
copyright and permission has been granted for educational purposes and it
is not to be used in any way for any commercial purposes.

LIEUTENANTS

Raymond Asserson, son of Henry Asserson and grandson of Rear Admiral
Peter C. Asserson, was born November 23, 1889, in New York City. He
entered the naval service in 1909 and was promoted lieutenant in 1917. He
retired in 1919 because of disability resulting from an incident of
service. His home is at Mountain Lake, New Jersey.
Alf Ole Ruh Bergesen, son of Reverend B. E. Bergesen of Minneapolis, was
born June 24, 1897, in Boston; he was graduated from the United States
Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1919; he served in the navy and became
chief engineer in 1921; and he was promoted lieutenant in 1922. He
pursued special studies of Diesel motors at the naval academy and at
Columbia University.
Bernhard Christensen, who was born in Norway May 4, 1872, entered the
navy as enlisted man; he was promoted warrant machinist in 1905, chief
machinist in 1911, and lieutenant in 1920. He retired in 1925 because of
disability resulting from an incident of service.
Kenneth Oscar Ekelund was born September 19, 1898, in St. Paul,
Minnesota. His father was born in Sweden, his mother in Norway. He was
graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1922 and served on war
vessels until 1928, when he entered the aviation service. He was promoted
lieutenant in 1930.
John E. Gabrielson, who was born March 4, 1891, in Galesburg, Illinois,
was graduated from Knox College in 1916, attended the naval school,
served in the navy, and was promoted lieutenant in 1925. His home is in
Galesburg, Illinois.
Alfred M. Granum, of Washington, D. C., was born at Montevideo,
Minnesota, January 24, 1899 and was graduated from the naval academy at
Annapolis in 1920; he served in the navy and was promoted lieutenant in
1926; he pursued a post-graduate course at the naval academy and at
Harvard University.
Olaf John Gullickson, who was born December 11, 1888, in Burke,
Wisconsin, entered the navy as enlisted man in 1909 and was promoted
lieutenant in 1918. His home is in Los Angeles, California.
Chris Halverson, of Newport, Rhode Island, was born February 4, 1891, in
New Auburn, Wisconsin. He enlisted in the navy in 1909, became warrant
officer in 1916, and was promoted ensign in 1918 and lieutenant in 1923.
The following year he was graduated from the Submarine School.
Raymond Alfred Hansen was born in Madison, Wisconsin, March 16, 1899. His
parents were Alfred G. Hansen, a Dane, and Carrie (Runden) Hansen, a
Norwegian. He was graduated from the naval academy at Annapolis in 1922
and has served since on war vessels as navigator, engineer, commanding
officer, and executive officer. He was promoted lieutenant in 1928.
Lawrence Thomas Haugen, who was born on June 16, 1897, at St. James,
Minnesota, entered the naval school in 1916 and was graduated in 1919. He
was commissioned lieutenant of construction corps in the United States
Navy in 1925. For two years following he served as assistant
superintendent of the navy yard at Philadelphia, and from 1927 to 1931 he
served in the office of the assistant secretary of the navy in
Washington, D. C.
Elmer Victor Iverson was born June 3, 1894, at Reynolds, North Dakota. He
was graduated in 1917 from the naval academy at Annapolis, followed the
regular line of naval service, and was promoted lieutenant in 1918. His
brothers are Lieutenant Commander Louis Iverson and Midshipman Clifton
Iverson, who is now in the naval academy. His home is in Badger,
Minnesota.
Hans Johnsen was born in Norway June 3, 1865. He was appointed gunner in
the navy in 1898, chief gunner in 1904, and lieutenant (temporary) in
1917. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for Extraordinary
Heroism and Distinguished Conduct. He died in 1920.
Alfred Kittilsen of the United States Naval Reserve was born in Norway
September 17, 1887. He enrolled in the navy in 1917 and was promoted
lieutenant in 1918. He retired in 1920 because of disability resulting
from an incident of service.
Reuben L. Larsen was born January 25, 1890, at Ada, Minnesota. He served
in the medical corps of the navy and at the naval academy with the rank
of lieutenant from 1917 till 1920, when he retired because of physical
disability. He lives at Evanston, Illinois.
Fridthjof Waldemar Londahl, son of Chaplain M. M. Londahl of the United
States Army (retired) was born February 18, 1898, in Minneapolis. He was
graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1919, followed the
regular line of naval service, and was promoted lieutenant in 1925. His
home is in Bend, Oregon.
Mons Monson was born in Norway January 20, 1867. He entered the navy as
enlisted man; he became gunner in 1904 and chief gunner in 1910 and was
promoted lieutenant in 1920; he received the Congressional Medal for
Distinguished Conduct in Battle or Extraordinary Heroism. He retired in
1925.
Chris Jacob Norstad was born in Tacoma, Washington, February 22, 1888,
entered the naval service in 1906 as enlisted man, became pay clerk in
1917, and passed assistant paymaster with the rank of lieutenant in 1922.
Ralph A. Ofstie was born November 16, 1897, in Wisconsin. He entered the
navy in 1915; he was commissioned ensign in 1918 and lieutenant in 1922.
He has served in the bureau of aeronautics. At present he is stationed at
the naval air station in Anacostia, D. C.
Charles Eugene Olsen was born September 7, 1897, in Brooklyn, New York,
of Norwegian parents. He was graduated from the naval academy in 1918 and
served in the World War. He was promoted lieutenant in 1922. He resides
in Waukegan, Illinois.
Clarence Edward Olsen, a brother of Lieutenant Charles Eugene Olsen, was
born October 7, 1899, in Alota, Michigan. He entered the United States
Naval Academy in 1917 and was graduated in 1920; he followed the regular
line of naval service and was promoted lieutenant in 1926.
Hjalmar Eugene Olsen, of Waukegan, Illinois, is the father of Lieutenants
Charles Eugene Olsen and Clarence Edward Olsen. He was born in Oslo,
Norway, in 1860. He entered the navy as a seaman, served on the
battleship "Iowa" in the Spanish-American War, and was promoted
boatswain. During the World War he served at the Great Lakes Naval
Station and was promoted lieutenant. He is now on the retired list. He
has two sons in the navy besides the above-mentioned lieutenants:
Lieutenant (junior grade) Earl Kenneth Olsen and Midshipman Robert I.
Olsen, who is now in the naval academy.
Harold Severing Olsen, born in Norway in 1875, entered the navy as a
seaman and was promoted boatswain in 1905, chief boatswain in 1909, and
lieutenant in 1920. He was retired on his own application in 1925 after
thirty years’ service.
Ole Peterson Oraker, who was born in Norway December 21, 1879, was
appointed warrant machinist in the navy in 1906, promoted chief machinist
in 1912 and lieutenant in 1916, and retired in 1919. His home is in
Bremerton, Washington.
Sverre Floathe, who was born in Norway January 16, 1873, became carpenter
in the navy in 1903 and was promoted chief carpenter in 1909 and
lieutenant after his retirement in 1911.
Jannis Vincke Jacobsen, of Piedmont, California, was born in Norway
October 6, 1868. He entered the navy as enlisted man and was promoted
warrant machinist in 1901, chief machinist in 1903, and lieutenant in
1920. He retired in 1924.
Charles Hierdahl of Philadelphia, who was born in Norway January 18,
1873, entered the navy as enlisted man; he was promoted gunner in 1899,
chief gunner in 1905, and later lieutenant. He is now on the retired
list.
Orly Tagland, born in Norway on March 15, 1879, served in the navy as
enlisted man and later as warrant officer. He was commissioned passed
assistant paymaster in 1920 and later lieutenant of the supply corps.

LIEUTENANTS JUNIOR GRADE

William Christian Asserson, the son of Captain W. C. and Isabella
Asserson, was born May 19, 1903, in Boston. His father is a son of Rear
Admiral Peter C. Asserson, his mother a daughter of Rear Admiral G. W.
Pigman. He entered the naval academy in 1922 and was graduated in 1926;
served on various war vessels; spent one year in Pensacola, Florida, as
student aviator; and since 1930 has been attached to the Torpedo and
Bombing Squadron. In 1929 he was promoted lieutenant (junior grade). His
home is in Washington, D. C.
Andrew Harold Bergeson was born in Washington, D. C., October 29, 1905.
His parents were Andrew Bergeson and Henrietta (Hereid) Bergeson, who
were both born in Decorah, Iowa. He was graduated from the naval academy
at Annapolis in 1927, attended the aviation school at Pensacola, Florida,
in 1929—30, and was graduated as naval aviator. He was promoted
lieutenant (junior grade) in 1930. His home is in Washington, D. C.
Marvin P. Evenson, who was born October 14, 1904, in St. Peter,
Minnesota, was graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1926,
served for a time in the navy, and entered aviation in 1930. In 1929 he
was promoted lieutenant (junior grade). His home is in Sioux City, Iowa.
John Leslie Melgaard, who was born on December 20, 1902, at Larimore,
North Dakota, was graduated from the naval school in 1925 and was
commissioned lieutenant (junior grade) in 1928.
Henry Allen Moe was born July 2, 1894, in Monticello, Minnesota. He
served in the navy as enlisted seaman and officer from January, 1918,
until January, 1921. In 1919 he was promoted lieutenant (junior grade).
In December, 1920, he was retired.
Earl Kenneth Olsen, son of Lieutenant Hjalmar Eugene Olsen (retired) ,
was born in Brooklyn, New York, July 3, 1903.
He was graduated from the naval academy at Annapolis in 1926 and has
since followed the regular line of service in the navy. He was promoted
to lieutenant (junior grade) in 1929. His home is in Waukegan, Illinois.
Eliot Olsen, who was born on December 15, 1903, in Boston, of Olaf Olsen
and Sara C. Olsen, was graduated from the United States Naval Academy at
Annapolis in 1927, followed the regular line of service in the navy, and
was promoted lieutenant (junior grade) in 1930. His home is in East
Milton, Massachusetts.

OTHER OFFICERS

Alvin Anderson was born in Norway April 1, 1886; he became gunner in the
navy in 1921 and was later promoted chief gunner.
Andrew Anderson was born in Norway December 11, 1857. He became boatswain
in the navy in 1898, chief boatswain in 1904, and retired in 1908.
August Asbjornsen, a native of Norway, came to America and settled in New
Jersey. He enlisted in the navy, received a commission in 1864, and
served as third assistant engineer on the "Suwanee" in 1866.
Einar Bjorhus, who was born on October 26, 1885, in New York, entered the
naval service in 1921, was promoted chief gunner in 1924, and is now
serving on the light cruiser "Marblehead."
Oscar Berentson was born in Norway and became warrant machinist in the
navy in 1899. He died in 1909.
Matello Bratland, who was born in Norway March 26, 1872, became warrant
machinist in the navy in 1916 and retired in 1921.
Olaf Christophersen, who was born in Norway, was appointed mate in the
navy in 1897; he retired in 1903.
Oscar Eng was born on June 14, 1885, in Moorhead, Minnesota; he enlisted
in the navy in 1904 and has served ever since. He has been promoted
boatswain.
Harry Forsdal, who was born in Norway, was appointed mate in the navy in
1905 after he had served as enlisted man for more than eighteen years.
Herman Hansen was born in Norway; he was appointed sailmaker in the navy
and promoted chief sailmaker in 1918. He retired the same year.
Bergen Heggenhaugen, who was born in Norway, was appointed warrant
machinist in the navy in 1901; he retired in 1908 because of disability
due to an incident of service. His home is in Minneapolis.
Clifton Iverson, son of I. L. Iverson and Louise (Sondreal) Iverson of
Reynolds, North Dakota, and a brother of Lieutenant Commander Louis
Iverson and Lieutenant Elmer Victor Iverson, is a midshipman at the naval
academy.
Jacob Jacobsson, who was born in Norway, was appointed carpenter in 1900
and chief carpenter in 1906. He died in 1908.
William Horton Jacobsen was born February 16, 1907, in Luverne,
Minnesota. He was graduated from the naval academy in 1928 and was
commissioned ensign. He is now a naval aviator.
Gustav Johnson, who was born in Norway, was appointed mate in 1904, after
having served as enlisted man for many years.
Harold Edwin Landre was born in Norway January 27, 1893, entered the navy
in 1921, and became chief carpenter in 1924.
John Larsen was born April 4, 1893, in Wisconsin, of a Danish father and
a Norwegian mother. He was graduated from the training station at
Norfolk, Virginia, in 1911 and has since served in the navy. He has been
promoted chief gunner.
Andrew Madsen, who was born in Norway, became boatswain in the navy in
1903 and chief boatswain in 1910; he died in 1915 at Newport, Rhode
Island.
John Martin was born in Norway; he entered the navy from New York in 1872
and became sailmaker.
Frederick Miller of New York, who was born in Norway, was appointed mate
in the navy in 1865.
Thomas M. Nelson was born in Norway; he was appointed mate in the navy in
1863. He was a resident of New York.
Carl J. Nerdahl, who was born March 10, 1888, in South Dakota, entered
the navy in 1917 and was promoted chief gunner in 1923. He is still in
active service.
Carsten Nygaard was born in Norway April 2, 1869; he became boatswain in
the navy in 1903 and chief boatswain in 1909; he retired in 1911.
Torger Nylund, who was born in Norway, entered the navy as enlisted man;
he became gunner in 1908 and chief gunner in 1914.
Lloyd Wesley Olson was born in Los Angeles December 6, 1907, graduated
from the naval school in 1930, and was commissioned ensign. He has served
one year with the battle fleet.
Nils Bernhard Olson, who was born December 26, 1870, in Norway, became
passed assistant paymaster in the navy in 1920; he retired in 19921.
Robert I. Olsen, son of Lieutenant Hjalmar Eugene Olsen (retired) of
Waukegan, Illinois, is a midshipman in the United States Naval Academy.
Adolph Peterson of St. Paul, Minnesota, was born May 31, 1875, in that
city. He has served in the navy for thirty years. In 1912 he was promoted
chief machinist.
Svend Julius Skau, who was born November 14, 1871, in Norway, served in
the Dental Reserve Corps in the navy; he was promoted chief boatswain in
1926.
Sigvart Thompson, who was born in Norway May 14, 1879, served for ten
years in the navy as enlisted man, qualified on examination as electric
gunner, and was promoted chief gunner in 1919.
Carl M. Westa, who was born in Norway, came to America and settled in
Brooklyn, New York. He enlisted in the navy and was promoted machinist.
On one occasion he jumped into the engine room where an explosion had
killed three men and closed the valve of the oil tank, which was in
danger of exploding and wrecking the ship. For this act of bravery he
received the thanks of President Taft and of the admiral of the fleet. He
also received a silver medal and a letter of thanks from the Italian
government for bravery in aiding Italian people at the time of the
earthquake in Messina in 1908, when the United States sent several
warships to the aid of the stricken city.

MARINE CORPS

We can mention here only a few leading officers who occupy prominent
positions in the service.
Carl Gamborg-Andersen was born in Oslo, Norway, March 10, 1866. His
parents died when he was very young and he came to New York to live with
an older brother. In 1891 he enlisted as a private in the United States
Marine Corps. He advanced rapidly through the grades of corporal,
sergeant, and commander sergeant. During the Spanish-American War he
served on the battleship "Indiana" and took part in the battle of
Santiago on July 3, 1898, in which Admiral Cervera’s fleet was captured.
He participated also in several attacks on Spanish fortifications on the
coasts of Cuba and Porto Rico. In 1899 he was promoted first lieutenant
in the regular marine corps. He accompanied an expedition to Guam and
later an expedition sent to China at the time of the Boxer uprising. When
the commander of his unit was killed in action at Tientsin, he succeeded
him in command and was later awarded the Medal for Conspicuous Conduct
and Public Service in the Presence of the Enemy. After this period of
warfare he served the government for several years in Alaska, Guam, the
Philippine Islands, Mexico, Cuba, and China. He served on several war
vessels, among others the "Yosemite," which was shipwrecked in a typhoon
on the coast of Guam. In 1911 he was promoted major. During the World War
he served in the Orient, and in 1917 he was placed in command of the
Third Regiment of Marines with the rank of lieutenant colonel and was
sent to Santo Domingo to establish order there. In 1920 he was promoted
colonel and was placed in command of the marine barracks at Bremerton,
Washington. He retired in 1925 after more than thirty years of service.
{13}
Major Henry L. Larsen of the United States Marine Corps was born December
10, 1890, in Chicago. He was commissioned from civil life and was
prepared for examination in the Army and Navy Academy in Washington. From
June, 1917, until June, 1918, he served as adjutant of the Third
Battalion of the Fifth Marines, American Expeditionary Forces. From June
until the latter part of September, 1918, he was second in command of the
Third Battalion and participated in the battles of Chateau-Thierry and
Soissons, in the Marbache sector, and in the St. Mihiel offensive. From
the latter part of September, 1918, until the latter part of July, 1919,
he was in command of the Third Battalion and led it in the battles of the
Champagne and the Argonne Forest. After the signing of the Armistice he
led his battalion in the march of the Allied armies towards the Rhine and
occupied the Coblenz bridgehead. Twice he was cited for gallantry in
action by General John J. Pershing, and once by General John A. Lejeune,
commanding the United States Marine Corps. In 1919 he was awarded the
Croix de Guerre for conspicuous gallantry in action. In 1920 the
president of the United States awarded Major Larsen the Navy Cross for
personal bravery and distinguished service in the war, and in 1929
awarded him the Distinguished Service Medal. The same year President J.
M. Moncada of Nicaragua awarded him the Medal of Merit "in recognition of
the exceptional services rendered the republic." In 1931 he was also
awarded the Navy Cross Star for distinguished service as brigade
inspector.
Captain Hans Olaf Martin of the United States Marine Corps was born
January 3, 1891, in Norway. He was promoted captain in the marine corps
in 1920, after he had served for many years as enlisted man and
commissioned officer.
Theodore A. Holdahl was born on April 29, 1899, in Roseau, Minnesota. He
entered the naval service in 1917 and was promoted lieutenant in 1919.
Since 1930 he has served in the Nicaraguan constabulary with the rank of
captain. He has served with the United States Marine Corps in the
Philippine Islands, China, and Nicaragua.
Leslie F. Narum, first lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, was
born March 31, 1903, at Waukon, Iowa; entered North Dakota State College
in 1921 and was graduated as bachelor of science in science and
literature in 1925. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was
promoted second lieutenant in 1925 and first lieutenant in 1931. He is
now commanding officer of the marine detachment, United States Naval Air
Station, Seattle, Washington.
Albert F. Moe was born November 15, 1917, in Oakland, California. He was
graduated from the University of California in 1928, entered the United
States marine service, and was promoted second lieutenant in 1929. He is
at present student aviator at Pensacola, Florida.

COAST GUARD

A commanding officer in the United States Coast Guard says in speaking of
this branch of the naval service:
In regard to names of commissioned and warrant officers of Norwegian
descent or birth, there are many of them in our coast guard, which on
board our ships as well as at our land stations throughout the country is
often referred to as the ‘Norwegian Navy.’ The number of sailors and
petty officers of Norwegian blood is especially large in this branch of
the navy, and light-haired Scandinavians are usually found on most coast
guard vessels.
We shall add here the names of a few Norwegians in this service that have
come to our attention.
Karl Martin Varnes came from Norway in 1907. He served for a time on the
revenue cutter "Mohawk," and is now commissioned chief warrant serving as
commanding officer of the coast guard cutter "Sankee" at Key West,
Florida.
Magnus J. Knudsen was born in Norway in 1884. He came to America in 1908,
entered the coast guard service the following year, and eventually was
made warrant officer on the coast guard cutter "Onondaga." In 1928 he was
promoted chief machinist on the coast guard cutter "Ossipee," stationed
at Portland, Maine.
Sigvald B. Johnson, assistant commander of the coast guard with
headquarters at Buffalo, New York, has been in the service over twenty
years. In 1929 he was made chief warrant in the coast guard service. His
son, Roger Johnson, is a cadet in the Coast Guard Academy at New London,
Connecticut. {14}
Niels S. Haugen, who was born in Norway, is lieutenant on the coast guard
cutter "Unalga," Curtis Bay, Maryland.
Axel Foss, who was born in Oslo, Norway, in 1873, has been warrant
officer in the coast guard service since 1901. He is at present attached
to Coast Guard Base Seventeen, San Pedro, California.
Henry Walter Erickson is warrant boatswain in the United States Coast
Guard on board the "Sankee," Key West, Florida. He was born in Boston of
Norwegian parents.
Herman M. Teller was born in Trondheim, Norway, in 1880. He served as
sailor until 1908, when he came to America and joined the life-saving
service, which is now a branch of the coast guard. He has served for
about twenty-three years.
A. Johnson, who was born in Tønsberg, Norway, has served in the coast
guard for eighteen years. He is executive officer of Coast Guard Section
Number Three at Charleston, South Carolina.
Robert Thorsen was born in Norway in 1900. He came to America in 1921 and
entered the coast guard service. He is boatswain, attached to the
destroyer division of the United States Coast Guard, serving on the
"Jouett."
No attempt has been made to make a roster even of the officers of
Norwegian origin, but only to mention those about whom it has been
possible to obtain definite information. A few brief notes have been
added about each in order to show more clearly the character of the men
and the kind of service they have rendered in this branch of American
maritime life.

<13> Washington Posten, December, 1924.
<14> Buffalo Evening News, September 4, 1930.

________________________________________________________________
GET INTERNET ACCESS FROM JUNO!
Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit:
http://dl.www.juno.com/get/web/.


This thread: