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Steaming as Before, 1992: Finding Aid

Published in 1995

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 301
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Steaming as Before
  • Dates: 1992
  • Size: 0.08 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 1 volume
  • Creator: Schramm, Henry W.
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Henry W. Schramm was a quartermaster in the United States Navy during World War II and a public relations executive. Schramm's memoir, Steaming As Before: An Introspective View of Certain World War II Engagements in the Pacific Theater as Seen from a Seaman's Viewpoint, serves as his personal recollections of his naval service as a quartermaster during World War II aboard LST 45, U.S.S. Chief, and U.S.S. Algorab in the Pacific theater.

Biography of Henry W. Schramm

Henry W. Schramm was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1924 and was a lifelong resident of Syracuse, New York region. During World War II, Schramm served as a Navy quartermaster, and later served as a photography officer with the Army Signal Corps during the Korean War. Following his retirement from the military, Schramm embarked on a thirty-plus year public relations career, serving as Vice President at Barlow Johnson Public Relations and Public Relations Director at KeyBank until retiring in 1987. He also worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance writer, and as a Business Week correspondent. Schramm was also the author of local, regional, and state histories of New York, including Central New York: A Pictorial History and Syracuse, from Salt to Satellite: A Pictorial History. Mr. Schramm earned a B.Z. and M.A. from Syracuse University, including a double major in Journalism and History. Henry W. Schramm died on February 7, 2010.

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Description of Contents

Steaming As Before: An Introspective View of Certain World War II Engagements in the Pacific Theater as Seen from a Seaman's Viewpoint, completed in 1992, serves as Henry W. Schramm's personal recollections of his naval service as a quartermaster during World War II. The memoirs describe Schramm's service during the Marshall Islands and Marianas campaigns in the Pacific theater, notably the battles of Kwajalein, Saipan, and Tinian.

Schramm's memoirs, comprising twenty-one chapters, offer a largely chronological accounting of his World War II service. As described by the author, the memoir deals specifically with Schramm's experiences aboard LST 45 at Roi and Namur in the Marshall Islands invasion; aboard U.S.S. Chief (Minesweeper : AM-315) at Saipan and Tinian, which was serving as flagship of COMINRON 4; aboard U.S.S. Algorab (Cargo ship : AKA-8), including her decommissioning; and the May 1944 West Lock explosions at Pearl Harbor. The memoirs also include descriptions of Schramm's experiences at boot camp at Sampson Naval Training Station, amphibious training at Little Creek, and some post-World War II experiences.

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Schramm's Steaming as Before comprises a single volume.

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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

Steaming as Before is the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of Henry W. Schramm in October 1994. Accession No. 94-58.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Documentation of Schramm's writing career can be found in the Henry W. Schramm Papers, [ca. 1970-2002] at the Onondaga Historical Association Research Center in Syracuse, New York.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Steaming as Before, MS 301

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

The following sources were consulted during preparation of the biographical note:

"Henry W. Schramm Obituary," The Post-Standard, February 8, 2010,

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1995. Finding aid written by Mary R. Catalfamo in 1995 and revised by David D'Onofrio in April 2014.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Algorab (Attack cargo ship : AKA-8)
  • Chief (Minesweeper : AM-315)
  • Kwajalein Atoll, Battle of, Marshall Islands, 1944
  • LST 45 (Tank landing ship : LST-45)
  • Minesweepers -- United States
  • Naval convoys
  • Saipan, Battle of, Northern Mariana Islands, 1944
  • Schramm, Henry W.
  • United States. Navy -- Seamen
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Amphibious operations, American
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Mariana Islands
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Mariana Islands -- Tinian
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Marshall Islands
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Pacific Ocean
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations, American

Genre Terms

  • Manuscripts
  • Memoirs
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Contents List

Steaming as Before, 1992

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 1

Foreword, 1992 Pages i-vi

Schramm's intent in writing his personal experiences of World War II as a quartermaster.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 2

Chapter I - Green Sailors and Blue Seas, 1992 Pages 1-23

Aboard LST-45 on her first convoy run: journey to Panama City, Florida; navigation problems; passage to New Orleans; degaussing; loading cargo of aircraft landing mats; ship to travel to Cuba, through the Panama Canal, and on to San Diego; ship goes to sea in convoy on standard-at-sea schedule; and increasing proficiency of crew's naval skills.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 3

Chapter II - Stormy Passage, 1992 Pages 24-35

LST-45 in Caribbean: ship passes through "Torpedo Junction"; rough passage through December storm; no radar on board; and dangerous passage through Panama breakwater.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 4

Chapter III - One Voyage Completed...Another Started, 1992 Pages 36-44

LST-45 during passage through Panama Canal and convoy to San Diego: quartermaster stationed in steering engine room; arrival in Panama City; LST-45 to join convoy to San Diego; loading large contingent of Army troops; aborted attempt to train signalmen and helmsmen in each other's duties; LST-45 to participate in Marine Corps operation in Hawaii area, and Central and Western Pacific; crash course in chart corrections; armoring of wheelhouse portholes; loading cargo of high octane aviation fuel and 500-pound bombs; loading amphibious Marine Corps tank contingent; and shipboard life with Marines.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 5

Chapter IV - This Way to the Front, 1992 Pages 45-60

LST-45 in convoy and out on special duty: sailor on another LST crushed by a loose tank; LST-45 reaches Kauai; aboard LST-45, no movies, washing machines, air conditioning, or water distilling system; out to sea on special duty; LST-45 almost collides with another ship due to zigzag course; Marine Corps shipboard drills and activities; and unveiling of mission to Kwajalein.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 6

Chapter V - "D" Day, 1992 Pages 61-81

LST-45 at Kwajalein: U.S. ships' barrage of Japanese defenses; Marines land in tanks to neutralize islets of Roi and Namur; aerial attack on islets; LST-45 ordered to sink disabled U.S. amphibious tanks; attacking Marine tanks and barges on beach; returning Marines discard weapons rather than cleaning them; war souvenirs; lack of fresh water; thoughts on cargo ships being manned by merchant marine; Roi and Namur secured; and description of Roi and its Japanese fortifications.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 7

Chapter VI - Twelfth Night, 1992 Pages 82-98

February 13, 1944: severe attack on U.S. ships by Japanese bombers out of Saipan; LST-45 bombed, damaged, and beached; LST-45 freed and returned to berth, where she is designated a field hospital; damage control and ship clean up; three wounded aboard LST-45; offloading cargo of gasoline and bombs; LST-45 to tow disabled destroyer to Pearl Harbor; seamen's resentment toward officers; junior officer punching a seamen striker; Captain disapproves of Schramm's log entry on the punching incident; description of U.S.S. Chief.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 8

Chapter VII - Changing Times, 1992 Pages 99-107

LST-45 arrives in Pearl Harbor: dry dock then to West Lock, Pear Harbor; Schramm transferred to the minesweeper U.S.S. Chief, flagship of Minesweeper Squadron Four; description of U.S.S. Chief and her amenities; mines and minesweeping duties.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 9

Chapter VIII - "Paradise" Revisited, 1992 Pages 108-115A

Convoy run back to the Marshall Islands: duties, routines, watches, and shipboard life aboard U.S.S. Chief; Schramm as acting chief quartermaster; U.S.S. Chief arrives in Eniwetok, then Kwajalein.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 10

Chapter IX - "Pearl Harbor" Number Two, 1992 Pages 116-124

U.S.S. Chief's return to Pearl Harbor: dry dock; military clears Pearl Harbor streets with tear gas; new operation being planned; U.S.S. Chief back at sea with large task force for 'dress rehearsal' on Maui; serious fire at Pearl Harbor naval base caused by civilian welder's torch, resulting in explosion and the loss of several LSTs.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 11

Chapter X - Back to Business - Saipan, 1992 Pages 125-137A

U.S.S. Chief (code name Frogtown) voyage to and service at Saipan: routine anti-submarine work; bombardment, attack, and landing on Saipan; Japanese aerial attacks; U.S.S. Chief engaged in anti-submarine picket duty; patrol duties along southern tip of Saipan; U.S.S. Chief escorts heavy cruisers conducting operations off Saipan; sharpshooter destroys horn mine.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 12

Chapter XI - "Frogtown" on Patrol, 1992 Pages 138-143A

U.S.S. Chief in the Tinian area: Shell causes major damage to U.S.S. Chief's hull. sub search-and-destroy mission; U.S.S. Chief's smoke-making machine helps hide ship during Japanese attacks.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 13

Chapter XII - The Sea of the Dead and Other Oddities, 1992 Pages 144-152

Enemy military and civilian dead afloat at sea; encounter with Japanese aircraft off Tinian; U.S.S. Chief's new anchorage off Garapan Town; U.S.S. Chief attracts enemy sniper fire; attach by Japanese raft; U.S. ships flatten island with gunfire.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 14

Chapter XIII - A Time to Sweep, 1992 Pages 153-160A

U.S.S. Chief minesweeping in Magicienne Bay: shore party to sight locations of marine mines; shore party barraged by mortar fire; U.S.S. Chief's officers and men in good relations; mass hara-kiri (suicide) among Japanese soldiers and civilians of Saipan.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 15

Chapter XIV - Banzai, 1992 Pages 161-171

July 7, U.S.S. Chief at berth in Tanapag Harbor, Saipan: confusing combat actions on beach and dangers to those aboard U.S.S. Chief; combat activities on island last over four hours, with 5,000 Japanese soldiers attacking 1,500 members of Fourth Marine Division; continued U.S. military actions to secure Saipan; crew from U.S.S. Chief visits Saipan and receive beer ration; souvenirs, including Japanese papers and wooden bullets.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 16

Chapter XV - Tinian...To "D" Day and Beyond, 1992 Pages 172-183A

U.S.S. Chief circumnavigating Tinian and on picket duty in the Marianas: reduction in enemy air raids with securing of Saipan; U.S.S. Chief's lack of fresh food; nighttime patrol duty alert to Japanese threats and wayward mines; Schramm sickened by concussion from Marine Corps gunfire onto Tinian; U.S.S. Chief unseals D-Day orders for attack plan; Schramm's duty charting course to landing zone; description of landing attack on Tinian; U.S.S. Chief outruns mortar barrage; escorting submarine back to Saipan; U.S.S. Chief to accompany supply ships back to Pearl Harbor; Saipan and Tinian secured.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 17

Chapter XVI - On to Pearl...and a Trip Back in Time, 1992 Pages 184-194A

Schramm's autobiographical information dating back to 1939, including his time in the Syracuse University ROTC and enlistment in the Navy.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 18

Chapter XVII - "You'll be Sorry"...Boot Camp, 1992 Pages 195-215

1943 autobiographical information: training and life at Sampson Naval Training Station; Little Creek Amphibious Training Base, Virginia; quartermaster's school; selection to fill quartermaster slot on LST; training aboard LST at Solomons Island, Maryland.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 19

Chapter XVIII - Stateside...For Awhile, 1992 Pages 216-227A

U.S.S. Chief voyage from Saipan to Pearl Harbor, San Francisco, and San Pedro for refitting: Schramm's duty as steersman; unloading of munitions at ammo dump in Port Chicago, California; Schramm sent to base hospital, diagnosed as suffering from combat fatigue; Schramm sent to Navy recuperation hospital at Santa Cruz.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 20

Chapter XIX - Back to Sea, 1992 Pages 228-236

Schramm's return to duty in early 1945: journeys aboard Liberty Ship troop carrier back to Pearl Harbor and rejoining U.S.S. Chief; U.S.S. Chief's Commanding Officer, LCDR Wykoff replaced by LCDR Winslow; convoy duty to Marshall Islands; transfer by basket stretcher of an ill black soldier; Schramm assigned to stand by in steering engine room to steer in case bridge power lost; Schramm sees his first helicopter.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 21

Chapter XX - The Last Campaign, 1992 Pages 237-244

U.S.S. Chief convoy run back to Hawaii and on to Okinawa: continued convoy duty; "first meal" initiation of new sailors; trip to Marshall Islands, Yap, and Ulithi; sailors' craps table on Mog Mog Island; U.S.S. Chief's engine problem delays her participation in Okinawa invasion; Schramm given U.S.S. Chief's ensign and commissioning pennant prior to his return to the U.S.; Schramm's return to Pearl Harbor aboard troop ship with U.S.S. Franklin survivors who are accused to desertion; Captain orders silent treatment of Franklin survivors, but order is ignored.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 22

Chapter XXI - Winding Down, 1992 Pages 245-252

Schramm's return to San Francisco, assignment to Algorab, and discharge: assignment to Oakland shore patrol; assignment to attack cargo ship U.S.S. Algorab (AKA-8), where he updated and corrects charts and sailing orders; Japanese surrender; inventorying and cleaning Algorab prior to decommissioning; Schramm ordered to burn charts and sailing orders; account of mutinous incident aboard Schramm's former ship, LST 45; history of U.S.S. Chief; Schramm's discharge from the Navy.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 23

Afterword, 1992 Pages 253-258

Return to Syracuse University; entry into infantry officer training; service as a signal corps officer in occupied Germany during the Korean War.

Box 1 Folder 1 Item 24

Postscript, 1992 Pages [259-264]

Reasons for writing Steaming as Before.

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