History Podcasts

Allentown PF-52 - History

Allentown PF-52 - History


A city in eastern Pennsylvania located 48 miles north of Philadelphia. It is the seat of government for Lehigh County.

(PF-52: dp. 1,430; 1. 303'11"; b. 37'6"; dr. 13'8"; s. 20.3 k. (tl.):
cpl. 190; a. 3 3", 4 20mm., 8 dep., 1 dep. (hh.), 2 dct.'cl. Tacoma;
T. S2-S2-AQ1)

Allentown (PF-52) was laid down on 23 March 1943 at Milwaukee, Wis. by Froemming Bros., Inc., under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1477), Iaunched on 3 July 1943; sponsored by Miss Joyce E. Beary, moved to New Orleans where she was outfitted and placed in commission on 24 March 1944, Comdr. Garland W. Collins, USCG, in command.

Allentown departed New Orleans on 3 April bound for Bermuda and shakedown training. After about a month of training the patrol frigate set a course for New York escorting the Nor- merchantman SS Norden. She arrived in New York on 13 May and underwent post-shakedown repairs and alterations. Near the end of June she stood out of New York in the screen of a convoy. She arrived at Norfolk, Va., on 28 June entered the navy yard for additional repairs. She completed repairs in midAugust and returned north to New York where she arrived on the 16th. Soon thereafter, however, the patrol frigate returned to sea as a unit of Escort Division (CortDiv) 33 in the screen of a convoy bound for the Pacific.

Steaming via the Panama Canal and Bora Bora in the Society Islands, Allentown reached the northern coast of New Guinea at the end of September. The patrol frigate then began patrol and escort duty in the Netherlands East Indies. At the end of October, the warship participated briefly in the occupation of the island of Morotai in the Molucca Islands. In mid-November, she began escorting convoys between Hollandia and Leyte in support of the troops reconquering the Philippines. Those duties and convoy-escort missions between the various islands of the Philippine archipelago occupied her time until early March of 1945. On 9 March, Allentown joined the escort of a Ulithi-bound convoy on the first leg of the voyage back to the United States. The warship arrived at the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 7 April.

After completing an overhaul, the patrol frigate departed Puget Sound on 7 June, bound for Alaskan waters. She arrived at Cold Bay on the Alaskan Peninsula on 15 June. For about a month, Allentown participated in drills and exercises. On 12 July 1945, she was decommissioned at Cold Bay and the next day, was transferred to the Soviet Union under a iend-lease agreement. The warship served in the Soviet Navy until 15 October 1949 at which time she was returned to the custody of the United States Navy at Yokosuka, Japan. Allentown remained at Yokosuka, in a caretaker status, until April 1953 when she was loaned to Japan. The patrol frigate served Japan as Ume. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 December 1961 and she was transferred to Japan on a permanent basis on 28 August 1962.

Allentown earned two battle stars during World War II.

U.S.S. Allentown

From The People Of Allentown Pennsylvania June 1944.

The Officers
And Crew
Of The
U.S.S. Allentown

From The
People Of Allentown
June 1944

Erected 1944 by the People of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Location. 40° 35.959′ N, 75° 29.387′ W. Marker is in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in Lehigh County. Memorial is near the east boundary of West Park, about 200 feet north of the intersection of Linden and Fulton Streets. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Allentown PA 18102, United States of America. Touch for directions.

Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II (a few steps from this marker) D-Day, June 6 1944 (within shouting distance of this marker) Remembering Allentown's Heroes (within shouting distance of this marker) A Plan for the Plantings (within shouting distance of this marker) Ignatz Gresser (within shouting distance of this marker) China-Burma-India Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker) United States Army Ambulance Corps Service (within

shouting distance of this marker) C Company, 109th Machine Gun Battalion (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Allentown.

Also see . . .
1. USS Allentown, 1943 (PF-52). (Submitted on June 9, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Welcome to PF52.org, the home of "The Amazing A"!. (Submitted on June 9, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. USS Allentown at Wikipedia. (Submitted on June 9, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)

Neighborhood History

It’s hard to imagine Allentown as anything but the lively, colorful neighborhood that it is today. Ask any Buffalo resident and they’ll tell you that Allentown is known for its community of artists, walkable neighborhood filled with dining, galleries, and retail shops, as well as residents who are committed to preserving its rich history.

Peel away the tall city buildings and pavement, and imagine Allentown lush with greenery and cattle. Allentown’s beginning traces back to one person, Lewis Fallie Allen, who was a farmer in the early 1800’s with land on Williamsville Rd (now Main Street). When Allen was looking for a new space to let his cattle pasteurize, neighbor Thomas Day suggested some of his land, which sat between the cities of Buffalo and Black Rock. Allen’s new cattle path became known as Allen Street (ironically, Allen named his Grand Island farm “Allentown”). Allen was one of the founders of the Buffalo Historical Society and Forest Lawn. Allen’s nephew was notably president Grover Cleveland (whom Allen voted against!).

Allentown continued to grow when Thomas Day donated his green land to the City of Buffalo in 1854 to be used as a city park, now known as Days Park. Though not a Frederick Law Olmstead park, Olmstead was the Parks Commissioner of Buffalo at the time, so the park received the Olmstead touch.

In the turn of the century, modern young couples wanted a new kind of housing: free of land responsibilities and to be immersed in city life. Apartments went up, and merchants thrived. That is, until the great depression. Small businesses’ failed, and grand houses were split up into apartments or sold.
The late 1940’s and early ‘50s brought soldiers and their families back to Allentown, settling in next to older generations and the emerging Latino and African-American population.

The Allentown Association began in 1963, with the efforts of Olive Williams and her North Street Association to create a “consciousness amount neighborhood residents of the historical and architectural transition exemplified by every street in Allentown.”

Today in Allentown, you can find colleagues grabbing a drink and bite to eat on an outdoor patio, families strolling the streets First Fridays gallery walk, and UB medical students walking to he nearby medical campus. The Allentown Association continues to advocate for enhancing, promoting, and protecting Allentown’s unique character.


Jim Godlesky recorded the day he said goodbye to the USS Allentown.

"The USS Allentown departed for Cold Bay (Alaska) today with a partial crew," Godlesky wrote in his diary on June 13, 1945. "For many of us, it was our last look at our home away from home."

Named after the city, the Allentown was among 75 patrol frigates built for the Navy and manned by the Coast Guard during World War II.

Interviews with former crewmen and copies of diaries collected by Godlesky read like a script from the "McHale's Navy" television show, complete with a mischievous crew and a captain who was eventually discharged because of mental disability, according to the crew.

"At the time, it wasn't too funny," recalled crew member John Dean of Hempfield Township, near Pittsburgh. "Maybe we pulled together because of him or in spite of him."

Administrators for the city of Allentown recently joined a Coast Guard reunion group from California and the Japanese Embassy in trying to determine the fate of the Allentown.

Patrol frigates, about 303 feet long, were named after U.S. cities and used to track weather conditions, escort destroyers and fight submarines.

The Patrol Frigate Reunion Association of Daly City, Calif., wrote to Allentown and asked for information on the USS Allentown for display in an exhibit.

Before the search, the last anyone heard of the ship was that it was sold to Japan, which renamed it the Ume, or "plum."

Japan eventually docked the ship and gave it back to the Navy in 1971, according to Japanese Embassy officials in Washington. The Navy sold the Allentown to a scrap company in Taiwan called Chin Ho Fa, according to the Naval Historical Center in Washington.

Although the ship is gone, the city's search revealed that the USS Allentown remains one of the most remembered Coast Guard vessels of its time.

The ship was so loved by its 190 crew members that they have held reunions more consistently than any other ship's crew in the Coast Guard, former crewmen say. Next month, they'll meet in Evansville, Ind., for their 30th annual reunion.

Crew members fondly recall the ship's mascot, a dog named Amazing, and beer-hauling among the Pacific islands.

In 1987, Godlesky, of McKeesport, Allegheny County, compiled diaries from shipmates into a three-ring binder that he titled "The Men of the Amazing A."

"Amazing was a word that was used by the captain constantly whether it was good or bad," Godlesky recalled in a phone interview. "We named our newspaper Amazing and we named our dog on the ship Amazing."

The USS Allentown, PF 52, was launched on July 3, 1943, by Froemming Brothers Inc. of Milwaukee. The ship was christened by Joyce Breary, an Allen High School teacher whose father, Gen. Frank D. Beary, was a Spanish-American War veteran and civil defense chairman in the Lehigh Valley.

The ship was chosen as the flagship of Escort Division 33. In that role, it was the leader of a four-vessel escort group.

From the outset, the Allentown was memorable. On its maiden voyage down the Mississippi River, the vessel almost ran aground after a valve used to feed power to the steering was accidentally shut off.

The ship shoved off from New Orleans, bound ultimately for New Guinea and the South Pacific. As it drifted out on the Gulf of Mexico in April 1944, about 90 percent of the crew, including Capt. Garland W. Collins, became seasick within the first hour.

During a stop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the crew adopted its mascot, Amazing. The dog was described by the men as "a white ball of fluff -- one half Spitz and one-half God knows what."

"He was so used to hard decks, when he would get ashore at a naval base he would avoid grass and only walk on hard surface," wrote Philip Garlington, then a lieutenant on board, now a resident of San Mateo, Calif.

The pet shop gave the dog to the crew. The shop owner asked for a photo of the dog to use for publicity. Crew members believe the dog was taken by one of the Texas members of the crew after the war.

It was at the Brooklyn Navy Yard that members of the USS Allentown got their first taste of Allentown, the city.

"Anytime they got leave in New York they would go to Allentown because people would just roll out the red carpet," Garlington said in a telephone interview.

Godlesky recorded the crew members' first trip to Allentown on July 10, 1944.

"The city of Allentown, Pa., our namesake, hosted the crew of the 'A' to a party in their city," Godlesky wrote.

"The affair was held at the Americus Hotel. All those not on duty or leave attended," he added. "Girls flocked to the area to meet us and drinks were offered everywhere we went. It was a grand party!"

Shortly after the Allentown visit, the party was over for the crew. The Allentown escorted ships carrying British troops through the Panama Canal and across the Pacific, where it would remain on the fringe of battle.

The crew spent many tense nights in the Pacific, patrolling the waters in inky darkness. Every light was turned off to avoid the ship's detection by enemy planes. Because it was a patrol ship, the Allentown was constantly on the move.

"A radio report of five Jap destroyers in the area had everyone at a high pitch of excitement," Godlesky wrote on Oct. 25, 1944. "When radar picked up five blips approaching . we thought our time had come. At the last minute, identification was made. It was five PT boats going out to bombard Mite Island. A sigh of relief was felt through the ship as many men thought we had bought the farm."

During the war, the USS Allentown didn't see much action, which became a joke on the ship. The ship's newspaper, The Amazing Wreckord, printed a poem on Oct. 27, 1944, that was to be sung to the tune of a hit song, "Paper Doll," by The Mills Brothers.

I'm just a seaman lad aboard the Allentown/

The ship that never ever sees the war/

Oh yes, we sail upon the sea/

and listen to the bugle we adore./

We have our general quarters for an hour/

and gaze into the skies of azure blue/

We shoot some kites and toy balloons up in the air/

Oh yes, I'm sure we are a gallant crew.

The closest the USS Allentown came to battle was in October 1944. The ship was patrolling the tip of Indonesia at an island called Morotai, just south of the Philippines. The United States and Japan engaged in what was to be the greatest naval battle in history in terms of total ship tonnage -- the Battle for Leyte Gulf.

Leyte Gulf was a major sea victory for the United States. In all, 282 ships took part. Japan's navy was so badly damaged that it was not a serious threat for the rest of the war.

During the Leyte Gulf period, the Allentown was on standby. One day about 4 a.m., Garlington recalled, a plane was spotted on radar heading toward the frigates. The plane failed to give the proper signal, so the ships, including the Allentown, began blasting away. The Japanese plane went down in flames.

The USS Allentown, along with the other patrol frigates in the escort group, received a commendation for the kill. But the crew received more praise for what it didn't do, said Garlington.

The Japanese plane was chased by a Navy plane. The Navy crew gave the proper signal, so the frigates didn't fire.

But U.S. armed guards in a nearby harbor, who weren't on the radio frequency, began shooting and almost blew off the tail of the Navy plane, which somehow managed to land.

"They almost shot it down," Garlington recalled in a recent phone conversation. "There was a pretty lot of damage. We held our fire, so we got the commendation for not shooting at them."

The Battle for Leyte Gulf was also known for Japan's first use of kamikaze pilots, who would fill their planes with explosives and crash into Allied warships.

On a day in December 1944, the USS Allentown dropped anchor next to the USS Ross. A kamikaze pilot suddenly appeared over the horizon and dove onto the bridge of the Ross.

"We assumed she was an ammunition ship," Garlington wrote. "Had she been carrying ammunition, we'd have been blown to bits."

Several officers on the Ross were killed. The Allentown sent over a damage control party to help fight the fire. The sailors helped remove the cargo, came back to the Allentown and loaded it to the gunwales -- with beer.

"I believe we made a couple of more trips over," Garlington wrote. "Each time returning with Schaefer's finest. I know that some of that beer, carefully stashed away, was traded weeks later for Russian vodka."

While the tension in the Pacific subsided with U.S. naval victories, the threat to the Allentown wasn't over. In December, the ship suffered a fire that injured three crew members and caused $20,000 in damage.

"I figured it was only a small fire, but in the morning I found out differently," wrote Russ Myers of Onancock, Va., in his diary of Dec. 14, 1944. "It seems a can of movie film exploded from the heat and spread fire all over the passageway."

Two men suffered severe burns. An additional 25 crew members were treated for eye burns from toxic fumes. One of the crew was trapped and nearly overcome by fumes before he could escape.

Dec. 25, 1944, arrived with the Allentown at sea.

"Another Christmas spent away from loved ones," noted The Amazing Wreckord. "This year being spent at sea from Leyte, Philippine Islands, to Hollandia, New Guinea, with a convoy of ships hit in the Mindoro invasion. Today was a lazy one on the Allentown. The ship was swept down before breakfast, then work was knocked off for the day. The cooks really put out a swell meal . in all, a very enjoyable Christmas."

As the crew rolled into 1945, tensions between Capt. Collins and the men reached a climax. Throughout his tenure, Collins' mental stability was questioned by the men.

"It was a hell ship for a while," Garlington said. "The crew figured he was more of an enemy than the Japanese."

The diary of Allan C. Emery of Boca Raton, Fla., recalled one incident in which Collins sent two men to a supply ship in the middle of an air raid.

He "said 'Mr. Emery, that ship that is just anchoring is a refrigerator ship. Would you like some Birdseye peas and strawberries?'" Emery recalled.

Collins ordered Emery and another crew member to take a motor boat out to the supply ship to request the goods. Just as the men were being lowered, three red tracer shells were shot across the harbor, the signal for an enemy air raid.

"I looked up at the captain to see if he'd call us back to man our guns. He said, 'We have enough men to man our guns, go get us the Birdseye peas and strawberries,'" Emery wrote.

"It seemed like an interminable trip," Emery remembered. "Shrapnel from spent shells splashed in the water about us, but none touched us."

The two men boarded the ship but found no one on deck. Everyone was at his station, getting ready for the raid.

"I saw a man . with an ensign as a battery officer," Emery wrote. "I could not attract his attention amid all the noise of the air raid and had to tap him on the shoulder. He looked at me in amazement.

"He asked 'What the . are you doing here and what do you want?' I replied that we had come for Birdseye peas and strawberries . He told me where to go, but instead I went back to the ship.

"We were greeted by the captain, who was apparently already tasting the products we were supposed to be bringing. When I told him that we returned empty-handed, he raced to the (radio), opened the switch to all stations, and began, 'Mr. Emery has failed us again . '"

Collins was replaced after attempting to court-martial one of his men, Garlington said. He went home to Seattle. He is now deceased, according to Garlington.

In July 1945 the crew went to Cold Bay, the tip of Alaska, to give the ship to the Soviets, who were going to use it for the final push on Japan. Some of the crew members, including Godlesky, helped train the Soviets.

After saying goodbye to the ship, Godlesky made his way to Oakland, Calif., where he learned of Japan's surrender.

"Word came in about 3 or 4 p.m.," Godlesky wrote in his diary of Aug. 15, 1945. "As word of the surrender began to spread, the streets began to fill with cheering, happy, loving people. Nothing was too good for a man in uniform.

"A happy elderly gentleman bestowed us with hugs and kisses and insisted we take his car and have a good time. We took the car and drove to Oakland, where the scene was wild with joy.

"What a happy, crazy time!" Godlesky wrote. "I'm sure we kissed more girls that night than in all our lives before that night.

"At 2 a.m. we decided to head back to base. Guess what? We couldn't find where we had parked the car that the old gentleman had loaned us. Never did. I often wonder if that kindly old gent ever got his car back."

On July 19, 1960, the first reunion of Allentown crew members was held at Stony Point, N.Y. Thirteen members attended.

In 1964, the crew came back to Allentown to celebrate the ship's 20th anniversary at the Americus Hotel. Last year, the group marked the ship's 45th anniversary on Long Island, N.Y., where about 75 people attended and a proclamation from Allentown Mayor Joseph Daddona was read.

A memorial of the USS Allentown, in the form of a ship's anchor, stands in West Park. And a monogrammed brick was recently installed at Center Square, compliments of Martin Schaffer, a local Navy historian and veteran of the USS Redfin who has taken an interest in the Allentown.

On Oct. 18, the Patrol Frigate Reunion Association will hold a national reunion in St. Louis for members of all Coast Guard frigates. Since forming, the reunion group has located 700 former frigate members and has been instrumental in establishing museums and memorials.

The History of Allentown, NJ

The land that is now Allentown and the surrounding area was originally populated by the Lenape Family of the Deleware Tribe of Native Americans.

Their family symbol was the wild turkey. They lived along the waterway, behind The Old Mill, now known as Indian Run Creek.

The present town was founded in 1706 when Nathen Allen purchased a tract of land from his father in law. It became Allen’s Town and then Allentown. It was settled primarily by Quaker, Presbyterian, and Episcopal communities. The Old York Road, connecting New York and Pennsylvania, was used as a strategic route during the Revolutionary War.

Due to its position at the head of the road leading from the New Jersey Pinelands, during the year-long battle for the Delaware River, Allentown was a key location. This history can be seen at The Old Burial ground where many gravestones date back to the revolutionary war.

In 1790, John Imlay, Esq., built a stately Country Georgian mansion with 11 fireplaces. It stands proudly in the center of town and is a wonderful destination for shopping.

Fast forward to the next century Allentown was a major depot on the Underground Railroad. Coming from Philadelphia and elsewhere, fugitive slaves were at Crosswicks staying at the Middleton Farm.

Enoch Middleton, a Quaker, drove them to Allentown under the cover of night where they were protected by Geroge Middletown, a US Congressman and a member of the Middletown family, who was a resident of Allentown.

One of the oldest continuous businesses in Allentown was the Abel Cafferty’s Gristmill build in 1855 to replace the original built in 1706.

A gristmill had been in continuous operation on this site from 1713 to 1963, a span of 250 years. The Old Mill is listed on The National Register of Historic Places.

References and Resources

Photographs and observations of particular tools are based on items in the Alloy Artifacts collection.

Catalog Coverage

Product information was obtained from a number of Bonney catalogs, as summarized in the table below. Unless noted otherwise, Bonney catalogs were generally published without copyright.

Bonney Forge & Tool Works: Catalog Resources
Catalog No. Year Format Notes
23 1923 Half Copyright 1922. Sticker on front notes price change effective 08/15/23.
Earliest catalog for CV line of wrenches.
Tappet Wrenches in 40x series 402-407A.
No CV specialty tools. No sockets or drive tools.
25 1925 Half Prices effective November 15, 1925. Prices are suggested retail.
Display Board shows specialty tools, not available from stock.
First listing of CV waterpump wrenches.
First listing of CV fixed-socket wrenches.
No sockets or drive tools.
Carbon-steel tools finished only in black enamel with polished faces.
26 1926 Booklet Prices effective November 15, 1925. Prices are suggested retail.
No sockets or drive tools.
N/A 1927? Full Undated catalog insert pages.
First listing of CV right-angle (obstruction) wrenches.
First listing of sockets and drive tools, 1/2-drive 4000 series only.
630 1930 Brochure Offers new No. 18 CV Ignition Set.
Includes No. H set of heavy-duty sockets and drive tools.
33 1933 Full Dated 1933, no copyright notice.
Full line of sockets. First listing of Zenel tools.
January 1933 supplement lists Zenel Electrical Wrenches.
May 1933 supplement lists Zenel Combination Wrenches.
134 1934 Half H10 to H18 miniature open-end wrenches listed.
36 1936 Full Zenel box-end wrenches listed.
E40 to E46 miniature box-end wrenches listed.
136 1936 Half Zenel box-end wrenches listed.
138 1938 Half
139 1939 Half Bonaloy tools listed.
39R 1939 Full Refrigeration specialty catalog. Bonaloy tools listed.
140 1940 Half
43 1943-1945 Full Many items temporarily discontinued due to wartime restrictions.
C-1 1947 Half Copyright 1947. Single-offset wrenches listed with Bonaloy steel.
C-1 1949? Half Later printing.
Supplement with "streamlined" style open and combination wrenches.
C-3 1950 Half Copyright 1950.
Listings show "streamlined" style open and combination wrenches.
M-2 1954 Full Copyright 1950, but most pages updated to 1954.
Loose-leaf binder.
57 1957 Full Factory in Alliance, Ohio.
No reference to Bonaloy, CV, or Zenel alloy brands.
60-S 1960 Half
63 1963 Full

Industrial Distributors

Bonney tools were sold through a number of industrial and automotive suppliers, and the catalogs of these companies may provide helpful product information.

Waterhouse & Lester 1924. The 1924 Waterhouse & Lester catalog No. 20 lists Bonney CV tappet wrench models 402-405 on page 357. The illustration shows the wrenches marked "Chrome-Vanadium" with the B-Shield Logo. A No. 412 set of eight wrenches (two of each) in a leatherette roll was available at a $20.06 price.

Williams Hardware 1925-1926. The 1925-26 catalog from the Williams Hardware Company (not to be confused with J.H. Williams & Co.) lists Bonney CV open-end and tappet wrenches. The illustration shows the open-end wrenches marked "Chrome-Vanadium" with the B-Shield Logo.

Ducommun "G" 1926. The 1926 catalog "G" from the Ducommun Corporation lists Bonney "CV" tools on pages 225 through 228, including open-end wrenches, tappet wrenches, and water pump packing wrenches.

C.W.Marwedel 1929. The C.W. Marwedel catalog No. 12 of 1929 lists one page of Bonney tools, including a set of ignition wrenches and a selection of CV water pump packing nut wrenches, with models ranging from 1228 (7/8) up to 1272 (2-1/4).

Captain vs. crew on the USS Allentown

One of my favorite walking paths takes me through Allentown’s West Park, where there’s a row of war monuments, including one that stands out by its shape. It’s in the form of a ship’s anchor and reads:

JUNE 1944

Google the name and you get 46,600 hits, including a website, http://www.pf52.org/, dedicated to the ship and its men.

The Morning Call archives contain numerous stories about the Allentown, the most definitive of which was written by my friend Gerry Shields in August 1990. It revealed the captain as having a personality like the fictional Capt. Queeg of The Caine Mutiny.

Seven years after Gerry’s story appeared, one of the Allentown’s officers made a poignant confession concerning the captain during the crew’s last national reunion, held in the city.

The Allentown, called the “Amazing A” by its crew, was among 75 patrol frigates built by the Navy and manned by the Coast Guard during World War II. It was the kind of ship my dad, a radio operator, served on. Ultimately it was scrapped.

Named after U.S. cities, patrol frigates were used to track weather conditions – the duty my father had in the North Atlantic – escort destroyers and fight submarines.

The Allentown, PF-52, was launched July 3, 1943, and christened by Allentown High School teacher Joyce Breary, daughter of Gen. Frank D. Beary, a Spanish-American War vet and the civil defense chairman in the Lehigh Valley.

Crew members made their first trip to Allentown on July 10, 1944, with the city holding a party for them at the Americus Hotel. After that, the warship left for the Pacific, where its captain, Garland W. Collins, made their lives miserable.

“It was a hell ship for a while,” wrote Philip Garlington, a lieutenant on board. “The crew figured he was more of an enemy than the Japanese.”

Another lieutenant, Allan Emery, said the captain sent him and another man on a mission to a refrigerator ship for frozen peas and strawberries — during a Japanese air raid. They were rebuffed and returned empty-handed. Collins hurried to the loudspeaker and announced to the crew: “Mr. Emery has failed us again.”

At the crew’s last reunion in September 1997, Emery told a story he’d “never told before because it puts me in a poor light.”

Morning Call columnist Jim Kelly covered the event, in what was then the Hilton in downtown Allentown, and wrote the following:

“I was not a favorite of the captain and he was not one of mine,” [Emery said]. On the evening Collins was relieved of command…, “Suddenly the source of all my problems was going to be taken away. I was staggered.”

It was a dark night and Emery had walked up to the flying bridge and was silently pondering the news when the captain also reached the bridge. Emery stayed in the shadows and listened as the captain spoke aloud to himself.

“They’ve beaten you, Collins,” he said. “All your life you’ve planned for this and they’ve taken it away. But you’re not going to let them know how hurt you are.”

Emery did not come forward, he said, but wanted the crew to know that over the years he had come to realize what a lonely and frightened man the captain was.

“Perhaps I could have reached out and helped….It has been an important lesson of my life…to realize that some of our most noisy, bothersome people also deserve our help.

“I make that confession unproudly because that’s the way it is,” he said, and quietly walked to his seat to the applause of the men.

A footnote: The only sailor from the Lehigh Valley to serve on the USS Allentown was George R. Holko of Catasauqua, who died in 1979 at age 56.

Egyptian Mythology

While the best-known myths of Eros depict the son of Aphrodite as a fertility god — the version that proved inspirational to the popularized Roman god Cupid — later Greek myths portrayed Eros as one of several winged erotes, and the one regarded as a protector of homosexual culture, according to research in the scholarly book Among Women: From the Homosocial to the Homoerotic in the Ancient World.

The Egyptian goddess, also worshipped by Greeks, is known for solving a gender identity issue of yore. Iphis was born female but raised male by his mother, who concealed the truth because her husband wanted a male heir. Ultimately, Iphis fell in love with Ianthe, a woman, and was betrothed to her. Before the wedding, Iphis prayed in the Temple of Isis for a solution, and voila! she became a he. As noted on Owlcation, this may have been a heterosexual ending, but the love story was laced with LGBT themes. Above: Isis (seated right) welcoming the Greek heroine Io as she is borne into Egypt on the shoulders of the personified Nile, as depicted in a Roman wall painting from Pompeii.

While the level of tolerance for LGBT people in ancient Egypt remains subject to debate, the truth can be found in the ostraca. Mythology depicted in hieroglyphics and history revealed on pyramid walls confirms same-sex relationships existed within the culture and lore along the Nile. Many scholars today suggest that while all matters of sex were treated as somewhat taboo, intolerance of homosexuality seemed such a foreign concept that no records show the practice as forbidden. In addition, several intersex figures were not only recorded but celebrated. Here is a review of their stories as well as the other Egyptian deities who fall within the LGBT spectrum.

The storm god associated with many natural disasters, Seth was among the more colorful figures in the Egyptian pantheon. Researcher Mark Brustman says Seth, while married to his sister Nephthys, is depicted as engaging in sexual activities with other male deities such as Horus. Seth is also described as having impotent testicles, and he never had a child. This may not be a sign of great tolerance in the culture Seth was cast in a terribly negative light in many stories. And while his childbearing siblings Osiris and Isis represent life, he represents the desert. This may indicate a certain negative sentiment about gay identity. But many stories show that while Seth could be called a villainous figure, his homosexuality was not what made him so.

Many tales about Seth focus on his envy of his nephew Horus, the child of Isis and Orisis. In one tale documented well in Richard Parkinson’s Homosexual Desire and Middle Kingdom Literature, Horus is either raped or seduced into a sexual encounter. Seth intends to embarrass Horus by showing others Horus was the receptive partner in the act. But Horus gets the upper hand, because he secretly captured Seth’s semen, then had his mother Isis feed it back to Seth in his lettuce. When the semen is called forth by Seth in an attempt to humiliate Horus, it comes from Seth instead. Interestingly, the tale shows that ancient Egyptian culture didn’t look down on homosexuality — something heroic Horus engaged in himself — so much as it held being subjugated in low esteem.

23. Antinous

This resurrection figure holds ties to ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman cultures. Antinous was a real historical figure and the male companion of the Roman emperor Hadrian. The pair would take journeys around the Mediterranean. And on one trip, Antinous drowned in the Nile on the same day that Egyptians commemorated the watery death of Osiris. Deeply affected by the death of his lover, Hadrian encouraged the deification of Antinous, and cults sprung up around the Mediterranean honoring him. In some tellings, Antinous rose from the Nile after his death and was then revered as a form of Osiris reborn. Indeed, the god and the Roman cult that followed him still have devotees today.

In the creation story for the Egyptian gods, the first deity, Atum, was both male and female, according to studies by researcher Mark Burstman. The ancestor to all self-produced two offspring, Shu and Tefnut, through either a sneeze or his own semen, and it wasn’t for a few generations that the archetypal male and female gods of Isis and Osiris were born.

25. Nephthys

While there are fewer tales in Egyptian history and mythology about female than male homosexuality, many considered the goddess Nephthys to be a lesbian. The sister and constant companion of Isis, she married brother Seth but bore him no children. Scholars have debated whether the stories of Nephthys, who did bear one son by Osiris, show that the culture held lesbians in greater esteem than gay men, because they could still be fertile despite their sexual orientation. Then again, others express skepticism about her lesbianism altogether.

Isis was among the few goddesses worshipped both by the Egyptians and their Mediterranean neighbors in Greece. The mother goddess and a protector of children, she also cared for society’s downtrodden, which may be why gay priests in ancient Egypt worshipped the deity. In one tale documented at Isiopolis, Isis appeared in a dream accompanied by an Egyptian retinue to calm the pregnant Telethusa, who feared she would deliver a girl against her husband’s wishes. Isis told the mother to carry the child, Iphis, who was born a girl but raised as a boy. Later in life, Iphis called on Isis to change his gender to male, an ancient gender affirmation granted by divine means.

While the sun god Ra in most mythological accounts was regarded as the father to the major gods, Sir Ernest Alfred Wallis Budge wrote of clear indications of a double-gender nature to the deity. As early as the fifth dynasty, Budge wrote of Ra’s female counterpart Rat, who was considered the mother of the gods.

28. Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep

The clearest evidence that bisexuality was acceptable in ancient Egypt may be the tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep, two men laid to rest in the necropolis of Saqqara. Hieroglyphics indicate that the men were married with children but also show them in intimate embrace. The two men apparently worked as overseers to manicurists in the palace of King Nuiserre. There is some scholarly debate as to whether the men were brothers, but virtually all depictions of the pair show a commitment that looks far more than fraternal.

29. Hatshepsut

The first documented transgender figure in history may have been the Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut. Deidra Ramsey McIntyre of Red Ibis Publishing notes that unlike other female Egyptian rulers, Hatshepsut was always depicted in ancient art wearing men’s clothing, and she frequently was drawn with a male body. Her descendent Thutmose III would later try to eradicate nearly all historic reference to her.

30. Neferkare and Sasenet

The Egyptian King Neferkare, who many scholars believe rose to become Pharoah Pepi II, would make conspicuous midnight visits to his favorite general, Sasenet, according to tales dating to the era of the Middle Kingdom. According to German scholars Gunter Burkard and Heinz Thissen, some ancient texts state Neferkare would do to the military leader “what his majesty desired,” a phrase they interpret as clear innuendo of sexual congress.

Hapi, the god of the Nile, is depicted in hieroglyphics as an intersex person with a ceremonial false beard and breasts. While generally referred to as male, the god also was also considered a symbol of fertility. According to Richard Parkinson’s Homosexual Desire and Middle Kingdom Literature, the deity was portrayed to suggest both male and female reproductive power, a topic that has incited debate among scholars.

Another male god widely associated with fertility was Wadj-Wer, a deity depicted at a pyramid site in Abusir. Sometimes referred to as the "pregnant god," Wadj-Wer held the same type of station as river gods in Greek mythology, representing the Mediterranean Sea in some accounts or rivers and lagoons of the northern Nile Delta in others. An association with water seems the greatest distinguishing feature separating iconography of Wadj-Wer from that of Hapi.

33. Shai/Renenutet

The Egyptian god of fate Shai sometimes was depicted in male form,and other times presented as the female Shait. Related to both birth in the world and rebirth in the afterlife, Shai was born with each individual, constantly starting life anew but also an immortal god, according to ancient Egyptian belief. Wallis Budge suggests the deity was viewed in parts of Egypt as combining the facets of a male Shai, decreeing what should happen to man, and a female Renenutet, the goddess of good fortune. “Subsequently no distinction was made between these deities and the abstract ideas which they represented,” Budge wrote in The Egyptian Book of the Dead.


World War II, 1944-1945

Allentown departed New Orleans on 3 April bound for Bermuda and shakedown training. After about a month of training, the patrol frigate set a course for New York escorting the Norwegian merchantman SS Norden. She arrived in New York on 13 May and underwent post-shakedown repairs and alterations. Near the end of June, she stood out of New York in the screen of a convoy. She arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, on 28 June entered the navy yard for additional repairs. She completed repairs in mid-August and returned north to New York where she arrived on the 16th. Soon thereafter, the patrol frigate returned to sea as a unit of Escort Division 33 in the screen of a convoy bound for the Pacific.

Steaming via the Panama Canal and Bora Bora in the Society Islands, Allentown reached the northern coast of New Guinea at the end of September. The patrol frigate then began patrol and escort duty in the Netherlands East Indies. At the end of October, the warship participated briefly in the occupation of the island of Morotai in the Molucca Islands. In mid-November, she began escorting convoys between Hollandia and Leyte in support of the troops reconquering the Philippines. Those duties and convoy-escort missions between the various islands of the Philippine archipelago occupied her time until early March 1945. On 9 March, Allentown joined the escort of a Ulithi-bound convoy on the first leg of the voyage back to the United States. The warship arrived at the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 7 April.

After completing an overhaul, the patrol frigate departed Puget Sound on 7 June, bound for Alaskan waters. She arrived at Cold Bay, Alaska, on the Aleutian Peninsula on 15 June. For about a month, Allentown participated in drills and exercises.

Soviet Navy, 1945–1949

On 12 July 1945, she was decommissioned at Cold Bay and, the next day, was transferred to the Soviet Union under a lend-lease agreement. The warship served in the Soviet Navy as EK-8 until 15 October 1949 at which time she was returned to the custody of the United States Navy at Yokosuka, Japan.

Japanese Navy, 1953–1971

Allentown remained at Yokosuka, in a caretaker status, until 2 April 1953 when she was loaned to Japan. The patrol frigate served the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force as Ume (PF-289). Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 December 1961, and she was transferred to Japan on a permanent basis on 28 August 1962. Decommissioned on 31 March 1970, the ship was returned to U.S. custody on 12 July 1971. Fate unknown.

Allentown: History

Eight thousand years before European settlers crossed the Atlantic, ancestors of the Delaware tribe were thriving in the Lehigh Valley. The city now known as Allentown stands on a tract of land purchased in 1735 by William Allen from a friend of the family of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. William Allen, who served for several years as chief justice of Pennsylvania, built a hunting and fishing lodge on the geographically isolated site, which was first known as Ȫllen's little town." Allen and his son had hoped to turn the lodge into a trading center but the river was too shallow for boat traffic and the American Revolution of 1776 intervened. When the British captured Philadelphia in 1777, the Liberty Bell was carried to Allentown where it was concealed in a local church and later returned to Philadelphia upon British evacuation of that city.

By the early 1800s Allentown was little more than a sleepy marketing town for local farmers. However, when the Lehigh Canal was opened in 1829 to carry coal from the area north to the Delaware Canal and east to New York, and south to Philadelphia, Allentown for the first time had access to outside markets. Even more important was the availability of water power, and a growing number of businesses began to settle in the Lehigh Valley, including the country's first commercially successful iron furnace powered by anthracite coal. The resulting boom in the production of pig iron began to fade by the turn of the century when English advances in steel technology lessened the demand for iron. Nearby Bethlehem Iron was the only Lehigh Valley metals industry to successfully make the transition from iron to steel. Allentown, earlier than other northeastern industrial areas, was forced to diversify its economic base. With the arrival of the silk industry in the 1880s Allentown came to be known as "silk city." Other light industries followed and Allentown leaders determined to never again depend on one business for the city's survival. In the early 1900s Mack Trucks, Inc., moved to the city and remained one of the city's largest employers for most of the century.

World War II gave a boost to the Lehigh Valley's economy, but thereafter synthetics began to replace silk in the manufacture of clothing, the cement works phased out many operations, and the steel companies began to lay off workers. As has been the case with many industrial cities, improved highways, large tracts of available, affordable land, and the demand for larger homes encouraged development outside the city. The 1980s saw expansion in suburban shopping centers, industrial parks, and office buildings. Allentown and the surrounding region have benefitted from the completion of an interstate highway in 1989, which has promoted economic development, and from an influx of persons fleeing high prices and overcrowding in New York City, Philadelphia, and elsewhere.

Today the Lehigh Valley supports a diversity of businesses and industries, having moved from what was once a primarily manufacturing base. The city has also begun an intensive revitalization of its downtown area, which includes plans for a multi-purpose complex on what was once industrial property along the Lehigh River. Numerous industrial facilities will be renovated at the same time, providing the area with a much-needed facelift and tying into Mayor Afflerbach's plan to create a "safer, cleaner, more prosperous city in which to live, work, play, and invest."

Historical Information: Lehigh County Historical Society and Museum, Old Courthouse, PO Box 1548, Allentown, PA 18105 telephone (610)435-1074

One Marine’s story that will never die

Marine Pfc. Stanley A. Parks, then of Allentown, holds a flamethrower on Peleliu. Randolph Peters carries a .30-caliber carbine.

Everyone from the folks at the Library of Congress Veterans History Project to the National World War II Museum will tell you how important it is to get a veteran’s story before it’s too late.

That point was driven home last Friday at the memorial service for Stanley A. Parks of Emmaus, a Marine Corps veteran who wielded a flamethrower against the Japanese on Peleliu and Okinawa. Stan died Dec. 19, five weeks after my story on his World War II experiences ran in The Morning Call.

When family and friends entered Bethany United Methodist Church in Wescosville to celebrate Stan’s life, one of the mementos they saw was a framed portrait of him that Morning Call photographer Harry Fisher had taken. It had appeared on Page 1 with the Veterans Day story. In the photo, Stan is wearing his Marine jacket and cap, and holding a bugle he had taken from a dead Japanese soldier on Peleliu.

Harry’s photo on display was a reminder that getting Stan’s story into the newspaper and online had been the right thing to do.

I found out about Stan last April from his brother Don in Allentown, who told me a little about him in a letter. He enclosed some old newspaper clippings about Stan’s exploits in the Pacific, including a photo of 18-year-old Pfc. Parks holding a flamethrower on the beach at Peleliu. There was also a column done 15 years ago by The Morning Call’s Jim Kelly, who wrote about Stan and his three brothers who fought in the war.

“It would be a great interview, I assure you,” Don wrote.

I believed him. For one thing, few World War II Marines had opened up to me. Most didn’t want to bring back the terrible memories. If Stan were willing to talk, I could get a rare, personal insight into the bloody trial of island fighting – something millions of TV viewers had seen dramatized on the HBO series “The Pacific.”

By coincidence, a month after I heard from Don Parks, I got an e-mail from one of Stan’s neighbors. He, too, recommended I do a story on Stan.

I told Don I’d like to interview his brother for Veterans Day, Nov. 11, more than six months away. It was a gamble, given that the youngest WWII vets are in their mid 80s. But Stan was doing all right. In September, when I was ready to start interviewing him, Don told me the bad news: His brother had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 esophageal cancer and might not want to talk now.

No, Stan did want to talk. We met the first time on Sept. 24 at his home. I got his story on my Sony digital recorder. Three days later he was in the hospital for a stay that lasted two-and-a-half weeks. On Oct. 8, I called him in his Lehigh Valley Hospital room and wished him a happy 85 th birthday.

We met again at his home on Oct. 21, and Harry joined us to take still photos and re-interview Stan on video.

We’ve been shooting video for the War Stories: In Their Own Words series for years. It’s an online extra for readers. They can get on The Morning Call’s website and read the story, and also, with the click of a mouse, see and hear the vet talking about his experiences for several minutes. I’ve blogged before that the video re-interviews have been a great tool for me, like magic, because the vets often say things in front of a camera that they didn’t tell me earlier, or in a way that improves the story.

The Web is useful for another reason. I had to cut Stan’s story for the print version because of space limitations, but the longer account, with more anecdotes, was posted on the Internet, where story length isn’t an issue. As with all the tales in my series, Stan’s has a permanent home on the site. You can read it at http://articles.mcall.com/2010-11-10/news/mc-veterans-day-war-story-parks-20101110_1_machine-gun-peleliu-foxhole Harry’s 2-minute, 15-second video, which includes historic photos, is on the War Stories home page at http://www.mcall.com/news/local/warstories/

A week after the photo and video shoot, I stopped by Stan’s home and dropped off photos he had lent me to get scanned in at the paper, including the shot of him with the flamethrower on Peleliu. It was the last time I saw him. I did go to his house again, on Nov. 11 when his story ran, to drop off a few dozen extra papers. He and his wife, Barbara, weren’t home. I left the papers on the porch.

Harry and I were shocked to hear of Stan’s death so soon after we had spent time with him. He had seemed OK then. But his condition had deteriorated rapidly.

At the memorial service, his family showed Harry’s video. I’m guessing about 200 people watched it on the church’s big screen. Later, in his eulogy, Pastor Jim Brashear said seeing the video gave him goose bumps. God, he noted, uses people like Stan to give us our freedom.

We all bowed our heads as the pastor said a prayer. One of the blessings he thanked God for was the video, an enduring testament to Stan’s service in the war.

I have often felt affirmation for our work in recording veterans’ stories. As I sat in the church Friday and a bagpiper played the “Marines’ Hymn,” I felt it yet again – intimately. Stan is gone, but his story will live on. Harry and I had done a meaningful service not only for this proud Marine’s family and friends, but for future generations.

Watch the video: Historys Headlines: Allentown mansion has a scandalous past (November 2021).