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Remembering the USS Chinaberry

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June 25, 2012
BATH, Maine — Charles J. Whittle has spent many years working on the history of the USS Chinaberry.

Like many World War II vets, he doesn't want the reason for the war to be forgotten. Recently, he presented the Maine Maritime Museum with a copy of the history of the USS Chinaberry.

Whittle, whose son, Dennis and daughter-in-law, Nora, are both long time Forsyth County residents, served on the Chinaberry, one of four wooden ships in the Atlantic during WWII.

The Chinaberry was a net-tender, which laid nets to protect the allied fleet from torpedoes and mines. The Chinaberry saw active duty at Normandy in the defense of the troops landing on D-Day. Three days later, the Chinaberry was one of several ships to lay landing tracks to off-load supplies.

The Chinaberry also served to rescue ships damaged by the German forces. With Charles are his sons, Charles Jr. and Dennis, Nora and Janice Kauer, director of development for the museum.

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Tags: Community & Outreach

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    USS Chinaberry
    October 04, 2012 | 07:45 PM

    My dad, Raymond Calhoun served on the USS Chinaberry also. I have heard him speak of Mr. Whittle many times through the years.

    Lisa Calhoun Hall
    Kingsport, TN
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    USS Chinaberry
    May 26, 2013 | 03:24 PM

    My mother (Anne V. Mader) christened the Chinaberry when it was launched in Rockland. She and my father, LCDR Otis M. Mader, were stationed in Bath during the war and attached to Bath Iron Works. I still have the red, white and blue ribbon wrapped remnants of the champagne bottle that was used. I also have pictures of the launching, christening, and of the launching party. Two of them are posted on with the Chinaberry. I have newspaper articles describing the launching as well. I was born in Lewiston in July, 1944 while my parents were living in Brunswick. If any of this information is useful, I would be happy to make it available.

    David C. Mader
    Middleton, MA
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