I was looking for a ship

5th February 2006, 17:25
Hi. My wife and I were looking at her grandfather's Navy service medals. A museum in his home town is interested in displaying them. We were especially interested in the Navy Cross. I just happened to find a list of recipients of the award on the internet and there was my wife's grandfather - James Delaney - Chief GM - Aug 6, 1917 - SS Campana sinking. So I googled the ship name and got a hit on this site. It appears to be a merchant vessel that possibly had been requisitioned by the Navy to carry troops to Europe.

CPO Delaney had the distinction of being the 1st American POW of WWI as he and Chief GM Joseph Riley were the only survivers of the sinking of the Campana. Both men were awarded the Navy Cross. Later, CPO Delaney was one of the enlisted pallbearers for the first (WWI) Unknown Soldier on 11 November 1921. It is interesting to note that the unknown soldier was carried from Europe aboard the USS Olympia and was escorted by the USS Ruben James. The Ruben James was the first US warship to be sunk in WWII.

In the picture you will see a Navy CPO, 5th from the left by the right rear wheel of the caisson. That is CPO (listed in the credits as Chief Torpedo Man) James Delaney.

non descript
5th February 2006, 17:47
A very warm welcome to you Ikurka, you will find the good ship SN is +100A1 and with an excellent crew. Enjoy the site and all it has to offer and we look forward to your postings. Bon Voyage

5th February 2006, 20:11
Welcome to the site . wonderful story and history of brave men. If you are going to find any info. it will be from here.


" from sea to shining sea "

jim barnes
5th February 2006, 20:47
Welcom very interesting story of one of many untold heroes,WElcome to SN (Applause)

Bruce Carson
6th February 2006, 04:08
Welcome onboard--enjoy the site and all it has to offer.

The 'Campana' was Standard Oil Company tanker.
There is a short history of the sinking with mention of Chief Gunners' Mate James Delaney towards the bottom of the following page:

He is also featured as "Sergeant" Delaney in a very strange item at the following website:

Bruce C.

6th February 2006, 08:54
Ahoy Ikurka,

Welcome aboard, enjoy yourself on this fine ship and her crew, as we do; looking forward to your postings.
From Holland

6th February 2006, 10:28
Welcome aboard from Italy.

6th February 2006, 11:41
Welcome Ikurka to the site enjoy it and all it has to offer

6th February 2006, 15:45
My thanks to Bruce Carson for the information that he supplied. We had previously thought that Chief Delaney (paca to my wife) was one of only two survivors. Somehow, only two Navy personnel being taken prisoner became only two survivors (the second being Chief GM Joseph Riley). I wonder if Chief Delaney was ever actually aware that the rest of his men and the crew survived.

We actually have a copy of the Bellows lithograph from the second link with the text of the story about the Red Cross incident and a note that the lithograph is in the Library of Congress Collection. We believe that the lithograph came from Chief Delaney, through his wife, his daughter, and then to my wife.

By the way, CPO Delaney's World War I Victory Medal has an "ARMED GUARD" service clasp (For service aboard armed guard vessel in North Atlantic between 06 Apr 1917 and 11 Nov. 1918), apparently for his service aboard the Campana.

Oh, yes. My login is LKURKA - L for Larry.

6th February 2006, 16:28
Just found out that there is an error in the listing of Navy Cross recipients from WWI. Joseph Riley is listed as having been awarded the medal during the Campana sinking. Not true. Chief GM Riley was awarded the medal for his actions during the sinking of the SS Montanan on Aug 15, 1917.

So now I have no idea of where the "two survivors" story came from.