The last "prize money" given out by the USN

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by syscom3, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The USS Omaha (CL-4) and the German commerce raider Odenwald:

    I was looking at information about the post WW1 light cruisers of this class and found this gem of a bit of trivia.


    from wiki: USS Omaha (CL-4) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    " .... Just prior to the US entry into World War II, on 6 November 1941, while on neutrality patrol with Somers in the mid-Atlantic near the Equator, Omaha sighted a vessel which aroused much suspicion by her actions. Refusing to satisfactorily identify herself, and taking evasive action, the stranger was ordered to heave to. She flew the American flag and carried the name Willmoto of Philadelphia on her stern.

    As Omaha's crew dispatched a boarding party to a striken freighter, its crew took to lifeboats and hoisted a signal which indicated that the ship was sinking. When their party pulled alongside, they could hear explosions from within the hull, while one of the fleeing crewmen shouted "This is a German ship and she is sinking!" In short order, the men of Omaha - despite the extreme risk - salvaged the vessel, rendered her safe and had her underway for Puerto Rico. The "freighter", as it turned out, was the German commerce raider Odenwald.
    Odenwald was taken to Puerto Rico. An admiralty court ruled that since the ship was illegally claiming American registration, there was sufficient grounds for confiscation. A legal case was started claiming that the crews of the two American ships had salvage rights because Odenwald's crew attempting to scuttle the ship was the equivalent of abandoning her. The court case - settled in 1947 - ruled the members of the boarding party and the prize crew were entitled to $3,000 apiece while all the other crewmen in Omaha and Somers were entitled to two months’ pay and allowances. This was the last prize money awarded by the US Navy."

    StrategyPage.com - Combat Information Center analysis, facts and figures about military conflicts and leaders
     
  2. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Man that's cool! Thanks for posting! 8)
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Not bad, $3000 in 1947 must have been a good sum to come into.
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Ww, that was pretty cool. Thanks for posting.
     
  5. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    My thoughts, too, Glider. That was probably close to a year's pay for some of those guys! Great find, Sys! :thumbleft:
     
  6. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Yeah, Navy did away with prize money in the last century. Or, to put it another way, the Govt kept it for themselves. No booze and no prize money. That's what the early 1900s gave to the USN.

    What a bummer.
     
  7. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Average US salary in the 40s was around $1,300, so a $3,000 lump sum would sit you pretty
     
  8. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    A quick rundown of pricing according to this website: 1947 Prices

    What Things Cost in 1947:
    Car: $1,500
    Gasoline: 23 cents/gal
    House: $13,000
    Bread: 12 cents/loaf
    Milk: 80 cents/gal
    Postage Stamp: 3 cents
    Stock Market: 181
    Average Annual Salary: $3,500
    Minimum Wage: 40 cents per hour


    The surprising one to me is milk at 80 cents a gallon. That's two hours worth of work to get one gallon of milk. :shock:
    With the Federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour it only takes 20 minutes to buy a gallon of milk now.
    It would cost $14.50 a gallon to match the 1947 ratio. I'll bet the dairy farmers would love that. :lol:


    Wheels
     
  9. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    I find them prices hard to believe. Gas in CA in 1966 was about 30 cents! In 1969 I paid 19,500 for a three bedder. My '66 Malibu cost 2,700 and it had 600 worth of extras!
     
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