Welcome to USSMarblehead.com
This site is dedicated to preserving the history of the U.S.S. Marblehead, its most defining moment -
The Battle of Makassar Strait, and her defiant and improbable 90-day, 20,589-mile journey home, across
the Indian and Atlantic Oceans in crippled condition, while the Japanese Imperial Command reported her
sunk on several occasions and her sailors’ families, believed their sons were dead or in captivity.
This site also includes the story of Corydon Wassell, M.D., and the wounded men from the USS
Marblehead and USS Houston who were entrusted to his care. It describes their perilous journey across
Java, then down to the safety of Australia, and back home to America.
Finally, the site adds greater detail to the lives of the 761 sailors who were on the ship when she was bombed off the north coast of Java on 4 Feb 1942. Who were they before and after World War II? Their bravery, ingenuity, and dedication to saving the ship they affectionately referred to as Marby inspired millions of Americans who were badly in need of morale-boosting news in the early days of World War II. Our purpose here is to preserve the memory of what they did for many generations to come.
Quick Link to Bios
Biographies of Crew (Work In Progress)
Did you know?
March 1 is Asiatic Fleet Day?
Please click the link below to expand a list of various documents that are available. This list may be periodically updated/changed.
If you run across any broken links, please report them to the Webmaster.
A special dedication...
To Raymond (Ray) Delos Kester (1920-2018) who passed away in October 2018. Ray served on the USS Marblehead and helped fine-tune details from this period and assisted in answering many questions from friends, relatives, and others interested in Marby’s inspiring story. Ray later served as President of the Reunion committees of the Marblehead, the Leedstown, and other ships, and eventually for the entire Asiatic Fleet. He was instrumental along with others in gaining recognition of the heroic efforts of the sailors of the Asiatic Fleet to halt slow the Japanese advance across Southeast Asia, efforts which eventually culminated in the dedication of 1 March as Asiatic Fleet Day. Ray rarely bid goodbye to anyone without adding the words “Be Happy!”
“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.”
Comments and Information
This website was originally created by Craig Chariton, nephew of Donald Ellsworth Chariton (Machinist Mate 2c aboard Marby who was wounded at the time of her bombing). His father was Robert "Phil" Chariton who also served during WWII. The site is currently maintained by the sons of Ray Delos Kester (Radioman 2c) and Frank Verne Wade (Boatswain Mate 2c). The site is undergoing constant updating, particularly with respect to sailor biographies, and your patience is much appreciated. If you have any comments, corrections, and contributions concerning this Web site or if you have any information regarding the events, ships, aircraft or sailors, please feel free to share this with the Webmaster.
03/15/2019 - Site refresh begins
02/18/2019 - Added National Asiatic Fleet Day notice.
03/09/2016 - Corrected Harry Clifford Clephane link.