Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

WILLIAM C. GRAY

JANUARY 29, 1930.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and

ordered to be printed

Mr. DARROW, from the Committee on Naval Affairs, submitted the

following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 8489]

The Committee on Naval Affairs of the House of Representatives, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 8489) for the relief of William C. Gray, having had the same under consideration, report favorably thereon, without amendment, and with the recommendation that the

bill do pass.

An identical bill for the relief of William C. Gray passed the House in the Seventieth Congress.

In the latter part of 1917 Mr. Gray suffered a breakdown in line of duty from which he soon recovered and was back on duty. The notation on his record may have been so worded as to have led the board to believe that his breakdown was of a permanent nature. Had this been true, Mr. Gray would have been placed on the retired list. Of course, the board had no alternative, and as a result Mr. Gray was a victim of circumstances and was not appointed a lieutenant on the active list.

The following letter from Commander Joseph F. Daniels, United States Navy, who was a member of the board that passed on the fitness of Mr. Gray, sets forth clearly in paragraph 3 that the incapacitation of Mr. Gray was only temporary and not permanent:

JAMESTOWN, R. I., February 8, 1924. To: Chief Machinist W. C. Gray, United States Navy. Subject: Appointment as lieutenant, United States Navy. Reference: Your letter of January, 1924.

1. A survey of your record by the examining board of July, 1920, showed notations to the effect that you were physically incapacitated for all performance of duty, and this, if my memory serves me correctly, was the controlling reason why the board did not recommend your advancement to a permanent lieutenancy at the time.

a

2. I remember your case very well and, as a member of the board, I voted in the negative in connection with your advancement at that time, basing my view on the notations on your record. I did not know you personally nor of your abilities, and had only the simple records of the department before me.

3. Later it was my pleasure to have you serve under my command on the U. S. S. Denebola, and there I found that had there been any disability such as to prevent you from doing all the duties of your grade as well as those of a lieutenant, these disabilities were wholly removed in so far as I could determine, basing my view on your ability to actually perform the duties in question.

4. From experience gained in intimate contact with you while serving under my command I feel that it would be a matter of simple justice to reopen your case and advance you to the grade of lieutenant of the corresponding time as those officers occupying a place on the Navy list and of your grade at the time of the examination.

5. I feel, viewing the matter from another standpoint, you deserve the sympathy and help from officers under whom you served. Assuredly you must have felt some sense of dissatisfaction with all things naval to see other officers of your time and grade placed over you. If you did feel any dissatisfaction I am sure you did not show it. My personal knowledge of the case is that you served loyally and whole-heartedly even if you labored under a sense of injustice. I assure you that had I known of your ability to perform the duties of your office in the splendid manner in which I now know you are capable of doing, my vote for your advancement to the grade of lieutenant would have been in the affirmative.

6. I am sure the Navy Department never willingly permitted an injustice to any of its servants. I am equally sure that it shall not long permit an injustice to continue once it knows the facts in the case, and particularly since you have demonstrated your ability to actually perform the duties of your office, and that it shall not be long before you are properly rewarded for services rendered.

7. You have my best wishes for a speedy advancement wholly earned and deserved.

Joseph F. DANIELS, Commander, United States Navy (Retired).

NAVY DEPARTMENT,

Washington, February 6, 1917. From: Secretary of the Navy. To: Chief Machinist William C. Gray, United States Navy, U. S. S. Rhode Island

(commanding officer). Via: Commander reserve force, Atlantic Fleet. Subject: (a) Act of August 29, 1916; (6) General Order No. 247, dated Novem

ber 4, 1916.

1. The department hereby certifies that your record is creditable within the meaning of the provision contained in the naval appropriation act approved August 29, 1916, reading as follows:

“Hereafter chief boatswains, chief gunners, chief machinists, chief carpenters, chief sailmakers, chief pharmacists, and chief pay clerks, on the active list with creditable records, shall, after six years from date of commission, receive the pay and allowances that are now or may hereafter be allowed a lieutenant (junior grade), United States Navy: Provided, That chief boatswains, chief gunners, chief machinists, chief carpenters, chief sailmakers, chief pharmacists, and chief pay clerks, on the active list with creditable records, shall, after 12 years from date of commission, receive the pay and allowances that are now or may hereafter be allowed a lieutenant, United States Navy."

JOSEPHUS DANIELS. (First indorsement)

FEBRUARY 10, 1917. From: Commander reserve force, Atlantic Fleet. To: Chief Machinist William C. Gray, United States Navy. Via: Commanding officer, U. S. S. Rhode Island. 1. Forwarded.

W. L. BECK

(By direction).

[Second indorsement]

U. S. S. "Rhode ISLAND,

Boston, Mass., February 12, 1917. From: Commanding officer. To: Chief Machinist W. C. Gray, United States Navy. 1. Delivered.

J. L. LATIMER.

NAVY DEPARTMENT,

Washington, April 7, 1921. From: Secretary of the Navy. To: Lieut. William C. Gray, United States Navy. Via: Commanding officer, V. S. S. Kansas. Subject: Creditability of record, after 12 years. Reference: (a) Act of August 29, 1916; (b) General Order No. 247, dated

November 4, 1916.

1. The department hereby certifies that your record is creditable within the meaning of the provision contained in the naval appropriation act approved August 29, 1916, reading as follows:

**Hereafter chief boatswains, chief gunners, chief sailmakers, chief machinists, chief carpenters, chief pharmacists, and chief pay clerks, on the active list with creditable records, shall after six years from date of commission receive the pay and allowances that are now or may hereafter be allowed a lieutenant (junior grade), United States Navy: Provided, That chief boatswains, chief gunners, chief machinists, chief carpenters, chief sailmakers, chief pharmacists, and chief pay clerks, on the active list with creditable records, shall after 12 years from date of commission receive the pay and allowances that are now or may hereafter be allowed a lieutenant, United States Navy."

THEODORE ROOSEVELT. Copy for the Auditor from the Navy Department; commanding officer U. S. S. Kansas.

[First indorsement)

U. S. S. “KANSAS,"

Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pa., A pril 14, 1921. From: Commanding officer. To: Lieut. William C. Gray, United States Navy. 1. Delivered.

F. H. Brumby. “October 29, 1922–March 31, 1923: Aptitude for service, superior; conduct, superior; cooperative qualities, superior; courtesy, superior; education, above average; force, superior; industry, superior; initiative, superior; judgment, above average; justice, superior; leadership, above average; military manner and bearing, above average; neatness of person and dress, above average; patience, above average; physical energy and endurance, superior; reliability, superior; self-control, above average; subordination, superior; devotion to duty, superior.

“Remarks: A loval and zealous officer. In charge of the boilers and machinery of the Denebola, he has produced most excellent results. His health and stamina appear to be excellent, and he is recommended for promotion to the grade of lieutenant if this be possible.

** April 1 to October 31, 1923: Devotion to duty, superior; aptitude for service, superior; conduct, superior; cooperative qualities, superior; courtesy, superior; education, above average; force, superior; industry, superior; initiative, superior; judgment, superior; justice, superior; leadership, superior; military manner and bearing, above average; neatness of person and dress, above average; patience, above average; physical energy and endurance, above average; reliability, superior; self-control, above average; subordination, above average.

*Remarks: A loyal and zealous officer. In charge of main engines and boilers. He is recommended for promotion to the grade of lieutenant for which he was held up on account of physical disability which apparently no longer exists, as his health and endurance appear to be above the average.

I regret that my record is not all here, so that you could have first-hand information. Every cominanding officer I have had up to the present time has included a recommendation that I be made a lieutenant.

In the latter part of 1917 I suffered a breakdown in line of duty from which I soon recovered and was back on duty. From information received this notation

on my record may have been so worded as to lead the board to believe that it was of a permanent nature. Should this have been the case, I would have been placed on the retired list. The note of Commander Daniel's letter would lead to that belief. Therefore the board had no alternative. As a result, I am the victim of circumstances, suffering rank injustice, wholly unwarranted, which it is hoped this committee will correct.

I submit letters of creditability from the Secretary of the Navy, providing higher rate of pay, that could not otherwise be received without them. The qualifications for these letters under the act of August 29, 1916, are practically the same as those in the act of June 4, 1920, that provided advance to the rank of lieutenant. These letters, together with the letter of Commander Daniels, and the record to date, with the recommendation that I be advanced to the grade of lieutenant, appear to be ample reason to expect favorable action on the bill for my relief. It will be noted that my entire claim is based on what is a matter of record and not on views unconfirmed by facts.

Since March 20, 1920, I was at sea and cruised about 40,000 miles, being ordered to my present shore duty in January, 1924.

I am doing active duty and feel good for duty for a great many years. My shortcomings were physical and of a temporary nature. I soon yielded to treatment and got back to duty again.

The loss of this promotion has caused me great suffering and caused my family suffering because of the double duty I performed since then, which was almost identical with the duty performed by officers receiving higher pay,

It is somewhat gratifying to feel that I am being carried on duty and will be carried until I am 64 years of age, but in an inferior grade.

I might add that of the 90 officers who were appointed out of 230 who were eligible, more than one-half have been placed on the retired list, many of them for physical disabilities, which would have appeared on the record.

Furthermore, at that time had I been brought before a medical board I would either have been promoted or retired. But I have no criticism to make. I feel that they acted on what they had before them.

After the most careful consideration of all of the facts in the case, the committee is of the opinion that Mr. Gray is entitled to the relief which he seeks.

The following letter from the Acting Secretary of the Navy, addressed to the chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, House of Representatives, sets forth the views and recommendations of the Navy Department and is made a part of this report.

a

NAVY DEPARTMENT,

Washington, January 23, 1930. The CHAIRMAN COMMITTEE ON NAVAL AFFAIRS,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN; Replying further to the committee's letter of January 13, 1930, transmitting the bill (H. R. 8489) for the relief of William C. Gray, and requesting the views and recommendations of the Navy Department thereon, I have the honor to inform the committee as follows:

The purpose of this bill is to authorize the President to appoint Chief Machinist William C. Gray a lieutenant on the active list of the Navy to date from August 3, 1920, and to rank next after Lieut. James M. Ober, such appointment to be considered as having been effected in accordance with the provisions of the act of June 4, 1920.

The Navy Department's records show that William C. Gray was appointed an acting warrant machinist November 1, 1901, and served continuously until March 3, 1909, when he was promoted to chief machinist. He was temporarily appointed an ensign on July 1, 1917; temporarily attained the rank of lieutenant (junior grade) on October 15, 1917, and the rank of lieutenant on July 1, 1918. On December 31, 1921, his appointment as lieutenant (T) terminated by operation of law and he reverted to his permanent status as chief machinist. He was placed on the retired list for physical disability on August 7, 1929. This bill would place him on the active list as a lieutenant. His reinstatement as an active officer is obviously inadvisable because of his physical disability, and would doubtless be followed by early retirement again.

Prior to the termination of his temporary appointment in the rank of lieutenant, Chief Machinist Gray was eligible for permanent appointment in that rank, in accordance with the provisions of section 4 of the act of June 4, 1920, which provided that commissioned warrant officers of more than 15 years' service, since date of warrant or date of first appointment as paymaster's clerk, pharmacist, or mate, who served creditably in the war with the German Government in temporary commissioned ranks or grades in the regular Navy, should be appointed to the permanent rank or grade for which qualified, as established and shown by their records of service during their terms of service, but not above the temporary rank or grade held by them at the time of transfer. Acting upon such authority the Navy Department convened a board of naval officers for the purpose of recommending the officers in that class who were considered qualified for appointment. The record of Chief Machinist Gray was submitted to the board, but his name was not included among those recommended, after due and impartial consideration of his record. The board did not recommend a number of other officers in a similar status, and the Navy Department has considered that the action of the board was proper.

In case of the enactment of the bill H. R. 8489 in its present form, the increased cost to the Government would be the difference between his active-duty pay and allowances for such time as he might continue on the active list and his present retired pay, or $2,982 per year. In case of his promotion on the retired list or after his retirement, if reinstated on the active list, there would be no cost to the Government, since the retired pay in both grades is the same for an officer with his length and character of service.

In view of the above, the Navy Department recommends against the enactment of the bill H. R. 8489.

The bill H. R. 8489 is similar in language to the bill H. R. 5872, introduced in the Seventieth Congress. Sincerely yours,

ERNEST LEE JAHNCKE,

Acting Secretary of the Navy.

[ocr errors]
« ÎnapoiContinuați »