Fleet Adequate to Defend U.S. and Maintain Peace Urged by Wolverton in Navy Day Speech

US Navy Ships - AI Stock Photo

Camden Courier-Post – October 29, 1935

Congressman Praises Theodore Roosevelt for Interest in Nation’s Marine Forces; Parade And Dinner Conclude Celebration in Camden

Congressman Charles A. Wolverton, in an address yesterday commemorating Navy Day, urged the United States to “maintain a navy of sufficient strength and effectiveness for the adequate defense of the nation.”

The address featured a program sponsored by the officers and enlisted men of the Second Battalion, U. S. Naval Reserves, for the observance of the 160th anniversary of the establishment of the U. S. Navy.

The program was concluded last night with a parade of the battalion, followed by a dinner and entertainment at its headquarters, 715 Pine street. More than 200 took part in the ceremonies.

In his address, broadcast over WCAM, congressman Wolverton praised the efforts of former President Theodore Roosevelt to develop the sea forces of the nation and said it was “particularly appropriate” that October 27, the anniversary of his birth, should be set aside for the observance of Navy Day. Due to the day falling on Sunday this year, programs commemorating it were held throughout the nation yesterday.

“As the American Navy in the past has never been other than an instrument in the hands of the people to foster and maintain peace,” Congressman Wolverton said, “so with confidence I have faith in its future usefulness because I continue to have faith in the peaceful purposes of America.

“The primary purpose of the Navy is to maintain peace. It never declares war, and when war is declared the power of the Navy is used to re-establish peace at the earliest possible moment.

“Time and again the strength of our Navy has prevented war. It never provoked war. To give the Navy additional strength will make more certain our own peace and the peace of the world.

Hit Propaganda

“Notwithstanding the peaceful aims and ambitions of our nation throughout the entire period of its existence, there are those in our midst many of whom are misguided by untrue and unpatriotic propaganda to which an adequate navy would be interpreted throughout the world as an intention upon the part of the United States to enter upon an aggressive policy, and that there could be no other result except to provoke a spirit of war.

“Is it possible that any one within the boundaries of this country, and especially those who claim citizenship herein, could be so unappreciative of the true spirit of America as to believe that any such warlike spirit dominates their fellow countrymen when their representatives in Congress merely seek to provide for our national security?

“Although America is a peace loving nation, yet, there is a distinct obligation to ourselves and to the peace of the world, that we shall maintain, within treaty limits, a navy sufficiently strong and effective as will deter any other less peacefully inclined nation, from disturbing either our own peace or that of the world.

“The United States Navy is the most potent and influential factor in promoting and maintaining peace and insuring its blessings to ourselves and those of the weaker nations of the earth, who look to us for protection and security.”

Mayor Frederick von Nieda and Commander O. M. Read, U. S. N., officer in charge of the Fourth District Naval Reserves, were the guests of honor and principal speakers at the banquet.

Lieutenant-Commander George W. Keefe, U. S. N. Reserve, commanding officer of the battalion, acted as toastmaster.

Mayor von Nieda expressed pleasure at the development of the Camden battalion and the success of efforts in the last legislature to obtain an appropriation for the erection of a new armory for the battalion on the Cooper river near Admiral Wilson Boulevard.

Battalion Praised

Commander Read praised the officers and men of the battalion for the efficiency of their organization and predicted with the increased facilities the new armory would afford, that the battalion would rank with the best of the naval militia.

A program of entertainment, lasting more than an hour, was presented by entertainers from the studios of Camden and Philadelphia radio broadcasting stations.

The United States Navy has led the way in aviation research, Gov. George H. Earle said in an address before several thousand persons attending a Navy Day program in Philadelphia. The governor, who commanded a submarine chaser during the World War, pointed out that the functions of the navy were many and varied.

“Navy Day,” he asserted, “is set apart each year to bring to the attention of the people of the United States the function of our navy in the maintenance of national defense As citizens it is our duty to know something about the navy, so that we may know why we need a navy and why it must be maintained in efficient condition.

“Experimental work performed by the navy, led to the development of metal aircraft construction, and now metal construction is the recognized standard.”

Governor Earle said that “not only has the navy blazed the trail across the Atlantic, but it also sent a squadron of patrol planes from San Francisco to Hawaii.”

Four members of the Camden City Commission attended the launching of the destroyers Cassin and Shaw at the League Island Navy Yard. They are Mayor von Nieda, Commissioners Mary W. Kobus, George E. Brunner, and Frank J. Hartmann Jr.

Immediately after the launching the keel of the new cruiser, U. S. S Wichita, was laid on the No. 2 ship-ways. The keels of the Cassin and Shaw were laid in October, 1934. The Wichita is the eighteenth of the “flyweight” cruisers built by the United States under the provisions of the London naval treaty of 1930.

Henry Latrobe Roosevelt, assistant secretary of the navy, was the principal speaker of the launching of the two destroyers.


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