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Keelhaul the lubber!

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  • Keelhaul the lubber!

    ARRR! How about it all you Naval historians. Has the US NAVY ever keelhauled a person or hanged one from the yardarm as the British Naval tradition has done? There was a question of whether this has ever happened in the United States Naval Service.
    If not hanged from a yardarm, what capital punishment was meted out by the navy?


    ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
    IN MARE IN COELO

  • #2
    Originally posted by jose50 View Post
    ARRR! How about it all you Naval historians. Has the US NAVY ever keelhauled a person or hanged one from the yardarm as the British Naval tradition has done? There was a question of whether this has ever happened in the United States Naval Service.
    If not hanged from a yardarm, what capital punishment was meted out by the navy?


    Here you go Shipmate.

    The defendants were unanimously found guilty by the panel and ordered hanged three days later. On December 1st, 1842 at 1:45 in the afternoon the ship's crew was called to attention. The defendants were tied to the ship's yardarms and heaved aloft while the ship's ensign was raised above them. All hands were ordered to cheer three times to salute the flag. The mutineers were left to dangle in the sails until 3:30 and were then committed to the sea at dusk.
    Read more at Suite101: USS Somers Mutiny 1842: The Only Known American Mutiny on the High Seas http://militaryhistory.suite101.com/...#ixzz0orrY4pNq
    Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

    Initiated Chief Petty Officer
    Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

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    • #3
      A few months later, in April 1943 off the Southwest Pass near New Orleans, four mutineers were hanged from the foremast of the Austin, the flagship of the Texas Navy, for a mutiny that left one lieutenant dead and two officers injured in February 1842. (Not a U.S. Navy incident, but it was prosecuted according to the regulations in force for the USN at the time.)

      That's a lot of hangings for a five-month period.
      "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
      -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

      (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

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      • #4
        I thought the Royal Navy outlawed keelhauling.

        Certainly, it's cleaner to hang someone, because, although keelhauling wasn't intended to be fatal, very few victims survived it.
        Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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        • #5
          Here is a link to one of many amusing passages in the O'Brian series - this one regarding hanging and the punishment for certain unnatural crimes:

          http://books.google.com/books?id=rx_...thouse&f=false
          "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
          -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

          (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

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          • #6
            They used to beat the American sailors quite a bit with the cat-o'-nine tails.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TM2(SW/AW) View Post
              They used to beat the American sailors quite a bit with the cat-o'-nine tails.
              Hence, if you were a sailor you never wanted to let the "cat out of the bag."
              "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
              -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

              (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jon Jordan View Post
                Here is a link to one of many amusing passages in the O'Brian series - this one regarding hanging and the punishment for certain unnatural crimes:

                http://books.google.com/books?id=rx_...thouse&f=false
                NOTE: LINK TAKES YOU TO PAGE 1 - sorry, can't fix it
                "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
                -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

                (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

                Comment


                • #9
                  The US did "parade" a sailor throughout the fleet. They started by cattle-branding MUTINUS on his forehead, then tied him to a scaffold mounted in the bow of the Captain's Barge of the flagship and sailed in reverse through the fleet. They stopped at every ship, where a new bosun with a fresh Cat would swap out in the boat. He recieved upwards of 110 lashes, which he survived. He was then towed to shore sternfirst in a boat, further symbolizing that he was being drummed out of the Navy, forever.

                  I don't have his name, or the flagship's name right off, though I think it was the Chesapeake, and Captain Truxtun was the CO at the time. It's in a book in my personal library.
                  Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jose50 View Post
                    ARRR! How about it all you Naval historians. Has the US NAVY ever keelhauled a person or hanged one from the yardarm as the British Naval tradition has done? There was a question of whether this has ever happened in the United States Naval Service.
                    If not hanged from a yardarm, what capital punishment was meted out by the navy?


                    I think that flogging (Cat O' ninetails) was a pretty universal thing in most navys of the World and was considered 'Getting off' lightly in comparison with some of the other punishments such as keelhauling. I don't think anyone has explained that particular punishment so for those that may not know it involved putting a rope around the man and dragging him under the ship to the other side and then dragging him back again to where he started and if he survived drowning he was cut to ribbons by the barnacles clinging to the underside of the ship! Talk about the good old days eh? If it was banned by the Admiralty of that time punishment according to the crime was always the right of the Captain of the ship and most ordinary seamen were looked upon as rabble, below any consideration. How do you think the Marines came about? To protect the officers from the crew of course! lcm1.
                    Last edited by lcm1; 23 Jun 10, 00:12.
                    'By Horse by Tram'.


                    I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                    " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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