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    Re: Quartermasters in the Merchant service.
    From: Doug Royer
    Date: 2004 Feb 3, 11:11 -0800

    George,
    An interesting story.You know what Nitchze said : "That which doesn't kill
    you makes you stronger".
    There is no Quartermaster rate in today's U.S.M.M.I don't know about the
    rates from the past or under other flags.In the U.S. Navy the Quartermaster
    rate has the duty of navigation.Stacy can tell us if the helmsman of the
    watch is a Quartermaster or Coxwain or some other rate.
    The deck rates in the U.S.M.M. are Seaman,Ordinary Seaman,Able Bodied Seaman
    and Bosun.
    All the deck rates(except nav. watch personnel)report to the Bosun.The Bosun
    reports to the 1st officer.Nav. watch personnel report to the 2nd officer.
    Here's a breakdown of a M.M. deck crew:
    1.Master;top of the food chain.Responsible for entire vessel and
    personnel.Sets all watches.Also is ship's purser.
    2.1st officer;executive officer of vessel.Responsible for all things related
    to cargo handleing and deck activities.Bosun reports to 1st officer.
    3.2nd officer;responsible for safe passage of vessel at all
    times.Responsible for the care and maintainance of nav. equipement.
    4.3rd officer;responsible for the maintainance of deck gear,safety
    equipment.Schedules and oversees crew training.
    5.Bosun;oversees loading and unloading of cargo,deck work and
    maintainance.Denotes which rated crewmembers are assigned what tasks as
    needed.
    6.ABS;most experianced and qualified deck rates.Must be ABS to stand as
    helmsman or unsupervised nav. watch personnel.
    7.OS;qualified for less technical aspects of deck crew.Earning quals as
    ABS.May stand nav. watch if directly supervised by OOD.
    8.Seaman;low man on the totem pole.Does all deck dept. grunt work.
    The Engineering Dept. also has a similar but seperate hierarchy.If the
    vessel has medical personnel on board they report to the master.
    The above is for cargo type vessels.Passenger vessels of the same size have
    a bigger and more varied compliment of rated and unrated personnel.
    Now we come to my question: what was a Quartermaster's function, in a
    liner, in the 1930s? I recall visits to bridges of English Channel ferries,
    in the 1960's, before the days of automatic steering, when there was always
    a man at the ship's wheel, watching the compass to hold her on course. Was
    that a quartermaster? Was it an actual rank?
    
    As for my fourth grandparent who went to sea, that was my father's father,
    who lost his life to a German torpedo in World War 1.
    
    George.
    
    ================================================================
    contact George Huxtable by email at george---.u-net.com, by phone at
    01865 820222 (from outside UK, +44 1865 820222), or by mail at 1 Sandy
    Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    ================================================================
    
    
    

       
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