Introduction

 
 

A continuing theme of the USS Mason story is the rich oral history provided by the crew members of USS Mason.  Nobody tells the stories better than the men who were there.  

This is clear when one read Mary Pat Kelly's book, or has the privilege to hear the story from the crew themselves.

Although some official US Navy films exist, the other best record is from photographs.  A great number of the photographs taken aboard the Mason were the work of Lt. Bill Farrell.  Farrell was the original Engineering Officer aboard the ship ... and white.  However, he could not be counted among the "good ole boy" officers on the ship.  

According to Farrell's daughter, Anne Stake, "I think the most telling thing about my father's association with the Mason was that, although he spoke about his time on the ship, I was not really aware at first that there was anything unique about it. He spoke about the crew - the guys he liked and the guys he didn't like - he never described it as a "black crew." He was proud of his ship - he was proud of their participation in Convoy 119 - and boy did he love his engine room!"

Bill Farrell's photos capture the day to day life aboard ship.  The dedication, the comraderie, and even the humdrum of downtime aboard the World War II destroyer escort. 

And so, presented here are a few of the images captured by Bill Farrell's eye and his camera, Through a Shipmate's Lens.