Posted by: mcjangles | March 2, 2010

One of the USS MOONSTONE’s stories

Winter time gives me time to research wrecks for the upcoming season and around this time the taste of spring and diving is in the air. One of the trips I’m most looking forward to is the Indepedence’s trip to Cape May in August. The USS MOONSTONE is one of the wrecks we will be targeting. One of the things I love about wreck diving is that each ship that lies on the bottom has its own unique story in history. Here is a piece of the history of the USS MOONSTONE as shared by Larry Lang nephew of Milton J. Bushen the 1st officer of the LONE STAR which later became the MOONSTONE when the US bought it to serve the war effort in WWII. Special thanks to Mr. Lang for contacting me and sharing his photos…

“Let me bore you for a bit.

My uncle, Milton James Bushen (1900-1996), was born in Nova Scotia. He began his life at sea at age 10 on his father’s Grand Banks Schooner as a cabin boy.

On his first day at sea, the cook told him to go topside and throw the slops overboard. He was told to wet his finger and which ever side was the coldest, throw it in that direction. A case of learn by experience. He also told me about rowing the dory over to ice bergs to chip off ice for fresh water. By the time he was 16, he was in charge of the mizzen topsail.

He was then sent to a maritime academy where he received his papers. He went to sea and worked his way up to his Masters in 1937. He went to work for Frederick H. Pierce and worked his way up to 1stOfficer before the Lone Star was sold to the US Government. Mr. Prince also owned a yacht which sailed for the Cup trials named the “Weetamoe”. Uncle Mickey sailed as a crewman on her. Oh the stories he could tell.

He lived in Cutler Ridge near Homestead, FL and his Masters papers and the picture of the Lone Star were lost in Hurricane Andrew but I had previously made a snapshot. Here they are. His Bowditch from 1933 was to be given to me at his death but it was lost in Hurricane Andrew.

Thanks for your interest”Milton J. Bushen at the Bridge

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Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I’ll be on the trip to the Moonstone with you this summer. I dove it back in the 1990’s and still remember it as one of those wrecks that for whatever reason, you don’t forget. I remember descending down to it and it being spectacular. I heard parts of it collapsed since the 1990’s so I am anxious to see it. I put a picture or two on my blog from it, although the pictures are old and dark. Can’t wait!!!


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