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Catalog Number 2002.3.37
Object Name Report
Accession number 2002.3
Description A report of work aboard the U.S.S. Orizaba during July, 1918

This was the most profitable trip he has made mostly because it is his mission to make each voyage better than the last. The freedom given to him by the captain and crew gives him many opportunities to promote YMCA activities. His room is clearly marked with a red triangle flag over it, and is right next to the place where men go in and out for meals. For this reason, he is sure his room is one of the most frequented rooms. He has four assistants; Two working with him in the room and two working the movie projector. He comments that all the picture reels are wound and ready to go for the return trip. Except for the two nights that the ship was in a war zone, movies were shown at to different times. The movies gave him a perfect opportunity to go among the men. He organized string band at various places along the ship every day. The compartments on the ship were well supplied with reading materials for the men. Because of his efficient assistance, it gave him plenty of opportunities to mingle with the soldiers and answer any questions that they had. They now have a Chaplin onboard. The man is nice but inexperienced. His main duties appear to be to hear confession from the Catholics. He gives Sunday morning church services, and in the afternoons they (the Chaplin and Switzer) both give speeches. He also worked on getting subscriptions of "Association Men" for sixty-five soldiers so that their family back home would know what they are up to. He is planning to make the next issue a really large one. He mentions that while he was still in port he had the opportunity to go to the rest camp. While in New York he showed movies for the troops, but he tried to stay on ship and help the crew as much as he could. The captain of the ship requested a piano for the return trip to the states, and Switzer was able to get one for the ship. He also organized other receptions and entertainment for the return trip. At the end of the trip the Captain gave a speech on how important every man in the YMCA was for the ship. This is something apparently that the Captain had never done before. During the return trip the Chaplin held catholic services, while Switzer did the protestant services.
Date July, 1918
Year Range from 1918
Year Range to 1918
Subjects Ocean travel
Young Men's Christian associations
Mess halls
War blackouts
Music ensembles
Reading rooms
Religious services
Rest camp
Search Terms YMCA