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Camille: 1917

Camille: 1917

January 25, 1917. "U.S.S. Mississippi launching at Newport News. Miss Camille McBeath, sponsor." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.


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Relatively speaking

Camille is my wife's cousin -- thanks for the photo!

History repeats itself

Camille hit Mississippi in 1917 and again in 1969.

Lovely composition.

Her fluttery-brimmed hat goes perfectly with the roses, and the soft texture of both is enhanced by the grim, riveted bulkhead.

Miss McBeath

She was accorded the honor of being the sponsor of the USS Mississippi since she was the daughter of the Chairman of the Mississippi State Highway Commission.


Never mind preserving the ship, imagine what the champagne would be worth!

Monty Python

Ms. Camille McBeath with her flower torso accidentally resembles a Terry Gilliam paste-together from "Monty Python's Flying Circus."

The launch

Here's a postcard of the launch:

Here's a description of the role of "sponsors" in a ship launching:

I haven't found much on this young lady, nor why she would be named as the sponsor, but she may have married an Ernest Orville Clark in 1917:

Camille: 1917

According to my research, Camille was born in Mississippi in 1893. She married Orville Ernest Clark shortly after this picture was taken, and had at least one child, Caroline Clark, who was born in 1918. Orville served in WWI. He died in July of 1975, in Meridian, Mississippi. I could find no death record for Camille.

A veteran battleship from both World Wars.

Found some good information on the U.S.S. Mississippi on Wikipedia. Quote:

"Laid down: 5 April 1915
Launched: 25 January 1917
Commissioned: 18 December 1917
Decommissioned: 17 September 1956
Fate: sold for scrap

General characteristics

Class and type: New Mexico-class battleship
Displacement: 32,000 tons
Length: 624 feet
Beam: 97.4 feet
Draft: 30 feet
Speed: 21 knots
Complement: 55 officers, 1026 enlisted

USS Mississippi (BB-41/AG-128), a New Mexico-class battleship, was the third ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the 20th state.

Her keel was laid down 5 April 1915 by Newport News Shipbuilding Company of Newport News, Virginia. She was launched on 25 January 1917 sponsored by Miss Camelle McBeath, and commissioned on 18 December 1917 with Captain J. L. Jayne in command.

Too bad the ship wasn't preserved. Would have been quite a time capsule, and a fitting monument for all the men who served there.

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