Several months after the Mennonite student crew of the S. S. Stephen R. Mallory made their trip to Poland, a second all-Mennonite crew departed from Newport News, Virginia, on the S. S. Frederic C. Howe November 15, 1946. Bound for Trieste, Italy, they cared for over 700 horses that would be transported on to Yugoslavia.
This post will be told through the slides of Henry “Hank” Weaver, Jr., an eighteen-year-old student at Eastern Mennonite College who was taking a year off between his freshman and sophomore years when he made his trip.
“All but four cowboys got seasick,” Hank said. He was among the lucky four who didn’t.
The “bosses,” Chris, Trimmer, Art, and Walt.
Like the Mennoite crew that went to Poland, these cowboys were greeted in Trieste by the devastation of war.
Hank and his friends take a “taxi” to see Trieste.
An old Roman amphitheater was one of their stops.
They took a bus to Venice, a bit uneasy about whether they’d make it back in time to catch the ship, but relaxed when they saw the Captain was on the bus, too.
The ship was met by “bum boats” off the coast of Spain on the way home, with merchants wanting to sell bedspreads and table cloths. The basket goes up with the merchandise and down with the pay.
The Frederic C. Howe completed its trip on December 31, 1946, docking in New York City.
As I do with all seagoing cowboys I interview, I asked Hank if this trip had influenced his later life. He said it stoked his interest in other countries and led him to a career administering college study abroad programs. He started Goshen College’s program in Indiana and served as Deputy Director for Education Abroad in the University of California system. His work has taken him to over half the countries of the world.
Next post: the seagoing cowboy who made the most trips