Apprentice Seaman Ken Sederquist's Story with Photographs in the Panama Canal Zone
1935 -1936

Apprentice Seaman Ken Sederquist
Served 1934 - 1961 


This web presentation is dedicated to Ken Sederquist, LCDR (Retired).  All photos with the exception of a few were taken by Ken while serving on the USS Buchanan and at the Naval Air Station, Coco Solo Canal Zone 1935 - 1936.  This is his story in photos.  I have left many of them in their original sepia tone for effect.

Click on the links below to view photos.

Coco Solo Naval Air Station
In the Canal
Touring Panama
Buddies
At Sea


USS Buchanan (Destroyer # 131, later DD-131), 1919-1940

USS Buchanan, a 1090-ton Wickes class destroyer, was built at Bath, Maine. She was commissioned in January 1919 and initially operated in the Atlantic and Caribbean areas. In May the new destroyer helped provide route protection for the trans-Atlantic crossing of the Navy's NC flying boats. Buchanan transited the Panama Canal in July 1919 to join the Pacific Fleet, serving along the West Coast until she was placed out of commission in June 1922.

Recommissioned in April 1930, Buchanan was assigned to the Battle Force and continued her work in the Pacific for seven more years. She also made a training cruise to Alaska in mid-1934. Buchanan was decommissioned in April 1937, as newer destroyers entered the Fleet, but was brought back to active duty at the end of September 1939 after the outbreak of World War II in Europe caused the United States to enlarge the Navy for neutrality enforcement purposes. She operated for the rest of 1939 and well into 1940 in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. In early September 1940 Buchanan was sent to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she was decommissioned and turned over to Great Britain as part of an agreement by the U.S. to trade fifty old destroyers for basing rights in British possessions in the Western Hemisphere.

She became HMS Campbeltown in Royal Navy service. After spending a few months as an escort in the Western Approaches to the British Isles, she was assigned to the Royal Netherlands Navy in January 1941. After returning to the R.N. in September 1941 the destroyer escorted shipping in the Atlantic, where she saw action against German submarines and aircraft. In March 1942 Campbeltown was outfitted as an explosive blockship. On the 28th of that month she played the lead role in a raid on the German base at St. Nazaire, France. After steaming into the the large dry dock there, she was deliberately sunk. Later in the day HMS Campbeltown blew up violently, wrecking the dry dock entrance. Her sacrifice made it impossible to carry out major repairs to heavy ships on the French west coast, thus greatly reducing the risk that the German Navy might employ the battleship Tirpitz in raids against the Allies' Atlantic shipping routes.

USS Buchanan was named in honor of Admiral Franklin Buchanan (1800-1874), who was an important figure in the United States and Confederate States Navies.


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