Startling History of the USS Miskatonic


TONMO Supporter
Mar 15, 2003
I revealed a document in Octopus and the Military of the late WW1 (the war to end all wars...) of the Aircraft Cruiser Miskatonic, and sent it out to many of my old alma mater friends...just last night (would have posted sooner, but we had a party to go to) I recieved an image via the internet from a friend in Boston.
Vince has just moved into a new and larger house, with a three car garage, and in the storage bins, underneath a very nice set of antique chisels he found a manila envelope with this in it:

These ironclads were falling out of favour as patrol vessels at this time (late 1800's) and were dropped from "state" status to "city" status...but pay close attention to the stamp on the lower right ! What a find!
The ironclad was a new find...prior to that we had found the initial draftwater illustration that was of the small aircraft cruiser BA-7 Miskatonic from 1918, it was basically a large hulled destroyer, but did have a seaplane, so was commissioned as a aircraft cruiser...found a fairly good photo of it taken from the rear mast of the USS Texas as the fleet began steaming to Scapa Flow to accept the surrender of the Kriegsmarine. The Miskatonic remained near port and performed antisubmarine patrols until being decommissioned and hulked in of the hull were supposedly used to build the main bridge over the Arkham River...

Man, I'd really love a sweatshirt or hoody with the Miskatonic U seal -- the real one is much cooler than the fake one I've seen online somewhere...

Blink Blink... :talker:
There has been some talk of reproducing the designs in a commercial sense...will keep you posted!

I'm impressed.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall reading that the Monitor-class Miskatonic proved to be of limited utility in combat, owing to the amount of superstructure rising above the level of the guns, and that the Arkham yard's dusky safety engineer advised the gunners to simply blow off anything in their way. Is that true?

Well, Clem, from the draftwater template, it would indeed appear that the foremasts and some rigging are in shot sight, but the turret in the Passaic class of monitors had two 15" Dahlgren Smoothbores, so even firing straight ahead, would miss the rigging. One must remember, though, that at this time most ship battles were still fought as they were with masted frigates, that is, hull to hull (sideways) the guns were never in danger of hitting anything important to the ship.
The engineer you mention, (from what we can tell so far) a certain Mr. Adele Feester, did indeed file a complaint, regarding the lack of deck armour behind the fo'castle. It seems that after lodging the complaint, he was called away for a family emergency in his hometown of Innsmouth, and never returned to work, so the whole thing was quashed...
As far as the advice of Mr. Feester to just blow away the offending spars, that wouldn't be suprising...other documents seem to point to him as having a rather "admiral nelson" sort of attitude towards the ships he helped design and is too bad he didn't pursue further ship designs...can you imagine the dreadnoughts????
For those of you who did not see the original document that we came across...that of the aircraft capable cruiser from it is again:
Just found an interesting photo of one of the sister ships to the ironclad Miskatonic...the USS Ozark. The keel was laid at Arkham, but the rest of the framing was completed in Topeka, then shipped via rail to the main ironclad naval yard near Peoria. The commencement ceromonies were somewhat marred by the appearance of bulbous eyed protesters, who did not seem to appreciate the fouling of the water by these large iron ships.

I showed your Miskatonic drawings of the cruiser to my mom, and she got this funny look on her face.

"I've seen that school symbol before -- your great-grandmother Constance went to Miskatonic in the twenties. She dated some mathematics grad student who died suddenly there -- she was heartbroken, and left the school. His name was Gilman or something like that."

"Anyway, I have some of her school papers, and I remember something about the U.S.S. Miskatonic in there."

Mom pulled a Tupperware bin out from under her bed and soon located the
papers, Among them was the attached drawing, a really nice pencil drawing of a coat of arms for the Miskatonic.

"Your great-grandmother was a talented artist -- there was a contest at the university in '24 to design the coat of arms for a new battleship or something that would have the school's name, and this was her entry."

My great-grandmother had written a description on the back:

"A Shield, black and gold, with a green octopus rampant, facing dexter, holding aloft a black trident, is surmounted with a diving helmet whose crest is a gold nautilus. Scarves pendant from helmet are seaweed.

The flanking figures are, on left, a fish-maiden from the island of Ponape bearing a bone spear and right, a warrior maiden from Atlantis, bearing a trident."

We don't know much else about this, or if she won the contest. Pretty cool huh?

Small world!

OP, would it be ok if I used that bit of info for the page I am putting together???? Awesome drawing!!!!

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