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Monroe Discovers More to Ship's Story

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After World War II, the badge was given to Richmond City Council, and the city's library chairman offered to find a prominent place for it. According to tradition, Monroe says, the badge was supposed to have been displayed publicly.

At last it is. On Nov. 5 a ceremony was held unveiling the badge, which is now mounted in public view on the second floor of the newly renovated Main Library at 101 E. Franklin St.

But Monroe insisted the story of the bridge badge wasn't over.

Much was known about the ship's last commanding officer, he says, but nothing was known of the officer of the deck. The officer wrote all the entries in the last deck-log page. Not long after the badge was placed on display, a library patron asked Monroe about the deck officer.

Monroe, not content to let the question go unanswered, did some rummaging around. He discovered the identity of the mystery deck officer: Ensign David Kellogg had entered the Navy through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he graduated in 1936. After his service on the USS Fairfax, he went on to become commanding officer of a destroyer — the USS Thomas — and retired after decades of service as a captain. He died in 1996 at age 83.

Under Kellogg's command, the Thomas sank three German U-boats in World War II and took about a dozen prisoners. Monroe located Kellogg's son and daughter in Seattle and in the town of Kingston in the Kitsap Peninsula near Whidbey Island in Washington.

Kellogg's daughter, Kris Monrad, is a sixth-grade teacher in Seattle. "She is a delightful person," Monroe says, "and from her messages it is apparent that her dad's service was pretty important to the whole family." — Brandon Walters

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