'Any one can hold the helm when the sea is calm.'
Publilius Syrus (85–43 BC)
“An unsteadier hand than young Mehrtens’ might have brought the flagship to grief; a truer man than Mehrtens did not fight at Manila Bay.” Thus did Commodore George Dewey describe the actions of Quartermaster First Class Rudolph C. Mehrtens during the 1 May 1898 battle. Nearly a year and a half after the combat, in September 1899, the quartermaster was photographed at his battle station in the USS Olympia’s pilothouse.
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