Cecil died in the US Naval Hospital, 207 Flushing Ave in Brooklyn, NY. He is buried at Maple Grove Cemetery, Berlin Ct., lot # 72. His name is inscribed on the honor roll near the lake in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY. Family Bible says he was born Tuesday, 9/20/1887 at 11:30 AM, weight 12 lbs. Christened 10/22/1887 at St. John's Church, Saginaw, MI. Cecil's headstone indicates his birth date was 8/20/1887, and his birth certificate states August 1887. However his Naval records and the Dunscombe family Bible say 9/20/1887. The Bible also states it was a Tuesday, and the September 20th date was in fact a Tuesday in 1887.
Notes by John Godfrey Dunscombe from his personal Bible:
Brooklyn NY Dec. 10- 1918. Dear Cecil died today in U.S.N. Hospital in this city having given his life for his country- completely worn out with continued unremitted service in the torpedo zone running blockade between England & French ports with supplies to feed the Allied forces during the war. He was attached to the paymasters Dept. We laid him at rest in the cemetery Berlin Conn.
A letter dated January 8, 1965 from Raymond Benke of the Maple Cemetery Association indicates there are five burial spaces in lot # S 72, one of which (Cecil's) has been used.
Related document: Birth certificate filed September 26, 1888 indicating birth of Cecil. This certificate illustrates the dubious reliability of some documents. It gives Cecil's birth as August 1887 with no date given (he was born in September, see above). His father is listed as John D. Dunscombe (middle initial should be "G." Mother listed as "Kate" Dunscombe (should be Katharine). Finally, Cecil is listed as a female. The certificate does list place of birth as Saginaw, Michigan, father's occupation as "Book Keeper" and mother's occupation "not given."
Related documents: Enlistment papers for U.S. Navy. The first is dated May 19, 1909. Cecil's occupation is listed as "clerk." Rate of pay sixteen dollars per month. Distinguishing characteristics: Ruddy complexion, 2 moles on left side abdomen; 2 moles right side abdomen, mole below right groin.
His mother's name is listed as "Catherine (should be Katharine). Reenlistment June 23, 1913: Rate of pay Eight-four dollars per month. Tattooing on each forearm. Reenlistment April 19, 1917: Rate of pay $89.62 per month. Tattoo: Shield past left forearm, Dragon past right forearm.
Ranks: Landsman or Yeoman (5/19/1909)
Chief Yeoman (6/23/1913)
Ships: Constellation (1909)
South Carolina (1911-1913)
Letter dated November 18, 1918 by William H. See, U.S.S. Houston:
From: Commanding Officer
To: Secretary of the Navy (Bureau of Navigation)
Subject: Cecil Dunscombe, Acting Pay Clerk (T) U.S. Navy, recommended for advancement to Assistant Paymaster, U.S. Navy.
Reference: (a) Reports of Fitness, 31 March and 30 Sept. 1918.
1. I recommend that Acting Pay Clerk (T) Cecil Dunscombe U.S. Navy, be advanced to the rank of Assistant Paymaster, U.S. Navy. Since July 1917, the commissioning date of the HOUSTON, Dunscombe has been constantly under my assiduous observation, first as a Chief Yeoman and my writer and subsequently in the Ship's supply office.
2. His continuous service certificate shows a clear record during the ten years naval service and excellent marks in proficiency on board all ships in which he has served. While on board the HOUSTON I have found him to be a leader and a man of strong character, zealous, attentive, and possessing initiative which should unquestionably prove him of more value as an assistant paymaster than in the less executive grade of pay clerk.
3. Owing to the duty that this ship has been accomplishing since commissioning it has been impracticable for Dunscombe to take the examination for assistant paymaster; the vessel's visits to the United States are of very short duration and require all hands on board for work incident to the next voyage.
4. Orders have been received detaching Dunscombe from the HOUSTON and assigning him to the Armed Guard Office, New York. While on his fitness reports I have recommended him for assistant Paymaster, I take this opportunity prior to his leaving to again recommend strongly to the Bureau the promotion of this excellent officer. I regret to see him detached from the ship and shall be pleased to have detailed as a supply officer of any ship I am commanding in the future.
William H. See
Related document: Petty Officer's Appointment, December 22, 1910. Cecil Dunscombe appointed Yeoman 3rd class.
Related document: Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Navy, June 23, 1913.
Related document: Enlistment record dated May 18, 1913. Given excellent marks for sobriety and obedience. Average standing for term of enlistment 4.90 (maximum 5.00). Proficiency rating 4.69.
Related document: Enlistment record. Shows qualified in swimming. Sobriety and obedience ratings 5 out of 5 for 78 total marking periods except for one obedience grade of 4.
Related document: Letter dated July 9, 1917, U.S.S. Houston recommending that Cecil by appointed Navy Mail Clerk in addition to his regular duty, written by William H. See this may be a typographical error, as following documents list Houtson's Commander as William H. Lee).
Related document: Medical History: Cecil Dunscombe. Place: U.S.S. Houston, 3-12-18. Admitted: Diagnosis: Sprain, right knee. Origin: In the line of duty. Patient fell down ladder of after well deck at night while going to the after deck. Lead and opium dressings applied. Swelling slow in subsiding. Chloroform liniment with massage applied. This Officer performed clerical duties and performed his regular ships duties during this period. Admitted for record. Discharged 3-12-18.
Aaron Robinson, Assistant Surgeon, U.S. Navy.
Note. 3-23/18. Patient complains of a weakness in knee joint on walking. Applied knitted purports (sic) to knee. Aaron Robinson, Assistant Surgeon, U.S. Navy.
Note 11-1-18. Patient cut ball of right foot on broken glass during storm at sea. Slight inflammation resulting.
(Armed draft?) Detail, Navy Yard, N.Y.
12/3/18. Diabetes mellitus. Origin duty, Dietetic influences. Marked loss in weight during past three months. Polydipsia Polyphagia. Polyuria = 10,080 cc during 24 hours. No acetone. No diacetic acid. Specific gravity 1.038. 1 3/4% sugar.
12/4/18 To United States Naval Hospital at N.Y. W.R. Loewe, Lt. j.g. MC USN.
U.S. Navy Hospital, New York, N.Y. Dec. 4, 1918.
Diagnosis: Diabetes mellitus. Origin: In line of duty. Origin in line of duty not (?) (?) to service. Patient has (?) heavy duty for the years he has been in Navy with very little leave. Patient never knows of having urine examined until above was found. Patient has been loosing much weight of late appetite poor, thirst great drinks large amount of water feels he has lost his nerve. Does not come to work feels weak and unable to do heavy work. Examination of chest negative. Urine: Shows large amount of sugar.
Urine 24 hours specimen. Patient on regular diet (?) over 300 gms sugar 24 spaceman. Wasserman 12-5-18. Negative.
12-6-18. Restricted diet sugar free until 12-9-18. When 24 hour specimen urine Spc. g. 1036. sugar large amt. Condition is considered serious and patient is advised transfer to Naval Hospital for special care of his trouble. Patient refuses stating that he is better able to care for himself if relieved from service. Board of surgery requested. Dec. 7 18. Became nauseated (?) vomit. Short of breath air hunger. Spc g. 1037 8540 c.c. - 24 hours spaceman. Sugar 3.29)% acetone & diacetic present.
12-9-18. 24 hours 3050 cc acid. 1020 albumen positive Sugar 1/6% acetone and Diacetic acid present. Casts (?) granular glucose secreted in 24 hours 48.80 gms. (?) intensive altriline treatment. (?) (?) intravenous (?) of (?) persisted until death (?) 12-10-18. Died 12-10-18 at 3:05 A.M. (signed G.(?) Greene and another illegible signature).
Related document: From U.S. Naval Hospital, New York, N.Y. December 16, 1918 to Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Department. Report of Death in the case of Dunscombe, Cecil, Acting PayC(T). Born: Saginaw, Michigan Date Sept. 20, 1887 Age 31. Eyes: Blue Hair: Lt. Brown Complexion: Ruddy Height 72-3/4 Weight 190. Marks of identification: P.M. right abdomen; P.M. left abdomen; Mole 3/8 upper ant. thigh; Tattoo- "Shield & Anchor" back left forearm; Tat- "Dragon" r.f.a.
Died: Place Brooklyn, N.Y. Date December 10, 1918. Time of Day: 3:05 A.M. While attached to U.S. Naval Hospital, New York, N.Y. Burial Place: Remains delivered to father - John Dunscombe. Date December 17, 1918. Diagnosis: Diabetes mellitus. Origin in the line of duty. Disability is not the result of his own misconduct. Facts are as follows: Past four months patient complained of loss of weight, feeling weak and tired. Thirst markedly increased. Physical examination was negative except for urine. Urine showed a 24 hour specimen 8540 cc, Specific gravity 1033; Sugar 3.29%. Acetone and diacetic acid present. December 9, 1918, examination of urine in addition showed albumen and granular casts. December 7, 1918, patient developed air-hunger, rapid breathing, cyanosis, nausea and vomiting. December 8, 1918, developed coma. Treated intensive altriline. Patient continued coma and died about 3:05 A.M. on December 10, 1918 at U.S. Naval Hospital, New York, N.Y. December 10, 1918 - Autopsy findings revealed Atrophy of Pancreas Pyonephrosis.
Note: U.S. Naval Hospital was located at 207 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Related document: Extract from Commanding Officer's letter No. 36 of 16 Dec. 1917, to Commander USN Forces Operating in European waters:
Subject: Report of Operations.
7(b) At 7:15 am 8 December, off Pendeen Point Light fired four shots from No. 1 gun at what appeared to be a periscope off the starboard beam, and distant 700 yards; went to general quarters. It was quite dark and vision indistinct. When fire was opened the shot fell very close aboard the target, which then submerged.
When approximately 20 miles from the North Channel of the Gironde River and SOS was received from latitude 45-34N, longitude 01-52W, a Spanish merchant steamer having been torpedoed at that place. Her crew was brought in to Verdon, no casualties.
No. 61 U.S.S. Houston 8 November 1917.
From: Commanding Officer.
To: Supervisor Naval Auxiliaries, 14 and H Streets, Washington, D.C.
Subject: Submarine encounter
1. At 11:35 am on November 6 while steaming in convoy formation escorted by the USS Corsair, Smith, Preston, Lamson, and Flusser a heavy shock aft was aft accompanied by a dull rumbling report. Tanks and bilges were sounded showing no influx of water. The S.S. Evangeline sounded the whistle warning of submarine "to starboard." Nothing was seen of a periscope, torpedo or wake. The shock referred to was felt by the SS Montanan, El Occidente, and the USS Corsair; it is assumed a discharged torpedo became erratic, struck the bottom and exploded near convoy. Approximate position Latitude 47-46 N, Longitude 4-40W.
Wm. H. Lee
No. 61 U.S.S. Houston 2 November 1917
From: Commanding Officer
To: Supervisor Naval Auxiliaries, 14 and H Streets, Washington, D.C.
Subject : Submarine engagement.
1. At 3:49 am on the morning of November 2, while steaming at 6 knots in company with 6 merchant vessels (the Houston being guide ship) what appeared to be a periscope's wake was sighted by the S.S. Montanan. Fire was opened by several vessels. The Houston's No. 3 gun was brought to bear on a periscope's wake 800 yards on the starboard beam and firing was commenced. The target then submerged. At the time the convoy of seven vessels was steaming at 6 knots in a haze about 30 miles southeast of Bishop's Rock, steaming east and bound to a rendezvous in the channel under escort of 6 British destroyers.
W. H. Lee
Letter signed by Cecil Dunscombe, aboard U.S.S. Houston, dated June 22, 1918 requesting pay adjustment.
Related document: Bond of enlisted man or naval employee receiving money on account of naval radio service. In amount of $250.00 commencing July 15, 1917.