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Posts Tagged ‘Kansas’

I’ve posted previously about Sea Scouting in Kansas (see links below), primarily focusing on the S.S.S. Kansan from Topeka, Kansas. Recently, a local collector sent me an image of a Sea Explorers shirt he picked up with a Kansas connection.  The shirt, shown below, has a red and white “Independence” community strip and a “Kans.” state strip [these are a little difficult to see in the picture] on one shoulder, but the more exciting piece is the S.S.S. Ka Hawk ship patch on the other shoulder.

Sea Explorer Jumper with Ka Hawk Ship Patch

I promptly did a search on “Ka Hawk” and found the S.S.S. Kansan wasn’t the only ship from Kansas to have success in flagship competitions. Apparently, the S.S.S. Ka Hawk was a part of the National Flagship Fleet in 1945 and 1946. As a result, the crew would have received patches similar to those shown below. Additionally, the ship earned the National Standard award in 1947 for which the crew would have received the “National Standard Senior Scout Unit” award also shown below.  Keep your eyes peeled for these Sea Scouting items with a Kansas connection.

1945 & 1946 National Flagship Fleet Awards

1947 National Standard Senior Scout Unit

Note: A special thank you to Bruce Johnson for permission to use the images above.

For more information about the flagship competitions see the history section at www.seascout.org

Here comes the Kansas City tie-in –  In looking through the results, I found one other interesting item: in 1940 the S.S.S. Kansas Citian from Kansas City, Missouri was part of the National Flagship fleet.  Now I am on a quest to find out more information (and maybe a ship patch?) for the S.S.S. Kansas Citian…

For more reading:

Thanks to Jody T. for sharing the Sea Scout shirt images.

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Sea Scouting, which began in early 1910s, is one of the longest running programs of the Boy Scouts of America. Interestingly, the State of Kansas has some unique ties to the early periods of the program. The Sea Scout Ship (S.S.S.) Kansan, based out of Topeka, Kansas, was skippered by William Menniger. Menniger, along with his brother and father established the Menniger foundation and Clinic for the study and treatment of behavioral disorders.

How does this tie into Boy Scout memorabilia? Here’s how: I happened upon this video yesterday regarding early Sea Scout patches:

Sea Scout Memorabilia Interview

As I was watching the video, a round patch referred to as a National Flagship award, caught my eye as it is very similar to two patches in my collection that I have not been able to identify…until last night. After a quick digital picture and an email to several Scout memorabilia dealers/historians, the patches in my collection were identified as the 1931 National Flagship award. As it turns out, the S.S.S. Kansan won the National Flagship competition in 1931 and 1933.

Below is an image of the patches.  They are approximately 2″ in diameter and as show below, one is white and one is dark blue.  The color difference is intended to coordinate with the summer and winter uniforms used by the Sea Scouts.

1931 National Flagship Awards given to the crew of the S.S.S. Kansan

It is always fun to make a new Scouting memorabilia discovery, especially when it is already part of your collection. Does anyone else have any Kansas-related Sea Scout memorabilia?

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