Posted by: Dahni | June 7, 2008

Six Degrees of Separation

© 06/07/08

by Dahni












Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet, by way of just five other people. This can work through history as well as currently. You could even touch someone in the present, by reaching into the past. This is networking in its purest and simplest form.

I wanted to test this theory to see if it really works. Then I realized that I already have.

The following is an example of how I personally met H. Delano Roosevelt, the grandson of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States. Even more than this, this true story is how I met so many others and came to understand so much more about history, than I ever thought possible. I was able to meet some real-live-true-blue heroes, that served the cause of freedom. Because of individuals like these, we still enjoy freedom today! For my part, all I did was…

I married Susan Meech, the daughter of Bud and Ethel Meech.

Bud Meech served in the US Navy during WWII. His job involved sonar which was a relatively new technology at the time. He served aboard the USS Murphy DD603. It was a small destroyer class warship, built for speed. Ask any Murphy crew member and they will say The Murphy was often used as a guinea pig. “We were often first out in front and first to get fired on.”

After the African Campaign, the Murphy’s engine room was damaged during an engagement and needed repair. It headed back to the US for those repairs. It was during this time that one of the crew members was at the Cocoanut Grove, the night of a tragic fire which claimed the lives of over 400 people and destroyed the famous night club. This Murphy crew member survived the fire with 10 -15 others that ducked into a walk-in freezer in the kitchen.

On a another occasion, The USS Murphy was partially destroyed off the coast of NJ, while running vanguard to other ships running supplies to Europe. Two surviving crew members helped save others. One that could hardly swim himself, got some out. Another rescued these men from the black and cold Atlantic waters by a small craft. Neither man has ever received a medal for their bravery. But the USS Murphy lost its bow, many crew members and officers, when it was struck by an oil tanker. This event occurred at night when lights were out to protect the convoy from possible German U-Boats that might be patrolling the area. By accident, the tanker, ‘Bulkoil’, literally cut the ‘Murphy’ in half. Miraculously, the rear portion stayed afloat and it was towed back to dry-dock, passing under the Brooklyn bridge, where 1,000’s viewed the curios sight.

One living witness of the Murphy tragedy was Bob Taylor. He was on board the ‘Bulkoil’ and saw his ship strike the Murphy. Bob Taylor has a company in Rochester, NY called Taylor Heating and Air Conditioning. His company installed the furnace in our home, several years ago.

After the war, Bud Meech married his sweetheart Ethel. Ethel had a friend who just happened to be married to Bob Taylor. The four met together for the first time and Bud and Bob were talking. They both had served in WWII.  Bud mentioned that he was on the USS Murphy. Bob asked, “Does the name ‘Bulkoil’ mean anything to you?”

Amazing connection!

Now, we return to the USS Murphy. The remaining portion of the ship was towed back to NY, where it was repaired and refitted with a new bow. It was sometime after the reconstruction of the Murphy that my then, future father-in-law, was assigned to the Murphy. One of their assignments was running protection for other ships and as shell-cover for the infantry landing on the coast, during the Normandy Invasion. Another one of their assignments was as the lead ship, in a convoy that proceeded to the historic Yalta Conference with FDR, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was secretly on board the USS Quincy, following the Murphy.

The Quincy departed for the conference and the Murphy headed up the Suez Canal with new secret orders, which was to transport the King of Saudi Arabia, for a meeting with Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The Murphy later was again, a guinea pig ship searching for mines while escorting medical ships and it was the first U.S. ship to enter Nagasaki, Japan after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

After many other historic events and after the war, the USS Murphy was finally decommissioned and scrapped, but the sunken bow off the coast of NJ was hidden for over 60 years. A deep sea diver, Dan Crowell, looking for another sunken ship, discovered the bow of the Murphy. One thing led to another and he finally met Bud Meech.

It was through another series of events that Bud met H. Delano Roosevelt and several sons and princes of the original King of Saudi Arabia. Two years ago, the nation of Saudi Arabia honored Bud Meech, representing the USS Murphy, two members of the original USS Quincy, the pilot on loan to Saudi Arabia (he actually started the present Saudi Airline) and H. Delano Roosevelt, as quests of the Saudi government.  Mr. Roosevelt was then invited to the annual USS Murphy Reunion, which two years ago was held in Canton, OH. It was there that I personally met, H. Delano Roosevelt, the grandson of FDR.

By the way, the 15th annual USS Murphy Convention was held this past August in Providence, Rhode Island.  Once again I had the honor to be the official photographer. One could say that this is because I am a great photographer. 🙂

Someone else could say this is just nepotism, since I am married to Bud Meech’s daughter. But I say it is because of, six degrees of separation.

Six degrees of separation?

left to right

Henry A. “Bud” Meech, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, King Ibn Saud, and H. Delano Roosevelt

For additional information on this fascinating story and the facts, just do a search under USS Murphy for pictures, a History Channel link and other links.

Here is a link to Deep Explorers and Dan Crowell who found the missing bow of the USS Murphy. You will read some  history and see a 25 minute video.

Deep Explorers

If I can reach through history, and touch the present with just five other contacts, we can reach the world today, with only five other people!

Update 10/14/2010

Henry A. ” Bud” Meech had been fighting many health issues the past 2 1/2 months. He died peacefully among family, Tuesday October 12, 2010 around 2 P.M. Eastern Standard Time U.S.A.

If you are able and willing to pass on this information to The Saudi Royal Family, The Saudi government, any news organization,  H. Delano Roosevelt (the great grandson of Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and any other you deem appropriate, it would be greatly appreciated by the entire Meech family.  Henry A. “Bud” Meech was my father-in-law and he will be greatly missed by many. Thank you.

Just Imagine,



  1. I attended two reunions with my parents during the 90’s, both on the east coast.
    My Dad (John Sadler)was a shipmate of Bud Meech on the Murphy.
    He was on board when the tanker cut it in half.
    I am trying to reconnect and find out the status of his buddies.
    Many thanks.

  2. Was just googling my name and read this. My Father Ian Meech served in the second WW as an able seaman on the’Gambia’ in the Pacific with Amercan and Enlish fleets. Our Meech ancestors are from Dorset, England.

    Very interesting!

  3. Thanks for your comment. I’ve passed this on to my Father-in-law, Henry (Bud), Meech. Perhaps all related?

  4. Hi Dahni,
    I am working for a UK television company and we are making a documentary about King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia. We are looking in to the Kings foreign policy and his life as a Statesmen and wanted to contact people who served aboard the USS Murphy & USS Quincy during the historic meeting with FDR.

    Do you think you would be able to pass my email address on to Mr Meech? It would be great to hear about his memories of this occasion.

    Many thanks,

  5. Hi Hannah,

    Forwarded your comment to Bud. If you do not hear from him soon, let me know.

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