Affidavit of the Master or Commanding Officer, or First or Second Officer

Dublin Core


Affidavit of the Master or Commanding Officer, or First or Second Officer

Alternative Title

U.S.S. Lake Felicity Manifest, 1920




The affidavit of the master or commanding officer, or first or second officer, for the SS Lake Felicity, signed by Leo Davis as the master of the ship on January 22, 1920. On this voyage, the ship sailed from Matanzas, Cuba, to New York, New York. The cargo ship was 250 feet long and powered by steam. Starting in 1918, the Detroit Ship Building Company began construction of the ship for Great Britain under the name SS War Lynx. However, the war ended before construction was finished. The ship was purchased by the United States and, upon completion, renamed the SS Lake Felicity. From 1925 to 1934, the ship was renamed yet again as the SS Norte for Argentina, and finally from 1934 to 1943 as the SS Tiete for Brazil. In 1944, the ship sank after a collision.

A notable crewmember was Leo Rosser Davis (1880-1951). Born in Tallahassee, Florida, to James and Nora Davis, Leo was the oldest of four children. On June 1, 1918, at the age of thirty-eight, Leo received a commission as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve. He reported to the Naval Auxiliary Reserve in New York on June 3, 1918. Then, on June 22, he began his service aboard the USS Lykens (SP-876/AT-56). By late July, Leo commanded the ship, which operated in the northern Atlantic, off the coast of New England. Leo continued to command the ship through the end of World War I. On April 18, 1919, he was discharged and returned to Florida. After having spent so much time at sea, Leo earned the title of a master mariner. He sailed the civilian cargo ship SS Lake Felicity, a 250-foot steam-powered ship. On at least three occasions in 1919 and 1920, he commanded this ship and sailed between New Orleans, Louisiana, various Caribbean islands, and New York. On March 20, 1951, Leo passed away in the Bay Pines Hospital after spending nearly his entire life in the St. Petersburg area. He was survived by his wife Anna, his stepson William, his brothers Claude and Herbert, and his mother Nora. Leo is buried in Bay Pines National Cemetery at Section 16, Row 6, Site 11.

In 2017, the University of Central Florida was one of three universities selected to launch the National Cemetery Administration’s Veterans Legacy Program Project. The program engaged a team of scholars to make the life stories of veterans buried in the Florida National Cemetery available to the public. The project engages UCF students in research and writing and fosters collaboration between students, faculty and local Central Florida schools to produce interactive curriculum for K-12 students. The corresponding website exhibit uses RICHES Mosaic Interface to create a digital archive of related data. The public can use the project-developed augmented-reality app at more than 100 gravesites at the Florida National Cemetery, where they can access the UCF student-authored biographies of veterans.


Davis, Leo Rosser


Digital reproduction of original affidavit, January 22, 1920: Microfilm Roll 2721, Line 1, Page 187.

Date Created

ca. 1920-01-22




540 KB


1 affidavit






New York, New York

Accrual Method



History Teacher


Originally created by Leo Rosser Davis and published by the United States Department of Labor.

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O'Neil, Rhiannon

External Reference

Abney, Barb. "VA Selects UCF Historians to Archive Stories of Deceased Veterans Veterans." UCF Today, March 13, 2017. Accessed August 9, 2017.
Tuchman, Barbara W., and Robert K. Massie. The Guns of August: The Outbreak of World War I. 2014.



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