Who is H. Lee White?
Harris Lee White was born August 12, 1912 in Oswego, NY. His parents, Francis B. and Walter White lived at 46 East Oneida Street. H. Lee White graduated from Oswego High School and attended Hamilton College. In 1937 he received a law degree from Cornell University.
Law Career - Upon completion of his education, White worked for a year as a Special Assistant to the General Council of U.S. Causality in New York City. Then, in 1938, he moved to Binghampton, NY where he joined the law firm Mangan and Mangan where he became partner in 1940.
World War II - White entered the US Navy as a Lieutenant Junior Grade and was assigned to the office of the Secretary of the Navy. By 1946, the year he left the Navy, he held the rank of Commander.
Post-War Life - White returned to New York City to work for the law firm of Codwalander, Wickersham and Taft, becoming partner in 1949. The firm is the oldest continuously operated law firm in the United States, with over 200 years of law experience with national and international offices.
Shipping Carrer - White formed the Marine Transport Lines and became its first president and board Chairman. Marine Transport Lines is a group of American companies with offices in New York City. They all own American flag vessels and also operate foreign flag vessels for the Trinity and Oswego Group of companies. White and his associates formed the the Trinity Group in 1956 and the Oswego Group in 1958. The Oswego Division had a fleet of vessels named after Oswego, NY - such as Oswego Freedom, Oswego Victory, Oswego Reliance, Oswego Defender, Oswego Forward - which carried the Oswego name all over the globe.
Today, the Marine Transport Lines operate over 80 vessels comprised of American and foreign flag carriers, chemical tankers, molten sulphur ships, bulk carriers, and others ranging in size from 10,000 to 50,000 ton capacity.
Political Carreer - White served as Assistant Secretary of the US Air Force during the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration, and was a sitting member of the Maritime Board during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.
White died at the early age of 57 on September 27, 1969.
How do I/we get to the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse?
You Can't - The Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse is owned by the City of Oswego, the United States Coast Guard, and the US Army Corps of Engineers collaboratively. There is no access, nor is it recommended, that people attempt to traverse the breakwater, as there is a high risk of danger and/or serious injury. Too, forced entry onto the premis, or any other form of vandalism, could be considered a federal crime.
The Bright Side - The H. Lee White Maritime Museum has recently acquired a lease of the Lighthouse from the City of Oswego with the purpose of spearheading the complete restoration of the Lighthouse, and, in the future, providing guided tours of the facility - accessed by boat. For more information on the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse, click here.
*Image Credit - Bonnie Smith