Make your own free website on Tripod.com

USS Pillsbury Page Seven of Memories

Harry Treuer's Pillsbury Picture
Homepage
Fivekiller1N
Please Sign Our Guestbook
Thomas Cummings
Memories Page One
Elmer Fredd ET2
Memories Page Two
Paul  Friswold RD2
Memories Page Three
Robert Turocy's AG2
Memories Page Four
USS Pillsbury Escort Destroyer Radar Picket Ship
Memories Page Five
A Foggy Day On Station
Memories Page Six
Frank
Memories Page Seven
Harold Treuer ET2
Memories Page eight
A Little Rough
Memories Page Nine
Picket Duty
Memories Index

Mike:

You're bringing back memories that have been in the FAR reaches of my mind! Just last week I was talking with my lady friend about some of the memories of The Pillsbury,The Flour of The Fleet. NPEP came to mind.

Does anyone remember the school of whales we encountered on the way to Station 4? We lay to for four days until they moved on.

Another memory--How about Capt. Fitzgerald? Little guy about 5 foot 4 that thought he could take on the Marine guard at the gate and got hauled back to the ship in the Black Mariah. I was on the Quarterdeck that night on Goat Island. and accompanied him up to his stateroom. He was drunker than a skunk.He asked me into the Wardroom for a drink. Change of Command Ceremony next day!!!!!He was only with us 3 months. One of the memorable things he did was ram the bow of the ship into the pier at Melville.Folded over 3 stanchions.

I was in Fox Div. being an FT so most of my memories are toward that part of the ship, working with the Sonarmen, Torpedo Mates, and Deck Div. TM2 named Wallander was checking out the torpedo launcher one day when we were on Station 4 and it hit him in the face. Damn near killed him. He lay in a bunk in 1st div while we steamed to the Azores doing better than flank speed. I think we split 5 sleeves on the engines making speed, I recall .

I have several pictures of The Pill that were taken before and after the new search radar was installed. Right now I can't scan them but when I can, I'll get them online.

I know where several of my Fox Div friends are. Dana Armour,FT3 is in Mendon, Mass. and Lamar Senn, FT3 is in Grafton, WI.
It's strange what starts coming to mind at 0200 when you can't sleep:

Names I remember:

Washington--FT1 [black guy]
Vic Nolan--FT1
Chief Corpsman--"Doc" Harmon
Boats--Chief Kennedy-BM1
Moss-ship's barber
QM3 Noziglia
Ensign Stan Larimer
Ltjg Jacobson
AG3 Dennis Lynch & AG2 Robert Turocy- sent up weather balloons
Ericson- BM1
Gary Garbett- GM2
Charity--cook
"Dad" Goens- cook
Markert--baker-worked all night baking Bear Claws
Ortiz-Perez--worst cook in the Navy!
Planker--FT2
LTJG Jim Grau
"Sarge" Hollowell--TM2
McAfee ET1--ALWAYS had a cup of coffee in his hand
Harold Treuer
I'll remember others
More later as it comes to mind
Robinson,R.O. 467-08-83 FT2P1




Denis:

Your spelling of the Pillsbury's motto is a little off. I'm fairly sure that it was "Illigitimus non carborundum". Freely translated (from Latin), this means "Don't let the bastards grind you down". The insignia that went with the motto was a cartoon of a barefooted swabbie holding a bucket in one hand and a swab (resting on his opposite shoulder) in the other.
One of our late-1950's captains didn't think such a motto was appropriate for our ship after we had won some of the coveted efficiency E's. The insignia was changed to a more conservative one with an anchor and rope theme. I don't remember the motto that went with the new insignia but I think I may still have one that was never sewn on any of my jackets. I'll try to find it.
I vaguely remember a voice call that was something like "Newsboy Gulf". I think we used this during the time Lt. Mauer was still aboard.
Perhaps we will be able to resurrect more of our pasts on the Pillsbury at the September Reunion when we can interact with each other directly.

Regards

Elmer Fredd




Mike:

Just some quick thoughts:
International call sign, NPEP. Voice call, I cannot recall. We normally steamed independently, didn't use it much/ Our Radio call letters were NAM1. I have that morse forever etched in my memory!
Station calls: 1- Grain, 2- Junction, 3-Goat Pen, four, Golden Chain (I think, but that may have been a squadron call, for the superconnies.)
Aircraft call was Knothole for sure. And on one picket, we lost 16 Knothole, just disappeared.
In the OI Div compartment, on the forward bulkhead, was a plaque; "Illegitemus Conad Non Carborundum" On the bottom it said "USS Pillsbury DER-133" Ship's crest?
Anybody else have any thoughts? Or memories?
For those who wish, I'm starting a database of all the shipmates we have any knowledge of. Names and rates I already have, Years aboard, addresses, any other info you would like to share would be helpful. Yes, even memories might fit.

Denis LaCrosse




To Elmer and all:

I had the motto right, it was CONAD...CONtintalAirDefense, the people we worked for when at sea, on the DEWLINE Extension. I remember Frank Fenton explaining it to me, I was fairly new at the time.
And your description of the sailor with the bucket I can now remember. I also remember the insignia being changed, the rope and anchor bit is familiar, but I recall not popular.
Capt. Fitzgerald I have only the slightest of memory...I was leaving about that time. I remember that a LT was relieving a LCDR (Harwood) and have only the slightest memory of a very small man, now in charge. It seems I was correct in my young sailor's assessment.
Call sign...Elmer, you're a winner! It was Newsboy G (Golf). We just seldom used it.
Hey guys, let these little things stir memories, my Pill was always a happy ship, and one I enjoyed. And, as the brass plaque in the 'thartship passage said, we were all "Pillsbury's Best"!
Robbie, I don't remember the whales, but I do remember a very leisurely trip to the Azores, where we refuelled enroute England and France. Mirror slick sea, seemed a shame to disturb it.
Wallender and his injury I remember, still get the shivers thinking about it.
Keep remembering guys!

Denis LaCrosse




Denis:

When I first came aboard the Pillsbury at the Philadelphia shipyard (about Christmas, 1956), I think Lt. Cmdr. Alfred Winslow Harmon was our Captain. I think Harward was Captain when I left around Christmas, 1959.
I remember the whales .. some brown and white as I recall .. and playful. I also remember qualifying to carry a 45 (for in-port watches) by shooting small floating targets of the fantail while underway.
We ETs tried to get rid of a magnetron box one day by jettisoning it but it didn't sink. The Captain or someone on the bridge called "man overboard" when the box was fairly far astern.
The Captain did not disipline us when he discovered what the object really was but commended the crew instead, for the way we handled a non-drill man overboard exercise.
The Pillsbury memories are some of the best and most important memories that I have.

Regards to all

Elmer Fredd




Shipmates:

I came aboard summer of 57, the skipper was Harmon. Story was, he was a QMC, received a battlefield commission in WWII. Believable, he was a little older than most his rank. He was relieved by Robert Harwood, or Harward.
When We returned to Newport, my new bride used to like to tell me of all the things she had done, all the people she had met. There was one lady, she babysat for her, and kept talking about "Jean", or Bob and Jean. One day I asked her why she talked about them so much- "Well, he's on your ship, the Pill". I don't know any Bob, I said. "Sure you do, Bob Harwood. He's your Captain, isn't he? " After awakening from my faint, I informed her of the protocols, like, between officer and really junior enlisted, and especially between PO3 and Commanding Officer!
But he really was pretty cool. When we arrived at Charleston Navy Yard, in Boston, the Newport people were given a bus ride back home. Harwood rode with us. In Fall River, he had the bus pull over at a bar. Invited us all in, stood a couple of rounds for the crew. Pretty nice gesture, we all thought.
Lots of memories. And later, when I was the guy in charge, a lot of lessons to be remembered. The things my bosses did that worked, and the things that didn't. Served me well.

Denis Lacrosse




Shipmates, As long as everyone is remembering, I came aboard shortly before we went into the Philadelphia shipyard for some dry dock work. Was on kitchen duty since I was a young Radar stricker. Never peeled as many potatoes since. Anyway, does anyone else remember standing personal inspection on the weather decks while on DEW line duty. Cold as a well digger's a--! I dimly recall that on one occasion, the gunners mates used some icebergs for practice with the five inch guns we had aboard.

Richard Turocy (RD2)




Monday @ 06:00 AM, 6/10/2002
Morning Shipmates:

You guys just keep leading me down memory lane. Some of our Pillsbury experiences (both good and bad) recently written about were long since forgotten by me. I'm really enjoying the remembering experience and glad that you guys keep dredging them up.
I'll just have to put in my two cents worth. My best remembrance of Pillsbury is how the crew (all of the crew) supported their fellow shipmates. There was a kinship between Pillsbury's crewmen that I rarely experienced during the remainder of my Navy career (all 38 years).
An example that will bring back memories to some of you that happen to be aboard back in the fall of 1956. My mother passed away while we were on station off of Newfoundland. Fortunately, there was a submarine (Triton SS-420) returning from the Mediterranean via the Azores. She was rerouted to pick me up so that I could go on emergency leave to attend my Mom's funeral. At the very last minute, before Pill's whaleboat was lowered into the water to effect my at sea transfer, one of our mess cooks (Rasche? - RD striker who eventually stayed in the galley) came up to me and shoved wad of money into my pocket. It was money the crew had collected for my emergency leave. To top that off, when I arrived home (Altus, Oklahoma), there was a $100 Western Union money order waiting for me there. Seems our Division officer (Ens Beers) had called his wife ship shore and had her send me the money. As one of you has already mentioned, those early days aboard the Pill had a very positive and lasting impact on my subsequent Navy career. I learned some leadership there that I never ever forgot. We truly had some wonderful young men aboard Pillsbury (they were all young, even the wardroom). Enough of that for now!!!
Do any of you ETs remember our electronic fit? From my memory as an RD:
Radar:
Medium Range Air Search - AN/SPS-12 (Mike, I don't know whether you remember or not, but I think it was you that taught me how to tune the critter)
Height Finder - AN/SPS-8 (I believe that on one occasion we lost the antenna [maybe not completely - wasn't it down on top of the AG shack?] due to heavy weather)
Surface Search - SG-6
Repeaters: AN/SPA -8 (I was the guy with the bucket lashed down near my right foot - Also remember using a bunk strap from the lifting hooks of the repeater around my back for additional support in heavy weather) Nuther note, didn't one of you ETs come up with the idea to weld pipes onto the deck plates to sit the stools in so they wouldn't topple over in heavy weather - Lambert, you should remember that one?)
VJ, or VK (Height finding repeater)
I think I remember our weapons fit:
Guns:
2 - 3'50 CAL
0 -- 40mm
ASW Weapons:
2 Cradle Torpedo Launchers. Acoustic Type Torpedos
1 -- Depth Charge Rack
0 -- Depth Charge Launchers
1 -- Hedgehog Array (the only one I saw during my entire career)
Well guys, I'd best quit remembering for today. All of you have a wonderful week and keep including me on your mail.
Later Shipmates,
RD3 Jerry Van Cleave (CDR USN Ret.)
9057 Marmont Lane
Williamsburg, Virginia 23188




Jerry et al:

I think you're correct about the height-finding RADAR and repeaters but I think the air-search RADAR was an SPS-6 (L-Band, 1200MHz). Surface search was SPS-4 (C- Band, about 5000MHz). The brushes in the antenna motor for the surface search needed frequent replacement ... usually in bad weather. I think the antenna was only well balanced when the mast was nearly plumb and the motor was over-stressed when the ship rolled severely. The repeaters we used mostly for surface RADAR were the SPA-4's. These were constant maintenance problems.
We replaced the SPS-6 with the SPS-28 (bed spring antenna) when we went into the Boston yard. The 28 was a VHF rig with large triodes for power output rather than a magnetron.
I can't remember the craps organizer but I remember shooting craps and playing a lot of poker, pinocle, whist and cribbage.
It's time for me to get to a meeting.
Regards to all
Elmer




Jerry, Elmer

It seems I am not the only one who arises early! Wife still works, good job, but horrible commute, time wise. She leaves at 5:15, home by 20:00.
Elmer is closer- surface search was SPS-4, air search SPS-6, replaced by SPS-28 (a variant of the WWII SC) (Klystrons, a pair, I think, and we had to tune both the transmitter and receiver on that one) Height finder SPS8-A, a little more powerful than the SPS-8.
The SPS-4 still had the clamshell (for overhead search, something that never did make sense) antenna, which is probably led to problems with the drive. It was heavy, and could catch the wind, of which we had a suffiency. I remember Brown going aloft to repair it when we were underway...somebody forgot he was up there, changed course, and we started rolling. Somebody finally heard him, before God sent a lightening bolt...he was pissed! The ancestry of the entire bridge crew was taken into serious doubt.
The SPS-8A had a stable element, to keep it level as the ship rolled. It had limits, and when these were exceeded too many times, it would "tumble", lock in the stops, and the antenna would lay on it's side. That was my signal to go to the 8 room, secure the SE, physically return it to upright, and put it back on line. When the sea was too rough, we just secured the radar.
The main radar room had a SPA-4 for the 6 master, a VJ for the 4. CIC had one SPA-4, the rest were SPA-8As, with the DRI input. The 8A master was in CIC.
I remember the Itilian guy and the craps, I never played, never did understand the game.
On the DERs, CIC owned and controlled all the radars. A bit of culture shock when I went to my first fleet DD, and immediately got my butt in a sling for playing with the surface search, without permission! A note, while we tried for 100 miles or better with our SPS-6, the DD bunch was happy with 30. Different Navy.
More later
Denis




in a message dated 6/10/02 10:14:56 AM Atlantic Daylight Time, dlacross@silverlink.net writes: Tuesday @ 04:30 AM, 6/11/2002

Denis/Elmer/Mike:

Elmer is closer- surface search was SPS-4, air search SPS-6, replaced by SPS-28 (a variant of the WWII SC) (Klystrons, a pair, I think, and we had to tune both the transmitter and receiver on that one) Height finder SPS8-A, a little more powerful than the SPS-8.
Boy was I off on the radar suite. When Elmer mentioned the frequencies, my memory started working again. Now, if my memory doesn't fail me again, couldn't we tune the surface search (SPS-4) from CIC, but had to go to the SPS-6 transmitter room to tune that radar?
The SPS-4 still had the clamshell (for overhead search, something that never did make sense) antenna, which is probably led to problems with the drive. It was heavy, and could catch the wind, of which we had a suffiency. I remember Brown going aloft to repair it when we were underway...somebody forgot he was up there, changed course, and we started rolling. Somebody finally heard him, before God sent a lightening bolt...he was pissed! The ancestry of the entire bridge crew was taken into serious doubt.
Never was up on the Pillsbury's mast, but I know exactly what you are talking about. When I moved over to the Brough DE-148 (same class), which by the way had the SG surface search radar, I had to chip and paint parts of the mast from the SS radar pedestal down. On one occasion during my mast painting evolution as I was happily chipping away (suspended in my little boatswain chair), I looked up to find that one side of the pad eye from which I was swinging was rusted out and bending. That was my last time up the mast.
The SPS-8A had a stable element, to keep it level as the ship rolled. It had limits, and when these were exceeded too many times, it would "tumble", lock in the stops, and the antenna would lay on it's side. That was my signal to go to the 8 room, secure the SE, physically return it to upright, and put it back on line. When the sea was too rough, we just secured the radar.
I remember it all now. Thanks!
The main radar room had a SPA-4 for the 6 master, a VJ for the 4. CIC had one SPA-4, the rest were SPA-8As, with the DRI input. The 8A master was in CIC.
The first and last time I saw a VJ repeater was on the Pill.
I remember the Itilian guy and the craps, I never played, never did understand the game.
I can remember that one payday the little guy walked away with something like $900. In the beginning, he lost his entire pay, but borrowed a couple of 20s and managed to re-coop his losses and clean out everyone else.
On the DERs, CIC owned and controlled all the radars. A bit of culture shock when I went to my first fleet DD, and immediately got my butt in a sling for playing with the surface search, without permission!
I had a similar experience aboard the Enterprise. A little background first, if you will recall the Navy came up with this grandiose plan to convert some of its electronic equipment operators (RD's, SO's, etc ...) to technicians? Well, I went through that pipeline. I taught electronic theory from AC/DC through Radar Special Circuits and maintenance on the SPA-4s and 8s as well as the SPS-4 surface search radar at the RD "A" School in Great Lakes. After teaching electronics for three years, the Navy in its infinite wisdom decided that I should learn electronics, so they sent me off to RD "B" school for 47 weeks. My first tour out of "B" school was Enterprise. A few weeks after reporting aboard, one of the NTDS consoles that I was operating suffered a double action switch failure in the bullnose. Well, the hot technician that I though I was at the time, went about replacing the switch. I was about to complete the job when this DSCS walked into the space. Talk about a tongue lashing, you would have thought that I had just molested his sister. Needless to say, that was the last time I worked on any equipment aboard Enterprise.
A note, while we tried for 100 miles or better with our SPS-6, the DD bunch was happy with 30. Different Navy.
Again, if I recall, there were numerous times that we would detect the WV-3s (Super Connies) on the surface search long before we would get them on the air search.
Best quit again and get on with other tasks.
Later Shipmates,
Jerry
Jerry Van Cleave 9057 Marmont Lane Williamsburg, Virginia 23188
PS: Who was the little Italian guy who used to shoot craps in our compartment (OI Div)? I seemed to recall that we would lay out an empty laundry bag and shoot craps on the laundry bag.




Mike,

Oh gosh...let me see what I can do....wheres the scanner?......*laffin*...I ain't forgot
I just been mailing Clarence Wilson....we knew each other very well...I sent a CC email copy to you at your Mindspring Addy...Checkit out.....
Tom P.S. I think he was C Division...if we were O...if not OC if we were OI?......*LOL* >From: thomas.cummings@attbi.comv > Sent: Wednesday, June 05, 2002 8:45 PM
> To: Michael Lambert
> Subject: Photos--- Ships Crest --Ships Motto --Ships Call sign Etc;

Mike,

Just located my old Pillsbury photos will scan them and send them to you attached to e-mail....I'm slow but it will be soon....I have a good picture of Robert Turocy, AG2 taken while on a tour to Fatima in Portugal.....also yourself, Brown and Fredd dressed in foul weather gear on the OI level.....plus the O Division Picture taken on the pier at Lisbon, Portugal....wasn't that '58????....I have a CRS (Can't Remember Chit) Syndrome.....
I'll send you a copy everything I have.....or can find...
BTW I think I went to the Receiving Station in Newport with Jenkins to get discharged......was in September 1959.....I think??????....*Laffin*....
Best Always,
Tom Cummings




Hi Mike:

I was a radioman. I used to stand radio watchs in CIC while on picket. I also remember you spending a lot of time in Main Comm keeping everything in operating condition. My GQ station was Radio2, I may be the one with you in the photo there. I transfered to the USS Arcadia in April of 59 and was discharged. Some of the names I can remember in Radio are Hespenheide, Scott, Harris, and Tavormina.
I visited your Pillsbury site. It's a great site, keep up the good work.

Clarence Wilson

PS:
Sorry, I don't remember their first names or initials. Tavormina was a RM3, Hespenheide, Harris and Scott were RMSN's. I don't remember the chiefs name, he transfered aboard shortly before I left. I do remember one of the RM1's name was Kleckner. I was an RM3.




Jerry, Mike,

It seems that we are the only ones in this little group who hung on in the Navy, although I can think of others who probably did.
Mike, so you were "Dad",. I became "Grandpa" aboard Enterprise. Almost never to my face, except for one wise-ass third class, who I really hoped would stay in. He was, in a lot of ways, like me.
Jerry, both the 4 and 6 were tuned from the radar room at their respective control units. Transmitters were in the transmitter room. The 28 was tuned from there. McAfee showed us how. Another story! The 8A had it's control unit in CIC, over the Master repeater. Just inside the door.
Pill's mast. I had PM on the SPS-4 antenna, nothing to do but look in the cover, make sure there was no dirt or grease, close it up, and settle back. Always carried a book with me, and enjoyed a sunny afternoon, where nobody would even think of bothering me. That was one well cared for antenna!
Frank Fenton and I were painting the 4 platform in Argentia. Bitter cold, had to keep adding thinner to the paint because it got so thick, he dipped his brush, a huge glop fell off, and splattered ComBarLant, who had just come aboard. A Commander! We are both dead! In those days, Ensigns were awesome!
So you were both B-school and Enterprise. Same here. Except I did take over our SPS-10 on the Ozzie Maru, but our CIC there had so many unauthorized field changes only the Radarmen could keep up with it.
Sterett was my favorite, as it is for everyone who served aboard, but Enterprise by far the most rewarding. This tin-can sailor pulled every string he could to get his orders cancelled, and after reporting, had trouble assimilating. Then one evening, sitting in my own office/shop (I had all the CIC PMS) digesting my steak and lobster, listening to my stereo, fitting another balsa plank to the sailboat model I was building, I thought maybe this wasn't so bad after all. So I submitted a leave chit, 10 days over Christmas. The fact we were in a war zone didn't bother me.
Naturally, the E-9 said no. So did the Div Officer. And the 2nd asst CIC Officer. The Assistant CIC turned to the CIC officer, and in his best Florida drawl, said "Frank. we cayunt leyet Chief LaCrowsse go on leayuve for teyun days, cayun we?"
"Why the hell not?"
I banged off the flight at 1600, bound for Danang, and a hitchike trip home. Helluva an adventure, and a lot of fun. After that I enjoyed my carrier. Became the Leading Chief, the ship's AICS, just plain enjoyed my duties, and the ship. Lots of stories.
And I'm rambling. Got stuff to do, later.

Denis




I remember Friswold (can still see his face), but I didn't know that his first name was Paul. Wasn't Friswold our mailman for a while? Keep in mind that I left Pill late in 1957.
Nuther name for you is RD2 John Vanderslice. John was aboard Pillsbury during the 1956 Philadelphia yard period. I can still remember his getting excited and talking fast (spittle flew everywhere). John was from Philadelphia and was discharged there near the end of our 1956 yard period.
Later Shipmate, v Jerry Van Cleave



Notice of Return

Issued In Solemn Warning This ________Day of______19____


To the Wife of______________________________

Instructions:

1. Leave the kids with a relative.
2. Fill the icebox with easily prepared foods.
3. Have the covers turned down for immediate use.
4. Get them skivies off.

Very soon the above named person will once more be by your side. Dehydrated, Demoralized and Degenerate. To take his place
once again as a human being with freedom and justice for all, engaged in life liberty and the somewhat interrupted pursuit of happiness.
In making your joyous preparation to welcome him back into organized home life you must make allowances for the crude environment which has been his miserable lot for the _____ months. He may become a little nervous and uneasy with a lot of people around and want to go home immediately.
He will likely have a rapid heart beat and shortness of breath. He may also be covered with perspiration. He may also have wandering hands and roaming fingers, this is due to a stiffening of his joints. If these symptoms appear, he is suffering from the disease "Lackanookie".
This disease is most common among sailors and is nothing to become alarmed about. The only know cure is to get him into bed as soon as possible.
Show no alarm if he insists on staying in bed for extended periods of time, and indulges in certain rather strenuous exercises.
This is one of the first signs that he is nearly cured although it may take many days and quite a few exercise periods to bring about a complete cure, your whole hearted participation in these exercises is highly recommended.
During this period of treatment, he will most likely be very affectionate and follow you around as though you were the only thing that matters, this is just an illusion brought about by this disease.
Do everything that is in your power to help him overcome the tension that has been building upin him for______ months. You, his wife, are the only person who will know just what to doat this time.

Signed________________________________
Wadshot Wong




I LIKED THE NAVY (Author Unknown).

I like the Navy. I like standing on the bridge wing at sunrise, with salt spray in my face, and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe - the ship beneath me feeling like a living thing as her engines drive her through the sea.

I like the sounds of the Navy - the piercing trill of the boatswains pipe, the syncopated clangor of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, the harsh squawk of the 1MC and the strong language and laughter of sailors at work.

I like the vessels of the Navy - nervous darting destroyers, plodding Fleet auxiliaries, sleek submarines and steady solid carriers. I like the proud sonorous names of Navy capital ships: Midway, Lexington, Saratoga, Coral Sea - memorials of great battles won. I like the lean angular names of Navy "tin-cans": Barney, Dahlgren, Mullinix, McCloy - mementos of heroes who went before us.

I like the tempo of a Navy band blaring through the topside speakers, as we pull away from the oiler, after refueling at sea. I like liberty call and the spicy scent of a foreign port. I even like all-hands-working parties as my ship fills herself with the multitude of supplies, both mundane and exotic, which she needs to cut her ties to the land and carry out her mission, anywhere on the globe, where there is water to float her.

I like sailors, men from all parts of the land, farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England, from the cities, the mountains and the prairies, from all walks of life. I trust and depend on them as they trust and depend on me - for professional competence, for comradeship, for courage. In a word, they are "shipmates."

I like the surge of adventure in my heart when the word is passed "Now station the special sea and anchor detail - all hands to quarters for leaving port." I like the infectious thrill of sighting home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting pierside. The work is hard and dangerous, the going rough at times, the parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust Navy laughter, the "all for one and one for all" philosophy of the sea is ever present.

I like the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as flying fish flit across the wave tops and sunset gives way to night. I like the feel of the Navy in darkness - the masthead lights, the red and green navigation lights and the stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of the radar repeaters - they cut through the dusk and join with the mirror of stars overhead.

And I like drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad noises large and small, that tell me my ship is alive and well, and that my shipmates on watch will keep me safe. I like the quiet mid-watches with the aroma of strong coffee - the lifeblood of the Navy - permeating everywhere. And I like the hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes racing at flank speed, keeps all hands on a razor edge of alertness.

I like the sudden electricity of "General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations!" followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders, and the resounding thump of watertight doors, as the ship transforms herself in a few brief seconds, from a peaceful work place to a weapon of war - ready for anything. And I like the sight of space-age equipment manned by youngsters clad in dungarees, and the sound-powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize. I like the traditions of the Navy, and the men and women who made them.

I like the proud names of Navy heroes: Halsey, Nimitz, Perry, Farragut, John Paul Jones. A sailor can find much in the Navy: Comrades-in-arms, pride in self and country, mastery of the seaman's trade. An adolescent can find adulthood.

In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, they will still remember with fondness and respect - the ocean in all its moods - the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water surging over the bow. And then there will come again, a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter in the wardroom, and the chief's quarters and messdecks.

Gone ashore for good, they will grow wistful about their Navy days, when the seas belonged to them and the new port of call was ever over the horizon. Remembering this, they will stand taller and say, "I was a Sailor. I was part of the Navy & the Navy will always be part of me!"





A U.S. Navy cruiser pulled into port in Mississippi for a week's liberty.
The first evening, the Captain was more than a little surprised to receive the following letter from the wife of a wealthy plantation owner:
"Dear Captain, Thursday will be my daughter Melinda's, coming of age party.
I would like you to send four well mannered, handsome, unmarried officers.
They should arrive at 8 p.m. prepared for an evening of polite southern conversation and dance with lovely young ladies.
One last point: No, "Mexicans". We don't like "Mexicans".
Sure enough, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, the lady heard a rap at the door.
She opened the door to find, in dress uniform, four exquisitely mannered, smiling black officers.
Her jaw hit the floor, but pulling herself together she stammered,
"There must be some mistake!"
"On no, madam," said the first officer,
"Captain Martinez doesn't make mistakes."


Contact
Webmaster: