USS Pillsbury Memories
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----- Original Message -----
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 striker. 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 or practice with the 3" 50 cal guns we had aboard.
Richard Turocy (RD2)
Denis LaCrosse wrote:
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.
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 and all:
I had the motto right, it was CONAD...CONtintal Air Defense, 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.
Carl Wallender TM2 and his injury I remember, still get the shivers thinking about it.
Keep remembering guys!
Your spelling of the Pillsbury's motto is a little off. I'm fairly sure that it was "Illigetimus 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. Mike Lambert Note:"It means Don't Let The Bastards Get You Down"
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.
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?