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I was stationed aboard the USS NORTH HAMPTON CLC1 from early 1959 until August 1961. Aboard the ''SNORTIN' NORTON'' we carried a three star admiral in charge of the SECOND FLEET of which we were a part. I was in the communications gang. We had the largest communications gang afloat number in excess of 130 enlisted men. At sea we ran two section watches or War time status. My first duty when they moved me to the secret message center was messenger. I delivered the messages from the crypto center to various officers aboard the ship.

Also my duty was to encrypt and decrypt messages..

We were at sea between nothing and nothing and on mid watch about one thirty in the morning my teletype machine gave the alarm that an EMERGENCY MESSAGE was coming thru that required immediate attention and action on our part. LTjg Malaose was the ''watch officer'' and he told me to ''break the message and let him know what it said'." I decrypted the message and he looked at it and determined that the admiral should see this right away. I reminded him that it was one forty in the morning. He ripped off the ''rough copy'' and told me to take this to the admiral for possible reply. The admiral had a Marine orderly stationed outside his door and when I approached the orderly wanted to know what the ''heck'' my business was at the admirals cabin. I informed him that I had emergency traffic for the admirals eyes only. He told me to give the message to him and he would take it in. I said ''not possible'' you dont have the clearance for this. He went inside and woke the admiral. I was ushered inside and handed the message to the admiral. He propped on one elbow and read the message by the light of his bed lamp. He mumbled something and wrote his name on the rough copy and requested a copy in his ''jacket'' in the morning. He handed me the rough copy and turned the bed lamp off. I went back to crypto and informed LTjg Malaose that the admiral just grunted at me and sign the rough copy. About thirty minutes lapsed and my teletype machine jumped off the deck again. More emergency traffic coming through. Same story. I broke the message and the Lt. told me to take it up to the admiral for response. It was now about two thirty am...... We woke the admiral again and he was not his previous ''pleasant self'."

He growled at me, signed the message and threw it back at me. About forty minutes lapsed and guess what????? Yep, we got another one for the admiral. It was something after three am and I figured I would be keel hauled but I just came away with a dirty look and another growl. At four oclock it happened again. I told the LT that he could take this one up the the admiral because I was sure I would be shot at dawn if I woke that old man again. I trudged up to the admirals cabin and was let in by his orderly. The admiral leaped from his bed and demanded to know who the ''heck'' I was as he snatched the rough copy from my hand. I sounded off in my best Navy fashion while standing at strict attention. He demanded to know the ''watch officers name'' and the phone number for crypto center. He had some choice words for Ltjg Maliose and then he flopped down in his chair. ''If you got those other rough copies in that folder give them to me and sit down right over there'' I sat down as he looked over the papers.

He barked at his orderly to bring two coffee's, one for him and one for me and went back to reading. The orderly sat a cup of coffee in front of the admiral and one in front of me. Navy coffee is hot, black and strong. I sat and sipped as he read over the messages. Twenty minutes later I was rudely dismissed from his presence after he reaffirmed that my name was Cecil, seaman first class. He also told me that I would not have the pleasure of waking him again because he was simply going to ''stay up'' for the rest of the night. We got no more emergency traffic for the admiral that night. Some time later I was showing the new crypto messenger around when we happened to deliver a message to the admiral up on the flag bridge. Strangely enough he recognized me.

''Hello Cecil,,,,,, have you had occasion to destroy anyone's nights sleep lately?'' ''No sir admiral, I believe in letting people sleep in sir''.........

Burkett, the guy I was breaking in said ''Holly s---, do you know the admiral personally?''..........'' Naah, but we have had coffee together''......

Seajay the sailor man......

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On a Navy ship you really prize a few things when you are at sea. One is a good mattress on your bunk. Another is access to food when the mess hall is not open. I was fortunate in that I had become friends with the right people in the chow hall and in the officers mess and I had access to a lot of food that most sailors had no access. At sea you live or die on ''favors''. People will do you a ''favor'' and you will owe them a ''favor''.

''Hay man, how bout standing four hours of my watch and I will owe you a ''favor''.

''Four hours............. You will owe me a ''BIG FAVOR'' for four hours.....

You kept a mental list of people you owed and people that owed you ''favors''. Mind you, ''favors'' came in all sizes. Small favors, Regular favors, and BIG FAVORS........... Anyhow, I usually tried to stay ahead on favors as to who owed me and whom I owed.

At sea I usually stood Mid watches and Afternoon watches and the mid watch was the roughest. Sometimes on the mid watch we would have a picnic. Yep a picnic up behind the captains bridge in radio 6. One night John Lepshin called down to crypto and said we could have a picnic up in radio 6 and could I supply the ''goods'' for the picnic. The ''goods'' needed was three or four loafs of fresh baked bread, a gallon of strawberry jam, a one pound block of butter and all the orange juice I could muster....... I told him that I would have to call in several ''favors'' for this much stuff and he would owe me a BIG FAVOR if I pulled it off and everyone that attended the picnic would owe me a small favor. He agreed and I proceeded up to the officers mess where they were baking bread. (The bakers always cooked at night usually on the mid watch.) I knew the chief baker and he owed me a favor because I got in touch with his wife using the ship to shore phone for him. (thats another story for later) ... Anyhow, he gave me the bread and butter and told me that we were even on the ''favor'' he owed me. I delivered the bread and butter to radio 6 and got a helper to help me haul the juice and jam. I went down to see the night hawk in the mess hall ... His name was Stoner and I had sneaked him down to the radio room and let him call his wife on the ship to shore. She was very pregnant and he just loved to talk to her. He owed me a couple of BIG FAVORS so he gave me the jam and three gallons of orange juice which we promptly deliver to radio 6. all was going well..... Several of us gathered in radio 6 and started the picnic. We would call down to the other radio rooms on the ship and guys would get off watch and come up for bread butter and jam and cold orange juice. We were way into the picnic. The bread was down to about a loaf and the jam and butter was pretty much getting gone and we had maybe a quart of orange juice left. Now you have to remember that radio 6 was behind the captains bridge and usually the captain is asleep around two in the morning when we were having the picnic. Several of us were kicked back and relaxed around the table when the door to radio 6 popped open and guess who walked in ....... Yep, Captain John Slaughter and his Marine orderly....... ''OH SHUX''........... Someone yelled ''ATTENTION ON DECK'' and we leaped to our feet.... (note... it is strictly against navy rules to remove food from the mess hall for any reason) ''What the ''heck'' is going on here? Who the ''heck'' is in charge here'' Captain Slaughter demanded....... John Leibshin was the ranking petty officer third class, (soon to be seaman again) ''I am captain, sir..... uhhhhhhhh..... duuuuuuuuuuuhhh. We are having a picnic celebration for seaman first class Cecil in honor of his first year of sea duty on the proud ship the USS NORTH HAMPTON sir.'' ''Who the ''heck'' is Cecil?'' ''I am captain sir and I am very proud to be a member of the great crew serving aboard the great ship USS NORTH HAMPTON sir''. He stood there for a minute absorbing our lie and looking at the bread butter jam and orange juice.

'' THATS THE BIGGEST ''FLAKIN'' BUNCH OF ''BULLSPIT'' I HAVE EVER HEARD,,,,,,,,,,, AREN'T YOU GOING TO OFFER ME A SANDWICH????????'' We quickly got a clean coffee cup and poured him orange juice while he made himself a jam and butter sandwich. He munched on the sandwich and drank the orange juice in silence . He turned to leave and said that he would probably be back in about an hour or so and he would be assured that there would be no evidence of any ''picnic'' in radio 6 if he returned.......He also informed us that he didnt believe the ''bullspit'' about the ''celebration'' for seaman first class Cecil and his one year ''bullspit'' anniversary aboard the Norton and if he had not been ''flakin'' hungry he would have had us all written up for breaking Navy regulations concerning food out of the mess hall .....

Needless to say we all breathed a great sigh of relief when he closed the door and left .....

That was the last ''picnic'' we had in radio 6

So it was aboard the NORTON, one night, a thousand miles from nowhere....

Seajay the sailor man.......


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We had occasion to pull into Bermuda for R&R and they posted a notice that anyone wanting to go deep sea fishing should sign up. It is amazing how few sailors actually want to go ''deep sea fishing''. I signed up and was soon informed that I had a seat on boat number two when we got to Bermuda.

All went well the morning we were to pull out. a Midshipman and myself were the first two people aboard the boat. My division officer. Lt Johnson and a nother Ltjg came aboard next then Commander ''something or other'' and the last one on board was our good captain John Slaughter. (oh lovely,,, me and the middie would be baiting hooks and fetching beer I supposed) Everyone on board was dressed in ''undress whites'' except Captain Slaughter. He looked like a clown. He had on a Hawian flowerdy shirt, faded Bermuda shorts, sandals and a floppie straw hat...... He immediatly ''took command'' and advised that there was no ''rank'' aboard this boat and we were all just ''fishing buddies''.. (yeah sure) Everyone introduced themselves and we all shook hands. (no saluting) Capt. Slaughter looked at me and asked if we had met on the ship. I said yes sir, once briefly and let it drop at that ..... We went under the worlds smallest draw bridge and headed out the channel. Capt Salughter said that since we only had four ''fishing spots'' and there were six of us that we should ''draw straws'' to see who gets to ''fish first''. He held the straws and we all drew. Guess who got a short straw. Yep, Capt Slaughter and the full commander. The rule was that if you caught a fish you gave up your spot so we could all 'fish in turn''. We put out the lines and started trolling. I was on the left out rigger and my line snapped out of the clothes pen and the reel started singing. ''SET THE HOOK SAILOR''' ''' SET IT HARD'' .... I laid into the rod and the tuna took off like a torpedo. ''HOLLY SHUX''!!!!!!! Captain Slaughter leaped over to me. He grabbed the rod with his left hand and my belt with his right hand and flopped me into a ''fighting chair'' and rammed the rod butt into the holder. '' NOW SAILOR,, GIVE HIM 'HECK'......

i will tell you that Captain Slaughter was a very large man. Probably six four, about two eighty and he looked like a linebacker for the Greenbay Packers.

I had a nice size tuna on and the captain of the boat said from the way he was running and fighting that there were probably barracuda after him. He said I would be luckey to get the head of the fish to the boat. I finally got the tuna to the boat with one piece of his side missing. They gaffed him and dropped him in the cooler. ''What you gonna do with that tuna Cecil?'' Capt Slaughter asked me. ''' UHHHHHHHH..... I dont know Capt. would you like to have him?'' '' I sure would love that. Nothing better than fresh caught tuna...... I will have my steward cook him up for dinner and if you would like, you can come and have dinner with me. If it is ok with you, I will invite everyone on board to dinner''. (lets be serious here...... I was not about to say NAAAAAAAH......) This was the only tuna caught on the trip. It seems that the barracuda ran the rest of. We did some bottom fishing and caught a couple red snappers and came back to the dock. Captain Salughter borrowed a food cart and went off pushing the cart with the fish in it back to the Norton. He looked like a ''fish monger'' selling his wears........

That evening about six oclock I met my division officer outside the captains quarters and told him that me and the '''middie'' would probably be eating with the stewards in the kitchen. Oh no he said. We will all eat at the conference table in the captains quarters. Everyone assembled in the passage way and we all went inside promptly at six thirty. The captain sat at the head of the table and my seat was on his right hand side. Wine was poured and Capt. Slaughter proposed a ''toast'' to Seaman first class Cecil for providing this evenings delicious tuna dinner. (I wanted to go thru the deck and just disappear)

Everyone took a sip of wine and dinner was served. If you have never eaten fresh caught tuna you have missed out on a real treat. The meat is light and dark colored and it melts in your mouth. After dinner the captain passed around a box of cubans and poured everyone a ''snifter of brandy''.... We all sat around and shot the bull for a while, sipping and smoking. The stewards came in to clean the table and I asked if I might keep the ''place tag'' and the menu for a souvenir. Captain Slaughter looked me in the eye and said he was sure he had met me somewhere but he couldnt remember where. I told him that I was in communications and he may have seen me up in radio 6 sometime. (there were over 1300 enlisted men on the Norton and thats a lot to remember faces and names)He passed around a book and asked us all to sign it so he would have a ''diary'' to look back at when he retired.

I believe this was the best meal I ever had aboard the Norton. I remember it to this day. From then on when I would see Captain Salughter he would call me by name and say that we should go fishing again sometime. I would say I was ready anytime he could get the time to go. We never went again.

So it was on the Norton in Bermuda one sunny day.......

Seajay the sailor man.............

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On the ''Norton'' we had a detachment of Marines. They guarded the captain, the admiral, the chief of staff and a few other officers. They followed these officers around like puppy dogs. I guess it was tradition to protect the officers from the regular crew. They also guarded gang planks and chow lines and they were in charge of the brig. For the ''civies'' the Brig is the jail on a navy ship...... On the Norton if you were E3 or below you would get called for ''Mess Cook Duty'' for three months. You served food, cleaned up the mess hall and generally worked with the ''cooks and bakers'' preparing and serving food to your fellow crew members. When I was chosen for ''MESS COOK DUTY'' I was Captain of the Head for my duty. (dont laugh, it was the best duty on the Norton) Anyhow, we were at sea in the V.C.O.A. (Virgina cape operational area) doing drills and exercises. They ''piped'' supper chow and desert was fresh strawberry shortcake which was a real treat for the crew. The number two mess hall was about full when I sat down to supper. Just then the sounded ''MAN OVERBOARD'' ''MAN OVERBOARD'' ''PORT SIDE'' ''CREW TO YOUR MUSTERING STATIONS''...... ''Well Shux'', I said.... This meant that everyone had to go muster in so they could determine who the ''man overboard'' was. The helmsman slammed the Norton into a port turn and a lot of un-attended trays slid off the tables. I mustered in with my PPO and went topside to see what was going on. It should be understood that a cruiser dont stop on a dime and dont turn a corner like a fish in a barrel it takes space and time to do both. Topside there was a very worried Marine with two prisoners. They had launched the utility boat to go out and pick up the guy that was overboard. He was hanging on to a life ring with a flair attached to it. The Marine was very worried. I asked him what the heck was going on. ''Thats my prisoner out there''..... '' so what''....... '' If that Sweet Old Boy should happen to drown, I WILL HAVE TO FINISH SERVING HIS TIME IN THE BRIG''............... ''Are you yankin' my chain Marine?'' ''Nope, If you lose a prisoner, You serve his time''............ Holly shux man......... The Marine said he had called the prisoners to attention to take them to supper chow and this one guy stood up, looked at him and smiled and took the ''deep six'' over the side of the Norton. I hung around for a couple more minutes and then I remembered the ''strawberry short cake'' on my tray. I went back below and discovered that a lot of the guys had not come back from mustering in and their ''strawberry short cakes'' were getting soggy so I decided to help my shipmates out by eating their desert. I ate so many strawberry short cakes it made me sick. That was all I had for supper chow and for a long time I could not look a strawberry short cake in the eye without getting ''nauseous''..............

The prisoner was recovered successfully, helo'ed over to the Forestall and flown to Bethesda Naval hospital for evaluation. They eventually kicked him out of the Navy........

So it went on the Norton, Steaming in a circle in the VCOA

Seajay the sailor man ......

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I enjoy your sea stories. My Dad was WWII Navy and the Navy recruiters refused me because of my

traffic tickets (speeding). I told them I did not want to drive the darn boat, Only ride on it. So I went


- My K.P experience. -

In basic training the evening before I had KP, I would put a cold beer in my pocket and make

my way to the head the mess hall. When I left, the head cook securing from supper and preparing

for the next days meals would go to the head and cool off with the cold Bud I left. This ritual repeated a

number of times throughout the evening. The next day I was the last of the detail to show up for KP.

I was not assigned; server, DRO (Dining room orderly) who cleaned floors, tables, etc., Dish washer,

or scrubbing Pot & Pans. I was given the task of emptying trash and garbage, waiting for and unloading

deliveries, hosing off the loading area behind the mess hall and any tasks given by the head cook.

Sitting outside in the August sun with the ocean breeze (Monterey CA) waiting on deliveries was relaxing.

I joined the military to see the world. When assigned stateside, 4 out of 5 times I was less than 60 miles

from home and that includes basic, Advanced training, and leadership schools. Having my car during

training made traveling to see my girl and family convenient. How that happened is another story.

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Thanks for the input Joe. I really home more guys (or ladies) will come in and ''share''.

I took my basic at Great lakes training center outside Chicago in the early winter. I Joined the Navy on 21 September and was ''whisked away'' to beautiful Great Lakes Training Center .... Camp Moffit...... That was the first place I saw ice freeze on the inside of the windows of a barracks......

Our K.P. in boot camp was called ''SERVICE WEEK'' It was one week of fun and entertainment working in the chow hall. We were up at four am and didnt have to work past about ten in the evening. I was on the ''truck crew'' ..... We unloaded the semi trailers and we didnt have a ''fork lift'' ..... Our forklifts were hand trucks.. We unloaded everything from milk to frozen meat. One great advantage we didnt have was a ''loading dock''. Everything that came out of the semi trailers came down a ''roller board'' and some of this ''stuff'' weighed a ton. One morning we were unloading pork chops. The were frozen solid and in giant stainless steel tubs. They were not frozen in a ''lump'' but they were all like bricks. They did let us have a hemp rope to tie in the handles of things that handles to lower them slowly. Some things we would just wrap the rope around and let them down to the ground. These stainless steel ''tubs'' were big enough to hold probably 100 gallons of water. They were big. The guys up on the truck tied the rope in the handle of the tub but they did a poor job of tieing the knot. The tub came over the edge of the roller board and the rope came lose.... the tub hit the street doing about seventy miles per hour, skidded sideways, turned completely up side down and pork chops scattered out like leaves in the wind.

''HOLLY SHUX'''........ ''WHO WAS THE FLAMIN' IDIOT THAT TIED THAT FLAMIN' GOSH DARN KNOT''???? ''SHUX AND DOUBLE SHUX''. this was our chief in charge talking to us. ''GET YOUR SORRY BODIES OUT OF THAT FLAMIN TRUCK AND PICK UP THESE FLAMIN PORK CHOPS RIGHT NOW''..... (he was such a sweet and understanding guy.) You have to remember that this was in early winter and there had been a light snow and the road was covered in black slime made up of dirt, engine grease, diesel fuel, mud, melted snow and other personal items that I will not put in this text, and the pork chops were in various stages of floating and submurged in this slime. When we got them all picked up they looked like frozen horse apples. We took them inside and I noticed that for supper chow the ''featured meat'' was PORK CHOPS..... I passed on the meat..... One great advantage of our ''service week'' was that we had no inspections of any kind and we got all we could eat of most anything we wanted.

So it went at Great Lakes Training Center ...... Camp Moffette .........

Seajay the sailor man.......

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I was introduced to C Rations during basic training. Sometimes we were issued them

for lunch so we could continue training without having to return to the company area.

When in Germany, the entire unit went on a 5 day 3 night training exercise in the month of

November. I was always one to ask questions and push the envelope when I could.

When the training NCO came by for my signature to pay for MREs for the exercise,

I asked my Cmdr if I could bring my own rations. Surprisingly he said yes. That morning

I filled my pack with sodas, trail mix, sandwiches, extra water, and some fruit for the days

adventure. After a long bus ride we had a nice 4 hour hike in the woods with compass and

terrain map. We were one of the first squads to reach base in the middle of the forest.

I had my Hunting license and was accustomed to the forest and reading maps.

It reminded me of camping at a state park. We set up a GP (general purpose) Medium Tent

and two diesel oil heaters. My cot was located next to the stove. I grabbed my duffle bag

and heavy footlocker that I loaded that morning from a duce and a half (truck). The camp

mess area consisted of an area with pots of hot water for MREs, and water to wash. I saw

better kitchen areas and camps set up by Boy Scouts.

Oh yeah, know the difference between the Army and the Boy Scouts - the scouts have adult leaders.

My heavy footlocker was packed like a boy scout kitchen box. While everyone was enjoying

their freeze dried and dehydrated MRE's (Meals Read to Eat - Meals Rejected by Ethiopians -

Meals Rejected by the Enemy) some sergeants started smelling my Chicken Chow Mein

coming from the tent. Not too much was said until everyone was having milk and cereal for

breakfast and I started frying bacon, eggs and potatoes on the stove with a small pot of real coffee.

I was about as popular as the guy Sefton in the movie Stalag 17. Also in my foot locker was

canned ham, chicken, candy, cookies, binoculars, battery hand warmers, and folding camp stool.

It was a nice vacation from the wife and kids.

When it comes to camping, I spent only one night on the ground while in the Army, and that was

in basic. When it comes to the total nights I spent in the field, well' I can count them all on one hand.

I did all my camping with the Boy Scouts as an Asst Scout Master.

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NAVY CHOW.....''It will keep you alive but not get you fat''

Here was one of the great things about the Navy. Most of the time we had decent chow. Sometimes really good and sometimes just adequate. The cooks would tell us ......'' WE ARE HERE TO KEEP YOU ALIVE........ NOT GET YOU FAT SAILOR''.......

We would pull out on a two week + exercise and when we ''left the dock'' we had a good ration of ''fresh everything''. Eggs, fruits, lettuce, potatoes and milk. Believe it or not the sailors drink gallons of milk and will fight for a fresh pint of milk... After about seven days at sea most of the ''fresh stuff'' starts running out. Milk is about the first thing to ''GO SOUTH''.. It becomes ''hit and miss'' .... They would ration you one half pint per meal in paper cartons. You could look at the use by date but it you were smart, you would sniff before you sip. When the milk started getting ''iffie'' they would give you all you wanted and it was like walking thru a mine field to get a good carton ..... Eggs simply ''ran out''..... No more fresh eggs. The cooks and baker would hide them for themselves when the supply started getting thin. This was usually about the eighth day at sea. Fresh fruit went next. Oranges and grape fruits were the first to start getting spots on them. When they started getting ''the clap'' they would give us all we wanted. lol .... Thus it went until we were down to powered eggs, canned milk. powdered potatoes, canned ham and lots of other fresh food that simply went away. The food on the Norton was generally good to very good and the cooks did the best they could with what they had. When the ''good stuff'' ran out it was the time you wanted to be good friends with the cooks and bakers and the stewards that worked up in the ward room ..... These guys made ''fresh donuts, cookies, cakes, pies and all the ''yummie things'' that you would kill for. They also horded back orange juice and tomato juice in gallon cans. Cold as ice and a real treat. Even the officers could not get these when the ration started running low. Most of the time we were not out long enough to get re-supplied but just long enough for all the ''good stuff'' to go away. Come to think of it. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A SKINNIE COOK OR BAKER???? When we were eating Spam, they were cooking steaks at midnite.... I was fortunate in that I became friends with the Stewards in the officers mess and a couple of the ''Night hawks'' in the crews mess and I could get about anything I wanted about anytime we were at sea. Mind you, I had to pull in some ''FAVORS'' owed sometimes and promise some ''favors'' sometimes.

So it went on the Norton. a thousand miles from nothing

Seajay the sailor man ......

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Didn't they bother to freeze milk or catch fresh fish :rolleyes:


When I received orders for Teagu Korea I was excited. I flew out on my 19th birthday. Teagu

was a major city on the coast near the southern tip and there was an air base there. After a

10 hour flight in dress uniform, a box lunch and a 2 hour bus ride the bus stopped and everyone

got out with their duffles. There was a second bus there and this Sgt shouts out "when you hear

your name grab your gear and get on the other bus" I asked a Cpl where that bus was going and

he said DMZ 2d Div. Memories of the movie "Frozen Chosin' and snow quickly came to mind. My

german last name was called out and & looked around thinking that maybe I had a unknown cousin

in the army too. Then my name again and last 4 were yelled out again. I quickly showed the Sgt

my orders and said he made a mistake and he quickly replied "you've been diverted". When I

asked what diverted meant, he said "Get your *** on that bus before I plant my boot in it". So the

Army introduced a new word to my vocabulary. I ended up at the Turtle Farm (Replacement

Detachment) where all incoming process thru. It was a compound within a compound with guard

towers manned by ROK solders. After my in-processing, my status changed to Cadre assigned to

the Repo Depot. I was given a badge, a bunk in a divided quonset hut with a diesel burning heater.

The first thing I did was hire a house boy to keep the stove running, polish my footwear, make my

bed up, and do my laundry. The morning were cold so I had the house boy also take care of the

cold metal building (2 man office) I worked in. He kept it clean and toasty, with a kettle of water

on the stove with tea, sugar and instant chocolate near by.

In the little mess hall the Cadre ate in a separate room with our own waiter. On Sundays, Cadre

ate steak and eggs with pancakes, bacon and sausage. The replacements always waited and

walked thru a line for their usual breakfast minus the steak.

Never could train the wife to be as efficient and obey orders like the house boys I had.

One bright bonus that snowy winter was being entertained by Bob Hope and the USO.

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I mentioned in a previous post that during my mess cook duty for three months I was ''captain of the head'' ..... Now what this meant was that I was in charge of the bathroom that was primarily use by the ''cooks and bakers'' the ''stewards in the officers mess'' and the ''room stewards'' for the officers. I had a guy that worked with me named Litman. Frankie Litman. he was 17 years in the navy and still an E3 and he had never been busted.

Remember this guys. On a navy ship when you are at sea, money dont mean nothing. There is nothing to buy except cigarettes and pogie bait (candy). Everything else was free or un-available. At sea you live or die on FAVORS. ....... Favors owed to you and Favors you owe someone else. Three things are paramount on a ship at sea. A good mattress, available food, and , believe it or not, a place to go to the bathroom when you need to go. You should understand that the ''heads'' were closed during the day for cleaning and inspection. They had a lock on the inside of the door and you could ''secure the head'' with a sign and by locking the door. At night they were all open but during the day sometimes it was rough to find a ''open head''. I made it a particular point to always get ''EXCELLENT'' on my inspections to impress the chief I worked for and I made it a particular point to let the ''right people'' in to use the head when ever they tapped on the door. There was the L.P.O. (Leading petty officer) that was in charge of the stewards that cooked and served for the officers mess. I would always get him the Delsey toilet paper, not that ''sand paper stuff'' the crew used. I kept his ''skin book'' in the toilet paper locker and when he would come in for his ''morning constitutional'' I saw that he was not disturbed. This small favor to him reaped many rewards for me. All the stewards lived in one compartment on the ship and he took me down there and told them that ''Anything Ceas wants out of the ward room locker ...... GIVE IT TO HIM. or settle with me''.......... I got the same thing from the L.P.O. of the cooks and bakers...... I granted many ''favors'' while I was captain of the head and they paid off handsomely for me at a later time. The guy that had the duty before me was a real hard case to everyone. It was his first position of authority and he thought he was captain of the ship instead of captain of the head. While I was captain of the head I worked a six hour day, I had every night off, I went to every movie, I could get virtually anything I wanted to eat. and when we were in port I got every weekend off and all the holidays off. Those poor slugs down in the communications gang got three section watches in port and two section watches at sea. At sea they worked 16 to 18 hour days and had it pretty rough. When my time was up on Mess Cook Duty I told the chief in charge of me that I would like to just stay Captain of the Head for the rest of my time on the Norton....... He thought I was crazy..... This is how I got a lot of my ''connections'' on the Norton. One thing is for sure ........ If you are the Captain of the ship or the lowest seaman apprentice on the ship,,,,,,,, when you gotta ''go'' you need a place to ''go'' and you will grant a ''favor'' to the guy in charge of the ''place to GO''..

So it went aboard the Norton a thousand miles from nothing ......

Seajay the sailor man

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I assume you got college credits and put on your resume of having work experience as Bathroom Attendant

& Custodial Engineer :rolleyes: .


In regards to jobs with benefits, I was assigned to a Casualty Affairs Branch for over 2.5 yrs. Three of us,

all E-5, took turns working 24 hours on and 48 hours off. When we wanted more than 2 days off we traded

duty and worked 1 day on, 1 day off, 1 day on and 3 days off. I never found the need to take ordinary

leave and soon my leave balance was always max'ed at 60 days on Oct 1 FY. So then I was always

required to take/use 30 days sometime during the coming year. The workday started at 0730 and at 1630

hrs we locked ourselves in the building and manned the telephone on-call. At 0645 we awoke, made a pot

of coffee, cleaned the area, brief the incoming Sgt and closed out our log sheet. We were allowed to

sleep once all assigned work was caught up and when not being disturbed by HQDA or working on a phone

notification of a military death or scheduling funeral honors. When all was done and peaceful, the boots and

shirt came off and I would get some zzz's. Not finding a chair and desk comfortable on the body and

believing that one should be given the tools to do their job, I found an unsecured steel army bunk,

mattress and blanket. Another SGT brought in a 12" tv and radio w/alarm clock. Bed and all was hidden

behind a metal partition during the day. Justification for the bed was that mil and civilian women had a

couch to lie down on in the ladies room if needed, but the men had nothing. (Sex discrimination). So when

things were slow we kept busy reading, watching television, talking on another phone, doing leatherwork or

military correspondence courses. Being on shift duty exempted us from all details including company PT.

When I had duty on a Saturday or Sunday, I would bring my uniform in on a hanger and report in in PJ's.

If my wife was working on Saturday, I would have my baby daughter with me. If the weather was nice,

I placed her play pen on the grass and sat on the steps with the door open and listened for the phone.

Because we were alone nights and weekends, we always brought our lunch, drinks, or had delivery from

friends, family and pizza parlors. During that assignment I completed hundreds of hours of correspondence

courses that enabled be to interpret and use Army Regulations to my advantage and push the envelope.

For me it was not saving or calling in favors, but knowing the jobs of peers and superiors, and keeping a

record of what they did or did not do, which permitted me to protect myself, to persuade them to agree

and come around to my way of thinking.

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I am second generation Navy. My father was in the south Pacific in WW2 aboard the Uss Gunston Hall. He saw a lot of action and he told me about all the ''tricks'' they would pull on a ''new guy'' aboard the ship. You know. ''HAY NEW GUY,,,, WANNA GO SEE THE GOLDEN RIVET'' ???? ''Whats the GOLDEN RIVET''. It's the last rivet they put in the ship. "" Its way down in the bilge and it is really made of gold''............. The amazing part was that NAVY ships were welded together but no one seemed to notice ...........or.............

''HAY GUY, ITS YOUR TURN TO GO ON ''MAIL BUOY WATCH''......... ''WHATS MAIL BUOY WATCH????''........ ''YOU STAND ON THE BOW OF THE SHIP AND WHEN YOU SEE THE ''MAIL BUOY'' YOU HOOK IT WITH A BOAT HOOK AND THEY STOP THE SHIP AND TAKE THE MAIL ABOARD. ITS KINDA LIKE A MAIL BOX AT SEA''..... you tried not to giggle ...... This was easy to pull on a new guy from Kansas that had probably never seen the ocean, much less a Navy ship. The Boat-son locker was at the bow of the ship and we would call them and tell them that we had sent a ''mail buoy'' watch guy down and he needed to be ''outfitted'' .... they would say OK and they would put a foul weather suit on him, a full safety harness, a 100 foot roll of 3/4 hemp rope with a ''safety snap'', gloves, a helmet, and over shoes. Then they would give him a ten foot ''boat hook'' and tell him to go forward to the bow of the ship and tie himself to the rail and watch for a ''MAIL BUOY''....... Mind you they would put this on him while we were in the Caribbean Sea in the summer time. The guy would slowly melt..... What this guy didnt consider was that the bow of the Norton was about 40 feet off the water and he is standing there with a ten foot boat hook .... We would usually let him stand his ''watch'' until we figured he had melted and ran down in his shoes and someone would go up and tell him to ''secure'' because we had missed the mail buoy area. It was amazing how long it would take some of the ''new guys'' to figure out that our mail came in and went out by helo off the fan tail.

So it was on the Norton.... a thousand miles from nothing .... steaming in a circle.....

Seajay the sailor man...

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In the Army it was common to send those with officer potential all over for bed stretchers

and sky hooks to hang things on. Sometimes it was a can of prop wash, and items that

are LEFT handed such as a M-16, training grenade, and pencil sharpeners.


I was past the 18 year mark when I returned from Turkey to the Pres of SF as the US was

sending troops to Kuwait. I was working for the AG and had lots of free time to roam

around and visit other sections. A Christmas Party with cake and ice cream was

planned before we went on holiday schedule. That morning I wore a Santa Suit to work.

I wore it all day, roamed around the headquarters, passed out Hershey kisses and let

ladies sit on Santa's lap. Surprisingly, I never got questioned about my uniform that day.

I attended the office party and was cornered by a Col of HQs 6th Army Chief of Staff office.

Unknown to me, that evening the Post was having a Christmas Party at the NCO Club for all

the children whose parents were in Kuwait. I was asked to play Santa that evening and

pass out gifts. Santa is not Santa without his reindeer, so I donned my dog with a red vest

and antlers, and we all had a fun evening.

Doing that, coordinating and performing military funeral honors, and helping the widows of

active duty soldiers as their Survivor Assistance Officer were the most self rewarding

duties I did in the Army.

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Hi all:

sea stories sea stories,

all sea stories start with This ain't bull sh@t.

My first real cruising ship was the AF 10 USS Aldeberan. I was the night baker (CS 3) baking bread, ans fat pills all night. well one night about 0300 for you USMC that's 3 pm. I need to get down to the chill box for some milk, as a refree supply ship we never ran out of fresh food or milk, if we did the chief got a new command. so I get to the refeer deck and i see four snipes BT< MM removing the chill box door (about 500#) I nearly sh@# my pants, I asked wha t the **** are you'll doing? Well we got hunnger and wanted some chow. I asked well why didn't come see me? instead of taking off the chill box door. and almot getting killed. mean while ai'll get you a canned ham. well one thing came to another and I told the them I had hot bread coming out of the oven in about an hour put the door back on and I'll fix you up. enough said. they came up in a hour and i split loaves or hot bread and donated butter, well after that the word got out to the night crew in the engine room, and I was baking extra bread the rest of the cruise. However we never had a stuck drain or done with out water and if any thing broake it got fixed right soon.\

That was the oldest ship in the Navy at the time and we bunked in the #4 hole 210 men in worst thatn prison conditions but I was young and it was and adventure.I made 4 med cruised on that ship and wished i never got a tranfered. I served on many other but that was the best crew and the best time.

Lt James M. Moore Jr

USN, USNR 1961 to 1984

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Guest Wayne77590

Officers always have to be educated. 0300 is 3 a.m. not 3 p.m.

Stay close to your Staff NCO's and Chiefs LT. They'll make you smart.

Edited: p.s., just kiddin' around :rolleyes:

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Officers always have to be educated. 0300 is 3 a.m. not 3 p.m.

Stay close to your Staff NCO's and Chiefs LT. They'll make you smart.

So True!

As I recall 0300 hrs is also 6 bells. :rolleyes:

I turned down the offer to be a cook because they have to get up too danm early.

Likewise I turned down being a Chaplain's Assistant because I liked my weekends off.

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I had reassignment orders for my family and I to fly out of JFK on 3 July 1976. We miss seeing the tall ships and the

centennial celebration at NY harbor. We flew commercial - reimburse at the MAC rate and landed in Frankfurt Airport in

the early afternoon on July 4th. There was a military van and driver waiting for us and two other couples couples coming

in on a military flight landing in neighboring Rhein-Mein Air Base. The temperature was in the 80s and the van had no AC.

We all had orders for the same unit, loaded our bags in the van, ourselves (6 adults, 3 children) and the driver. We got

on the Autobahn and headed south. About 40 minutes into the drive the cab started to fill with smoke from the transmission.

Fortunately we made it near the entrance of a Rasthof (service area) along the autobahn and walked to the service area

that has vending machines but no phone. It was hot, the wives were upset :rolleyes: and the children cranky. After about

10 minutes an Army bus marked Boy Scouts returning from dropping boys off at Scout Camp saw our smoking van and

pulled into the service area. We hitched a ride and got dropped off at our unit in Neu Ulm (Bavaria) near the Blue Danube

River. We all had sponsors and temporary quarters awaiting us. We dropped off our luggage in the quarters and headed

out to the beer tents for beer :) , brochen and sausage to celebrate the 4th of July.

So this day of travel had a happy ending..

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Guest Wayne77590

Ah! What the hey!!!

Mail Buoy Watch - I was a Marine communicator assigned to the USS Eldorado 1962-1964. Of course, the Marines were just as notorious as the navy or the army in pulling pranks. Just don't mess with the messer! They told me I had mail bouy watch. The instructed me on what my duties were and said to head out and stand watch.

Hey! I'm no dummy. I stopped by the post office and asked if they had any mail for the Marines. He said he did and gave me a stack of mail. I waited 15 minutes, walked back into the berthing compartment and stated, "Mail buoy came through, here's your mail."

The look on their faces was priceless.

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Wayne, you remind me of ME. I would have given a dollar to have seen their faces on that one.

Since you were in Communications did you ever ask a ''new guy'' to ''Cut you half a bag of R/Y's........ We had a ''circuit test tape'' that was made out of paper tape with the following on it ........T. E. S. T. I. N. G. R Y R Y R Y ....etc. The purpose of it was to test the tape perforates we had attached to the teletype machines. the R and the Y punched all five holes in the tape .... The R punched the two top holes and the Y punched the bottom three holes as I remember. We would tell a ''new guy'' to ''PUNCH US UP A TEST TAPE AND PUT IN A HALF A BAG OF R/Y's'' The ''bag'' we referred to was a 'burn bag'' we used to haul the messages to the trash burner on the ship... These guys would stand at a tape cutter and type in T E S T I N G R Y R Y etc and let the tape feed into a burn bag until it was half full or there about. They never seemed to realize that a ''test tape'' was a simple loop that ran around and around. Another good one was to send a ''new guy'' out for a ''SQUARE HOLE PAPER PUNCHER'' . We would call ahead to the outlieing spaces and tell the guys we had a ''new guy'' looking for the square hole paper puncher and we would walk this poor guy all over the ship. The Norton had eight outlieing communications spaces scattered all over the ship and the ship was almost 700 feet long. Sometimes we would keep him out for hours ............

Seajay the sailor man



GOD BLESS THIS GREAT NATION ..................

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I was aboard the Uss Northampton from 1959 to 1961. I was in the communications gang and at sea I mostly served on the afternoon and mid watch. Sometimes on the ''mid'' especially on the weekends it would get really slow. Nothing much happening. We would do ''field day'' and mostly goof off. One mid watch I was working the Multiplex and a RATT. (rapid automatic teletype) circuit. we were in the north Atlantic heading for England. On the RAtt circuit I asked the guy in Londonderry if he could patch me thru to Port LAYOTEE in Moroco so I could chat with a friend that had been transfered there earlier. he said yes and he plugged me into Port Layotee and I chatted with this friend for about 10 minutes. This was all done by teletype key board just like a typewriter .... The watch supervisor was a second class named Schmitt. ''Smittie'' was a good guy ...... When he seen what I was doing he suggested that because it was kinda slow ......... why didnt we see how far we could ''push a signal''.............

I will not pretend to remember all the relays we went thru and all the places that ''pushed us thru'' because everyone seemed to get on board to just see what we could do with a radio signal from a ship in the north Atlantic. The long and the short of the story is that on a mid watch on a Saturday night ''Smittie and me'' pushed a two meg. signal around the world ......... YEP..... AROUND THE WORLD IN 1.8 SECONDS.... Everyone on the ''relay'' was in on the happening and it was amazing that it worked in the first place. We found out later that this was the first time that it had ever happened from a ship at sea. We would put in a special test tape in a ''tape distributor'' .. and in one point eight seconds the exact test tape would come back to us from cheltenham md. on the east coast of the USA. The circuit held for maybe twenty minutes and then it started falling apart......... Me and Smittie were all proud of ourselves and kinda forgot the matter till the Chief of the Watch called us into his office the next morning about ten oclock. He wanted to know who the ''fudge'' we thought we were using NAVY EQUIPMENT for personal reasons and what the ''fudging heck'' we meant by sending a signal around the ''fudging'' world and not telling him about it. He also implied that we could be brought up on charges for this ''fudging stunt''...... He said we had two choices. One. We could claim exclusive credit for sending a radio signal around the world in one point eight seconds and be brought up on charges for same.......... Two. The entire communications gang would be credited with the outstanding feat of this great accomplishment with his name as Chief of the Watch in charge of the entire project. Guess which one we picked ........... The entire comm gang got the credit and the Chief of the Watch got his name assigned to the project and me and Smittie got a letter of commendation and recognition in our ''jacket'' as being part of this accomplishment just like everyone else in the communications gang.

Some time later after we came back to Norfolk we took a bunch of ''dignitaries'' out to the vacapes op area and they tried to repeat the event. they could never get past morocco.............. Me and Smittie would just smile knowing we did it and we were the first.......

So it was aboard the Norton on the way to England.......

Seajay the sailor man .......

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So True!

As I recall 0300 hrs is also 6 bells. :rolleyes:

I turned down the offer to be a cook because they have to get up too danm early.

Likewise I turned down being a Chaplain's Assistant because I liked my weekends off.


Ya got me i noticed it after the post. it not pm it's am.\dody daddy for you dog faces it the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 3.

Also the navy never rings bells after taps, if you hear bells after lights out you have realy got troubles, get dress and head for your battle station, the ships is trouble.

alls well in Sodena, nice red rocks, next week Scotsdale, the the desert.

Jmes M. Moore Jr


a former CSC

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Direct dialing in 1961..........

For my last year in service I was stationed at Cheltenham Md. It was a ''nowhere place'' just outside of Washington DC. It was important because it was the main relay for all communications into and out of the east coast of the USA. It was NSS, rapid communications with anywhere in the world at a moments notice, or so they told me. ANYWAY........ sometimes on one watch (eight hours) we would handle about a million individual messages. Sent and or received and we did it all at sixty words per minute on large banks of machines that worked on ''router addresses''. I will not try to explain what ''router addresses'' are because it would take too much time and space. For simplification, it is a way to send a teletype message to a particular place and do it automatically thru machinery that made noise and was hot. The building I worked in was about a city block long and had these ''routers'' almost solid on both walls of the building for the entire length of the building. As I stated above the machines operated at sixty words per minute or sixty, ''five letter'' functions equivalent per minute or 300 characters per minute. This was the speed of the machines and the Navy decided that if they could ''speed up'' these machines they could handle more ''traffic'' in less time. GOOD IDEA.... This is where the fun started ........

Some guys brought down a very large machine that looked like a ''reel to reel'' tape recorder with extra large reels on it. The ''reels'' were about the size of a peach basket and the tape on the reels was some sort of plastic with regular perforated holes in it like our regular paper tape. Between these two giant reels was a ''light sensitive tape reader head'' and a telephone. Three times on each watch we had to call a number on the phone and go thru a procedure to test this monster. Instead of 300 characters per minute this thing would operate at 3000 characters per minute. You called this number I think on the west coast and made your set up. You loaded the tape in the reader and went ''READY, SET, GO'' and when you pushed the ''GO'' button this thing would eat that roll of tape in about thirty seconds. This puppy would HUmmmmmmmmmm as the tape went thru the light sensitive reader head. the biggest problem with the thing was that the reels would sometimes come off the machine and hit the deck doing about four hundred miles per hour. It seemed like several miles of this plastic tape would go flying all over the room and the errant reel would be intent on attaching the opp-orator. We soon learned to push ''GO'' and run and hide behind something large until the test was over. After some messing with the machine we found out that we could call long distance by simply dialing an ''area code'' and dialing the number and we did not have to go thru an opp-orator. HUMMMMMMMMMMMMM......... FREE LONG DISTANCE. Back then the ''area code'' for all of north carolina was 919. You could call any number in NC by dialing 919 and then the number. It didnt take long and we had a line of guys waiting in the passage way to call home on the midnight shift. This is the first time I had ever heard of an AREA CODE and it would only work on this phone on this test machine. We evaluated this monstor for three months and they removed it from the room and we never saw it again ... Word came back that it was too dangerous for the opporaters to use because of the flying reels. Another big problem was that the Navy had nothing that would print the characters at that speed. My understanding was that they copied the ''sounds'' created by the tape head and then translated the sounds to characters or something like that. Anyhow, it didnt work and we got to use free long distance for about three months before they took our toy away ....

So it went at NSS outside Washington DC......

Seajay the sailor man ....

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Guest Wayne77590

Well, in the USMC General Communications World, we had a military field phone with a nomenclature of EE8. We pronounced it "Double E Eight."

We would wait for the new comers to be around about a month and then we would send them down to the motor pool to get a "Jay Double E P." Or, we would send them to disbursing to get a "T R Double E."

The better one again was on the USS Eldorado. The ships used pneumatic tubes to distribute messages from message center to message center on the ship, Radio Central, Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3, etc. There was no way to know where this came from, except on the PA1 Intercom System. When we had to cut a bunch of teletype tapes (as CJ already described) the holes left behind produced "chad." (Hey! Where have you heard that before.) These, oh so much insignficant pieces of round paper, would be placed in a tube for "sending." When we had enough chad we would insert the tube in the carrier with the top open, and send it on it's way. Of course, it always had to be followed by the continuous burst of air through the pneumatic system. No one would ever own up to who, or what message center, send it.

Ah! My favorite. Now you have to take into consideration that this was only done on the "newbie." Almost immediately a new guy would be sent to Radio Central, or any radio room to ask for a fallopian tube. Now keep in mind the last piece of information on the pneumatic air deliver system. The newbie would go to the place designated and ask for the fallopian tube. Of course each station he was sent to was in on the newbie orientation and would exclaim that they did not have on and send him on to the next. He would be finally sent to sick bay, where he would meet a corpsman. Of course, the corpsman was in on it and when he was asked for a fallopian tube he would sit the newbie down and start taking his vitals. After only a few minutes the corpsman would state that the newbie needs to see the doctor. By this time the newbie is slightly apprehensive, to say the least. Well, remember all the other stops the newbie was on, and they all were in on the newbie orientation. The doctor was NOT. So when the newbie stepped inside the doctor's office and was asked, "What seems to be your problem," and he replied "I need a fallopian tube." A long discussion ensued and the results was one upset newbie. (We didn't have females about ship back then - that's for the new navy.)

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The Marine guard....

When I went aboard the ''Norton'' I already knew a lot of things about the Navy that my dad had told me. One thing he neglected to tell me was about the BRIG. I guess because he was never in the BRIG and it didn't take long to figure out that I never wanted to be in the Brig..

For you ''civies'' the BRIG is Navy for Jail.... On the Norton the Marines were in charge of the Brig and they were not rally nice guys if you happened to be a prisoner. Here is my story.....

I was walking down a passage way (hallway) going aft (toward the back) to buy a carton of ''sea store'' (tax free) smokes. Along this passageway you have hatches (doors) about every 30 feet as I recall. As I walked along I noticed a person coming toward me with BRIG stenciled on his hat, shirt, and pants. Behind him in close order was a Marine guard with a night stick, 45 pistol and helmet. The Marine carried the night stick in his hand the 45 in a holster and the helmet pulled down in front about one finger off the bridge of his nose and I could hardly see his eyes. This prisoner came even with the hatch and stopped placing his right hand on the bulkhead (wall) beside the hatch.

''SIR..... THE PRISONER REQUEST PERMISSION TO PASS THRU ONE HATCH WAY SIR''........... You could have heard this prisoner up on the bow of the ship....... Holly cat stuff........ I plastered myself against the bulkhead.... (wall) .......

''PRISONER....... I DID NOT HEAR YOU AND I AM SURE THAT ''BOOT'' (new guy) DIDN'T HEAR YOU EITHER...... SPEAK UP PRISONER''..................................

The prisoner repeated his request in a even louder voice and the Marine guard leaned forward and whispered to him that was better and he had permission to pass.

I had become part of the paint on the bulkhead and tried to make myself invisible ......... When they passed me I bolted aft like a rabbit that was just shot at. From that moment on I made sure that I did not get caught doing anything that would send me to the BRIG......

So it went on the ''Norton'' a thousand miles from nothin'...... steaming in a circle....

Seajay the sailor man....

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Guest Wayne77590

Subic, PI, 1964, Olongopo. USS Eldorado (AGC-11)

Of course, those were the drinking days, and when on liberty (Liberty is a freedom granted you by the commanding officer) we would head on into town and party. One evening while on liberty, we drank to much. Well, 1 out of the 3 of us did, and his name is Phil S..... We had Cinderella liberty, which means that we had to be back aboard ship no later than the last stroke of midnight or we would turn into sailors. Now that was not going to happen.

So, as the story goes, Phill S, Larry C, and me headed back toward ship, but Phil was not in any real good condition for walking. At one point Larry hollered "Attention," and Phil snapped to attention. Now keep in mind that the ship is about 3 miles away, but it was soon realized by us two "sober" types that Phil was responding to military commands, so "Forward March, Column Right/Left March, Squad Halt, etc., etc., etc., So as we are marching phil back to the ship we took a short cut through the park, as we always did. We decided to have some fun. "Double Time March!" And off we went, but Phil was not seeing to well, or thinking on his own at all, and at a good fast run he went straight into a waist high bush, tumbling him over, where he just got up and continued to run.

Just as we approached the ship we got Phil under control and marched him up the gang plank. Now we had to issue commands for saluting the ensign (flag), the the Quarterdeck, and request permission to come aboard. This did not go that smoothy, but the Quarterdeck MAA was laughing to hard to care. Now remember that Phil is still marching. As the two of us remaining Finest boarded, phil was trying to march through the bulkhead(wall). A quick "Mark Time March, Squad Halt, Right face," had him pointing in the right direction. Our quarters were down two levels and all the way forward where the Radiomen slept. "Forward March!" Of course we tried the typical "Let's hit the rack (bed)." but they were not military command and were not recognized by Phil's brain. Forward march worked, but at every hatch there is about a 6 inch step over of solid steel. This is what the hatch(door) closes on to make a water tight compartment when necessary. Stepping up was not in Phil's brain housing group either, and trip he did. All the way down the ladder well (stairs) onto the mess deck floor, where it just so happened the long movie was still being played. The movie was stopped and Phil became the movie. We checked him over - no scratches - let's proceed - "Forward March!"

Now I don't know the exact number of hatches Phil had to step over, but there were at least 8, but fortunatley they did not have any ladder wells, except there was one more ladder and upon getting Phil moving in the right direction he fell down that ladder well into our berthing department.

You would think that this is the end of the story - but no, there's more.

Berthing compartments aboard ship, for the lowly enlisted, consist of 3 racks high. Each rack is canvas lashed to piping that folds up during the day to make room, and each has a thin 2-3 inch mattress. The lowest rack is positioned so that when the heavy butt is lying in it you don't hit the floor. The second rack is proportionally spaced above the first, and the third above the second. Phil "owned" the second level rack.

We got Phil undressed down to his skivvies (underwear) and placed him in his rack. There were no apparent scars, scratches, bruises, or broken bones on Phil. We don't know why!!!! We in turn all slipped into our own rack, and within minutes, we heard "Thud!" Investigation revealled that Phil had fallen out of his rack, about a 4 foot drop. We pick him up, put him back in his rack and turn out the lights again. "Thud!" And this happened a total of 4 times when we finally told the guy in the bottom rack to move up one, and put Phil only a few inches off the deck.

The next morning we found Phil sleeping on the floor. When we woke him up he was curious as how he got back to the ship. We told him the above story - and it is a true one.

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