Page 1 Personal Experiences
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From: John Worman
I served from late 1960 to early 1964.  I came on as a fireman apprentice, thinking I was an engineman striker.  I was assigned to 'A' division and was soon assigned to the liberty boat as the tail rope handler and oil checker.  In December and January, even in San Diego, the water at 3 am was COLD!  I wasn't liking it much as I was from New Mexico where it is dry and warm.  I asked if there was a warm place on the ship.  "Well", someone said," there is the boiler room.  It's pretty warm there."  "How hard is it to get to work there?", I asked.  "Oh, I think it's real easy" was the reply, and from that moment on I was a boiler man.  It was warm there!

I spent most of my time in the port fireroom, but here is a picture of me, probably in 1961 in the starboard fireroom.  Notice the air gage and you will see we were under way and probably going wide open!  At that pressure all 5 burners were going and we were putting out all we had.  The pressure is right on 250 psi, so we weren't falling behind.  One picture shows the enunciator pointing to flank, I think.

I think of the boiler room often.John Worman

John Worman

From: Raymond C. Beebe
I have looked back at some of my pictures and things I believe I was only aboard
for the year  1951..coming aboard in Jan of that year in San Diego...seems like it was shortly after that, that we went to Bremerton, Washington for dry dock.  We were there approx. Feb and March then back to San Diego.. Then we went to San Francisco where we loaded up for Korea..This was in April of 1951......It took us approx. 17 days to make it to Yokosuka, Japan then Sasebo,  Japan then to Korea...mostly up in the Wonson area..back and forth several times..I remember taking some English Marines from their ship H.M.S. Blackstone to some island to reconnoiter while we (one of the two LCVP's we carried) waited off shore for them...Later we went to Sapporo Japan...I remember very cold and snowing when we arrived...We left for the States in Dec of 51 and had to go by way of Wake Island because a crew member was thought to have polio...I had a bad Hernia (that made me pass out at morning muster up topside) so I had light duty all the way home...didn't have to stand watch.......while underway I spent most of my duty hours between the boiler room (pressurized) or the turbine room....aft steering room.....when not on duty we spent time in the boat shop which as I remember was like a little cage up at the forward end of the well deck....actually we could look down at the well deck.....My living quarters and bunk was amid ship looking out a porthole on to the well deck....there was a cat walk across the ship at about midship at the funnels....where they stored potatoes and onions and things like that. The porthole I could look out was right in the middle of that catwalk....It made  for good sleeping when we could have it open...When we returned to San Diego I was transferred to the US Naval Hospital for surgery and since I was due to be discharged in June of 52 I spent the remainder of my time at the Naval Base.......I look back on my time in the navy with fond memories (four years) and made many friends but time and distance has erased much...

Hope the New Year will bring you all happiness and I look forward to
maybe making the next reunion

Raymond Beebe (ENFN)

The accompanying photo of the USS Whetstone is an early one.  In response to my mention of the original armament Ray responded:

Yes and we used the 5" one time in Korea shelling the shore line but it was never reported that we hit anything...ha...When that thing went off it shook the ship from bow to stern....All the other guns were used from time to time but mostly in firing practice...
I believe the picture was taken by a professional photographer and he made money by bring them out to the ship and selling them to all of us...I looked on the back but no name or I.D. as to who took it..
Underway LSD 27
From: J. B. Cooke 59-62
And, what about the time (in 1959 at the mooring bouys in San Diego) that Wahoo told seaman Brown (Second Division) to stand by the ensign during sea-detail; he followed me all over the flight deck and wing walls as I was the only "ensign" that he knew. Wahoo finally grabbed him in time to shift colors as we got underway. :)   (Webmaster Note: Who is Wahoo?)

Good health to all hands,
J. B. Cooke, Ltjg 59-62

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