"Twas the Night Before Christmas"
'Twas the night before Christmas,
compartments were still,
The Sailors were all peacefully
dreaming in bed
When out on the deck there arose such
A moon made for boon docking showed
with a glow,
In the boat was a man who seemed
quiet and moody,
A little to Starboard, now hold it up
The gifts to be issued were all
in his pack,
He opened his mouth and started
He wasn't so big, but seemed
Dear John: Here are a few things I recall from my service aboard the Whetstone. You may use them as you please.
When I graduated from high school in June, 1945, the war was still on. I tried to enlist in the Naval Air Corps but flunked the physical. When I tried to enlist in the regular Navy, I was two pounds underweight. They told me to come back, and on the morning of the second physical I ate four bananas and drank a quart of milk. I passed and awaited the call. By the time I was sworn in, the A-bomb had ended the war. After boot camp and radar school I was assigned to the Whetstone. From Norfolk I and two other sailors were taxied out to the berth in Chesapeake Bay in a Higgins boat.
Because of discharges the crew lacked a quartermaster and a signalman. In spite of my radar training I was chosen to act as assistant to Chief Reams. In a short time I acquired most of the required knowledge and skills and enjoyed the job. It kept me topside most of the time and when on the bridge I had contact with Captain Keating and the Exec., Lt. Commander Zimmerman. After the navigation officer, Lt. Mancuso, was discharged, Chief Reams took on most of his responsibilities.
Others may not remember the night on Chesapeake Bay when the ship dragged one anchor, causing us to start a wide swing with the tide. We were headed for a nearby battleship or cruiser and would have collided but for the engineers, who managed to get up steam from cold iron in the nick of time. This happened on my watch at around 2 a.m. When the alidade readings indicated a drastic
Yosemite Sam© Warner Brothers
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