a soldier at sea

Discussion in 'The VMBB True Story Tellers' started by Guest, Feb 27, 2003.

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    nighthawksh
    Moderator
    Posts: 52
    (12/15/01 2:18:29 pm)
    | Del All a soldier at sea
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    I know there are some Navy personnel here, so I thought I would share this. My experience with the Navy was very little. HQ MACV was a multi-service organization, and we did have a few troops from the Navy, as well as Air Force, but they lived just like us doggies.
    However, I did have an experience on a ship I will never forget. It was a Merchant Marine craft. A troop carrier from WWII days, named the US Darby (maybe not US??). It had a sister ship called the Rose. These were the last two “troop ships” to carry GIs to Europe. My trip on the Darby was the next to last. The Rose made one trip afterwards.
    We left Brooklyn Army Terminal on the 30th of December 1965. It was what can only be described as an “interesting” trip. As I was a junior enlisted (E3) I was assigned to “below decks”. NCOs and Officers, some with their families, had quarters “above deck”. (I hope I am getting all these “Navel” terms correct.). Our bunks (racks?) were first-come/first served. I was told by someone to grab a bunk as high as I could. The bunks were about 18 inches apart, vertically. At first, I did not want to be up on the very top. It had a big pipe right above it, and you had only about 12 inches of clearance. To turn over, you had to get out of the rack and crawl back in. Anyway, I heeded the advice, and a good thing too. The guy right below me “lost it” on the very first night. He shared his days meals (after consuming it) withal the guys below him,,and those across the aisle also. He must have barfed on 7 or 8 guys,,what a mess!. I kept my top bunk for the whole trip.
    The trip lasted just over nine days. Our schedule was: Up at 0500, breakfast at 0530, then move out and set around on deck. The only ones allowed below deck were those on detail. It is one of the few times I ever saw anyone volunteer for latrine duty. The reason was it was cold as hell up on deck. Remember, this was in the middle of winter, somewhere in the North Atlantic. We had lunch at 1200, then back on deck. Sat around there until 1700. Then dinner, and only then, we were allowed back below decks. We were told the reason we were required to stay out side was for security, plus it was healthier than staying below in the stale air. I don’t know about that
    Our second night out was New Years Eve. We were allowed to go out on deck if we wanted. The NCOs and Officers were having a celebration but we were not allowed anything to celebrate with. I had walked out on deck right at Midnight, had a smoke, and went back below.
    One other event worth noting. Each day as we went to chow, we had to go up the ladder to the main deck, walk along the side to the rear, and go back down a ladder to the mess hall (galley?). We passed along some of the cabins where the senior personnel with their families were staying. Each of the cabins had a window (porthole) and most were kept closed, except one. This was a room where a young lady (probably 15-16) was. She knew we were passing every morning. She would always give the troops a little “show”. Nothing much, just walking around in front of the open window in a rather skimpy nightgown. Well, I think it was on the 7th or 8th day, one troop lost it. Believe it or not, this guy went bonkers! He went around to the hallway, and broke into the girl’s room. Attempted to rape her!. He spent the rest of the trip in the brig. When we got to Bremerhaven, Germany, the MPs were waiting for him. He was the first one off the boat. VIP treatment,,,,lol. Never did find out what happened to him. I am sure he enjoyed Leavenworth.

    So, this was my one and only experience on the “high seas”. All other trips across the “big ponds” were by aircraft.

    Stan H ,, nighthawk

    I may not agree with what you say,
    but I shall defend to the death your right to say it

    Winter11
    Moderator
    Posts: 530
    (12/17/01 2:24:13 pm)
    | Del Re: a soldier at sea
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    Wow Hawk... hell of an adventure!

    Glad you chose the top.... as I was reading the story I was agreeing with you, about not wanting to be up so high, then I read why... eeewww... good choice!!! (LOL)

    As for the guy losing it... yeah he lost it alright... just hope someone beat it back into him! (loser).


    Always Faithful