Bread Baking On The McCulloch

By Joe Pickens

This wasn't really a great event to be memorialized and was probably repeated on many cutters on many ocean stations over the years the Coast Guard manned them. There is probably nothing as nostalgic in our collective memories as fresh baked bread at sea. We can all sit back, close our eyes, and remember those days and some of the memories that went with them. Joe has.

On the 311's the galley was located on the main deck, amidships with a weather tight door on each side of the deckhouse. A dumb waiter was used to move the prepared food and bake goods to the mess deck located below. Officers Country was immediately forward of the galley.

One night on "OS", the CO, CDR E. H. Burt, Jr. came around to the galley door, whipped open the door and with a lot of wind and sea water in the passageway behind him, came into the galley in a pair of pajamas, robe, with an appropriate hat and slippers being the appropriate color for an officer.

He was also wearing a big smile.

CDR Burt muttered somethin' in officer language and we knew right away he wanted some of that fresh baked bread. Bill Bergren was teaching me to bake bread that night, bread has a way of smelling up the whole ship no matter how hard the wind blows. CDR Burt was given a big chunk of new bread, a butter knife and a soup bowl with a half a pound of butter and we talked and ate bread for a while.

If you don't remember, there was a door on the forward bulkhead that led to the officers quarters. This door was not a regular ship door but a regular house type door without a window which had a louvered vent about a foot square.

While the CDR was there that door opened just a crack several times with an eyeball looking through the crack. After the CDR left out the door that he he came in, the door to officers country opened up full. I won't name any names because some are still with us, closer than you might think. CDR E. H. Burt, Jr. has left us.

 

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