CWO4 Floyd Stormer, USCG(retired) crossed the bar during July 1999. I first met Floyd in 1956 when I went aboard the Mackinaw and he was one of the two EN1’s in charge of the Forward Engineroom. Every day I worked for him I not only respected him but liked him as a person. He made Chief during my stay on the Mac and I applauded it. Along with Bill Tomac, the other EN1, he wrote and published using the ship’s mimeograph machine, THE MACKINAW WEEKLY RAG. It was well written, poking fun at the foibles of every day shipboard life. Some of those writings are found on this site. It is a shame that only a few issues survived and only parts of them preserved. He, more than anybody, had his hand on the pulse of the Coast Guard life of that era.
I met Floyd again about seven years later when he was going through the Philadelphia Navy Damage Control School. He had made W-2 and was a ten-week student. I was by that time an Ensign and a Half, on duty with the Navy, and one of his instructors. A new hat had not changed this man. He was as interesting as he always had been. I was delighted to see him again and we spent many hours chatting about the Coast Guard.
In recent years I saw Floyd and his wife Esther at the Mackinaw reunions. This year (1999) Esther told me that Floyd was ill and couldn’t come. He was missed.
Esther said, “Floyd died July 21, 1999 in Thonotosassa FL after a six month battle with cancer. He had skin cancers caused by sun exposure during WW2 when he ran a landing craft in the Pacific Theater. He was the best of the best in all things he did; smart, funny, kind, loving and had one hell of a temper if he let it loose.!!!!”
Goodbye shipmate and unofficial Coast Guard philosopher. Rest in peace.
By Floyd Stormer
Dat Ol' ocean never whip me,
Tho' by Goddamn she try,
Sometimes make me mad lak' hell,
And sometime make me cry.
Sometimes she nice and peaceful,
I sit on deck at night,
Look up an see dem Southern Cross,
An all dem stars at night.
But mos times don't see no sky at all,
Ol' ship she roll and pound,
And you better hang on tight lak hell,
Or up you end in the water ... drown.
Damn wind she blow and blow some more,
Ol' ship she ice up to de mast,
We bust it off with baseball bat,
Or go downside up real fast.
Sometime make me wonder,
Why good lumberjack lak' me,
Would come to work for Coast Guard,
And get brains beat out at sea.
From "This - *?#!@*? Was The Coast Guard" by Esther Stormer ©1985
Reprinted by permission.