DUANE Liberty Escapades

By Pat Varallo



Bill Malone and Pat Farrell (not their real names, in fact they weren’t even Irish) were a couple of liberty hounds aboard the Cutter DUANE out of Boston. Only a few things could keep them aboard ship: weather patrol and third section duty!

They were good friends with the Pharmacists Mate 1st class who was in charge of the sick bay. So good in fact that he let them in on a secret—the main door was dogged and secured when he was gone; the door opening to the main deck was dogged only. He let Bill and Pat know that for whatever reason they wanted, they were free to use it.

Bill and Pat would answer 1:30 liberty call and disappear. They were next seen coming up the gangway just before 8:00 am muster. The gangway watch could only watch in amazement and amusement. They would be dragging their keisters.

During work details, the pair would walk around like poorly designed automatons ‘til noon chow call, then came alive again—a second wind! While they ate, one might be heard to say to the other: “Goin’ over?”



1:30 liberty call would see them off again.

On one occasion, Bill did another shipmate a favor and took his watch. Well, that wasn’t stopping Pat. As he was leaving on liberty, Pat asked Bill if he wanted him to bring anything back.

“Yeah, beer and women.”

These two young salts were dating a couple of Massachusetts’ fairest (?) young ladies. They usually met at a tavern called the “Ex Cel” in a Boston suburb. When he arrived at the Ex Cel alone the girls were disappointed that Bill wasn’t with him.

“Let’s go see him,” said one of the fairest.

Pat bought a couple of cases of beer, hailed a taxi and off the three went to see the fourth. They didn’t have Bridge in mind.

The DUANE was docked at a civilian pier about half a mile south of Constitution Wharf Coast Guard Base, moored port side to the dock. When the cab arrived at the pier, Pat told the driver to stop at the entrance behind a building, paid the driver, and told the girls to stay out of sight whilst he looked for Bill.

Bill was on gangway watch. When he saw his pal, he asked why he had returned so early.

“You said you wanted beer and women didn’t you?”

“You mean . . . ?”


“I’ll be forward in a minute.”

Pat went back to the girls and waited for Bill’s signal.

The ship was showing about 8 feet of freeboard above the dock. When his buddy appeared, Pat handed him the beer and leaned against the hull. He cupped his hands to form a step for the women while Bill hand-hoisted them aboard. Bill and the women went aft on the starboard side into the sick bay. Pat went aboard as if returning from liberty. The party began!

Soon there were about a dozen people in the sick bay, but they weren’t sick. Everyone was getting a little fuzzy and someone went for more beer. It’s a wonder the OOD or some of the other officers did not hear the noise—sickbay was practically above the wardroom.

Let it be said that there was no sex going on at this party, but the women wanted to see where their boyfriends slept. To avoid a bigger commotion, Bill and Pat agreed to take them to the focs’le.

The next morning at breakfast a sailor was heard to say that he had had the weirdest dream. “I dreamed there were women running around the focs’le.

Talk about pleasant dreams!


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