The Internet Edition of
The Old Salt's Journal
Volume I - No. 3 Summer 1998
The Coast Guard Sea Veterans of America Quarterly Newsletter
This is the Third issue of our Quarterly Newsletter which we call the "Old Salts Journal." It is published sometime during each of the four seasons of the year. Jack Eckert is the interim editor.
FROM THE FORWARD LOOKOUT
There have been some changes to the structure of the CGSVA. These changes will be announced later.
All members are advised that when your dues notice is received from the Secretary, you are not only encouraged to sign up but are requested to sign up at least one old shipmate too. Let's spread the word and continue to grow our organization/
Old Salt's who have access to the Internet are encouraged to sign on at Fred's Place, THE site that contains names and addresses of more than 12,000 Coasties of all stripes. The email address is http://www.fredsplace.org You will also find an area aptly named The Reunion Hall which provides a place for each current and former cutter, station, etc. to be signed on to by former crewmen. Look into each unit you were ever on and maybe you will find an old shipmate.
The Home Page address of the Coast Guard SeaVets is http://www.sos.net/~kenlong/cgsva.html
Jack Eckert, Editor of the Newsletter has also established a Website called Jack's Joint. It contains many nostalgic articles about the Coast Guard that are too long to print in The Old Salt's Journal. http://www.execpc.com/~jeckert/
National President, Larry Stefanovich at email@example.com National Secretary, Ken Long at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News Letter Editor, Jack Eckert at email@example.com
If you have an email address please contact either Mr. Long or Mr. Eckert so that you can be listed for easy contact.
FROM THE GALLEY
At last, a recipe for Navy Bean Soup submitted by Old Salt, CS2 Jim King of Pembroke, Mass. The quantities used are intended to feed the crew of a weather ship.
Yield 100 Portions (6-1/4 Gallons)
Beans, White Dry 6 lb (3-1/2 qt)
Water, Cold (2 gal)
1. Pick over beans, removing discolored beans and foreign matter. Wash thoroughly in cold water.
2. Cover with cold water; bring to a boil; boil two minutes. Turn off heat. Cover, let stand one hour.
Soup & Gravy
Base, Ham 20 oz (3 cups)
Water 5 gal
3. Combine soup and gravy base with water. Add to beans; bring to a boil; cover; simmer two hours or until beans are tender.
Shredded 1 lb (1 qt)
Chopped 2 lb (1-1/2 qt)
Pepper, Black 2 tsp
4. Add carrots, onions and pepper to bean mixture. Simmer 30 minutes.
Sifted 12 oz (3 cups)
Water, Cold (1 qt)
5. Blend flour and water to form a smooth paste. Stir into soup; cook ten minutes.
Note: 1. In step 4, 1 lb 4 oz of fresh carrots A.P. will yield 1 lb of shredded carrots, and 2 lb 4 oz dry onions will yield 2 lbs. chopped onions.
2. In step 4, 4 oz (1-1/3 cups) dehydrated onions may be used.:
1. BEAN SOUP WITH SMOKED, CURED HAM HOCKS: Follow Steps 1 through 3. Place 2 lb 8 oz thawed, smoked, cured pork hocks in enough water to cover. Simmer for an hour; remove from heat, cool. Remove lean meat; chop into small pieses. In Step 4, add chopped ham hocks to ingredients. Follow step 5.
2. KNICKERBOCKER SOUP (BEAN TOMATO, AND BACON): Follw steps 1 and 2. In Step 3 reduce water to 3-1/4 gal. In step 4, lightly brown 1 lb (3 cups) chopped raw bacon. Add carrots, onions, and 5 lb (3-3/4 qt) diced fresh potatos (6 lb 2 oz A.P.) Cook 10 minutes stirringt occasionally; add to bean mixture. Add 6 lb 6 oz (1-No. 10 can) canned crushed tomatoes; simmer 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Omit Step 5.
3. OLD FASHIONED BEAN SOUP: Follow steps 1 and 2. In Step 3, reduce water to 4-1/4 gal. In Step 4, add 6 lb 6 oz (1-No 10 can) canned crushed tomatoes. Follow Steps 4 and 5.
How about that? My mouth is watering - ed.
SAILING ORDERS AND RENDEZVOUS
USCG 255 Sailors Reunion
The first USCG 255 Sailors Reunion will be held at Jackie Gaughan's Plaza Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, from Sunday, 27 thru Wednesday, 30 September 1998.
For further information contact (before July 7,1998):
255 Reunion Committee
P. O. Box 33523
Juneau, Alaska 99803
Phone: (907)789-2579 FAX (907)789-2780
or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
USCGC CASCO (WAVP-370) Reunion
The Third Reunion of the CGC Casco will be held at Coast Guard Base Boston between 11 and 13 September, 1998.
For further information contact:
51 Whipple Road
Billerica, Massachsetts 01821
PORTLAND MAINE CUTTERMAN'S ASSOCIATION
A Reunion will be held by the Cutterman's Association at Portland, Maine between 7 and 9 August, 1998.
For further information contact:
Portland Maine Cuttermans Association
P.O. Box 15172
Portland, Maine 04112
USCGC MACKINAW (WAGB-83) Reunion
August 1999 - Further Information when it is received.
SPARS - Coast Guard Festival - Grand Haven, Michigan
July 24 - August 2, 1998 with Parade and Fireworks on Saturday, August 1, 1998. For further information contact Eleanor Fabian, 6365 Lakeshore Drive, West Olive, Michigan 49460-9784 Phone 1-(616) 846-5147.
WERE THE 255's EVER SUPPOSED TO BE 355's?
The answer is NO. That story always travelled wherever the Ships of the Owasco class travelled. It certainly was plausible because they only had a single screw, one turbo generator and two boilers. It was almost as if a whole section was chopped out of amidships where the machinery spaces are. What really happened was they were originally to be updated but austere copies of the 327' Campbell Class. They were to be 315 feet long. There was an objection by the Great Lakes ship builders of the time that at 319 feet they would be to big to get off the lakes and that effectively eliminated them from the bidding. At the bidding of Congress and to be fair the Coast Guard redesigned them to be 255'. The irony of the situation is none of them were ever built there on the Lakes. They were to be built to replace the 250' class Cutters that were lend leased to Great Britain prior to WWII. To make them an all purpose "Cruising Cutter" as they were designated at the time it was decided to ice strengthen them. The ribs were closer together and the hull plating forward was thicker. An eight foot designed drag was built in. The single screw configuration was selected because it wouldn't be subject to the same damage as two screws mounted higher would be. Because it was anticipated that it would carry either a sea plane (or later a helicopter), a midships break was made between the deck houses. They had pilot house control installed but even as advanced as the machinery plant was at the time it turned out to be impractical as the boilers couldn't respond to the speed changes as fast as they were made from the pilot house. The machinery plant, a turbo electric, semi-automated, AC drive, top fired boilers with automatic combustion controls and water regulation, was ahead of it's time. The fuel consumption per nautical mile was two thirds that of the 327'. It is surmised that the experience of the German Navy and their emphasis on damage control influenced the designers. Everything was up and over with water tight bulkheads to the main deck everywhere but amidships. A bonus was added when chilled water air condioning was added to the ships for warm water operation. Unfortunately it only worked when the ship was underway. Even though they had a lot of ordinance installed, none ever saw wartime service. They were built with a low priority during WWII and decommissioned quickly thereafter. One by one they were recommissioned during and after the Korean War. They had better sea keeping qualities than the Edsall class 306' DE's the Coast Guard borrowed from the Navy during that period. All in all a good ship but never designed to be 355' long.
THE CGC IROQUOIS VS. THE HASP
The Iroquois was a 255 WPG operating out of Honolulu in 1946. The HASP was the Hawaian Armed Services Police located across the street from the mooring. It seems that members of the crew were ashore one night and got into it with the HASP who were not a gentle breed. When members of the crew returned aboard from liberty rather than hold reveille as some might have been inclined to do, keys were procured for the magazine, the 5"-38 gun was energized, a gunners mate rammed a shell and powder into the breach as the mount was aimed at the HASP building. This joyful event broken up before the shell was fired using local control. The ship sailed shortly thereafter and the guilty parties supposedly went unpunished.
It has been said by witnesses that the gunners mate fully intended to blow the HASP off the face of the earth. There were others who said that "Guns" should have been given a medal.
Editors note: My only encounter with the Iroquois was after her back was broken and she was towed to the Yard at Curtis Bay and decommissioned. I was an Assistant Engineer Officer on the Escanaba undergoing overhaul at the time. The Yard had managed to lose our boiler burners, both of them. After a struggle and after plowing through a Gordian's Knot of red tape, the Iroquois' burners were removed and installed on the Escanaba and she went to her grave with them.
We received this from Dick Sardeson who got this from a friend, Bob Vail.
HOW TO SIMULATE SHIPBOARD LIFE FOR THE OLD SALT WHO LONGS FOR THE GOOD OLD DAYS
1. Sleep on the shelf in your closet. Replace the closet door with a curtain. Have your wife whip open the curtain about three hours after you go to sleep. She should then shine a flashlight in your eyes and mumble, "Sorry, wrong rack."
2. Renovate your bathroom. Build a wall across the middle of your bathtub, and move the shower head down to chest level. When you take showers, make sure you shut off the water while soaping up.
3. When there is a thunderstorm in the area, find a wobbly rocking chair and rock as hard as you can until you are nauseous. Have a supply of stale crackers in your pocket.
4. Put lube oil in your humidifier and set it to "high."
5. Avoid watching TV with the exception of movies which are played in the middle of the night. Have your family vote on which movie to watch, and then show a different one.
6. For ex-engineering types: leave the lawn mower running in your living room for eight hours a day.
7. Have the paperboy give you a haircut.
8. Once a week, blow compressed air up your chimney, making sure the wind carries the soot onto your neighbor's house. Ignore his complaints.
9. Buy a trash compactor, but use it only once a week. Store up garbage on the other side of your bathtub.
10. Get up every night just before midnight. Have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on stale bread. (Optional: Canned ravioli or cold soup.)
11. Make up your family menu a week ahead of time, and do so without looking in your cabinets or refrigerator.
12. Set your alarm clock to go off at random time during the night. When it goes off, jump out of bed and get dressed as fast as you can, being sure to button the top button on your shirt and to stuff your pants into you socks. Run out into your back yard and uncoil the garden hose.
13. Once a month, take every major appliance completely apart, and then put them back together.
14. Use eighteen scoops of budget coffee per pot, and allow each pot to sit at least five hours before drinking.
15. Invite eighty-five people to come and visit for a couple of months.
16. Install a fluorescent lamp under your coffee table, and lie under it to read books.
17. Raise the threshholds and lower the top sills of your front and back doors, so that you either trip over the threshhold or bang your head on the sill every time you pass through one of them.
18. Lockwire the lugnuts on your car.
19. When baking a cake, prop up one side of the pan while it is in the oven. Spread the icing really thick on one side to level off the top.
20. Every so often, throw your cat into the swimming pool, and shout, "Man Overboard, Starboard Side." Then run into the kitchen and sweep all pots, pans and dishes off the counter and onto the floor. Yell at your wife and/or the nearest kid for not having the kitchen "stowed for sea."
21. Put on the headphones from your stereo, but don't plug them in. Hang a paper cup around your neck with a piece of string. Go and stand in front of your stove. Say -- to nobody in particular -- "Stove manned and ready." Stand there for three or four hours. Then say -- once again to nobody in particular -- "Stove secured." Roll up the headphone cord and put the headphone and paper cup in a box
THE 327 THAT NEVER SAW COAST GUARD SERVICE
The USS Erie was a forerunner to the Campbell class cutters. The latter 's design was influenced strongly by the design of the Erie. They were not carbon copies by any means but were very similar in most respects. Only two of them, classified as Patrol Gunboat's (PG) were ever built, the Erie and the Charleston. After the war the Commandant, Admiral Waesche, wrote to the Navy requesting that the Erie be lent or turned over to the Coast Guard. The Navy agreed but it never happened because the Coast Guard was so short of personnel after WWII that there was no one available to man it. The Commandant withdrew his request and that was the end of the matter.
My Dad is in the Coast Guard
I don't see him much
He's always sailing on his ships
Saving lives and such
But when we are together
We have more fun than most
He tells me how he loves the Guard
On that he likes to boast
He taught me how to tie some knots
How to watch the sky for storms
He tells me names of different clouds
And how the weather warns
He talks about the ships he loves
And the men who sail with him
He tells me lots of stories
And then we share a grin
He taught me what's important,
And what matters not at all,
He talks about the dangers
Of search and rescue calls
He tells me about his buddies
And all his sailor friends
He speaks of loyalty and love
And how friendship never ends
He talks of whitecaps on the waves
Of seas so high and rough
I love his stories, all of them
I can never get enough
He's taught me more than you could know
In his gentle, loving way
We're a team, my Dad and I
"Always Ready" for each day
He tells me jokes and secrets too
We share the best of times
I love the twinkle in his eyes
When he says that he is mine
The time we spend together
When he is home with me
Makes the times that he is gone
Melt in my memory
He is the best, my Coastie Dad
I couldn't love him more
I know I'm always on his mind
Whether he's on ship or shore
And every time that he goes out
I say a little prayer
"God watch over him today
Protect him everywhere"
written by Dolly Juhlin 6/12/97
I REMEMBER JACK MAIN
Armand Brunette wrote OSJ a letter which I am including in part below.
June 13, 1992
I enjoyed talking to you last night as I mentioned. I have been on nearly every East Coast Cutter and one on the West Coast. Some of these ships, or should I say most of them are long gone now. The following is a list of the ships and the number of times I was on each one:
Ingham 14 Castle Rock 3
Absecon 12 Androscoggin 3
Chincoteague 12 Hamilton 2
Mendota 12 Boutwell 2
Taney 11 Escanaba 2
Duane 10 Mackinac 2
Owasco 7 Ponchartrain 2
Spencer 7 Morganthau 2
McCulloch 7 Munro 1
Half Moon 5 Sherman 1
Bibb 5 Gallatin 1
Sebago 4 Yakutat 1
Rockaway 4 Humboldt 1
Campbell 4 Chambers 1
Cook Inlet 4 Coos Bay 1
Gresham 3 Unimak 1
That adds up to 150 trips aboard Coast Guard ships. Most of the trips were about five weeks long but one was two and one half months in the South Pacific.
These ships represent the five classes of ships that stood weather patrol. This would be 255' or Lake Class Cutters; 311' or ex-AVP Navy Seaplane Tenders; 327' and 378' cutters were Secretary Classes and the Chambers was the one lone ex-Navy Destroyer Escort which was the worst riding ship the Coast Guard ever had. I agree! - ed.
Jack Main was a Civilian Weatherman who was assigned to the various East Coast Cutters beginning in 1950. OSJ has not contacted him directly but it is assumed he left his Weather Ship duties about 1970. 150 patrols over 20 years is about 7-1/2 patrols per year. That is about 233 days at sea per year every year. How many of us "Old Salt's" can make that claim. He should be nominated as "Lord HIGH BRINE Density." That is more than just being an "Old Salt" and we should stand at attention in hispresence and salute him.
The "Weather Birds" were a hardy breed, they had to be. It is one thing to go to sea as continuously as they did but to go to sea on Weather Wagons was something else. They worked around the clock like most of the sailors did.
They were given the priveleges of officers but in some respects that wasn't really a plus for them. Their sleeping quarters were the worst available that could still be considered in Officer's Country. They ate in the Ward Room which meant they paid for their meals directly. Every one of the larger ships in those days had an Ensign Mess Treasusrer trying to preserve as much as possible of his (there were no her's) monthly meal allowance of $47.88 as possible. On one ship a Junior Officer bragged that the mess bill for the entire patrol was $7.77. While the Weather Birds didn't have to pay much for their chow, they didn't eat very well either. There weren't very many fat weathermen.
For the most part these fellows were a decent lot. They didn't mix much with the Officers and men but were not aloof either. They are forgotten today to almost everybody but us "Old Salt's."
Jack Main was an avid ham radio operator and was the first man to legally bring his gear aboard ship. In 1964 he had orders to the Castle Rock in Boston and knew he was going to Ireland after the trip. It weas a long one and he sweet talked the Skipper into permission to bring his little HW-32 and a hustler antenna along. That worked out so well and so many patches were made including several emergency messages that the Coast Guard decided to let him bring his rig on any ship he wanted to. All he had to do was secure the Capatains permission. Slowly all of the ships got their own gear and if they had a licensed ham on board would operate with Jack Main filling in when needed.
Yes Jack Main, you are remembered.
DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN
Memories of the "Old Guard"
The liberty section mustered on the quarterdeck in their dress uniform, were inspected by the OOD, and given their liberty cards to go ashore. If you needed a haircut, clean tee shirt, shined shoes, or anything the OOD didn't approve of you were sent back to correct it and then could not go ashore until the next liberty party was mustered. On liberal ships, First Class were allowed to leave the gangway first. No dungaree liberty in those days.
The OOD of a Portland (Maine) Weather Ship would have to send a party of men up to the Blue Moon to gather up a good part of the crew so the ship could sail on time.. (Substitute Messina's on Hanover Street for the Boston based Cutters or The National Social Club for New Bedford based Cutters.)
"Standby for heavy rolls as the ship comes about." Always heard at the noon mess. Weather balloons were launched every six hours; midnight, 0600, noon, and 1800.
The Detex time detector clock we all abhorred. The hours of planning, conniving and plotting how to get around it.
Storing your clean clothes in your sea locker along with almost everything else you owned. Civilian clothes were forbidden on board for First Class and below because there was allegedly no room to store them.
Sea Store cigarettes wrapped in waxed paper that had distinctive blue labels on in place of the federal tax stamp. They cost anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar a carton. Enough cartons were usually bought to last through the patrol and following import period. That was about ten cartons of lung busters. Often they were stored in your seabag if you couldn't find another safe place for them. In those days everybody smoked but the few "odd" ones who didn't.
Being paid in cash on the mess deck. Pay call was not held at sea for fear the crew would gamble their money away. Nobody dreamed that games would be played on credit for the whole patrol with the payoff being on pay day just before arriving in port.
Breaking ice with empty wing tanks and thinking we lived on the inside of a well used bass drum.
Report Mast at 1100 and Request Mast at 1130. Sometimes we made both!
Eating better meals and drinking better coffee down in the engineroom then was ever served on the mess deck.
Breaking ice topside with a baseball bat when the ship iced up on Ocean Station Bravo (Baker to Older Salt's) in the Winter.
The kind Boatswains Mate who would put alcohol in the soogie water so it wouldn't freeze when working topside in mid winter.
Hearing, "Will the man with the keys to the paint locker lay to same" on the 1MC a half dozen times a day.
Making a grinder run up Hanover Street from your ship tied up at Constitution Wharf in Boston (exception to the dungaree liberty rule.)
Rolling and clothes stopping the entire seabag. Carrying blankets, and pillow in the seabag with the mattress wrapped around the outside on a transfer.
Movies on the mess deck. The hateful (and thoroughly stupid) Movie Officer who agreed to swap good movies for reruns of TV's Cimmeron City.
TAWD - Temporary Additional Winter Duty. Applicable to the Great Lakes only. Crewman from light and lifeboat stations who were assign to Winter stations and Cutters such as the Mackinaw. No extra money was paid for this type of TAD.
Receiving plenty of fish from friendly New Bedford fishermen. Eating fresh fish three times a week at home when the ship was in port.
As a snipe, watching the deckies and ops people go on liberty in port when you had to stay aboard to overhaul engines. When the overhaul was completed being denied compensatory liberty because stores had to be loaded and it was an "all hands" job.
The dumb snipe who blew tubes after midnight when their was no wind blowing in port. This always happened after the ship was cleaned up and the canvas work was freshly scrubbed.
The evaporator watchstander hanging around the main ships head just waiting to catch some Radarman or Quartermaster taking a "Waldorf Shower." Boatswain's Mates were never bothered.
Water hours. When "Raid" was used as a deodorant instead of "Right Guard."
Getting a liberty haircut from the ship's barber for 50 cents.
FROM THE FORECASTLE
Here are the answers to the posers from the last issue:
What was the name of the largest ship ever manned by a Coast Guard crew? USS WAKEFIELD
Which Light Ship was painted black with white letters? HURON LIGHT SHIP
During her long life the USCGC Evergreen had at least three different designations. List them. WAGL, WAGO, and WMEC.
What was the name of the 180' Bouy Tender that never saw a day of Coast Guard service? USS REDBUD
In a standard beach cart drill who fires the gun? THE OinC
Here are this issues posers
Who was the first Captain Commandant of the Revenue Marine?
Which Light Ship was painted white with a Coast Guard racing stripe near the end of her career? Hint: This was the only Lightship that had a permanent name. All of the rest were designated numerically but had temporary names painted on their exteriors.
Which two Coast Guard Cutters were the first to go on Ocean Station (Weather Patrol)?
Which Coast Guard Cutter made the last Ocean Station?
What engines were installed in the steel hull 40 foot Utility Boats?
THE SLOP CHEST
The Coast Guard SeaVets has a number of items for sale. Call (360) 856-2171 to place your order
Garrison Cap for the SV Pin - $7.50
Ball Cap C.G.S.V.- $11.00
S.V. Pin - $5.00
S.V Patches - $5.00
REQUEST AND REPORT MAST
FROM A RECENT RETIREE
I was thrilled to obtain a copy of the Winter 98 edition of "The Old Salt's Journal".
Dennis Streng is my neighbor here in Placentia, CA. I am a USCG Chief Engineer, retiring October 1, 1998 after 20 years and boy am I excited! I joined the CG when I was 17 years old, so I know no other life.
I want to be sure to stay "in" with my shipmates. Please send me info on joining the CGSVA and add me to the newsletter mailing list.
I may be of assistance to the Association in the areas of Membership and Fund Raising. I am the CPOA secretary in Long Beach, and I developed the 'CG' stickers advertised in Fred's Place. We've done very well with the 'CG' stickers!
Please enlighten me as to the mission and goals of the CGSVA. I am proud to be a Coastie - we are quite a group.
USCG MANNED PF'S
Jack:, Saw your inquiry on the Fred's Place BB. Yes the Coast Guard manned the PF's I Served on the USS Ogden(PF 39) from 1943-1945. We served in the South Pacific. On our return to the States we went to Alaska where the ship was turned over to Russia. They some years later turned the Ogden over to Japan. We have an organization of PF sailors known as the Patrol Frigate Reunion Association. We meet once a year, this year we meet in San Diego. Be glad to provide you with any info that I have.
Editors Note - A recent American Legion Magazine indicated that there would be a PF reunion in New Bedford, Massachusetts with no amplifying detail.
A SPAR SPEAKS OUT
Perhaps you could forward some of this information to SPARS if you do a newsletter before festival time.
We "SPARS" are still a proud lot and still get applause and even whistles when we march. Many of us adorn the sidelines and are thankful even to attend, but the marchers make an excellent showing.
Last year we could not attend but two years ago we were there only for the memorial service and even enough to raise some eyebrows. At 74, I am one of the younger SPARS. So you can see none of us are young.
Early room reservations are a must. Fabyan has been our strong arm and argued for rooms. Often one group of men reserve a motel(s) and at the last minute cancel but no one wants to go and then not have housing.
Many thanks - Semper Paratus!
Shirley Van Buren.
Shirley we surely apologize for not getting this wonderful information out sooner. Unfortunately your welcome letter arrived after the publication date of the Spring issue. We know this is late but we also want you to know that we haven't forgotten the SPARS. Who ever could!
WHAT WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR
Received the 2nd quarterly issue of the OSJ. What a great newsletter. Keep up the great work. It brings back a lot of memories.
I am sending you a copy of "Navy Bean Soup Recipe Card" issued when I was a cook in the Coast Guard. I did my active duty from May 1960 tro May 1964. I served on the CGC Travis (WSC-153) out of Port Everglades, FL in 1961. I also served on Block Island (RI) Lifeboat Station in 1962 and part of 1963. I was on the CGC Castle Rock (WAVP-383) in 1963 and 1964. After I left the Coast Guard as a CS2, I went into the Navy Reserves and National Guard and retired in 1985 as a SSGT.
I also see a Coastie named Larry Stefonovich is Presendent of the CGSVA. The name sounds like someone I served with
on Block Island in 1962. I think he was an EN rate.
Also are there any reunions for the Castle Rock or Travis coming up?
Editor Note - Jim sent along the recipe for Navy Bean Soup for which we are eternally grateful. Note to any crewman of the Castle Rock circa 1963 and 1964: How was the soup?
LIFE ON THE GRAND ISLAND (PF-14)
I received my copy of the Old Salt's Journal. I enjoyed the articles on the Patrol Frigates. I served on the USS Grand Island (PF-14) for 20 months. She was built in Richmond, Califoirnaia by Kaiser Shipyards. Our duty was on the West Coast from San Francisco to San Diego. We also pulled weather patrol. We had two Navy men aboard that took care of weather reports.
We were equipped with experimental radar and sound equipment. We had civilians come aboard and try out various types of equipment.
I was a cook aboard ship so those things did not interest me. We had 200 enlisted men and 12 officers to feed and keep happy. We did this most of the time.
Weather patrol was something else. 30 days out and five days in. We would travel to our assigned station and remain for 30 days. We travelled in a 20 mile circle at 5 kts.
We also trained with sub's and landing ships. Many times we were escort for landing troops on islands off the coast of Southern California. Those men went on to battle in the South Pacific. We stayed here and continued the training.
Thanks again for the memories.
GRUMBLINGS FROM THE ENGINEROOM
From a historical prospective the Coast Guard Sea Veterans was intended to be an all encompassing organization of Coast Guardsmen. This is part of the internet posting from the Sea Vets Home Page:
"The Coast Guard Sea Veterans of America is a chartered, non-profit, tax-exempt organization that provides a social forum for current members and Veterans of any Coast Guard duty station, be it air, sea, shore, office or sea, and from any time period."
The group was formed July 16, 1986 and grew from a hand full of Vietnam veterans who gathered to march in the July 13, 1986 veterans parade in Chicago. The feeling of the people gathered there was that the Coast Guard should have its own organization for service veterans which would permit open dialog and promote camaradarie. They formed the Coast Guard Sea Veterans of America."
Who gave birth to who is a problem. Another organization was formed called the Coast Guard Combat Veterans. This is almost like a mini American Legion and a mini VFW. Isn't this ever innane to have two small organizations dedicated to about the same thing with membership limited by organizational name? Let's face reality. The Coast Guard has always been a multi-missioned organization with many diverse mini organizations operating under a single Commandant. Coasties from one area are subject to being transfered to other areas and in order to survive they learn to adapt to new conditions of service rapidly. For example, major assignments for Senior Boatswain's Mates would be as boatman on a Lifeboat Station, Bouy Deck work on a Tender, OinC and XPO on patrol vessels, MA's and in Charge of the Deck Force on major cutters, Boot Pushers in a recruit training command, etc. Going from one vaguely related area to another can be traumatic but it is expected. This is how the versatile Coastie learns to swim in any water.
The Grand Army of the Republic was once the largest veterans organization in the United States. Because they limited their membership they self destructed. The last vestiges of the GAR is in cemeterys PERIOD. For the most part the Legion and VFW have grown old. Limitations due to membership requirements has taken it's toll and on your next visit to either organization note the average age of the members present. They may pass the way of the GAR.
Our little service has a grand tradition and is active in Peace and War alike. Coasties of all stripes are subject to any of a multitude of duties, some being wartime. But that is temporary. Eventually the war, police action, skirmish or what have you is over and the sailor temporarily assigned to it goes back to work in the day to day Coast Guard. The day to day Coast Guard is entirely different from the day to day Army, Navy or Marines. The Coastie prepares for the next war by doing the active job at hand. The other services practice for war PERIOD.
So what is the point that is being made. The Coast Guard is and always has been busy, wartime and in peacetime. Events are always happening that may be boring or may be exciting. A different breed is drawn to her service. We Coasties, male and female, active, inactive, retired, reserve, and everything in between share a common heritage. We have a lot to talk about, to reminice about. Our house is made up of many mansions. We have a lot of pride which we want to share with each other and the world. There are a lot of us. We should all be under one veterans organization, not limited because of assignment or dates of service. One dynamic organization dedicated to preserving the tradition. One organization where every Coastie is welcome.
It is time to bring everybody together in a single organization to promote our traditions. A good starting point would be to rename the Coast Guard Sea Veterans of America the Coast Guard Veterans of America. Welcome everybody, tell our sea stories and sand tales, and by all means stay out of politics! Let us have a good time; in the past; in the present; and in the future.
A NOTE CONCERNING THE OLD SALT'S JOURNAL
A few letters were received suggesting that the format be changed to include news of interest to Coast Guard Veterans. This suggestion is a good one and worthy of comment.
First and most important is that the OSJ is a venue to relate Coast Guard experiences so that the culture does not die. There are a few books and articles written on life in the Coast Guard but do not really reflect the lives, attitudes, and opinions of our life as we lived it. There is no intent to be maudlin or be boastful, just record our stories and read about the experiences of others, a virtual reunion of all Coasties of whatever stripe, whatever era in our little Journal.
Second and almost as important. Many organizations are involved in diseminating retiree's and veteran's (not necessarily one in the same) news. Many organizations that do maintain a lobby in Congress that the members pay for through their dues. It would be easy to put together a newsletter gathering and condensing their efforts and reporting them to you through this medium. But that would be almost criminal duplication.
A large portion of your annual dues goes to printing and distributing the OSJ. We can't always get together and tell our sea stories, but we can record them. Wouldn't you rather get something tangible than have your dues money spent for a rehash of the information found in the Legion Magazine?
Your comments are invited.
As always the Old Salt's Journal request your contributions to the content. It lives and breathes on your stories and experiences. Jot them down in some legible form, type them out, email them to us for future publication. Share with us your experiences. We will edit them and rewrite them if necessary but you will receive credit for the story or poem in whatever form.
CGSVA BOARD CHANGES
Since the last issue of the Old Salt's Journal there have been some changes in the Board of Directors. The thanks of the entire organization go to James Crissy, former Chairman of the Board, Roger Huff and John Nelson, former Direcors who guided the CGSVA for many years. Smooth Sailing to them and may the wind always be to their back.
Mssrs. Bobby Padgett and Jack Eckert have been named as directors to serve until relieved.
FROM THE SHIPS OFFICE
Officers and Board Members of the Coast Guard Sea Veterans of America:
Larry Stefanovich - Chairman of the Board/President
Rod C. Jernigan - Vice President
Ken Long - Secretary-Treasurer
James Duffield - Director
Richard T. McCombs - Director
Bobby Padgett - Director
Jack A. Eckert - News Letter Editor/Director
Dennis Streng - Historian
FROM THE QUARTERDECK
There have been several articles submitted and many letters received. Space limits what we can print this issue. What is not printed now will be printed in a future issue. Please continue to send letters and articles in both by regular mail and by email.
We hope that you have enjoyed this edition of the "Old Salt's Journal." Your suggestions for improvement and your submission of timely and interesting materials will be greatly appreciated.
Look for us again this Fall.
SUBMISSIONS BY OCTOBER 1, 1988
c/o Jack A. Eckert, Editor (Interim)
312 W. Washington St.
Port Washington, Wisconsin 53074
FROM THE EDITOR
Until we can improve our printing process we will not use halftone photographs in the Old Salt's Journal. Photos will be kept on file and printed in future issues. If space can be found, the applicable pictures will be posted on the internet.
The Old Salt's Journal is in need of a permanent Editor in Chief. If you want to undertake this task please submit your desires along with your qualifications to President Larry Stefanovich or Secretary Ken Long.
KEEP THE FAITH
MAINTAIN THE TRADITION
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