HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY TO THE OSJ
The Internet Edition of
The Old Salt's Journal
Volume II - No. 1 Winter 1999
The Coast Guard Sea Veterans of America Quarterly Newsletter
IN THIS ISSUE:
The Death of the Coos Bay
The Boatswains Mate
What is a Veteran
The Colors of Love
1946 - A Dismal Year for the Coast Guard
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are those of the editor, columnists, or contributors and are not necessarily those of the U.S. Coast Guard or the Coast Guard Sea Veterans of America.
This is the Fifth issue of our Quarterly Newsletter, the "Old Salts Journal." It is published sometime during each of the four seasons of the year.
Recently the OSJ received a distressing communication from Vern Toler that reported a most ludicrous event. It is reprinted here in total on the front page so that no Sea Vet will miss it.
USCGC TANEY - Another Smithsonian?
It seems when a person is assigned to a ship or station they should first check into the background of the person that ship or station is named after.
A few years ago I attended a very emotional decommissioning of the Cutter Taney and was proud to see it turned over to the Baltimore Maritime Museum. The Taney was built as a High Endurance Cutter along with six other sister ships in 1936, by the Treasury Department. All the ships were named after former Secretary's of Treasury. The Taney was the last military ship afloat that saw action at Pearl Harbor and she went on to serve for over fifty years which included Korea and Vietnam.
At our reunion the Taney's last skipper brought some distressing news. By order of the Mayor of Baltimore, MD the Coast Guard name and logo and other identity marks were painted out and the ship moved to another location.
After several tries the skipper received a fax stating they wanted to emphasize the ship's pre war duty. Other former crewmembers received two other versions. One was that ships namesake, Roger. B. Taney who later became a Chief Justice, participated in the Dred Scot infamous (slavery) decision. The other reason was that the U.S. Coast Guard represented drug busts.
The politicians of Baltimore did not like seeing the ship in prominent view. (more info on my web page http://www.armory.com/~vern/ history +.)
Seek not to punish the past but to enlighten "the future" - Vern Toler
Story by Warren Hartman 1996 Copied by Vern Toler Sept 1989 Reprinted by Permission
U.S.S. Taney, W37. Keel laid in 1936 with 6 sister ships.
She was decommissioned in 1986 after 50 years of service.
She was assigned to the Hawaiian Sea Frontier in 1937.
During Taney's career, she steamed nearly 1 million miles.
She served in WW2, Korea, & Nam earning 11 battle stars.
She is the only Pearl Harbor combat ship still afloat.
She served as Flagship, Atlantic convoys in 1943 and 1944.
Also served as Flagship in Pacific Theater, Okinawa 1945.
Took hits and fragments from Luftwaffe in North Africa 1944
Took hits and fragments, Okinawa 1945
Took hits, shore batteries, Viet Nam
She was at the start and finish of WW2
Was awarded the big E in 1943
Received praise letters and accommodations from two Admirals..
She was termed 'Luck Lady' - I believe "Blessed"
"Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" the theme song.
Taney performed many varied duties:
Interdiction and boarding parties in war and peace time.
Search and rescue in war and peace time.
A.P.D. Landing Assault Ship.
Served as Flagship in both theaters of war.
Gunfire support with 3rd fleet.
Convoy and Picket duties both theaters of war.
Weather ship - peacetime.
Salvage assistance - peacetime.
Drug abatement surveillance - peacetime
DO YOU REMEMBER
1946 - A Dismal Year for the Coast Guard
I enlisted in the regular Coast Guard in late 1941 and served on McLANE, WESTWIND, and GENERAL D. E. AULTMAN during WW II. Aside from the unpleasantness, the war years were in some ways pretty fat for most of us.
The pre-war regulars had their foot in the door, so to speak, and formed the backbone on which the organization rapidly expanded. Regulars went up the ladder in a hurry, especially if you were in the right place at the right time.
By mid-1945 the Coast Guard had grown to roughly 282,000 men and women, counting Regulars, Active Reserves, SPARS, Auxiliary, Temporary Reserves, and Port Security.
After the war ended the day of reckoning began. We all knew what was going to happen but wouldn't admit it. So it is with human nature, and when the crash came it was not pleasant. The first departing wave was the Active Reservists, by far the bulk of the wartime Coast Guard, released according to seniority in the sacred "point system." The outflow continued as Port Security groups were disbanded; SPARS were paid off, Auxiliary and Temporary Reserves were reduced drastically.
Cut to the bone also was congressional funding allocations for the Coast Guard. There was hardly enough money to keep us going. Paychecks were frequently late, allotments were held up, and purchasing fuel for ships and aircraft was a problem.
While this was taking place, the regulars suddenly faced the moment of truth: reversion to their "permanent" ranks and rates. Captains reverted to Lieutenants; Chiefs went to first or second class, and so on. I went from QM1 to QM3. There was pain and suffering!
The schemers and dreamers in Washington had the idea that the true-blue regular establishment would endure the pain and stand fast. They made the mistake of creating an easy solution for those who found it unacceptable: If you had been reduced two grades, you could get out. You didn't want to be standing near the door as you may have been crushed in the stampede. In no time at all the mighty Coast Guard of 1945 became the meager few of 1946: just over 18,000.
Among the wave of departing were officers and petty officers that would be sorely needed to rebuild the Coast Guard's shattered remains. For those who continued on duty, the impact on morale was devastating.
The worst impact was on manning the Cutters. The Coast Guard had been handed the job of maintaining the Ocean Weather Stations in both the Atlantic and Pacific. The Cutters were struggling to stay operational; with 60% of complement, you were in great shape. Watch routines and ship's maintenance was pure agony.
On 21 May I went to the CGC IROQUOIS, but before reporting I unstitched my first class crow, rummaged around and found my old third class bird and sewed it on. There was a lot of sewing going on in those days.
Reduction from 1st class to 3rd was not only a loss of prestige, but there were other, more serious considerations. I was married by then and the loss in pay was significant; furthermore, if I got transferred, I was no longer eligible for transportation of dependents and household effects.
On 29 July I was quickly transferred to CGC Spencer at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Virginia to replace the QM3 who had just committed suicide. Sadly, there was a lot of that going on. This was not a happy situation and I was terribly depressed. Underway watches were 4 on, 4 off.
CG Headquarters was now in a panic trying to stem the outgoing tide of experienced personnel. The "two grades and out" directive was canceled, and it was rumored that those of us who stayed would be considered for advancement. For me it didn't mean much-my enlistment was about up and if I indicated I was not going to reenlist, they would transfer me back to the West Coast for discharge.
I detached from SPENCER on 24 October and headed west with 90 days terminal leave, which took care of the remainder of what had been a devastating year in the Coast Guard.
1946 was one of the worst periods of my life, and possibly for the Coast Guard as well. Believing in the Coast Guard and its mission, and feeling assured that the future would right itself, I re-enlisted.
I am writing to explain how it was in 1946, not that I would ever want to relive that period, but only to pass a personal memory on to those who served during that dismal year; and for the men who followed us, a small bit of history.
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 15,000 Coasties of all stripes. The internet 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 or two.
The Home Page address of the Coast Guard SeaVets is www.sos.net/~kenlong/cgsva.html
The Editor maintains an internet site called "Jack's Joint" http://www.execpc.com/~jeckert/ or the alternate site http://members.xoom.com/jeckert/ which carry's among other things stories too long to published in the OSJ.
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.
THE STRAIGHT SKINNY
What is a Veteran?
Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg -- or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can't tell a vet just by looking.
What is a vet?
He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.
He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.
She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.
He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.
He is the carrier pilot landing on a rolling, pitching, heaving flight deck during rain squall in the pitch-black night of the Tonkin Gulf.
He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.
He is the career quartermaster (Army Supply Corps) who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.
He is the Navy SEAL who humps endless miles of burning sand for three days with no sleep or food and very little water to designate targets for laser guided bombs or swims through a disease infested swamp and crawls over poisonous snakes under the cover of darkness to conduct intelligence on a foreign government hostile to our own and our cherished way of life.
He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.
He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.
He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.
So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.
Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".
Scuttlebutt - Maritime discipline was harsh:, human rights were restricted and as a result .specific shipboard havens developed. The term "Scuttlebutt" evolved from this background. There was a cask (butt) with a square hole (scuttle) cut in it's bilge, kept on deck to hold water for ready use. On board ships where discipline was strictly enforced, merchant as well as war, the "scuttlebutt" was one of the few places on deck where sailors were at liberty to talk. Today this term is synonomous with gossip.
- Reprinted courtesy of "Tales of Wireless Pioneers" who extracted it from "The Surveyor" the quarterly publication of the American Bureau of Shipping.
The Boatswain's Pipe - Courtesy of BMCS Ray O'Neal
The Boatswain's pipe (or call) dates back to and before the days of wooden-walled ships firing broadsides of red-hot round shot, when the Boatswain's Mate was a rough, roaring shellback. It had very definite practical uses in the days of sail. Men high on the royal and topgallant yards could hear its piercing call rising above the decks. In the wind ship days, merchant as well as naval vessels carried piping Boatswain's Mates; but the pipe has long since ceased to be a feature of anything but a man-of-war.
Call Mates...Before the days of PA systems aboard ship, every word passed was by word of mouth of the Boatswain's Mates, fore and aft. The word was given to the Boatswain or Boatswain's Mate of the watch, who sounded "Call mates" to get the Boatswain's Mates together. As they drew near from different parts of the ship, they answered repeatedly with the same call.When they got the word, they dispersed fore and aft to sing it out at every hatch.
Pass the Word ..This call is the prelude to every word passed aboard ship. Its purpose is to get the attention of all hands to the announcement to be made.
All Hands All Hands is piped as a general call to any event in which all hands are to participate (to battle stations for example). It is sounded after the bugle call "Reveille," before word is passed to break out and trice up.
Boat Call...Boat call is piped to call away a boat, and also to pipe a division to quarters. The call is lengthened in proportion to the seniority of the boat called. In other words,it is held longer for the gig than for a motor whaleboat. After the pipe the call, When piping a division to quarters, after the call sing out, "All the (number) division to quarters!"
Sweepers...Sweepers is a call piped all the time.
Heave Around This call, piped twice, means "Heave around" on the capstan or winch. Piped once, it means "Mess gear." It is also part of the pipe for "Mess Call."
Veer This is the call sounded by the Boatswain's Mate of the watch to fall in side boys for tending the side. One veer calls two boys; two veers, four; three veers, six; and four veers, eight.
Stand By The meaning of "Stand By" is obvious. Piped after "All hands," it means "All hands stand by" for some evolution or maneuver. This is also the call for "Set taut," meaning to take the slack out of falls of tackles before "Hoist away."
Hoist Away..."Hoist away" is piped after "Set taut," to start a power hoist or a "walk away" with boat falls or tackles.
Haul. "Haul" is the pipe equivalent of "Ho! heave! ho! heave! by voice, when the gang is heaving together on a line instead of walking away with it. The low note means "Get another purchase," and the high note means "Heave!"
Belay A short "Belay" means "Vast heaving." A long "Belay" means "Vast heaving and make her fast."
Pipe Down The call "Pipe down". It is piped a "Secure" from any all-hands function. It is also piper immediately after the bugle call "Tattoo," just before word is passed to "Turn in. Keep silence about the decks."
Mess Call The pipe "Mess call" is the longest of the lot; it should cover not less than a minute. It consists of "All hands," a long "Heave around," and a long "Pipe down," in that order.
Pipe the Side This is the aristocrat of all the calls on the Boatswain's pipe. It really consists of two of the calls shown on the score. The pipe "Alongside" is sounded so as to finish just as the visitor's boat makes the gangway. During this pipe the side boys and Boatswain's Mate stand at attention but do not salute.
Boatswain's Mate 3&2, Navy Training Courses,
U.S. Coast Guardsman's Manual, Third Edition
This is a complete set of lyrics for Semper Paratus, the Coast Guard Marching Song.
From Aztec Shore to Arctic Zone
To Europe ans Far East
The Flag is carried by our ships
In times of war and peace;
And never have we struck it yet
In spite of foeman's might.
Who cheered our crews and cheered again
For Showing how to fight.
So here's the Coast Guard marching song,
We sing on land and sea.
Through surf and storm and howling gale,
High shall our purpose be.
"Semper Paratus" is our guide,
Our fame and glory too.
To fight to save or fight and die,
Aye! Coast Guard we are for you.
Surveyor and Narcissus,
The Eagle and Dispatch,
The Hudson and the Tampa.
The names are hard to match;
From Barrow's shorfe to Paraguay,
Great Lakes or ocean's wave,
The Coast Guard fought through storm and winds
To punish or to save.
Aye, we've been "Always Ready"
To do, to fight, or die
Write glory to the shield we wear,
In letters to the sky.
To sink the foe or save the maimed,
Our mission and our pride,
We'll carry on 'til Kingdom come,
Ideals for which we've died.
- Captain Francis S. Boskerck, USCG
The Colors of Love
by Rev. Albert H. Moir
As through the park I strolled,
A movement caught my eye
Atop a towering flagpole,
Our country flag did fly.
I wondered as I pondered,
Why these colors three,
The Red, the White, and the Blue,
Just what they mean to me.
When thinking of the battles long,
To make our country free,
These colors stand for sacrifice,
To gain our liberty.
The Red reminds me blood was shed,
To fight and free our land,
From tyranny and kings abroad,
We need to make a stand.
The White has two places,
Both stars and stripes have we,
Reminding us how we started,
Now spread from sea to sea.
The field of Blue is to honor,
Those who gave their all,
From end to end our land is free,
The made the Kingdom fall.
So as you walk upon this land,
Our flag flies high above,
Just ponder what the colors mean,
They mean a land of love.
Love for us that was given,
To make our country free,
They fought and died within the battles,
To give us liberty.
From the New Jersey Legionnaire - November 1988
SAILING ORDERS AND RENDEZVOUS
This listing of reunions is very space consuming. In most cases this is a duplication of information found in several other sources. From now on the reunion will be listed in the Old Salt's Journal without amplifying detail. If you are unable to get amplifying information on it email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or request the information by snail mail.
The Death of the USCGC COOS BAY
The CGC Coos Bay(WHEC-376) was one of the AVP's that were leased to the U.S. Coast Guard circa 1948-50 . There were 14 of them and three AGP's that were put into service as Ocean Station Vessels. Considering the arduousness of the duty and the fact that they remained in service through the Vietnamese War, none were ever lost. A few men were washed over the side though.
In the Summer of 1966 I was given a choice of duty on the Coos Bay, Barataria, or Cook Inlet, all out of Portland, Maine. Because it was the newest of the old girls I selected the Cook Inlet. The theory being if it was newer I would have less trouble with it. Before I was commissioned in 1961 I was an Engineman The Coast Guard tried to use Engineering Officers on their older ships were well qualified and experienced.
The Coast Guard in my time was a very frugal organization. We never really had enough money to do everything. Our financial program pitted fuel against engine parts against toilet paper. This was the great discipline. In Portland the three Chief Engineers of the three cutters had a tacit agreement to cover each others overhauls. In other words, if we ran short of parts due to unforeseen circumstances we would "lend" each other the parts if we had them. We could never depend on our supply system to act in a timely manner. Most of the time we were buying parts from junk yards, yes really, junk yards.
The first of the new 378' Hamilton Class cutters was commissioned in late 1965. The first of the old AVP's (the CG called them first WAVP's and the WHEC's) to be replaced was the Coos Bay. The Hamilton was assigned Boston as a home port. The plan was to decommission the Coos Bay, transfer the crew to the Humboldt, reassign the Humboldt to Portland and man the Hamilton with the Humboldt's crew. It was somewhat of a disaster. The last crew of the Coos Bay kept her in immaculate condition. The Humboldt had been known for years in Boston as the Bumboat. It was in atrocious condition, just as dirty as her crew. There were some really mad Portland sailors, giving up a good ship for what they perceived to be a garbage scow.
On the night before the Coos Bay left Portland for good, Arnie Cousins, her Chief Engineer and myself hoisted a few at the American Legion in Portland. He was not going to the Humboldt. He had run afoul of the Coast Guard's officer educational program and had been broken from Lieutenant to W-3. His assistants were jg's, and a W-2, but he still remained in charge.
He related to me which engines he had just overhauled. Mine were running but just barely. My predecessor had played with the engine operating hours so that I was stuck with four overhauls coming due at once and empty parts boxes. Arnie and I edged down to the Coos Bay's log office after midnight where he gave me the machinery history cards and engine overhaul records.
I stood on the dock with a number of others next morning and bid good-bye to the Coos Bay. But that is not the end of my story.
Within a couple of days the Cookie Cutter went on patrol. It was a tough patrol and we came limping back on 2-1/2 engines. One of the GM8-268A diesel generators was crippled with water in the oil and I had serious evaporator and boiler problems. I called the District Engineer and asked him for enough money to buy the necessary parts to get my main engines back in shape. He didn't have the money to give me but offered to let me cannibalize the Coos Bay which was decommissioned and laying dead in the water at the Curtis Bay (Md) Yard. I said not only yes, but hell yes.
I commandeered a stake truck from the South Portland CG Base, gathered up a group of (you, you, and you) volunteers, and drove down to Curtis Bay to get the parts. If I recall correctly it was ENC Jim Diverty, DCC Johnny Johnson, EN2 Palowski, and a fireman who were in on this. When we got to the shipyard we were treated like lepers by the yard birds. It was early February, cold, gray and damp. We were not allowed to energize any systems on the Coos Bay. We had just $1500 from the District for rigging services and temporary lights. Believe me it was cold on that old girl. Everybody worked in foul weather gear.
From the Machinery History information we decided to remove the center section from #3 and #4 mains. That is the fuel equipment, cylinder liners, pistons, and piston rods, main, and crankshaft bearings. We worked 16 hours a day for five or six days and had the engines disassembled, parts labeled, and ready to off-load on to the truck. What a joy that was. The ship had all exterior weather tight doors but the one adjacent to the machine shop welded closed. We mule hauled all of the parts up from B-2 to the main deck. While we were at it we took the fuel pumps, injectors, from #1 and #2, as well as 16 GM8-268A heads. The yard crane was used to load the truck and we were on our way.
We had so many parts we couldn't get them all on to the Cookie Cutter so we stored them in one of the State Pier Buildings.
I wish I could have given the guys who did the work in Curtis Bay medals. It never happened. What happened initially was the Coos Bay #3 Main parts became the #2 Main on the Cook Inlet. We loaded eight GM heads to be taken along on the next patrol to be overhauled at our leisure.
The Barataria was given quick notice to go to Viet Nam. They got the other parts from the Coos Bay to help them get ready to go. Poetic Justice didn't come into play this time. The Humboldt needed them as badly as I did.
A little later that year the Cook Inlet had a scheduled yard overhaul at Curtis Bay. On the day we got done with our overhaul the Coos Bay was towed out to sea just ahead of us where she was sunk by gunfire and bombs. That was a fitting end to a good ship.
-Jack A. Eckert-
I am sitting in a tavern
Swilling down my nightly beer,
When a stranger asks politely,
"Do you mind if I sit down here?"
I knew just what was coming,
But I said, "Sure, sit a spell."
Then he starts asking questions,
I am so mad that I could yell.
He is eying my gob suit,
When he notices my shield.
Then he says, "What's that thing sailor?"
So I answer, "Heres the deal
That thing stands for Coast Guard,
I am very proud to say,
No we're no part of the Navy,
We like ourselves that way."
Now I warm up to my topic,
Sitting there in that bar.
I tell him of the good and bad points,
But that's neither her nor thar.
He buys one while I tell him
About "Stiff Calls" and all that stuff.
Then he says, "I'm a YACHTSMAN."
I says, "Brother that's enough."
I like rattlesnakes and scorpions,
Lizzards, snails and crawling worms,
But just the thought of YACHTSMAN,
Makes my guts and gizzard squirm.
In their Captain's hats and deck shoes,
With their chest's a stickin' out,
They spin tall yarns while drinking,
They're "Salty" no doubt.
They curse and damn the Coast Guard
For a lazy bunch of bums,
Who drink coffee and play poker,
And lie out in the sun.
They're mighty brave these YACHTSMEN,
While they're standing slopping drinks,
But they surely change their tactics
When they think they're a'gonna sink.
Then we're "GOOD OLD COAST GUARD."
And they sing our praises high.
We're not "Coffee Drinkin' Bastards."
We're "The boys who are standing by."
But when we get them safely ashore,
And there's no more chance to drown,
They retire to the nearest bar,
And start to run us down!!!
"They surely took their goo sweet time,
Those coffee drinking bums.
Why hell we could have drowned out there,
We thought they'd never come.
They scratched our yacht from stem to stern,
With their dirty towing line.
When they took all night just to tow us in.
"Yep, they sure took their sweet time."
This crap that I am taking,
For a lousy ten cent brew.
So I have to leave the joker there,
And go back and join the crew.
But we can't be to hard on them.
And this is what I say,
"It's those ^%&*%#@&* YACHTSMEN,
Who are paying me my pay.
EN1 Eugene Doran wrote this poem while stationed at Beaver Island LBSTA in October 1950.
From "We've Been There" by Esther Stormer, Copyrighted 1992
FROM THE FORECASTLE
This Issues Posers
In the Coast Guard what does the length of a vessel have to be to be considered a "Cutter?"
In the Navy USS means United States Ship and it preceeds the name of each ship in commission. The letters preceeding the name of a Coast Guard vessel of sufficient length to be considered a cutter are USCGC. What is the one exception to this on a ship large enough to be considered a cutter?
What displayed device on a Coast Guard boat or cutter indicates that it is in commission?
How many buttons were sewn on the old bell bottom trousers?
What does the term, "bitter end" mean?
I'll print the name of every shipmate who sends me a letter or an email with all five answers to this issues posers correct - ed
The Answers to Last Issues Posers:
Correction: The last Coast Guard Cutter to make an Ocean Station was not the Ingham, it was the Taney.
Here are the Answers to Last Month's Posers:
Where was the Coast Guard East Coast Boot Camp located immediately before it was moved to Cape May, New Jersey? Mayport, Florida
The old sailor suit was very utilitarian. What was the purpose of the flap behind the neck? To Catch the Tar From the Sailors Wig.
Which Lightship used to mark the entrance to New York City? Ambrose
In the pre-1950 Lifeboat Stations, what was the approved bulkhead (wall) color? Spar
What is the name of the last manned Lighthouse under the cognizance of the Coast Guard? Boston Light
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
Over the years I have found that it helps not to take yourself too seriously and be able to laugh at your own goofs. With that in mind I can send in this sea story.
Fresh out of boot camp and starting to attend D.C. School at Governor's Island I saw something for my uniform I just had to buy. I was told these patches were to be worn on the cuffs. I promptly sewed them on, on the outside of my work jacket! I found out where they really belonged and really took a ribbing for it. In fact I earned my nickname as a result. It was a good thing that the patches were that of a shark (hence the nickname, "Sharky.") I'm glad I didn't go into my second choice, mermaids!
PS. I served on the Minnetonka (255) and the Unimak (311) during the early seventies and enjoy the newsletter, keep up the good work.
The editor remembers an incident 20 years prior involving the Navy SP's in Boston and "Dragons" on his cuffs, turned up. Those were the days.
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
Dennis Streng - Historian
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Hello Fellow "GUARDIANS OF THE TRADITION"
Well we are back again. Hope the Holidays were happy ones for all of you. 1998 was a pretty good year for the Sea Vets. We had good luck with new members and life members. But a few members have fallen along the wayside. S O S! Lets re-up.
I'm trying to compile a list of Sea Vets email addresses. To be put out for the members to enjoy. We have two cases of old WWII members "finding each other" so far. So please send your emailaddress to me to be add to the list. My Web Address is LASUSHL@webtv.net
We have been harboring a notion that some of the Sea Vet wives ( who are members also) would like to add some thing to the OSJ. Such as the long periods of time spent on the beach, while a loved one was at sea, isolated duty, or the constant upheaval of homes and new schools, etc. Ladies lets hear from you!
Looking at the new year brings thoughts of a reunion of the Sea Vets. Lets have some ideas and "volunteers" to try and get some thing together this year.
Semper Paratus and Help Guard the Traditions.
GRUMBLINGS FROM THE ENGINEROOM
CGC Taney's Demise
The lead articles on the front page of this issue of the OSJ address the plight of the USCGC Taney (WHEC-37.) The reported actions of the Mayor and the City of Baltimore are more than reprehensible.
Is this any way to honor the last surviving ship afloat that was at the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941?
Every Coast Guard Sea Veteran, every Coast Guard Veteran, every Navy and Marine Corps Veteran, every Military Veteran of the armed forces of the United States should take a personal afront to this detestable action and should make your feelings known to this gang of local politicians in politically correct Baltimore in no uncertain terms.
Restore the Taney to her position of honor or ask some other locale to proudly displaye her. She is our last floating link to that infamous day of infamy.
What Goes Around Comes Around
During my early years in the Coast Guard medical care was non-existent for our dependents. Only those fortunate few that lived near Marine Hospitals were assured of any care at all. Those were the days of free dental care (Mobile Dental Units) and costly babies. We begged to have a health insurance program such as Blue Cross. The other services took mercy on us in the mid fifties and we were given medical priveleges. Champus came and it was a Godsend for those out in the boonies. Now we had no dental care but got free babies.
Today with Tricare those out in the boonies can't even get a Doctor because of the extremely low fees being paid to them. Without belaboring the point any further, we have come almost full circle with our active troops particularly. From no medical care to almost no medical care. At least in the good old days we had USPHS contract physicians.
HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP HELP
Each ten page issue of the Old Salt's Journal contains over 7,500 words. Discount the blank space on the mailing space, the banner title, about 1,000 words of routine listings, you can soon see that we can print all of our available written materials pretty quickly. We need your help in the form of stories, clean ones of course, confessions, poetry, plausible lies or what have you. Don't worry about grammatical structure, spelling and punctuation, we will edit it for publication. So get busy and email or mail me your stories. Your only payment will be to see your name credited to the story. -editor-
The Old Salt's Journal on the Internet
There is an Internet edition of the Old Salt's Journal and it can be found at the following address:
This site can be accessed 24 hours per day. The Internet edition usually doesn't appear before the printed edition is mailed to the members of the Sea Vets.
FROM THE QUARTERDECK
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 in the Spring.
SUBMISSIONS BEFORE MARCH 1, 1999
The Old Salt's Journal would really like some stories and poems about the following:
SPARS and Lady Coast Guardsmen.
International Ice Patrol
Alaska Fisheries Patrol
Convoy Escort Duty
Polar Ice Breaking
Great Lakes Ice Breaking
Beach Patrol During WWII
Groton Training Station
Yorktown Reserve Training Center
Columbia River Bar Duty
Headquarters and District Duty
The Western River Coast Guard
Life on Cape Hatteras
The Beach Cart
c/o Jack A. Eckert, Editor
312 W. Washington Street
Port Washington, Wisconsin 53074
To Any Officer of the SeaVets
A FINAL NOTE
Don't Forget to write and tell us what you like and don't like about the Old Salt's Journal. We appreciaste your contributions and are want more to put in future issues. Expect your next issue in April, 1999. Semper Paratus, Smooth Sailing, and Maintain the Traditions!
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