RECALLING THE 1940's ABOARD THE TANEY
By WARREN HARTMAN
"SHARING HIS REMEMBRANCES"
from the Oct 11 1994 Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Inc.
USCGC TANEY (WHEC-37) (Later
Picture) - Courtesy of Jerry Lentz
- No gum or wooden
matches aboard ship -- Only the Bosn's whistle --
- Steaming moonless
nights trailing a florescent wake.
- A 4" swastika
painted on the bow while chipping the anchor
- Holy stoning the
teakwood decks at 6 a.m.
- Sleeping on deck hot
- White glove and sea
bag inspections --
- Pressing our uniforms
under G.I. mattresses --
- Surf landings in a 22'
whale boat --
- Gooney birds so thick
on atolls walking was difficult --
- 0 Blueberry Hill,
" You are my Sunshine, Jersey Bounce, San Antonio
Rose" on all the jukeboxes --
- Dungaree and Aloha
shirt liberties --
- Sick Bay's APC cure-all
- Sea stores cigarettes
at $1.00 a carton.
- A most bewildering
experience was putting a chipping hammer through the hull,
- A most embarrassing
experience was when our port gangway was rusted solid,
requiring the black gang to free it up, on my duty
station. (Note: "black gang" refers boiler room
men who use to shovel coal.)
- My most feared duty
was our boarding party of four on a Japanese patrol boat
- My happiest
memory was returning to Bremerton, Navy Yard in 1943 and
seeing my dad.
- My most humbling
memories were sunrises and sunsets in the South Pacific
of crimson and gold.
- My most inspiring experience
was Church Call on #3 hatch, when nearly 1000 G.I's would
- A favorite old
sailors' adage, "Red sky at night, sailors'
delight, Red in the morning, sailors' warring."
Often proved true.
- Ships proudest
moment was being awarded the "Big E."
- The "Dawn Phase"
alarm at 0400 hours: Ships most vulnerable.
- Losing our motor
whaleboat in the surf.
- Offloading food to a
starving leper colony.
- Dropping depth
charges before our RI.M's were up.
- Throwing a gunners
mate striker overboard for washing the coffee pot.
- Sighting a floating
mine while rigging our paravancs.
- Sighting an inbound
- Running aground at
night on an atoll.
- Hitting a submerged
object and sinking our 40' picket boat.
- Seeing a B-17 shot
down by friendly fire.
- The terrifying
experience of a typhoon.
- Seeing 16"
rounds passing overhead during island bombardments.
- My cousin dying on
- Our Chinese cook
trying to interrogate a Japanese prisoner.
- "Praise the Lord
and Pass the Ammunition" our ships song.
- Daily chow of
powdered potatoes, eggs, milk and Spam.
- The good smell of
- Graceful albatross
and porpoises following the ship.
- Fireballs dancing on
yardarms during an electrical storm.
- Baloney and cheese
sandwiches during rough weather.
- Four-hour gun watches
that seemed endless.
- Sudden refreshing
rain squalls in the South Pacific.
- Our 38 year old
skipper we called "The Old Man"
- Our chief's famous
saying, "Run she might, but shine she must."
- After a storm, our
deck was littered by flying fish.
Reprinted courtesy of Vern Toler and the Taney Association
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