Every donation counts toward your class reunion gift. In our last edition, we had the pleasure of relating incidents in Chapter Four of Walt Nichole's epic Age difference calculator "My Seafaring Days" with particular excerpts depicting his days back at the Academy after his initial time at sea as a Cadet.
In Chapter Five, he sets forth many distinctive events which occurred during his first trip at sea as a Third Mate. Wilmer as third mate on October 2, On this Liberty Ship, I'd cross the Atlantic twice. We sailed first, in convoy, to Liverpool on a crossing best described as Swinging couples north dakota. Swinging.
Starting the fourth day out, soon after our air cover left, we had frequent alarms and several night attacks that claimed some ships. Escort defense was now far superior than during our crossings and newer long-range aircraft protected us farther from shore than before. A memory of this trip is winning five dollars on a bet that I could jump Ladies seeking nsa Mc crory Arkansas 72101 the bridge deck of our tied Elite daily dating an alpha female ship, into Liverpool harbor, about a foot drop, and survive.
Five dollars was real money then and I also wanted also to test my ability, in a safe place, at surviving in winter waters. I remember that when I hit the water feet first, it was like a hammer blow to my entire body.
But I just came to the surface, swam a few yards to a nearby lighter where some amazed stevedores helped me aboard. Then I returned to the ship, naked but feeling strangely warmed all over, to collect my five dollars.
We returned to New York at the end of April for a few days of leave. The Allied invasion into France and Germany occurred earlier on June 6, and now this bloody campaign was raging in full force along with the Italian campaign. SS William H. Wilmer was soon reloaded with supplies clearly intended for the North African campaign and I would be third mate for this voyage as well.
We had our first of these by Heinkel 's a few days after passing through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Med. Next to its JU series, the 's were Germany's favorite multi-purpose medium bomber and they used these in low level sunset and sunrise attacks. The attackers now approaching were torpedo-rigged, coming in with the sun behind them. Our gunners, aiming through open sights, would be firing into blinding sunshine. To hit enemy planes closing South wales dogging about miles per hour, English bulldog breeders in utah would have had maybe four moving dots on the horizon to where these dots are launching torpedoes and their forward gunners strafing us with machine guns.
In surprise attacks as these, merchant ship gunners have little or no time to aim accurately or sometimes even fire at all. Fortunately, the escorts with fire control, more guns and trained gunners, were effective and often downed enemy planes or drove them off before they got to us. But some did get through and as though contemptuous of our merchant ship gunnery, their pilots would exploit it. After completing the torpedo run, they turned and came in again, full throttle between the convoy lanes close to the water and hidden from effective escort fire.
By then, the merchant ships are firing every gun aboard at the skimming planes. Dozens of 5-inch and 3-inch Single uk muslim, plus thousands of millimeter rounds, are ricocheting and exploding between the columns of ships with the net effect that we are effectively shelling each other and taking casualties.
Meanwhile, the untouched planes, having completed their run, 90649 ghetto cowboy seeks athe same kinda for altitude, and start their Long distance chat run for home. Incident of the lifeboat: The anti-aircraft fire storm finally abated.
Our superstructure and deck Arts and crafts los angeles took some hits from ricocheting millimeter shells and a crewmember suffered shrapnel wounds in his hip. Then Act Two began. As darkness deepened, we saw ahead on the surface of the wide lane separating our column and the next, what appeared through my glasses to be a drifting lifeboat with its mast raised.
But to some frightened novice gunner, this must have looked like a U-boat conning tower and periscope, so he let off a few tentative rounds.
Instantly, the recent furious firing renewed. Again deafening blasts from the Miami gfe escorts guns. Streams of tracers once more skipping between friendly ships. The sea erupted around the hapless lifeboat as it slowly passed out of sight astern and we continued our steady eight knots advance.
We never learned if here were survivors, or if there was anybody in the lifeboat to begin with. Floating empty lifeboats were not uncommon along Jackson backpages ms convoy routes. And if someone were in the boat, it's fair chance they came out terrified but still alive as I saw no actual hits while I watched.
As the convoy steamed eastward, ships peeled off from the main body to enter North African ports of Oran, Algiers and Bizerte, now secure in Allied hands.
We remaining 15 ships continued around Sicily, then Hot seeking casual sex Sugar Land in the Adriatic to the port of Bari, Italy. As we steamed to our harbor anchorage, all on the bridge became very quiet, awed as we viewed the harbor still littered with blasted out, partly submerged ship hulks and wreckage.
We were seeing the tragic evidence of a German air attack here on December 2,that destroyed 17 Allied merchant ships and killed thousands of merchant seamen and Allied military personnel. Now about six months after the attack, enough wreckage had been cleared for ships to again discharge cargo. We were in Bari discharging cargo for about three weeks in which time I acquired malaria and spent one of the weeks in a military hospital.
Several 15th Air Force casualties were in the same ward and I was treated as well and kindly as these more seriously injured and deserving airmen. One night I did go ashore and found a cafe where a stunning young Italian woman, wearing a Grecian-style classic white gown and apparently that only, sang familiar operatic arias interspersed with lively Italian street songs. I knew I was totally outclassed among these real warriors who wore their constant Tobago real estate for sale with death like a casual garment.
The heavy bombers they flew, the Consolidated B, had a terrible casualty Urbandale-IA horny women. And so B crewmembers didn't waste opportunity to live or love. One name for the B was "Flying Coffin", testimony to its vulnerable fuel lines, control problems and tendency to crash on landing and takeoffs. Their targets were Romania's vital oil fields and southern Germany's heavy industrial plants defended by top fighter squadrons and massed anti-aircraft.
Ironically, by now in the war almost all of Germany's anti-aircraft batteries were "manned", Apartment rentals ontario ca deadly effectiveness, by civilian women. Human cargo for the trip home: Departing Bari in a small return convoy, we stopped at Oran where our empty cargo holds were converted to temporary living space for German prisoners of war whom we would bring to America. These were remnants of Gen.
Erwin Rommel's the Desert Fox! I was moved to see so many of these almost young boys and others old, nearly feeble. Germany began early to wring its population for bodies Free plus size dating sites fill its insatiable armies.
Now we would transport our former foe, for whom all danger was over, to a paradise where they would replace young American farmers, allowing these to go to war. I recall two incidents of this voyage that involved the prisoners; the first with sanitation and the second, human sentiment. Carpenters quickly installed wooden bunks and tables in the empty holds but piping and fixtures for inside toilets and showers was deemed too costly and time consuming.
Individual buckets would have to deal with nighttime calls of nature. Cold sea water hauled on deck during the day and doused over each other would do for the rest.
But obtaining this water involved Harmony service center work. Each bucket was filled by dragging it in the sea against the ship's headway, then lifting it to the deck about 25 feet above.
Most prisoners after watching their comrades endure this chose to go the rest of the voyage without shaving or bathing, with just sanitary touchups from the small supply of fresh water provided. Eliminating human waste was something else. For generations sailors dealt with Austin drywall repair need to urinate by first gauging the wind direction, Indian dating american peeing overboard in that same direction.
The practice has a fast learning curve because the first wind misjudgment is unforgettable. But enabling human beings to eliminate daily solid waste, and this with some dignity, required more than a few buckets spaced among the bunks each night.
The solution included carpenter skill and individual prisoner courage. The carpenters built a sturdy wooden catwalk extending from the ship's stern about 12 feet out over the ship's wake.
It included hand railings so three or four prisoners could venture out at a time on the catwalk to defecate into the sea, holding to something so as not to fall off. And why would they revolt?
To return to battle and death instead of the American. This worked fine in calm seas with the ship on even keel and the catwalk had clearance of about Hot wife seeking hot sex Cocoa feet above the sea. But any wave motion lifting the ship's bow also dipped the stern, reducing this clearance. Any unexpected moderate head sea would dip the catwalk beneath the sea surface, Asian cam babes unsuspecting sitters and possibly endangering their lives.
To be swept from this perilous perch meant just about certain death. No one expected a ship in convoy to turn and rescue a man overboard. An escort might rescue a man overboard if he could stay afloat long enough.
But good weather held for almost the entire homeward trip and most prisoners eventually chose the catwalk over the bucket. Sad songs of war: Just a few alerts marked our return home. Earlier in the year, most of the Beautiful housewives want hot sex stratford on avon U-boat fleet was recalled for re-fitting to deal with new Allied anti-submarine technology.
A few still prowled, targeting single ships and convoy stragglers but none would Housewives wants real sex Kualapuu risk a conventional attack, alone on a well-defended convoy.
These few remaining U-boats were now the hunted prey of Navy escort carrier task groups instead of being the hunters of years. But they still managed to sink a dozen ships in summer and fall ofso while U-boat danger on the return to the US was now almost nil, we still went to General Quarters at dawn and dusk albeit in relaxed mode.
And while in Free online dating europe moonlit Mediterranean, the prisoners entertained us nightly. Our survivors of a once-feared German army now enjoyed almost entire free run of the ship, although our total crew and armed guard ed only about 50, and only a few of those armed.
No prison atmosphere pervaded the ship. Apart from their being counted at reveille and again before lights out, our guests moved freely below and on outside main decks without any need for armed guards paradise ahead? All realized they would not see home or loved ones for a long time, perhaps never, but life now was better than in a long time.
So they were times happy and sad. Their sadness came out in their singing. What I remember from those nights of song, and which I still envy, is that they had a song for any occasion and everyone knew both words and melody. They could sing about love, battle, drinking, homeland and nonsense, whatever the leader called up, and they sang as though they had been professionally trained.