Souvenir Edition pages 12-16
Ship's History of the Cooks
By C.H.Ver Hoef
Fellows, as you all know, we are writing a history of the "Mighty N", and I am writing something about the cooks, past and present. We have had a swell bunch of fellows working in the galley. All of the fellows that have left us were thought very well of by all aboard.
For instance, there was Hays. He made chief and left us in "Frisco" for discharge.
Also, there was Smitty, who was one of the swellest fellows in the galley. He always had a smile for everyone. In civilian life, he was a baker. How he became a cook in the Navy is only a Navy secret, but he was one of the best.
Another cook was Zalinski. He is now our chief.
Chasteen SC2c was a cook, but at heart he was a boatswain mate. Never a day went by that he wasn't trying to tell Snead or Costa how to handle the deck apes. It was always his desire to get out of the galley and to get into the deck force. But deep down in his heart he still liked cooking, and he is a darn good cook. I hear that after getting out, he missed the Navy at first. But at last he decided he liked the cruel outside world better, way down deep in the heart of Texas.
Now we will turn to Murphy, who was a hash slinger in his own hash house in Kansas. We always admired Murphy because of the wonderful stories he told us about his life. And he had quite a few stories too. Some of them were heard six or seven times, but they were never boring. The one story he loved to tell was the one about the guy who he threw out of his own joint, because the fellow wanted toasted whole wheat bread with no butter. The thing that made "Murph" sore was that this was the first time he didn't have whole wheat bread on hand.
Now we will turn to Vance, or "Pappy" to all those who knew him very well. "Pappy" like Chosten, lives deep in the heart of Texas. Here, He was owner of a grocery store and a butcher shop. So naturally he turned out to be a butcher in the Navy, and he was a good one too. His pet hobby was to give the boys fatherly advice.
Of course, all of you fellows know Frank E. Waggoner, Commonly known as "Give me a little ditty" Frank. Life aboard the Natrona has been made much more pleasant with "waggs!" cute, little songs, which have become well-known to all the cooks and bakers. We are sorry to say that we cannot put them in print for you to, read.
Then, we have our dry-land sailor, Schuller. He was a swell "joe", but he couldn't keep his stomack on an even keel with that of the ship. Therefore, he was transferred at Saipan. On our last trip there, he spent an evening aboard ship with us. At that time he said that his only wish was that he could have stayed with us.
Not many of the fellows knew Alexander, who was injured two days before we were put into commission. The accident occurred when the No.2 hatch covers fell into the mess hall, injuring several of our boys. He was very well liked by the fellows who knew him.
Before going any further, we better mention Chief Eahart, who was a swell chief and an old friend. He left us in Long Beach to go on a shipping-over leave. We all missed him very much, and we know that wherever he goes he will be well-liked by all those who come in contact with him.
Now we come to our cook who was really a carpenter at heart. You all know him. He's our "one and only" from Appleton, Wisconsin, our own Tiede. He always said that the Navy would have been all right if he could have been a carpenter instead of a cook. But even though it was impossible for him to be a carpenter, he did his work well: and he always said that he could let his wife take it easy when he came home, since he could do the cooking. I wonder if he is doing the cooking now. But I'll bet ten to one that he is home now helping to relieve the housing shortage by building more homes.
Rittig, who relieved Vance in the butcher shop, is doing a swell job. On his ten-day leave, he became engaged to his little gal at home. That only goes to show you that all the fellows haven't received "Dear Johns" since they have left home. We know that "Looie" will make a nice husband for some girl.
You all know Bonjie, the little guy with the man-sized whiskers. (end of page 12)He says he shaves in the morning and that he can't make liberty unless he shaves again at four o'clock.
Campbell, who wanted to be a butcher turned out to be a cook. He's doing a great job too.
Of course, all of you know McGinnis, "Mac" to you. He's the boy with the big smile.
And we have Cassel, "God's gift to women". When Cassel is around, Sinatra and Crosby are only memories.
Our two latest additions to the galley gang are Hoffman and Miller, of course you know them both.
I'm going to, let you in on a little secret. I don't imagine that anyone else will say anything about me, so I will have to do it myself. I'm known to most of you as "Kelly". I'm leaving the ship on the second to get that piece of paper which makes all reserves happy, a discharge.
I will miss the Navy, but I'm going to be glad to get out. Possibly, I'll be back in. I have really enjoyed the many months I have spent aboard this Ship.
Engineers Have Hairy Ears
By Lt. (JG) McNair
Seeing the many new faces aboard now brings about memories of some of other ship mates, many who have been discharged or transferred. Recalling some of the past achievements and experiences of the Engineers I think Our greatest hour occurred during that hot battle on Zamami Shima (more desperate in some respects than the one which took place a few weeks before) between the Engineers' baseball team and the teams from the other departments on the Ship. Inspired by the gentle tender words of encouragement of Co-Captain O'Connel our team came through in the finest tradition for the Engineers.
There was something angelic about O'Conne1's leadership. He always had a kind word, even to those who had made serious errors.
I remember the time Clark made some error. I think he missed a fly when he stepped on a beer can, or a gorse got in his way or something (the diamond was a little rough, wasn't it?). Anyway when the side was finally out and when Clark came in from the outfield, O'Conne1 spoke these reassuring, inspiring words in his own quiet way: "Whatts a matter ya bum?" Oh yes that was some team. Then there was Vasta, always c1ose behind O'Conne1 to scream, "Foul. We wuz robbed." in reply to any decision of the umpire which was in the least bit favorable to the other side.
Harris, our pitcher, really gave his all. I remember $30 he won for me with one of those fast-breading curve balls.
I think one reason for the team's great success was the "spirited' corps" brought by the boys from Brooklyn from their native land to the team. I don't know but it just seemed that they were a little more proficient at making unflattering remarks to the opposing batters than anyone else. Let's see, they were O'Conne1, Vasta, DiDomenico, Carter, and Weinstein, weren't they, the f1atbush faithfu1s?
Of course Scalise was a hard man to talk out of those pop flies at the plate. And wasn't that Shorty Fanow who used to race between the boulders to pick up those hot grounders back of second base?
And of course, Carter, in those shorts of his, was rated the teammate with the prettiest legs. Why don't you try "Fuz Wuz", which removes unwanted hair, Carter?
At first base was that noisy guy. Oedy, (Always raisin' hell, that fellah!). He gave the boys some good advice on when to run for second. Oedy also starred when it came to drinking the beer after the game.
On the sidelines, sitting pompously on a sand dune, owner Mr. Scurfield would usually be mapping out strategy with O'Conne1 and Oedy. While the game was in progress, his moustache would give a nervous twitch now and then, and the expression on his face seemed to say, "For *#%% sakes, boys win! I'd rather go up in the hills with the Japs than look at the mocking smile of Dr. Putman if we should lose".
Seymour could usually be seen sitting on a rock, cigar in hand, passing out words of wisdom to all hands. "Well, I'm a 'tin can' sailor myself, and we used to ---------" and so on far into the night.
Getting away from baseball, what has happened to the Salt Water Distiller's Association? Only Chunko, (End of page 13) Artio1e, Curtiss, and Cookson seem to be left. That was a noble organization. Where are Beut1ar and Bolt? How much water was that, that you made, Chunko? Aw gowan, it isn’t so.
By the way Chunko, are you still partial to the girls in the service?
Mr. Rizer has retired from the Navy after many years of faithful service. His parting words were "I'll fix that &*@@# purifier yet. Let's give it another kick Farrow.
I understand Weinstein and Sigler are running a numbers racket in Tiajuana, d---ingenious, those boys.
Kelly, of the Chicago Ke11ys, shoved off some time ago. You remember Kelly used to sit on the low injection valve, when not occupied by Walker or Forrester, and tell sea stories. How was that again Kelly? You were in that hotel in Frisco when you heard a masculine rap on the door and ----------.Tsk, tsk, these sailors.
The backbone of the Engineering Department, Pagnano, is still aboard. He reports that several women in Long Beach are mad, simply mad, about him, "Sonny Wisecarver" Pagnano they call him.
Young is still in the fireroom, packing valves, twisting nuts, and other stuff like that. Recently he was picked up by the SP's for not saluting a Lieutenant (JG). Afterwards he confided to me, in tears, that he was wrong, all wrong. Now, now Young, don't take it so hard. You'll go to Heaven anyway, I think.
Two weeks ago, we suffered a great loss. Our talented "Oil King", Dameron, was transferred for discharge. And as he sailed away in the P-boat, he was singing “Natrona Blues”, strumming on his old guitar. Say Dameron, how is hat record selling that you and Fiss made recently?
I suppose Harris, ex log-room yeoman, is hard rock mining in Arizona. Come on Harris, put my name on the liberty list; no-body’ll find out.
Mr. Lunn, Mr. Nixson, Mr. McNair, and Mr. Ambrosious are still aboard carrying on the unending war in the wardroom between the deck officers and the engineers.
Well shipmates, I hope this nonsense recalls something of the past of which you are found. And remember: “Engineers always stick together”.
By Charles W. Coombs
I would like to say something to all my friends who are civilians and to all my future friends who used to sail on this wonderful ship. Although I don't know most of you well, I’ve probably heard about you at one time or another. Some of it was good and some was bad, but as a whole you seem like a pretty good bunch of fellows. I wish I could have been aboard to meet some of you, as I'm sure it would have been quite an experience. I wish good luck to all of you, whether you are now civilians or not.
Additional Dope from the Engine Room
By J.E. Muehlenbeck
This paper will be sent to all hands who have left the USS Natrona and who are seeking their fortunes in the vast outside world. I take this privilege for myself and the rest of your shipmates left behind in saying that we all sincerely hope your futures will be pleasant ones, and we wish you the best of luck in finding whatever you may be looking for.
The Radiomen and Radarmen
By M.M. Marquette
These are the days that we should all be happy men. Unless they are lonesome for that endless slapping of the waves against the side of a ship, we should still be happy; because these are the kind of men who will make it possible for us to get out sooner. (End of page 14)
When we leave we will look back and admit that there is a little pride in that junk-heap, sitting out in Los Angeles Harbor. Yes men, to be proud of it, there must be something outstanding involved. No, it's not her unclean, square-cut lines, her cracker-box hull, or chopped off bow. Nor is it those few little anti-aircraft guns that decorate her sides, but the thing that is really outstanding about this old, "Rust Bucket", is the record. Everyone helped to make this record what it is, but the men whom I represent are the Radio men and Radar men.
Since the ship went into commission the Radiomen have decoded, sent, and received thousands of messages of all types and descriptions. The gang, up until the war ended, consisted of two officers, one chief, and twenty two enlisted men. Mr. Partis, then the Division Officer, has now attained the rank of Lt. Commander and has become our Executive Officer. Mr. Rogers, then the Communications Officer, has been detached from the Ship. Of the old crew, we have only nine left, with an addition of Dailey Rm2c and Marsh RT2c. Also, a new Chief, J.E. Troop.
In the Radar gang, there were twelve enlisted men and one officer. Lt(JG) Erwin now a Lieutenant Senior Grade. These boys were the most confidential and wide awake "Swabies" aboard ship. They made it their business to know where every plane and ship was for miles around and to give everyone first hand information on the results of air raids and attacks. Of the original twelve only five remain.
But it won't be long now before even the old Moru counts up her points and asks for a discharge.
Now we will recount some of the experiences of the radar men while they were out over the "blue".
Anderson is the guy, while on radar watch, reported a mail buoy. The 0.0.D. and all his assistants spent the better part of an afternoon looking for it.
Jim Duggin was our ideal Texan, who fought the civil War three times a day and never won it. Every time we had an air attack, you could bet your bottom dollar that Davis would be under the S.G. But this was due to the fact that we had Chuck Baughn on the flying bridge yelling, "He's diving". Just as everything got good and hot, Marquette at the S.A. would begin to sing that ever living old favorite, "I got a gal, she's eight feet tall, sleeps in the kitchen with her feet in the hall". As a rule this was cut short by a fast but lawful joke by our ever so joking C.I.C. Officer Mr. Erwin.
Between "bogey reports the "Shiek" conversed with our lawyer and egged that unforgettable Randolph into telling his weird stories of the - South, where a man's a man and the bootleggers know it. "
To hold the whole gang in check, we had that one-time flat foot from Torres --the boy that thought he had twins when he received two letters about a month apart that cost him two boxes of cigars.
There was a man new in the gang, and also to the water, Comshell, who One day while asleep on the deck getting a complete wash down; he went through all the stages of drowning, even that last frantic call for help. Keller gave in, and took him below to gaze upon a few of his pin up pictures. It made him worse.
No gang is complete without your combination gambler and insurance salesman. Pautzke was nothing but that, and good too -- gambled with his life, so he says. (End of page 15)
Latchford is one name that will be hard to forget. Being the fleet's best Boogie Woogie player on the piano, he also indulged in a bit of women trouble. And last but not least was that old man of old times, Tom Stevens, the handiest guy in the Navy.
Additional Dope From the Engine Room By W.A. Kissel
To all the lucky boys who have already left the Navy and the USS Natrona, I wish you all the best of luck in civilian life. I hope to be there soon myself.
By C.B. Pressler
I am not a reporter, but I would like to say a few words in this week's edition of the "WHIRLPOOL", which is the Souvenir Edition and which will be sent to all the men who have served aboard the USS Natrona. I take this opportunity to express my best wishes to all of you men who are taking a new start in civilian life, and I wish you very successful futures
A casting director of a big Hollywood studio was interrupted by his secretary, who said, "There is a man outside who insists upon seeing you immediately." "What does he do'?" said the casting director. "He tells me," said the secretary, "that he specializes in sticking his right arm into the lion's cage in big jungle pictures." "That sounds interesting," said the director. "What does he call himself?" "Lefty, said the secretary.
A man and his wife were sitting together in the living room one evening. The phone rang and the man answered. He said, on the phone, "How on earth should I know? Why don't you call the Coast Guard?" Then he hung up and returned to his newspaper. The wife asked, "Who was that, dear?" The husband said,"I haven't the faintest idea. Some silly jerk wanted to know if the coast was clear.
An old cannibal chief sat anxiously outside the hut of the tribal witch doctor. That worthy finally appeared with a happy smile on his face. "Chief Wampum," he declared, you are the father of a bouncing eight pound baby boy. Do you want to take him with you or will you eat him here?
The good ship Donald Porter got firmly stuck in the ice north of Greenland one winter, and it looked as though all hands were doomed to starvation. When the last piece of dried fish had been doled out, the brave captain stepped forward. "My heart cries," he declared," I got you unto this mess and it's only fair that I be first to go. You can eat me for a fortnight." He took out his trusty blunderbuss, pressed it to his temple, and was about to shoot when the second mate, Harper, cried, "Stop! Not that, Captain. Don't blow your brains out, I beg you. That's my favorite dish."
* * * * * *
Officer: "What is the last word in planes?" Cadet: "Jump
(End of page 16)