Souvenir Edition pages 17-20
By Lieut. Comdr. GEORGE PARTIS, USN Executive Officer
This week we thought it would be appropriate to publish a souvenir edition of the Whirlpool so you lucky guys who are civilians can hear about what has happened since you left the good ship Natrona.
And maybe it will recall many memories - some pleasant and some not so pleasant - and just so you don't forget what the old ship looks like, we are sending a photograph along with the paper.
Some of you gun crews will notice the absence of the five-inch and the forties forward as well as most everything between. And the Boat Group will notice the boats - the ship carrying only an "L","R", and four "P" boats at the present time.
Most of you won't forget those long days and longer nights that were spent in Kerama Retto - those two hundred odd General Quarters and the old war cry," IN THE BOATS _ MAKE E-E-e-e- SMOKE", or the day the HENRICO was hit and the all night GQ that followed.
The boat group won't forget those cold rainy days in the boats and the long trips to the "SOUTH ANCHORAGE.
We'd like to see those LCM crews spin their boats around on a dime, 'ala' Kerama-Rhetto. Grissom, Pillsbury and Wibbing would tear their hair out if they could see how our modern Navy coxswains handle their LCMs at Pico Street Landing. The coxswains seem to think they are handling the Queen Mary and need tug boats to get their boats turned around.
Mr. Schwin and I won't forget Litzenberger and his endless cups of coffee while standing watches on the bridge and how we voted him the best darn coffee maker in the whole Navy. Litzenberger had a sharp eye for "bogeys", too, and could spot'em when no one else could see them.
We remember Brown, our 5 X 5 quartermaster, and his stories of the old Navy, sometimes garnished with, but never really told with the whole truth, of Mr. Bartlett, setting on the chart desk wheedling sorry and soulful tunes from a harmonica. That isn't peacetime procedure, Mr. Bartlett. Or, the near collision we had with the Wyandott (KA 92) during our rehearsal at Leyte.
We remember Martz, our radio tech, who hailed from Jackson, Miss., and who was always "just fixing' to do it", when asked about that job he was to have finished two weeks ago.
Remember "Pinky" Robinson, The little radio man with the big smile. "Pinky" is now selling two pants suits, one suite for the price of two, way up there in. Sedro Wooley, Washington.
And Randolph, who always picked up a "big fat-assed" bogey every time he sat down in front of the SA radar.
Captain Winquist, who had to wear a luminous cord around his neck to save him from the "thundering herd" on the bridge during an air raid.
The beach party won't forget Mr. Waddy - how could you forget a person that big - and the way he "expedited" our loading at Lingayen Gulf. Mr. Waddy is now residing in "Ark-can-saw", and if any of you go through Fort Smith, stop in and see him.
Moffett, our hefty Chief Quartermaster who was always screaming, "feather-merchants" and had such an even temper - he was mad all the time. Moffett, when last heard from, was heading for the sticks around Bremerton. Mr. Shellabarger is there to, so we hear, helping to make civilians out of sailors.
The officers won't forget "Happy" Rogers, also known as "Snarly" who had plenty to say at the dinner table, and who didn't hesitate to say it. (End of page 17)
Jarolin, whose well modulated voice could always be heard on the radio, "This is WEATHERVAME, this is WEATHERVANE," or Figaro, who won't forget the "famous" 25th division, individually or collectively.
Mr. Goldman, our fighting marine - he'd fight with everybody - won't forget the 25th either.
Harrison, our easygoing yeoman, who we hear is working in Chicago.
Ledgerwood, our bartending yeoman, who we think is bartending in Denver, and drinking up all the profits.
Doctor McDonald, who always had a smile for everyone. Doctor McDonald, we heard, was transferred to the USS HASKELL, but should be out of the service by now.
Costillo, the Chief of the Side Cleaners, and his little punt - the only man on the ship with his own boat.
Doctor McBarney, who chased something or other with a butterfly net. If he ever caught anything he certainly kept it a secret.
We are quite sure Mr. Schwin will never forget the night the welders broke into his peaceful slumbers - "Hey Chief?" Shipyard workers are such chummy people, aren't they?
Remember Blackford - the guy who never laced his shoes - and that mustache that made him look like a movie bad man.
The Santa Anita race track threatened to close up, and even the jockeys were going on strike - when they heard the Natrona was leaving the area. It seems that Mr. McNair, in addition to his engineering duties, also helps to run the race track- mainly by the contribution of huge sums of cash - bet on the wrong horses.
Voss, our Chief Signalman who was with us during our more hectic days, in now on the USS MAGOFFIN (APA 199).
It's a hell of a note when the Shore Patrol wants to know why a guy carries his cigarettes in his shoes. Gosh, can't a guy have some peculiarities? And forty hrs extra duty at two hours a day - that's a long time. Anyone wishing to hear a goof story and obtain some incorrect information on how to smuggle cigarettes via the "shoe" system see Langford, James Hunter, now a respected (we hope) citizen of Houston, Texas.
Seefeldt, our eminent coxswain with all the pep and who knew how to make soldiers work, went on 60 days leave in November 1945, and if he didn’t freeze up there in Moline, Illinois, is no doubt back with his Uncle Sammy.
Shiek, who was just as romantic, (like all radar men), as his name, left some three months ago and we haven't had a bearing on him since.
Stehr, the big truck driver from the Northwest went right back to Arlington, Wash. to live after being discharged. Imagine! Blackberry pie is on the menu he says, if we pay him a visit. We would like Mrs. Stehr's confirmation first. And who is going to pick the berries.
Bramlett, our ex-"L" boat coxswain is some where in the wilds of New Mexico we believe, a small town called Albuquerque or something.
We wonder if Brand, our ex-signal girl, headed right back for Perryville, Arkansas when we let him loose. WHAT! You've never heard of Perryville?
Broussard, a prominent member of the officer's galley at one time, came out to the ship to see us recently. A loyal Californian that he is, he hasn’t gotten any farther away than Los Angeles.
Richmond, our ex-Chief Yeoman, who even had a "gizmorado" file in the Ship's Office, is now running a gas station in Pinole, California. The Chief attempted to visit the ship a few months ago, but was inadvertently chased off. (End of page 18)
Raupe, our diplomatic radio man wrote us from deep in the heart of Texas the other day - some place called. Granbury - and endorsed a snap shot of himself and a very attractive looking girl. Were interested but he didn't introduce us so all we can do is wonder. Kind of selfish aren't you Raupe?
Important: All members of the Pinky Dink Club will please keep their hands above the table at all times.
We wonder if Gregory still haunts those wonderful night spots in San Francisco - places like the "Pink Rat" - 'which make us wonder just what is in a name or how they choose them. Gregory knew them all - the best - and the worst.
Guidry probably won't forget the hungry hordes pouring through the mess hall - especially those who went through two and three times - and stealing "all them spoons, too!"
Kendall was arrested a few days ago in Riverside, California for having his hat on the back of his head and his cuffs rolled up. The Shore Patrol sure does get around in strange places, don't they.
If Koutsoyan and Boushley are listening, we'd like them to know that we are still trying to get them a Bronze Star or something for capturing all those Japs.
Lange, our proficient Pharmacists Mate, escaped from us not so long ago and promptly left for parts unknown.
"Famous Sayings by Infamous People"
Mr. Arnot, "How about a cigarette?"
Dr. Putnam, "Don't you dare touch my mustache!
Dr. Fishback, "I am losing so much money being in the
Navy, why outside I used to make $000,000.00
Mr. Bartlett - Stooped!!
Chief Moffet, "High - yah, fat boy."
Mr. Perdue, "Have you sighted the mail buoy yet?"
TO THE OFFICER'S AND CREW OF THE U.S.S. NATRONA
Well it is time for me to say good bye to the Natrona, but in spite of the fact, the Natrona I'll never forget as long as I live. I know there are a lot of you that I won't get to see before I go, but for those that I do and for those that I don't, I want you to know that I think you are the best bunch of fellows I've ever met, or hope to meet. I have had a good time since I've been aboard, and I know the biggest majority of you have too, in spite of the things you've had to do and how much some of you say you hate the Navy. I hope we will meet again someday. Wishing you the best of luck on the next trip and a quick return back home. Hoping that good old civilian life catches up with you soon, I remain,
Your old Shipmate, FISS
The Executive Officer threatened to transfer Fiss and Dameron if they didn't stop their "hillbilly" yodeling in the Gunnery Office - all day long they yodeled - and half the night - and they wouldn't stop so darned if he didn't up and transfer ‘em. Of course their points may have had something to do with it.
Word has just been received that the ship is to get underway and proceed to San Francisco for inactivation. All the guns, boats, and portable radio gear that we so joyfully got rid of in Wilmington must be installed or brought aboard again. (End of page 19)
Things we wish: That Ensign White, our paymaster, would be more free with the money on payday. The high cost of living is terrific, especially around those bars in Long Beach.
"Dear Sir," writes a recently discharged sailor, "while in the Navy I developed a fondness for the G.I. type of haircut. Since being mustered out, I have been unable to find a barber who will give me that sort of haircut. Do you know of one? If not, do you think I could give myself the kind of trim I want? He's asking for it! Just send him back to the USS NATRONA - we'll get a hold of Summerville and Boy! Will he get "that sort of haircut?"
In Memory of Doctor Putnam
The ward was full of ailing men, the air was full of groaning, Doc Putnam entered, full 0 fun "Good moaning, men - - good moaning!"
* * * * * * * *
It could have happened on the NATRONA. "How many fathoms?" asked the Captain. "Can't touch bottom, sir," was the answer.
"Well, concern you, how near do you come to it?" the Captain shot back.
* * * * * * * * *
For Mr. Gallaway, Mr. Payne, and all the others who protested to LIFE about this article - here is the answer.
Time and Life Building
Rockefeller Center, New York
February 28, 1946
Officers of the USS Natrona
C/o Lt(JG) R.R. Gallaway
USS Natrona (APA 214)
C/o FPO, San Francisco, Cal.
Thank you for correcting the misinformation contained in our December 10 article on “Sinbads Shore Leave.”
The Location was Wakayama; about as far from Tokyo as is New York from Pittsburgh.
Life has no wish to excuse itself; we can’t imagine why the researcher decided to toy with Japanese geography. We were glad to have your comment on this point and appreciate your interest in writing.
/s/ Jane W. Popper for the Editors
(End of Souvenir Edition of The Whirlpool) Page 20
The original printing of this souvenir edition Of “The Whirlpool” was on 8 X 13 inch pages, I have re-typed it as accurately as Chuck Bailey can.