The caption on the back of this shot states
"Commissioning of U.S.S. Neshoba - Capt Drury - November 18, 1944"
Received April 3, 2005:
Hello, my name is Joel Pipitone.
I was researching the Neshoba for the first time yesterday and found a wealth of information and pictures! If you look in the collection of pictures by Christopher Kirkegard, the very first picture is of the ship's commissioning in Richmond, California....the person playing Colors with the trumpet is me.
More from Joel below:
I was sent to Treasure Island from radio school to be a member of the radio shack aboard the Neshoba. The ship hadn't been commissioned yet and while at Treasure Island the Executive Officer heard I had my trumpet with me. He approached me with the idea of blowing Colors for the commissioning.
After a couple of months at sea I was summoned by messenger to report to the bridge with my trumpet to play reveille over the ship's intercom at 0600. The officer of the deck was a second Lt. (whose name I've forgotten-also a 90 day wonder) who thought it might be a bit more classy to have the "bugle" instead of a horn to wake up the crew. After a couple weeks of this I complained to the Executive Officer of the ship that I was a radioman, not a bugler. I was relieved of my "bugler" status.
It is interesting to note that the second Lt. in question was not a very popular officer aboard ship. When it came time to cross the equator for the first time, he, along with all the other crew members who hadn't crossed the International Dateline before, would be a part of an initiation to enter the "Domain of the Golden Dragon."
Most of the crew members had a basic initiation on the forward boat deck of crawling up to King Neptune (seasoned chief of the radio shack) on our hands and knees while we were swatted on our backsides with straps. When reaching King Neptune we told to open our mouths wide while cotton balls (soaked in some concoction made up by sick bay) were stuffed in our mouths. Then kneeling next to a large container filled with diesel oil and someone swabbing our open mouth with a paintbrush soaked in diesel oil......then going down the ladder to the next deck and having the fire hose turned on us, knocking us over and sending us sliding down the inside rail of the ship.
The unpopular officer I mentioned earlier was told to take his shoes off, but was able to keep his stockings on, was given a winter trench coat to wear, wore a "Jungle Jim" hat was told to measure the length of the ship with a six inch ruler. This was taking place in the South Pacific and the deck plates were quite hot. Needless to say, he received a few burn blisters on the bottom of his feet.
Isn't amazing how a person can remember certain events so well?....it must have been the "bugle" thing.
I have the book that was published on the Neshoba, but I wanted to see if I could find actual photos that later appeared in the book. When I left the Neshoba to be decommissioned I had a fellow radioman mail a box home for me. It had all my pictures, but I never received them! Send an email if you would like any additional information....that is if I can remember that much after 60 years.