I'm in my 81st year and can't remember where I left my toothbrush, but the past is coming in crystal clear.


After spending seven days on a troop train we arrived in San Diego from Sampson. We lived in aircraft crates, six men and a potbellied stove to a crate. We were waiting for our assignment overseas. One day a truck arrived and we were told to get our gear together and get on the truck. We were taken to the naval base and boarded a CVE, which is a baby flattop converted to a troop ship.

The bunk beds were five to six tiers high. Instead of planes we were the cargo. There is nothing lower then a transit sailor with no rate out of bootcamp. It was nothing for a bosons mate to come down and grab a work gang for any dirty job just so we wouldn't get bored.

On one such day, My buddy (John McKeon) and I were grabbed and taken to the galley for whatever their evil minds could think up. We were shown six GI cans filled with food scraps and who knows what. We were told to go thru each can to make sure there was no paper ,as a sub could follow a paper trail and sink us. 

After that we were told to carry the cans up a steel ladder to a small hatch on the side of the ship get rid of the can of waste. Our boots were full of grease as we struggled up that ladder and followed orders. After we finished the six cans we heard the chief cook scream, where are my GI cans. Everyone looked our way and the chief said, where are the cans? we replied you said to get rid of everything. There we stood ,Dumb and dumber. We got a good chewing out by the chief and kicked out of the galley. WE laughed all the way back to our area.

irv 12-18-2007