Friday, November 11, 2011

Archie Guest Post #2

[redacted] told me not to use the caps lock. Fine. He says to talk about guns, what little I know. I didn't use guns. Only gun nuts played with guns around here. I guess [redacted] is one of them.

First off.  When All In the Family came out, the people down at the Marina where I kept my boat said I reminded them of Archie Bunker.  That's where [redacted] got my name. 

I do remember some stuff from during the war. I was on an attack transport and my duty station was below decks so I didn't get to see much. I do remember when we were anchored off Leyte after all the fighting was done, I asked somebody what all those trees were doing sticking out of the water. They weren't trees, they were ship's masts. Once I got to the see the before and after of some island that was shelled. It was covered with palm trees. Looked like a tropical paradise. The next moring it looked like the moon with only one tree still standing.

When the Gyrenes went to chow I'd sneak into their berthing spaces and inspect their greaseguns. It fascinated me that something that cheap and made by Guide Lamp could work like that. I was always interested in mechanical devices, and made a bunch of labor saving devices in my time. And I was a body man, so cars also held my attention. Add Guide Lamp to an cheap mechanical thing and you got my attention. Every bunk had a greasegun on it. The Gyrenes were told not to carry them around, so there they stayed. I didn't see any other type of soldiers gun the whole time I was in the war. Just Greaseguns, that I remember. But my ship didn't put to sea until early '45.

We had LCPs stacked on deck to land those Marines. I never saw a lifeboat on board but I knew if the ship sank those landing boats would be where I'd head. When the deck apes were lifting them from the deck to put in the water with booms they were hell on the motor winches. My duty station was at the main electrical panel and the damn deck apes would constantly push the lever to full power, then off. It was my job to turn the rheostat so that when they dropped the electrical load it didn't flip the breaker from the generator and it was some job.

Late in 1945 we got back to Frisco and I went home. I was supposed to head out for the Bikini tests with the ship after the war, but got out of that, Thank God. I'd have died of cancer long ago if I had gone, I'm sure.

[ed:  Happy Veterans Day to my fellow vets.  Some contributed more than I or even Archie.  Extra kudos to those that have.]


Bubblehead Les. said...

Raise a Glass today to our Absent Friends, Shipmate. I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

Sigboy said...

Tell Archie that my grandfather went to bikini, and he's still kicking,. He only has a heart condition because of it.

Old NFO said...

Absent Comrades...

Borepatch said...

What a great story. Wow.