Above Photo if SPRING in the Netherlands! I just wanted you to feel SPRING in the air.
Now the Med Cruise.
Yep, Jack was staying, of course the troops who didn’t have wives or girlfriends back in the states thought this was great. We all knew there would be a chance of liberty in more Mediterranean ports. The first word we got was it will be about two weeks delay. The night before we were to board the Ship, Westchester County, Gunny Goodson came around the camp and said, “Some of you guys are beginning to stink, it is only a mile of so to the beach, what about we attack the beach tonight about 2200?”
About ten of us jumped at the chance of a swim in the Med, and I am so glad I did. It was not quite a religious experience, but it was great. The moon was high, and at ten feet deep you could still see the bottom with only moon light. I couldn’t get over how, at night, you could see your feet and legs.
The Gunny, an old man, probably 35 , challenged us to a race. I am a swimmer,18 yrs old, That sucker stayed a couple strokes ahead of me the whole race. That opened my eyes to ‘age’. But I still vividly remember the feel and beauty of that night’s swim in the Mediterranean.
We did learn the NATO problem. Britain, Turkey & Greece were having problems on the Island of Cyprus. Armed revolt by the Turks appeared very possible.
As fate would have it I got to visit Athens, Greece. What a thrill to be in a City so steeped in history.
I am center back at the Parthenon. What a thrill. the place was not commercialized in ‘57, no charge, and no fences.
(I remember Cpl. Bunting(c), Me on the right we rented bikes one day and just rode around, it was fun for us)
(This is 1166, but I wanted to show you how it is loaded and unloaded. Thru the bow. She is a flat bottom vessel and pulls right up to shore and opens those doors and the cargo drives off and on.)
With the LST drawing only 8-12 ft of water loaded. She could pull into about any port, and that allowed us to visit the place that became my favorite. The one place I would like to return to, the Greek Island of Corfu. What a family oriented place. Families strolling on Sunday, picnics in the park, I wanted Sherry, I wanted her to enjoy this Island and its people with me.
Still on Corfu, Jensen said let’s get steak and eggs. It was a $1. We ordered it. The kid on the left went for the eggs and another kid went the other directions to get the steaks. I had never had steak and eggs. Never had steak but a couple times.
When the Cypriots seemed to be settling down we headed West. We went ashore in Toulon, France. I signed up for the tour of a perfume factory, and was able to get a good buy on Chanel #5 and other fragrances. Watching the processes was interesting.
Our last stop was Alicante, Spain where we went inland to see a Bull fight. We did not know it was our last stop, but when we got back aboard the LST, word had already spread we would be home before Christmas. BOY was that good news.
On the way across I learned some more good news, I would be released early, to save a lot of paperwork over Christmas for the company clerks. Halleluiah, I am for saving paperwork.
Since the LST was flat bottomed, she rode rough in stormy seas. Thanks for taking a Med Cruise with me.
When bad luck turns around, you can sure smile.
The LST was much slower than the AKA, so it would take 3 weeks to transit the Atlantic.
This is the Spanish Iso. An Isetta built in Spain.
Spanish cars. This is the Seat. I think the first one was built in 1950 in the 1970-80 time frame VW bought the company, the Seat is still produced.