Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The landing, I sinned, and Liberty


Our first liberty port was in Toronto, Italy.  It is located in the boot heel of Italy. This is a deep water port and we could pull into the pier.


It was fun walking the streets in another country and eating in their restaurants. Seeing so many foreign (to me) cars was amazing.  I did see some beautiful pastries in a bakery, I bought one of the big donuts, but they were not great. Not half as sweet as the Krispy K’s back in the US.


After a day ashore our ship headed out to meet with the fleet,  This was a NATO exercise, When came my turn to go ashore, like the rest, using the ships cranes my truck was put into a landing craft along side the ship, called an LCVP. When the boat hit the beach the front dropped and I drove out. I got stuck in the sand, heard a few bad words from SGT BELL, A marine ran down dragging a cable, hooked up and winched me out of the soft sand. I found out later that every truck got stuck in the soft sand.


The landing was at Saros Bay, Turkey.  We met a lot of Turkish Soldiers in the evenings and on patrol. They had a lot of Watermelons. Most Marines dislike the C-Ration Sausage patties. The Turks tried them and liked them. We had a good time trading Sausage patties for melons. Boy were they good. It broke the monotony of Radio watch.  AND THEN……………..

OUT OF NO WHERE  the exercise was shut down, The old man formed us up in military formation facing a formation of Turks.

No Prelims, the General started, “Some idiots in  this command have committed a terrible crime.  We are giving This Turkish commander 70 VERY GOOD M-1 rifles and ammo to cover YOUR SINS. LISTEN UP! Muslims DO NOT eat PORK, somebody has been handing out Pork C-rations. This is a blight on our Heritage as US Marines. I have made my apologizes, this formation is FORMED to say it will not happen again, IS THAT UNDERSTOOD?”

We gave a loud, “YES SIR!”

Then it was like,  Let the games continue! The exercise was about over when Gunny Goodson called  us together, ”Come in close, gather around I have something important to say. You guys are gonna love this.” pause for us all to get close. “Hey what can I say, they like us over here, we have been asked to stay. Yep, some of you  guys are heading back stateside on the Vermillion, the rest of us are boarding  LST 1167, the Westchester County, to sail around the Med and enjoy the sun for awhile.  I know you have questions, so ask away.”

“How long we staying?”

“Don’t know, next question.”

“Who stays, who goes back?”

“Don’t know, Sgt. Bell will tell you in the morning.”

“Did it have anything to do with Jensen feeding the Muslims Pork?”

“I do know, that ain’t it, The old man took care of that and saved some of you boys from getting castrated or worse,” the Gunny laughed.

“What else do you know?”

“Nothing, you know I am a diplomat. I said you could ask questions, I didn’t say I knew the answers…… Truthfully troops, you will know as soon as I do. Sgt. Bell just wanted you to be aware, there has been a change in plans by NATO.”

I had this sick feeling that I was staying. Just when I was ready to see Sherry in a couple weeks. A couple nights before, I had went off to myself on our anniversary. Sitting in the boon docks, crying a little, looking at the stars and singing, “By the same stars above you I swear that I love you, cause you are my pretty SHERRY! (from  Fraulein**). It Didn’t rhyme but I didn’t care.

Nite Shipslog



Don’t you just hate it when there is a change of plans YOU DO NOT LIKE!



This 1949 Ford ‘Taunus’ was pretty much all over Europe

**If you are interested the lyrics to Fraulein.


Far across deep blue waters
Lives an old German's daughter
By the banks of the old river Rhine
Where I loved her and left her
But I can't forget her
I miss my pretty Fraulein

FrauIein, Fraulein,
Look up toward the Heaven
Each night when the stars start to shine
By the same stars above you
I swear that I love you
You are my pretty fraulein

When my memories wander, away over yonder
To the sweetheart that I left behind
In a moment of glory, a face comes before me
The face of my pretty Fraulein

Fraulein, Fraulein, walk down by the river
Pretend that your hand's holdin' mine
By the same stars above you
I swear that I love you
You are my pretty fraulein


betty said...

You know, Jack, I didn't think about this, I just assumed Muslims ate pork, didn't even think they didn't when I was reading about the swap between patties and melons. You would think they would have been more careful with what they were putting into their mouths. I guess you're telling us you were one of the lucky ones that got to stay on with the cruise? I'm sure we'll find out more tomorrow!



Glad you all didn't get in more trouble because of the pork. I know how hard it is to miss the one you love.


Glad you all didn't get in more trouble because of the pork. I know how hard it is to miss the one you love.

shirl72 said...

I don't think that is a sin..When
a person is hungry they should eat
anything. I sure you are forgiven.
Oh well glad you got out of the sand
with help. You have seen the world.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

That is the 2nd new thing I've learned today...no pork for muslims. The first thing I leaned was that I have a reset button on my internet modem. It would be nice if you all could have been briefed about the customs of the country so that you would have been prepared but I suppose no one realized you'd be swapping for watermelons. From the sounds of it, you'll be there awhile. I hope not. Can't wait for the next page story.

Rick Watson said...

I'm not sure I trust anyone who doesn't eat bacon :)

Chatty Crone said...

Well - I don't think it was a deliberate sin!

Paula said...

Oh this must have been a worry. Do I stay or do I go? Be watching for the next installment. Interesting trade about the watermelons.

Jackie said...

I learned something new, myself.
Who'd have ever "thunk" it: Muslims don't eat pork.
Must've come as quite a shock...and I'm wondering what the Muslims who ate the pork thought after they found out what they had eaten?

Louis la Vache said...

hee hee...
If I were the C in C, I would order our military to wrap bacon around all our shells, bullets, missiles and projectiles!

«Louis» hasn't seen a Taunus in years! Now he's wondering when Ford quit using that name on its European cars.