Saturday, March 15, 2014

Corporal Darnell, at sea. August 1957

The Gunny found me topside as we were leaving, “Good job Darnell, I think all will go good in the landing, we will hit the beach with NATO Forces in Turkey.  Sgt. Bell and Lt Linder will brief everyone at 1800. Pass the word.”


So we were going to Turkey, sounded good. Over the next two weeks we had inspections, went into the holds and checked out vehicles. I fell in love with the ocean. Vast and beautifully blue. Getting at the right angles I could see the shipsbow cutting thru the water and flying fish leaping out and following the curvature of the waves.


Ship’s skippers are always trying to find ways to conserve water. The shower is first. It is called a ‘navy Shower’. You first wet down and turn off the water, then soap down and as quickly as possible rinse off. No faucets run as you brush your teeth. then they announced a beard growing contest, to cut back on shaving.


(Patterns of 1957 & the Whamm0)

Marines always have rifle inspections. Every morning at 0800 we were in formation topside on the weather deck. If you ever see a rifle inspection you will see the officer slap the rifle out of the Marine’s hands. We like snaps and slaps. Lt. Linder slapped my rifle out of my hand with his right hand and caught it with his left as usual and inspected the rifle, and said, “Darnell, us men who cannot grow a beard, quit trying.”  I was baby faced with peach fuzz, and he was too. the whole company got a good laugh out of that.


Liz Taylor & Todd (?) ‘57

I was fortunate, I took to shooting the M-1 rifle like a pig to mud. I loved that rifle. My score on the range made me high shooter. One morning Sgt. Bell said, “Today a 1300 Corporal Darnell is going to win you guys homemade Ice Cream.  The Skipper has challenged us to a shooting match, and Darnell is going to show these sailors how to shoot. The winner’s outfit get Ice cream. Darnell, report to the fantail at 1245 with 32 rounds of ammo. Dismissed!”


The box Kodak, 1957

Anyone in my outfit could have won, I think. But I did have a sweet rifle, I still remember the serial number: 4508231. The ice cream was good, and of course the whole ship got ice cream, it is just that Radio Relay & construction got head of the line.  It was just an exercise to break the monotony at sea.



One of the things I did learn to love was in the evenings on the ship some sailor would have a guitar up topside in the warm evening breeze. I think of Woody, he was a seagoing sailor with a guitar.

It is not long until a crowd of sailors and marines gather asking: “Do you know  such & so  and Can you play xyz?”  Sam B. Cannon was our singer and he would sing along with the guitar. MANY of those songs made us all homesick.

Glad you could come along.

Nite Shipslog


I think I will leave me there, and take up later.



These 1957’s were about to be a year old the ‘58’s were just around the corner.


Cindi said...

I like seeing all the pics, such a rich history. luv ur military stories too

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

I can't imagine what it would be like out in the middle of the ocean with water all around you. I guess it would get monotonous unless you kept busy and had something for entrainment too. Just like all these cold winter days we've been having with snow all around, I do a lot of different things so I'm never bored here. Soon I'll be able to get outside and I'm sure looking forward to doing something besides shovel snow around here.

shirl72 said...

Brother glad it is you on the ocean
not me. I guess I was working for
a living while all this was going
on. I remember seeingf you, Odis and Jun in your Navy uniforms.
Because of my Brothers I have my
freedom. Thanks....

Chatty Crone said...

Gosh it seems you had a relatively good time as a marine - am I right? I would be scared to death Jack.

Paula said...

I like the part about saving water. Maybe we should all start doing that.

betty said...

So I'm assuming you didn't get seasick? But then of course the ships are so big they probably weather the waves a bit more than smaller sailboats for instance.



Men have gravitated back to wearing beards in the past couple years. I wonder if they're conserving water???