Friday, May 15, 2020
Cars of beauty:
USS Independence CVA-62
I spent a lot of time in the military. At 16 I tried to get in early and was kicked back home just before the swearing in. Later at 17 I made it into the USMC, then the USAF and finally in the USN.
In the USN aboard ship at sea the Aircraft carrier (USS Independence with 2 mess halls served food 24 hours a day. We had over 5000 men aboard. Most military troops spend time as a ‘mess cook’ (Army and Airforce it is called KP, Kitchen Police). No body I knew liked their tour as a mess cook. Usually only 2-3 weeks a year.
Milk, coffee and an imitation fruit juice (affectionately called Bug Juice) was self-service. 90% of the time it was Lime flavor. Every once in a while there was grape or cherry, but the tanks continually ran out then.
After I was aboard for a few months I asked one of my shipmates, why we seemed to always have Lime Bug Juice.
Mate Malanowski said, “You ain’t had mess-cooking yet have you?”
“Because about the second day as a mess cook, you remember how much you despised Lime, so you make Cherry. After you find out you are making Bug juice ‘all the time’ and getting behind on the rest of the job, YOU LEARN! You learn if you put Lime in the tank, your job becomes less hectic, nobody likes that stuff.”
Me, “Ah ha, I’m learning things aboard a Carrier.” Life was different on the smaller ships (AKA and LSTs) with a crew of 200-500 Sailors & Marines..