Monday, May 28, 2012

Band of Brothers Ending - Veteran's Words

If only mine were able to speak, knowing now that I am interested in what they fought for. Who knows what they would tell me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I think Grandpa could appreciate this because his bedroom at home probably looked like this at one time.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Miss the "Good Old Days" on the boats? Some playful advice for retired Navy sailors

The following list was found in a bad photocopy of a neatly typewritten page from a magazine or newsletter of some kind, that was stuck in with Hugh's other documents about life on board the submarines. There was a lot of humor in the Naval service, and grandpa Hugh always liked a good laugh, especially if it pertained to submarines.
None of this "advice" of course is to be taken seriously.  I reproduce it here for your amusement.


--Sleep on the top shelf in your closet.  Replace the closet door with a curtain.  Six hours after you go to sleep, have your wife whip open the curtain, shine a flashlight in your eyes and mumble, "Sorry, wrong bunk."   (ed: I don't remember any curtains)

--Don't eat any food that you don't get out of a can or add water to.

--Spend as much time as you can indoors and avoid sunlight. Hang out in such areas as dark movie theaters, windowless buildings, closets etc.  (ed note: Additional tip: if you stay in a hotel on a trip, ask if you can sleep in the boiler room or the basement)

--Renovate your bathroom.  Build a wall across the middle of your bathtub and move the shower head down to chest level.  When you take showers, make sure you shut off the water while soaping.  (ed. note: Us ex-enlisted guys could just not shower for 60 days)

--Repeat back anything that anyone says to you.

--Sit in your car for six hours with your hands on the wheel and the motor running, but don't go anywhere. (Ed. note: Or look at the snow on the TV screen for four hours)

--Put oil in your humidifier instead of water and set to high.

--Don't watch TV except movies in the middle of the night. Also have your family vote on which movie to watch, and then show a different one.

--Don't do your wash at home.  Pick the most crowded laundromat you can find.  (Ed. note: And dry your clothes behind the exhaust stack of a diesel truck)

--Leave your lawnmower running in your front room six hours a day for proper noise level.

--Have the paper boy give you a haircut.

--Take hourly readings on your electric and water meters (and run around the house repeating these readings aloud over and over)

--Sleep with your dirty laundry.

--Invite guests but don't have enough food for them.  (Ed. note: allow one tea bag per 5 people.)

--Buy a broken bicycle and strap it to the kitchen floor.

--Buy a trash compactor and use it once a week.  Store up garbage on the other side of your bathtub.

--Wake up every night at midnight and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a piece of stale bread.

--Make up your family menu a week ahead of time without looking in your cabinets or fridge.


And here are some more that I added based on all the books I've read and war movies I've seen.

--Climb up to your roof and stare through binoculars at the empty sky for an entire night.  If you spot an airplane passing overhead yell "PREPARE TO DIVE!" at the top of your lungs, slide down the stair railings and inform your family to "Take battle stations" and lock all your doors & windows.  Sound "All Clear" after a few tense minutes and then announce it was only a drill.  Time your family's efficiency in performing these tasks to measure your battle readiness.  Repeat this up to twenty times a day, regardless of whether or not there really was an airplane spotted.

--Set up a hammock in your basement over your furnace, hot water heater or septic tank and sleep there.

--Keep only one bed in the house and have your family sleep in shifts.

--Issue a "Shore Leave Pass" or "Liberty Ticket" to your sons or daughters before you let them go out.  Make sure it has their fingerprint and name signed on the back, and the time at which they should return.

--If there is a plumbing emergency and the house floods, do not call a plumber. Instead try to fix it yourself with inadequate tools.

--Appoint a member of the household to keep the AM radio on at all times and tune back and forth across the waveband for hours at a time, writing down anything they can hear on a tiny notepad.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The original DARTER (SS-227) Crew Photos

The following images must be crew photos of his graduation from Submarine School, or the commissioning of the USS Darter.

The first photograph is all the sailors in their Navy "whites".  The arrow points to Hughie's head. You can see his distinctive "radar dish" ears.
Attached to the photo was a piece of notebook paper identifying all the sailors.  We are so lucky he did this.  Maybe we could help someone else find their granddad.  Thanks Hugh!

The next photo below is all the sailors in their dress uniforms, with officers standing behind them.  This is believed to be taken during the commissioning ceremony for the boat.

In the above photo, based on the list below, we can tell Hughie is on the bottom row, number 40 if you count heads down from the top left row.

...As if he wasn't thorough enough, here's all the crewmen's signatures and where they're from!

This guy loved details.  He was always so meticulous. Notice that a lot of the technicians on his sub were amateur radio operators too (known as "hams") Their 5-digit call signs of letters and numbers are written next to their names.