Aaron Ward (DM 34) - Naval Cruise Book

 - Class of 1945

Page 29 of 48

 

Aaron Ward (DM 34) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1945 Edition, Page 29
Page 29



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---- V .... . X. A ship is not a solid mass .of metal that has been fashioned into a lifeless hulk-capable of transporting itself on water. lt is, rather, a breathing, living work of creative man. Graceful, trim, characterized by the poise of a gracious lady, it serves to inspire and invoke the reverent affection of its crew. To the men who walk her decks, a ship is home, inhabited as a community, providing for their every want, and shielding them from the merciless se-a. Thus it was on the Aaron Ward. The stories below reveal the fate that was inevitable from the very beginning, a fate that links shipmate to shipmate and gives birth to the brotherhood of the sea. THE EYES, EARS, AND BRAIN OF OUR SHIP The N, Y, U Divisions fNavigation Depart-mentj make up t-he eyes, ears, and the brains of the Aaron Ward. The Quartermasters guide her on her course. The Radarmen protect her from surprise raids by Tojo's mighty air force. And the Soundmen protect her from attack by the deadly marauders of the deep. Our first introduction as a team took place on Treasure lsland, where we met our first tri-als and tribulations of "attack teachers" and ClC training. We left San Francisco by train for San Pedro, everyone eagerly awaiting his first sight of the Aaron Ward, for the majority their first sight of a real fighting ship. After commissioning came the sfhip's party ,where Bell showed his abilityas a hasherg it was here also that Potter sfhowed us how the model shore patrolman should execute his duties. Came shakedown, and the first touch of sea duty for many. lt was hard to hold thin-gs down at first and it was pretty much impossi-ble to navigate through ClC for all the buckets and containers that Beadel, Woods, and Vermie had gathered. This place soon became a "contribution center" for all unseaworthy members of the department. P . T A E New Year's Eve, and our return to San Pedro brought the end of shakfedown and a short period of leave and recreation for the men and a few minor repairs for the ship before our introduction to t-he terrible conflict ahead-little did we know then. lt was during this period also that Blunck gave his last instruc- tions on submarine warfare to the Soundmen and officers before our seafaring adventure. On the way to Pearl Harbor members of our department found it was not safe to sleep for fear of waking up with a bald top-knotg warm weather brought out the deviltry in some of our more mischeveous members. At Pearl Harbor George Walraven departed from our camp to join the crew of a minesweeper. Pearl was also the location where the Navigation Department tried very hard to become baseball champs. Give us credit for trying, anyway. Enroute to Okinawag knowing we were heading for the real thing, some of the over-enthusiastic members tried a little too hard to detect the enemy. The crew will remember the many times that excite- ment reigned throughout the ship as a submarine alert was sounded, only to be told later that the torpedo triplets fPotter, Dial and Mcliannal had "sounded" a whale, or that Blunck was pinging on a wake. The Bureau is still putting in overtime on the records to see if just once the-y couldn't have really hit on some- thing real. Then l guess no one will ever forget the time General Quarters sounded-the real thing-and a few minutes later a flock of Toj-o's wandering geese flew overhead. But then Wright can't always get the code right. Q. Going just a little sentimental l guess none of the Navigation Department will forget those evenings we spent on the wing of the gun deck in Guam when Cornutt and Dial provided the accompaniment for the astounding voices of Aylworth, Aitchison, Iaroszewski, Storey, Newmann, Wittenberg and Niwinski- can we ever forget- P A Through all the routine, there were always men that were continually thinking of eating. Such was Flynn, one of our prominent Quartermasters who ran a short or-der house in the Chart Houseg you could always smell a pot of "mud" brewing, or maybe you would catch an odor of sandwiches beingqgrilled. And somewhere alonig the way, one of the Radarmen, Hosking by name, had GCCIUi1'ed SOTHQ Canned cherries, how--you will have to as-k him-and by giving the Cooks a good line he was able to keep the Radarmen and Soundmen supplied with cherry pie through some of those long mid-watches. Then, occa- sionally, an episode came up to break the monotony of watch standing and became the topic of much conversation-like the time Schurmann overheard Mr. Halsted telling Cozby some of the highlights of his young manhood-We heard later from some of his friends that this was an everyday occurrence., oruthe time Mr. Dillon and Mr. Rosengren were overheard telling Chief Shelley sea stories. Then a standing joke ...l251..

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