Aaron Ward (DM 34) - Naval Cruise Book

 - Class of 1945

Page 32 of 48

 

Aaron Ward (DM 34) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1945 Edition, Page 32
Page 32



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17 ln a short time we were organized as a fighrting machine. Then on to San Diego for shakedown cruise. Every man proved to be capable under fire and in his special duties. And then, underway. No one knew where. Yes, Pearl l-larbor was a good guess, but our exact destination was not known. Combat with the enemy we knew would be ours in a short while. With the men venfturing out to "sea" for the first time, many heads were wondering about the outcome. Some began to think of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, their loved ones at home, and the thousand odd thoughts that flood a sailor's mind. Before we knew what had hit us, we had traversed the blue waters of the Pacific, via Pearl and Ulithi, and were camping on the doorste-p of Okinawa, aplace that changed the shape of our destiny. To most of the crew, the ports we'd visited were new and fascinating. From time to time we can-gre-gated after working hours to hold an old-fashioned bull session. There all events, new and old, were discussed: good times on the beach, and hangouts such as the "Porthole", "Tuxedo Club", and number of exciting places. The "bunch" that l speak of was made up of PO's and men of the lst and 2nd Divisions, and the R gang. ln this latter outfit, Iames and Schafer were big cogs. Though not participants in our sessions, our top men were always popular topics. Mr. Beismeyer, Mr, Cathcart, and their leading PO's, Slhelley and Oden, paved the way towards making -"CSR" the best outfit aboard ship. To Mr. Beismeyer, who has done so much for us all, l extend the heartfelt gratitude of his men. And to our men who. gave their lives fighting the lap, l can only say "We'll never forget". The only way l know how to express the true, deep feeling to these buddies of ours is to quote a tribute that should be always revered in every grateful heart-"Never, have so many, owed so much, to so few". ' David Iones, BM1fc A NOISE FRGM BELOW Iust t'he Ward itself brings to min-d the men who sweat it out below decks in the hot engine and fire rooms with the uncertainties of what is happening topside. On the other hand, the heat isn't so bad when there is ice on t'he deck and waves are coming, over the bow. . The Engine-ers were brought together for the first time at San Pedro shortly before the commissioning of t'he ship. During that short period most of us were pretty busy getting acquainted with the ship and each other, because a. few minutes after the ceremony, we knew that we would be underway for the first time. Well, we were underway at last, a new crew on a brand new ship. That first short period of steaming ffor we only shifted berths from the building yard to the outfitting dockl could be considered the last leg of a long trip and the first part of an even longer one. A lt started several months ago in the Destroyer Pool in Norfalk when the nucleus crew of the engineers were first assigned t-o the Aaron Ward. This group consisted of a few rated men with previous en.gineering experience such as Smith, Ward, MaCaugthy, Mann, Salisfoury, Garcyzca, Anastasio, Antell, Coltra, Carrol, Haulbridk, Porrey, St. Clair, Carpenter, and other machinist mates, watertenders, and electricians. After a couple of months in Norfolk, half this group went directly to the ship, while the rest went to Treasure lsland for more train-ing and to help instruct the large numb er of 'lb'oots". assigned to the ship to fill our engineering complement. This included such names as Friese, Macukas, Duravig, Pepoon, Stefani, Mecca, Dyhkopp, Piatt, Cezus, Ceckowski, Mattei, and many others. After Treasure lsland there was a train ride to San Pedro, 'and whether we were ready or not, the ship was t-o be commissioned. ' ln the period following the commissioning we found there was plenty of work to do, learning our new duties, cleaning up, painting, and making minor changes. With the new fellows eager t-o learn and the experien-ced men as patient teachers, we soon formed what We thought was a pretty good Engineering Department. Our arrival in San Diego for shakedown was the beginning of several weeks of hard drilling and training, but by the final inspection we knew we were the best "black gan-g" -on the best ship of the 'Navy, even iff some of us were a little more salty on the beach than at sea. After a short period for repairs we set out to sea with our daily routine of drills, watches, etc. At night we would sometimes sit on the mine tracks and exchange our latest scuttlebutt or maybe sing a little and listen to Bull Weyrauch with his harmonica the wouldnt hesitate to tell any bystander that he was called "Bull" because he was so strongl. -I 281- H WWW' -'P Y NEWLY L' 'Wi' 'W '-flllllgf. Q. ',j 'l"':a- ' " "' ' D44 Y ,A , -1 HY,

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