Newport News (CA 148) - Naval Cruise Book

 - Class of 1952

Page 7 of 68

 

Newport News (CA 148) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1952 Edition, Page 7
Page 7



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FOREWORD O There is something about a shipmate that defies description. As far as we know, no one has succeeded in putting into printed words the feeling of one good shipmate for another. Nothing can explain why, after enduring the endless irritations, and suffering the countless inconveniences of shipboard life, completely removed from the comforts of home and the company of loved ones, a man will recall only pleasant memories of the shipmates he has grown to love, and with whom he has shared eventful days, both pleasant and not-so-pleasant. Nor do we aspire here to capture such a definition. We can only hope that in days to come, the words and pictures of this book will refresh in the readeris memory pleasant recollections of bygone days that were much better than we thought. They will remind us that the good ship New- port News is a living thing, converted from a mass of pig-iron and paintwork by the men of her crew - the finest ship you ever have seen - and the best shipmates. As the ship sailed from pier Hvei at Norfolk that bleak and cold day in January 1952, there was aboard a conglomeration of levery type and combination of the American bluejacket. Men who joined the Navy to see the world were thrown right alongside those who last of all wanted to see anything but their own hearthsides. Plank-owners intermingled with recruits, who wondered at the size of the ship, and if all those drills were necessary. Whether they realized it or not, they became 'part and parcel of that day-by-day transformation from a bunch of men into a fighting team of shipmates. 44 Unnecessary crowding and needless waitings gradually changed into friendly associations as the inexorable process of building shipmates progressed. By the time the ship reached Gibraltar, the process was showing results - there was the fellow who came up to the Exec with eyes that were not quite dry, and talked his way out of a.transfer to a ship bound stateside. Then came liberty - Gib was all right, but liberty was so hard to get - only a tenth of the crew? What's so valuable about an old piece of rock? Remember how we found out Mount Etna was in Sicily? What a beautiful spot Augusta Bay looked the morning we sailed in and moored to the buoy, and what a miserable place to have liberty. But maybe liberty at all was better than liberty with no boats, which was the fate of many. The Captain almost got left on the Midway after he went over to watch the ship's basketball .team play the Roanoke. What a bunch of seamen we have in our boat crews! And Condition One Able Able and more drills and then Naples, and back to a more generous liberty schedule. Tours to Pompeii - 44 who you going with, Mac? 2 For ten thousand lire you can have a good time in Naples. , Villefranche and Mom's place, and those fascinating little joints on the 01 and 02 levels. And such scenery - they don't call it La Belle France for nothing. What liberties! It's tough leaving Villa. It's tougher still figuring on catching up on sleep, only to have all those Condition 3 watches and air raids coming up throughout the day and night. Play hard and work hard. Besides, my shipmate is doing the same work, maybe a little harder than I am. Sure glad he's on this ship too. Operation Grand Slam and Naples again, and Villa again, and on to Suda Bay, Athens and Istanbul. Then Algiers, and the big flag shifts to the Salem, and we're on our way to' Norfolk, U.S.A. Back home again - gosh, it hardly seems four months since we left - it must have been a better cruise than we thought! - , Yes, we hope these pages will help you recall many pleasant memories you have enjoyed in a fine ship with fine shipmates. lt's been a great cruise, and it ought to be remembered. Y0u'll always be a part of the Newport News, and she of you. VVe hope you like our book. X

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