Oooeee baby! Won’t you let me take you on a sea cruise

 

Considered 'not too bad' compared to the worst.

USNS Sultan – Considered ‘not too bad’ compared to the worst.

USNS Breckinridge - one to be avoided.  Take an extension if you have to so's to get a different troopship.  No shuttleboard on this one.

USNS Breckinridge – one to be avoided. Take an extension if you have to so’s to get a different troopship. No shuttleboard on this one.

 Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

 Back in the day GIs made it their business to find out about the troopship scheduling, which ship they would be going aboard, and how to jimmy the travel schedule to avoid the worst ones.  The two above were my homes for roughly 60 days enroute to Korea and coming home.

Vietnam or Korea – Flip a Coin

 Neither of these was a picnic, considering each carried between 1500 and 2500 seasick GIs.  Sometimes those lower decks were enough to make a person vomit just from the odor.  Or huddled on deck with several hundred other guys, top of a swell a guy at the rail hurls and as the ship falls with the wave his puke hangs above his head an hour  or so before a thousand horrified eyes.

And 500 more GIs try to reach the rail in time for the next swell.

Below decks every corner held dice games, every stairwell a 24/7 penny-per-point gin game, or rummy 500 game.  And occasional poker.  No shuffleboard, no whiskey, no female companionship.  But there were some nice stops at Honolulu, Sasebo, Yokuska.

If there’s any motivation to cut down on the number of wars this country gets itself into, one way to do it would be to start hauling the GIs around in troopships again.  Cut down on the frivolous volunteerism.

Old Jules

 

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2 responses to “Oooeee baby! Won’t you let me take you on a sea cruise

  1. I love the way you describe life aboard those ships. Now I can’t get that mental picture of that guy’s puke hanging in the air over his head. I guess I have a warped sense of humor but I think that is really funny. I am still smiling.

    • Thanks DizzyDick. That vomit above his head thing suck in my memory an awfrully long time somehow. Happened a few days out of Yokuska in June, 1964. There was talk a tidal wave was in the making, but nobody knew anything except the swells were mountains. A japanese fishing fleet was out there vanishing and reappearing in the mountains and valleys of water, and though they always had a ‘focsle watch’ at the extreme head of the ship standing there looking ahead, they pulled him in because waves were coming over the top rail at the front and the front of the ship was ducking into the waves. Meanwhile, the whole thing would seesaw at the top of the waves before starting down sometimes, and the screws would leave the water, vibrate and groan, vibrate the whole ship. Most of us passengers didn’t care for it much. Old Jules

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