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note.gif "Victory At Sea"

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Barnacled Bill's Page

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Ahoy there!

You can send me a message
anytime at:
val1@cfl.rr.com
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The Ships I Sailed...
but first I was a Breaker Boy
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1942
Worked as a breaker boy on Saturdays only. Pay was only 12 dollars for 8 hr work.
The coal came down mixed with rock, and our job was to pick out the coal. There was no dust, every thing was washed with water. If you slowed down the man standing with the stick would tap you on the shoulder. Back then 12 dollars was a lot of money for a young boy.

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From being a breaker boy I became what we called Nipper or a Runner.
We would hook up full coal cars then run ahead of the motor and open the doors.
This was one thousand feet below. Picture shows Mule (Before my time)...we had electric motor cars.
There was a slight cave in and I was caught between two coal cars...two weeks in Hospital with bad leg.
Working under river in winter time the water formed ice on the elevator and they had to chop out to get me to the hospital.
Salary was 32 dollars a week, Company name Leigh valleycoal co. in Wilkes Barre, Pa.

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I Join The Navy
01 April 1943 Arrived USNTS Sampson N.Y.
RS So Annex NOB Norfolk Va.
RS Trinida BWI
USS Memphis CL-13
Ratings Held AS. S2c. S1c. RM3c

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Light Cruiser Memphis CL-13 (NISS)
from -1 Apr 1943 to 01 Dec 1945
Duty in South Atlantic - 4th Fleet.
Duty in Mediterranean Sea - 8th Fleet.
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For more history on the USS Memphis, check out the site below.

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Army Transport
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Army Transport Harbor Branch
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MSTS Cap Device

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For a transcript of service on the following vessels, and those sailed on with MSTS, and commercially, please click here

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USAT Iwo Jima LST-246 run aground at 
Iwo Jima.
Rescued from shore using breeches buoy.

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Seas, and spray off the starboard
wing of the USAT Iwo Jima LST-246
as the ship is being pounded on the
reef. I went ashore in a breeches buoy
shortly after grabbing this picture.
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This picture was painted on silk by a 
Japanese 3rd Engineer from a photo 
that I had. The picture is of the 
USAT Iwo Jima LST 246 and 
I was the Radio Officer when we got 
in trouble off Iwo Jimo. This was with 
USAT at the time.

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USAT QS-12
Used for recreation purposes only, 
and destroyed during a typhoon at Guam.
"Aquired" from the Navy under unclear 
circumstances, and put in service
by the Army, I "sailed" aboard as Radio 
Officer...I had a simple A.M. Receiver. 
Staffed with a Cook, Captain, and Engineer, 
the grub was good...food left over from 
Partying "guests". Does this sound strange????
I went to the tugs after this "assignment".
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Two U.S. Army Transportation Corp
tugs nested...served on the USAT LT-357 
on the left.
Duty was at Saipan-Tanian-Rota-Guam,
Then to Yokohama Japan for repairs.

18 Jan 1949 to Apr 1951
Served duty in Guam with USAT, and 
MSTS in Yokohama, Japan.
     
While heading back to Guam, the war
broke out in Korea, we headed back to
Yokohama, Japan. 
That is when we changed over to MSTS,
re-named the USAT LT-455 USNS ATA-240, 
replaced the American crew with 
Japanese, except for me.
This was my last small ship for a 
while. April 1951.
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The USNS ATA-240 ex U.S. Army Tug USAT LT-455

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The USNS ATA-240 Bow on.

For more tug documentation, check out the site below.

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Radioman - Navy
Radio Officer - Merchant Marine/MSC
Ham - Amateur Radio. 

WA2NWI

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My first "big" ship with MSTS was the General C. H. Muir T-AP 142

I went to Pierce Radio and TV School from April 1947 to Nov 1948, and joined the Muir - a C-4 troop ship Dec 1948 staying until Jan 1949 making one trip to Bremerhaven, Germany With Military Dependants...the start of a career spanning forty-years.
Please click here for a transcript of this service, and links to photos of many of these ships.

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