Bondeson and his breed
There were so
many Scandinavians - "Square-heads" - "Box Heads" in ATS, later MSTS it
was called "The Boxhead Navy". If you were a Swede especially (
Norwegian, Danes, and many others from the Slavik countries would do )
you were in rock solid...Torning - "Mr. Army Transport" - the Port
Captain was a Swede, as was Bondeson.
Torning owned alot of property, and
many bought property from him...so many a small town cropped up called
"Torningville". Another thing was that Torning was a Mason, and wouldn't
you know, most upper level Ship's Officers were also. They all belonged
to the "Marine Square Club".
I didn't join MSTS until '58...well
after the Navy took over from the Army in '49, and I met Torning...he
was still around into the early sixties. He didn't do anything, like I
said the Navy put him behind a desk in a bare room with a Non Comm
staring at him. He had no official function, but he sure still carried
alot of weight...he was "Mr. Army Transport" and still most of MSTS's
mariners were from ATS.
I remember meeting him leisurely
walking down Pier One in the Brooklyn Army Terminal. It was the only
"open" pier - it had no shed like the other three piers. I was checking
the draft as he came along. I never met him before, but sure knew of
him. He asked me who the skipper was, I told him - "Saffer". "Oh...he's
tough." Torning said. He asked me what I was, and I told him Chief Mate.
"Oh...he fires Chief Mates." Torning said. We were getting ready to
sail, and I just got word my wife was soon ready to have a baby...I
wanted "off", but they had no one to relieve me. I told Torning that,
and said: "Well...I hope he fires me.", and hearing that Torning said:
"With that attitude he never will.", and laughed. He went aboard to
visit with Saffer...like a mob "God Father"...just a chat.
that I think about all this, it wasn't until either Torning died, or
retired...he was quite old, there was a mysterious bunch of old-timer
"Assistant Port Captains" that met the ships in Brooklyn. They were
officially called that...on the Navy payroll, and all. They didn't do
anything except maybe bring aboard a cargo manifest, or papers, or
whatever...nice old guys, though one was a beligerent old fart...even
wanted to be addressed as "Captain" ( Capt Steen? ), though I don't
think he was ever a real captain.
I guess these guys were
"Untouchables"...like Torning. Spooky...what?
When Torning "went" they
had to have been tough for the Navy to "inherit" all those ship's and
CivMars - Civil Service Mariners. The Navy didn't know diddly about
running what was essentially a "shipping company"...a company also in
the passenger ship ( troop ships ) business. Not only did they have to
contend with the Civil Service Commission, but the Coast Guard...which
in those days the Coast Guard itself still had old-timers from the Steam
Boat Inspection Service.
Stories I heard from some of the
old-timers about ATS was that it was one big "club". Vessel inspections
were a laugh...these old "Inspectors" from the same "school" as the ATS
mariners weren't too much worried about lifeboats, nor firefighting
equipment...just keep it painted. Well, the old Navy wasn't much
different either...if it didn't move - paint it. Like the ATS, some of
those old Navy ships had paint so thick the ships were ready to capsize.
was in the Amphibs in the early fifties, and the Captain - a
four-striper was an old-timer from the Great Patriotic War, and he was a
great guy...a real sailor. He'd come up on the bridge while we'd be
anchored out, and I'd have the signal watch, and have a cup of coffee
with me. He always smelled like a brewery. I knew he was boozin'...but
never sloshed. That was a good ship - the USS Arneb - AKA-56.
the Navy that took over ATS were of the old school too at that time.
MSTS had it's boozers left over from the old days, as did the Navy, and
if anything you took care of your own. You never ratted on a "nice"
boozer. The Navy covered for alot of outright drunks in MSTS in those
"Shoe Shine Johnson" who later wound up in the Far East, and the Admiral
behind the desk ashore when the Pueblo got in trouble, got his handle
from the MSTS mariners. Johnson always looked for shined shoes like his.
He also noticed ribbons. He questioned one Chief Engineer's ribbons
saying no one could have that many ribbons, and made a big ussue out of
it. He had to later personally appologize to the Chief ( Tony Quezeraga
aka Tough Tony ). Tony spent four-years in Europe, and held almost as
many decorations as that movie star did.
Over time the Navy Brass began to
learn what type of men many of these "Merchies" were.
Speaking of Tough Tony...for my first
command at the age of thirty-three I had him as my Chief Engineer. Tony
held a Maritime Administration license as "Captain". How he came about
that is a mystery. Anyways, for someone like myself who considered the
ship's engines mine ( I used them...the Chief just took care of them for
figured there'd be fireworks over that. Guess there was no
problem...maybe it's because I was a Brooklyn kid...raised on the
waterfront. Ha ha. Anyways, while on Tony, he "came over" as an
immigrant from the Basque country in Spain. He was sort of "adopted" by
Sam Uriarte's father ( Basques too ). Sam was an ATSl/MSTS R/O from the
old school. A "brass pounder", but technically "challenged".
Sam's real name was Sen, but
even that wasn't right...it was supposed to be Zen...but that's neither
here nor there. Tony married an Army Nurse...had a family, and later
"dumped" the Nurse for an heiress in the Progresso Food family. As Tony
put it, the lady "dressed him up some". Sam, and his family was a bit
annoyed by that...after all Sam's Dad did for Tony. Neeless to say, Tony
became a "celeb" of sorts...living the good life...big house, fancy car,
etc., but he never gave up his black trench coat.
I had Tony again on the Vanguard down
in Rio. Gone now...just part of history, but like yesterday...all those
One thing about what Ramon brings up about "Chief Officer", and "First
Officer'. That's ATS stuph which the Navy continued, but no one really
knew the difference. The problem lay in using those terms loosely. Like
the Army, the Navy used Sea Service Record Books...little booklets in
which was recorded each Mariner's assignment.
the "real" Merchant Marine - the Commercial side...when you left a ship
you got what was called a "Discharge"...a certificate stating position
held, and dates. You just kept all these separate slips of paper...they
looked like large Dollar Bills...nicely engraved, and all that. Anyhow,
what you were licensed as, was what was put on the "Discharge". No...not
the Army, nor the Navy, for "Mate" which we are licensed as, they had to
use "Officer", and to confuse it more "First Officer". This didn't mean
diddly to the U.S. Coast Guard Licensing People. They wanted to see your
"sea time" as "Chief Mate"...what the License said you were when you
applied to sit for your Master's license. The dopey "Sea Service Record
Book" said "First Officer". Maybe if it said "Chief Officer" it might
not have been so bad, but they never used that. Boy!...did I have a
tough time convincing the Coast Guard I was a Chief Mate, or First
Mate...Mate, Mate, Mate...not Officer...suh. Ha ha.
was really all so dumb. I told that SubLant Admiral after that Lt. Cmdr
"appologized" for playing Captain that I'd be glad to, when I retire,
teach the Navy how to man these non-combatants using Navy people. No
licensing, no nothing required...the Navy guys know their fields in
Deck, Engine, and Steward...just teach them confidence...how to run
their ships using the Manning Scale the Merchant Marine uses...what the
Coast Guard requires. The biggest hurdle would be with the C/Os...they
would have to learn how to sleep at night with just a couple of guys on
the Bridge; in the ER; and in the Galley. May have to do his own
"Purser's" work, but what the hell...he'd have his own ship.
Doesn't that make sense. Gheeeeeeeeeeeez!
may enjoy this:
Bondeson, and other comments
Good ol' Bondeson...he was no slouch. Son of gun worked for the
OSS during the Great Patriotic War...his brother or uncle was Port
Captain of a Swedish port ( Gotenburg ). He sailed in the Swedish
Merchant Marine, was an Academy Grad, sailed aboard passenger vessels as
a ship's officer...actually played deck tennis with Greta Garbo. Few
ever beat him in chess. However the source...that damn booze...poor guy
went through hell with that.
Some of it was
explained in the story he told me about his one true love...he never
married. After the War ( WW2 ) he settled in the U.S. and went to work
for the Army Transport Service ( ATS ). I forget the circumstances but
one of the New York newspapers did an editorial on him. He had been for
ages looking for his love, but she vanished...like so many after the
war. It was that editorial which she found, and was able to contact him.
They did meet, but it wasn't long after she died...I forget from what.
It was devistating to him...she apparently meant everything to him.
He blamed that for his boozing.
I had occasion
to sail with him a few years later after the Michelson aboard the USNS
Towle - a Victory Cargo Ship. We made a trip to the Antarctic and back,
then over to Japan, and the Pacific. After a year I got off, leaving the
ship in Philly. Bondeson remained, but was relieved some time
after...the booze finally forced him to retire.
Just about fifteen years ago I heard he was in his nineties, and living
comfortably in St. Peterburg, Florida...no other details.
a photo of him ( wearing piss-cutter ) I just found this morning. It's
taken on the bridge of the Michelson...the fellow with him I don't
remember...maybe the C/O of the Detachment.
photo was taken around 1961, or 2. The next photo shows the Michelson in
calm seas, gulls lifting off all in unison. To get that photo I held the
camera at the ready, and flipped the control for the ship's whistle.
While searching for photos, I came across this one of me from that
era...a profile. I took that photo myself using the timer on my Zeiss
Icon ContraFlex Super. Blasted time has really shattered that
image......good grief. So much for looking for old photos.
Crew List: The MSTS/MSC Crew
Posted on 3/14/2007
Master. This is interesting, as only on government owned ships is
the Captain ( Master ) listed on the crew list. On Merchant Marine (
commercial ) ships the Captain ( Master ) isn't listed as he/she
isn't considered crew...he/she signs the Crew List, but isn't on it.
1st Officer ( Though Licensed as Chief Mate; Second Mate; Third
Mate, MSTS preferred "Officer".
Bos'n (The Boatswain - Bos'n was ordinarily an Able Seaman
documented as such, but MSTS could assign a less rated seaman to the
position, but that was unusual. Strange thing, but in the early
sixties the Michelson's Bos'n lived in Belfast, N. Ireland...wasn't
even an American. Though later changed, non-citizens could hold
Carpenter (Same here as with Bos'n,
usually a document Able Bodied Seaman).
Two ABMs (Able Seamen
Maintenance Day workers.
Six ABs (Able Bodied Seamen -
Watch Standers. These are the fellows who worked on deck, and
steered. ( Required to be Able Seaman "Green" (professional), except
for two which may be "Blue" ticketed).
Three Ordinary Seaman
(Entry level Deck Department Seamen . Watchstanders also, and also
steered...but not in confined waters.
Each bridge watch had
the Officer of the watch (Mate), Two ABs, and One Ordinary...for a
total of four for the Bridge Watch. They stood four hours on, eight
First Assistant Engineer (Same as the
mates - Watch Standers, but in the ER...four on, eight off). The
Watch consisted of the Engineer, Oiler, and FWT.
Third Assistant Engineer and at first (on the onset of
bringing the T-AGSs online) a Fourth Assistant Engineer....the First
Asst. being a DayWorker.
I say here "at first" to mean when
the ships first came online. In the late seventies the government
began cutting out ratings deemed "unnecessary". First to go were the
plumbers, second electricians, machinists, carpenters, jr. pursers,
even pursers in some cases. Then the Fourth Mates, and
Engineers...the Chief Mates, and First Assistant Engineers being
placed on watch. These positions weren't on the U.S. Coast Guard
manning requirements. The USCG being the licensing authority even
though Navy owned the ships.
Three Oilers (Watch Standers in the Engine Room)
Three FWT (Fireman Watertender Watch Standers in the Boiler Room )
Two Wipers (Entry level rating for Engine Dept. Day workers)
Second Cook and Baker (same
man...cooked and Baked)
Galley man (Messman
level who worked in the galley)
Two Crew Messmen
Two Navy Mess Messmen
Two Utility Men
(Messman entry level rating - made bunks, and cleaned rooms, and
Junior Purser (at
Three Yeoman (One for each Department. Came under the
Purser but answered to the Department Head - Chief Mate (Deck) ;
Chief Engineer (Engine), and Chief Steward (Steward) .
position - Yeoman was reduced eventually to one...for all
Radio Officer (R/O Stands a daywatch of eight
hours bracketed between 0800, and 2000). During the night, if he's
not busy with incoming comms, and not in the radio shack, he puts
the radio gear on Auto Alarm. If there's an SOS, an alarm goes off
on the Bridge, and in his room.
In later years when R/Os were
getting scarce, they too were eliminated. When I had the Hess I had
no R/O, but I kept the Radio Shack "on". The Navy unit handled comms
through satellite. On the USNS Vanguard working for SubLant, when
Navy comms went down, though I didn't have an R/O, I had HF, and
Satellite, and I did comms for the Navy myself until they got back
up. The Navy didn't particularly like being without an R/O...an R/O
still held that Warm Fuzzy feeling for all hands especially if ever
emergencies should arise. However, the people ashore couldn't care
PX operator could be anyone. A collateral job for which
the operator got a percentage of the take. It counted towards Social
Security quarters. Even some Captains have been known to "take" the
A Commentary on the Civilian Captain ("Master") on U.S. Navy-owned Ships
Posted on 3/14/2007
Captains. Merchant Mariner Captains are titled as Masters... an old
English tradition going back centuries. Captain Bligh of the Bounty was
at one time a civilian Captain. When he joined the Navy, he was given
the title of "Sailing Master"...he "sailed" the ship. The Captain
"fought" the ship. The Sailing Master worked under the Captain. When
Bligh was given Command of the Bounty he was a Lieutenant, but was
"Captain" of the Bounty. That was Military Tradition... the U.S. Navy
adopting it also. A Captain of Navy ships, and Units can be of any rank,
or rate... a lot of small craft like tugs have non-coms as Captains.
However, unless of the Rank of Captain, none can call themselves
Captain...for example answering a phone and saying "Captain Jones". It's
Commanding Officer; C/O; or answer with his rank, and name. Captain is a
rank and reserved to those of that rank. It's perfectly alright for
those under the C/O to call the C/O Captain, but he can't himself
(unless of Captain rank himself).
the "Master" thing. It's not like "Master Chief Jones"... you call Jones
"Master Chief", but Merchant Captains are not called Master... they are
"the Master", but called Captain... supposedly an "Honor" placed on them
by the Senior Service... which in England is the Navy... in the U.S. the
"Senior Service" is the Army...used to be anyways.
Where the "Master" fits in, like on
the T-AGS, used to be defined in NAVREGS - Article 0733. Today it is
found in the Code of Federal Regulations (Title 32 CFR PART 700 Subpart
H §700.847) (1).
In 1949 Congress transferred the U.S. Army Transport Service - ATS to
the Navy - MSTS. At one time the largest assemblage of ships ever in
maritime history, the ATS ran the organization like a commercial
shipping outfit...even to one Port Captain ... a real Merchant Marine
Captain himself. "Mr. Army Transport", Captain Torning was
affectionately called. He at one time conferred with Roosevelt himself.
Ships weren't the Army's "thing", and
left operations to the Port Captain. Though the Army did keep its Army
Transportation Corps...a small batch of harbor craft mostly, they were
glad to get out of the big ship business. So... all these grand ships,
and their civilian Mariners, who pulled us through the Great Patriotic
War so well, went to the Navy.
Code of Federal Regulations
the Navy, which understands ships...combatants especially, winds up with
these thousands of civilian "Merchies" - professional seamen, and their
civilian Port Captain, overnight. They plunk down a Vice Admiral to head
up the outfit in D.C., and for the Lant, and Pac Commands they assign a
Rear Admiral each. The Navy with its "Pride And Professionalism" motto,
note: Pride first, is in a dilemma. The "Merchies" with their motto of
just "Professionalism"... pride doesn't make money, just sit and
wait...most very apprehensive.
First to go is the Civilian Port Captain...he's put behind a desk with a
Yeoman to stare at him 'til he retires. Then the "Training" branch had
to be established. These Merchies had to learn the "Navy Way". It all
went along fine for a few years when all of a sudden COMSTSLANT, and
PAC...remember those two Rear Admirals ... had to go. All they did was
play golf, and left the running of the outfits to civilian "Navy
sanctioned" Port Captains. No good!
When one reaches Admiral, you have risen above it all...you don't even
relate to seamanship, or knot-tying... you've "made it". The
Admirals had to go... in place came the "Captains", which they called
"Commodores". These "Commodores"... really just Captains, though Navy,
put their sights on all these Civvy Merchy Captains. Jealousy...
perhaps... disdain... for sure. First of all here you have these
Merchies manning "their'' ( the Navy's ) ships... commanding "their"
ships. Deep water commands... big ships lost to Merchies. Bottoms that
should be manned by Navy skippers, and manned by sailors...not merchant
seamen...and who don't even salute.
you can't fault them...I can understand that well. Actually, these ships
should have been placed under a Civilian Agency... like NASA is. Being a
"support" group in transportation, I often thought an acronym like
"FLASH" would have been appropriate - "Forces' Logistic And Support
Hegemony"... sounds nice. Civilian run from top to bottom... as it
almost was with the Army ATS. No Navy animosity in that case...hell,
they're not Navy ships... they belong to FLASH. I proposed this, but who
am I but a lowly "Merchie".
No...for years good Navy men had to sit in offices while civilians had
the fun running Navy ships...it wasn't right. It wasn't easy for the
Mariners either... working under those you know secretly hated your
guts... and rightly so. I know the feeling. I was in the Navy... I was a
Quartermaster; Quartermaster Signalman... had both ratings down pat. I
remember the moment like it was this morning. Over the top of the pier
in Naples, Italy in the early fifties I could see this Victory
ship...similar to the C-2 I was on... all gray, and spiffy looking, but
with black, blue, and yellow bands on the stack, and with USNS preceding its name.
"What the hell is that" I asked a shipmate. "Oh... that's a Navy ship
run by civilians... an MSTS ship." he said. "That's a lot of crap!" I
said. I thought that was awful... and really still do. Though I left the
Navy, but wound up working for them some years later on "their" ships,
how much nicer it would have been if it was straight "Merchie"... like
in an agency like "FLASH".
to conclude this, MSTS...now MSC with mixed crews - Civilian, and Navy
are a strange mix. The poor "C/O" of the unit, his/her crew calling
him/her "Captain", and way up there in his/her lofty perch is the
"Master"... who is the Captain. How many times have I heard Navy lads
standing in my doorway opening with: "Mastuh suh"...like some servant
from years ago addressing his Master. Pity the C/O who may encourage
such. In one case, after assuming command of a SubLant tracking ship, I
had occasion to touch base with the Unit Commander... a Lt. Cmdr... nice
guy. We later became good friends/shipmates. I called down on the phone.
"Captain" someone answers... I hear it right off. I asked who I was
speaking with. "Lt. Cmdr ( he gives his name ). I asked him if he always
answers directly with "Captain". He said he did. I told him who I was
and suggested he report to my office.
Though he was six decks down, he was in my doorway in less than a
half-minute. I told him to come in, introduced my self to him. He
accepted the offer of a cup of coffee, and sat down. I then tipped him
off to the "Captain" thing. I explained how SubLant likes things on the
ship...especially the "one Captain" rule. Since SubLant calls me
"Captain"... one captain is enough for them. I explained NavRegs to him.
Others under him may call him "Captain", but he himself doesn't get that
privilege until he becomes a Captain. "Captain" is a Rank in the Navy.
Being a Unit Commander he can answer with C/O; or Lt. Cmdr Smith ... but
not Captain. Nor is he to imply that he is any of the above of the
ship... especially captain of the ship... which he isn't.
also told him it made no difference to me, and that I was just tipping
him off... most people aboard have a pretty good handle on who the
captain of the ship is... which included him. Told him not to feel
bad... every ship I take over I have to get through a half-dozen
"Captains" first. He thanked me. With that said, we changed the subject,
and got to know a bit about each other.
Months went by. Captains of ships for some reason or other, if like
myself are open, and friendly with crew, civilian, and military
contingents onboard, and occasionally have to listen to gripes. Whether
it's on the bridge, or behind the desk (my office door was always open),
if someone, whether military, or civilian feels he has to get something
off his chest, who better than the man on top. As twenty years as
Captain I have "counseled" untold crew, Navy, and sponsor. In most
cases, especially outside of the crew, there isn't much I can do except
listen...and that's all that's wanted in most cases. Anyhow, the man who
would be captain had some disgruntled men...particularly one Chief...
his Senior Chief. "This guy calls himself Captain... you know!" "Oh." I
answered. "Yeah, and not only that, ashore he tells everyone he's
Captain of the ship." "Oh." again I answer. He wasn't the first... I
heard it from others. It may have disappointed them that I didn't really
care... but it seemed to bother some. I heard this on other ships. In
fact, there have been untold others other than the captains themselves
who have played captain in bars, brothels, and even with their families.
were ordered to sail for New York for the Bi-Centennial, anchor out in
the harbor, and play host to numerous guests. We were but one of
hundreds of other ships. After the fireworks a grizzled old-timer like
Andy Rooney drops into my office to thank us for the hospitality. He
then launched into telling me about some Lt. Cmdr claiming to be Captain
of the ship; told me he was from Public Affairs in COMSC Washington, and
was going to report him. An actual chill ran through me... this man was
bordering on livid. I laughed it off, telling him to forget it, that the
fellow was actually a very nice guy... a good shipmate, and all that.
It went on deaf ears...he was determined to "report him"... had his
name, rank, and all. This didn't look good. My thoughts went back to
when I had warned him. I could only hope this fellow was blowing smoke,
but the next morning after we cleared New York I called him up to my
office, and told him about the night before. I forget his reaction, but
this time he did seem to listen.
arrival back to our home port, the local MSC Commander...a woman, popped
into my office. Said they got a message that COMSUBGROUP whatever was
paying the ship a visit... had something to do with the Unit Commander.
In tow of his Admiral
boss, and right up to my desk, my now dear friend Lt. Cmdr was made to
apologize for playing Captain. Worse, he was passed over twice after
that... never made Full Cmdr. Such is life.
TITLE 32 --National Defense
Subtitle A --DEPARTMENT OF
CHAPTER VI --DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
SUBCHAPTER A --UNITED STATES
NAVY REGULATIONS AND OFFICIAL RECORDS
PART 700 --UNITED STATES
NAVY REGULATIONS AND OFFICIAL RECORDS
Subpart H --THE COMMANDING
§700.847 --Responsibility of a master
of an in-service ship of the Military Sealift Command.
(a) In an in-service ship of the Military Sealift Command, the
master's responsibility is absolute, except when, and to the extent,
relieved therefrom by competent authority. The authority of the master
is commensurate with the master's responsibility. The master is
responsible for the safety of the ship and all persons on board. He or
she is responsible for the safe navigation and technical operation of
the ship and has paramount authority over all persons on board. He or
she is responsible for the preparation of the abandon ship bill and has
exclusive authority to order the ship abandoned. The master may, using
discretion, and when not contrary to law or regulation, delegate
authority for operation of shipboard functions to competent
subordinates. However, such delegation of authority shall in no way
relieve the master of continued responsibility for the safety,
well-being, and efficiency of the ship.
(b) All orders and instructions of
the master shall be in accordance with appropriate laws of the United
States, and all applicable orders and regulations of the Navy, Military
Sealift Command, and the Office of Personnel Management. A master who
departs from the orders or instructions of competent authority or takes
official action contrary to such orders or instructions, shall report
immediately the circumstances to the authority from whom the prior
orders or instructions were received.
32 CFR PART 700 Subpart H §700.847]
Current as of November 21, 2007
The Dutton, Southampton, England,
early 1970s, and other comments.
Posted on 3/11/2007
Welcome to the
club...that is Ramon's ( Ramon was a NAVO guy ), and mine...and a few
others who have archived to our best ability that which has become
forgotten...ships like Michelson, Dutton, and Bowditch.
spooky, but just about a week ago Ramon emailed me about someone who
suggested chronicling the history of the program under which the
Michelson, Dutton, and Bowditch...amongst other forgotten ships
operated. A large task, actually impossible since too much has been
We wonder about "forgotten"...though all of this
stuph is ancient history, and de-classified it just isn't to be found.
To put it simply, whatever remains lies in the memory of us old
timers...and time is fast running out.
I applaud your attempt at
recovering through former shipmates the human side of these ships...we
all have our story to tell..."sea stories" that can go on seemingly
forever. That was my intention when I first posted my home pages over
ten years ago...I thought it would become a "watering hole"...all my old
pals discovering it, and adding to it.
Never happened. You well
remember those dinosaurs we had for computers back in those
days...didn't even have BBS let alone email. It wasn't until email, and
the internet popped up on the horizon that most of us became interested
in computers. It was just a flash in the pan...dozens of my old
shipmates, MSTS guys got online...whoopty-doo, but it fizzled. I learned
way back then sailors just love bs'ing, but to sit down and put their
memories in print, forget it.
So I just went my merry way
posting my memories for "posterity"...it was fun...killed time, and I'm
still at it, though not as much...I think I have just about reverted to
email for the occasional "sea story" between old friends. If I took all
those emails, or even saved them, yes, then I could have written a
book...a large book. However, though some of us are, I'm not into books.
I remember it all...maybe that's the problem...it all comes crashing
down in one lump...fatiquing to even think about. Ha ha.
at your site, and it looks like a good start...like the format. Now to
get your "shipmates" interested. About the fate of these three ships, I
probably heard, but didn't dwell on it. It's too bad
is in the midst of re-doing their site...it was probably the best site
for Navy ship's history.
You have evidently browsed my site:
, and are welcome to link to it, or use any of the graphics, and/or
is very interesting, and though he hadn't sailed on the three ships, he
did many others, and knows quite a bit about the three. (This is a
dead link 6/6/21 - Admin. An archved copy can be found at the
MSTS; Navy; or NAVO ( Sponsor )
we're definitely all ship mates. Most of my contacts relating to the
three ships are Navy fellows...like yourself. It's the same with
Ramon's...seems the military types maintain a tighter bond than civilian
mariners do. NAVO types...forget it. Maybe I should have posted some
stories about the NAVO guys...whoooooeeee...that would have been
something. Ha ha.
Allow me to be amongst your first contributors. Here's the Dutton in the
King George V drydock in Southampton, England early 70s.
took these photos myself processing them using the
PhotoLab aboard Dutton.
Like most WW2 Maritime Aministration ships, Dutton had a Floating
Mine Cable Cutting device
at its forefoot. This photo is from the early 70s.
is me aboard Dutton in the early 70's. I was Chief Mate...not too happy
about being Chief Mate since I had been sailing Captain, but it was a
job. I did eventually after this assignment get promoted to permanent
skipper. No more Captains to have to answer to. Those who sailed with me
may remember me as their "liaison" between them and the "big bad
Mastuh". Ha ha.
Strange, but some years later I went on to take command of the USNS
Hess...the larger class ( Mariner ) vessel that replaced the Michelson.
So, Earl, good luck with your site.
I'll check into it on occasion. Please keep in touch. If'n there's
anything I can be of help with, no problemo...I'm right here.
Carl - Carl R. Friberg, Jr.
tsip, tsip - A Snow Job
"Tsip, tsip, tsip...err, ahem,
err...you see here commander... err, tsip, tsip, tsip...we ain't goin'
to New Castle. I changed the schedule... heh, heh, heh...tsip, tsip,
Dutton had been running in, and out of New Castle for many months, and
needless to say, many of her crew had made "attachments" ashore.
Christmas was coming up, and all had planned to be with their "loved"
ones over the holidays. Of course that time of the year in the North Sea
can be sometimes pretty wicked, if not storms, then fog, and just
Captain - to the right - not wanting to go any further north than
necessary, chose instead to "holiday" in Southampton, England, being we
were coming up from the south anyways.
The fellow in the middle,
being in charge of the small Navy group on board was vying for his men,
and some of the civilians too, to stick to the planned schedule, and a
fun time with "loved" ones.
Article 0733 of U.S. Naval Regs puts the civilian "master" ( Captain )
in charge of the welfare of everyone aboard - military, and civilian,
and the ship. The fellow on the right is exercising that responsibility
to the dismay of the fellow in the middle.
fellow on the left ( the High Mate ) is just chuckling to himself. All
turned out alright...dems wid "loved" ones jus' took a train to
Newcastle, and dems widout enjoyed Southampton.
are these guys anyways...the year is around 1970?????
Note by Site Administrator June 2, 2021:
Pictured above (L to R) are Carl Friberg (First Mate), LCDR Channing
Zucker (OcUnit Two C. O.) and the ship's master John J. Cullen. Photo c.
1970-71. Thanks to Channing Zucker for the identification.