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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Monday, May 29, 2006

KS - USNS Rose

14- At long last the paper I had been waiting for was handed to me – orders for separation processing – I was going home! The orders were dated 13 June 1962 and said I was to report 29 June 1962 to the Troop Staging Area, Bremerhaven, for departure from Europe. My transportation was to be aboard the USNS ROSE – they flew me over, got all out of me they could, then they were sending me back on a slow troop ship. It didn’t matter – I was going to CONUS (Continental United States)!

Also contained in the file is a certificate of appreciation from SHAPE for my tour of service over there. General orders #16, dated 28 June 1962, awarded me the Good Conduct Medal for my three years in service. Application for shipment of household goods was another form contained – dated 27 June 1962 - and this was for shipping my non-military “stuff” home, since we were only allowed one duffel bag and one canvas bag on the ship. Also a customs declaration with the same date was with it.

A week or so before leaving I drove my car over to the port for shipment back to New York, to be picked up when we finally got back. I don’t remember how I got back to base, seems like I took a train. The last few days seemed to take an eternity to pass by. Of course anytime I was greeted in any way my answer was always “short!!” Obnoxiousness may have reared its ugly head in that respect, but you were expected to act that way just before you went home.

My last day was worked, everything that needed to be turned in was turned in, everything was packed and we were on our way. The other part of “we” was a workmate that went home at the same time. We were taken to the train by another workmate in an Army vehicle and we were off to the port. At the ship, we were lined up according to the alphabet – as was the Army way. As we stepped off the gangplank onto the ship, the people in charge counted us off to be on their work crew - we were chosen before we could get away.

For the whole voyage back I was “honored” with the job of working in the ship’s bakery. The ones farther down in the alphabet mostly just lounged around on deck all day – maybe I should have spelled my last name starting with a ‘Z’. The bakery crew had to get up in time to prepare the bread and stuff for breakfast; of course noon chow and then the evening mess followed this.

A real weakness of mine – then and now – would be fruit pies and fresh baked bread, and we had all we could eat. The KPs and the bakery crew always ate first, got what and how much we wanted. Even though we worked long hours, all the good food added up, and by the time I got off the ship, my tailored uniforms were uncomfortably tight. Between tasks, I did get to see the lady with the torch when we came into New York Harbor – beautiful sight!

TBC - ec


Blogger Bonita said...

Glad you had a job where the eatin' was good, and pastries really take the cake. Good goin'.

5/30/2006 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr Eddie ~~ Glad you enjoyed the eating, if not the baking. I bet it
was wonderful to be going home.
Thanks for your visit.
Take care, Merle.

5/31/2006 03:49:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

bonita - All was good but I especially remember the cherry pie - great stuff, even if the cook we worked for was an old grump.

merle - It was a great feeling - the best of the trip was seeing the statue of liberty, I knew then I was on my home turf. ec

5/31/2006 10:10:00 AM  

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