My first time at sea!

My first time at sea!

By: Carl Johnoff

I sailed to Hawaii from San Francisco, in 1959, aboard the “Mitchell,'” which, I was told, had been a “Liberty Ship” during War Two. To say the ship was overloaded is a gross understatement. There were several thousand troops, all services, jammed aboard. As we departed Treasure Island, approaching the Golden Gate Bridge, there were a lot of troops alongside, port and starboard, and I guessed the views from those points must be spectacular. As i headed toward starboard, a Chief told me, “Don’t go over there, Marine, all those people alongside are puking!” OMG, the sea was calm, the weather clear, and those people, Army and Air Force I was told, were already sick! We were packed so tightly that sack time was in shifts. Hammocks were stacked six high, and despite my head being directly under very hot pipes, I took the same Chief’s advice and selected a top berth. I would generally get some sleep after those under me stopped puking. Lines for chow, any meal, were endless. Generally, one entered the chow line an hour or two prior to the meal; once served the meal, all eating was don standing—there were no seats, we were encouraged to eat quickly and get out! Happily, I was stationed at Kaneohe for nearly two years. (And, my outfit, VMF-232, saw Nam LONG before anyone in the States knew Nam existed),

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  • David Earl Tyre

    I got lucky and was “Sea Going” aboard the Intrepid from May, 1955 until December, 1956. There was a Marine from West Virginia in the detachment, and when we hooked up to the tugs to leave port, even before we got out of the harbor, he’d start puking! I never got sea sick and we rode out some bad weather several times during that tour. January, 1957, I was assigned to 2nd.battalion, 2nd. Marine Regiment at Camp Lejuene. Anybody read the book “Tarawa? Red beach 2. Those men took some heavy losses on landing. Some died and never fired a shot. Wound up a “buck” Sgt. in 81 mortars. ……..Semper Fi! D.E. Tyre, U.S.M.C.


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