“Baking is a definite profession. The expert baker is a skilled craftsman. The baker, to succeed, must take pride in his profession and become a master of the science of baking. Bakers should learn to so blend the ingredients for bakery products that they can point with pride to the finished article. The baker should realize that good bread or rolls makes the meal, and a good cake or pie tops it off. Be a craftsman!”
Instructions for Use in Preparation for Baker Ratings, USN, 1939
“I worked in the bake shop on Noumea until the NORTH CAROLINA came in and needed a third class baker. We had about 20 bakers and worked 24 hours on and 24 hours off. The hours on were not all work time…when we had everything done for the day we would clean up the shop and then usually used the area for writing letters, pressing our uniforms, having birthday parties and generally had a lot of companionship. The bake shop was a very popular place as the whole crew always liked sweets and if they had a buddy in the bake shop, they had it made. Even officers on night duty would send a messenger down to see if we might have a pie or a pan of sweet rolls that we could part with. Of course, this helped us too when we wanted to sneak ashore in Pearl or elsewhere and the officer of the deck owed us a favor. We had a little radio in the bake shop and we used to listen to Tokyo Rose every night.”
Don Ayers, Baker
“Bakers only seem to be able to do their work in the early hours of dawn long before the crew was ready for breakfast. They had to have bread ready to toast. The flour was white and so were the bakers, covered head to toe. They looked like ghosts most of the time! They had to have a lot of bread prepared for our favorite meal, dried ham in a white sauce. I will say the bread was good no matter how you sliced it.”
Lloyd Reedstrom, Radioman
“When I first came aboard ship I was working in the Shipfitter shop. The Bake Shop wanted steel racks to hold the hot trays that came from the oven. They had submitted a formal request and the work was not getting approval so the head of the Bake Shop talked to the head of the Shipfitter shop and before you knew it the racks were built and they are still there today. I guess you know the shipfitters never went hungry. For my 19th birthday one of the bakers baked me a large flat pan, five layer chocolate cake.”
Charles Foster, Seaman 1/c
“Our bakery was exceptional. We had pies, cake, homemade bread and rolls. One thing we always were sure we did when we had biscuits or bread was before we ate it we held them up to the light to make sure there weren’t any black spots in them as we did have a lot of cockroaches! Quite often we would find them in the bread and sometimes so many of them we thought there were raisins in them!”
Robert Palomaris, Seaman 1/c
“A lot of New York boys [in the Bake Shop]. One guy I knew was in the same high school as I was. Now I was fortunate to know him because if anything was left over he would up the Engine Room, ‘Neumann, send up a messenger. I have some leftover pies.’ I would send up the messenger and he would come back with the pies and I always had something to eat. He [baker] would make a pie or cake. He would actually make a flat pizza pie and he would send some down to us. He always took care of me like that. We were always buddies in that frame of mind.”
Leo K. Neumann, Machinist’s Mate
“To the bakers of the NORTH CAROLINA: We are now on a course of 145 after having struck Hong Kong. TF 38 has taken another chap out of the XXX that have caused us to be out here as long as we have. We don’t have a…lot of dope as to the damage done today except that we sunk a few small ships and caused a lot of fires. We’ve been up here not doing a lot except sitting on our butts looking for a bogey, not doing enough work to cause an appetite. We started talking about the bakery and I’ll be…if we aren’t all starved. [ ] to whip up a ration for the boys.”
Letter from the Combat Watch Officer, no date.
“The Italian bakers sent me a welcome aboard present when I became the Division officer. It was my first pizza. It was 1944 and I had never even heard of one.”
Ensign Henry Little
“I worked in the bake shop slicing bread, filling cream puffs…two squirts per puff. Some I would give them a couple of extra squirts and watch for the results.” [Note: “touchy to make in the tropics.”]
Harold Smith, Fire Controlman
“Smoking, washing or drying clothing, shaving or bathing and stowage of personal articles in the Bake Shop is prohibited. Bakers on watch will wear clean uniforms at all times.”
Lt. (jg) Watts, Supply Department officer
In August and September 1944 the Battleship was in Bremerton, Washington, for upgrades. The bakers must have been on liberty because the Ship bought hundreds of pounds of jelly rolls, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts and cupcakes as well as pies from local bakeries. And the Ship bought 19,755 pounds of wheat flour and before heading out to the sea the Ship received 104,000 pounds of wheat flour alone!
CUPCAKES FOR THE BATTLESHIP
JULY 2 – 5, 2015
Apple Annie’s Bake Shop located at Kerr Avenue and The Forum will donate $1 to the restoration fund of the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA for every red, white, and blue cupcake purchased during the Independence Day weekend, from Thursday, July 2nd through Sunday, July 5th.
Help us restore our State’s Memorial that honors the Greatest Generation and all who have served. Thank you for your support.
Visit the webpage for location information www.battleshipnc.com