Tag Archives: beach parties

Liberty

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3 friends in Hawaii

“After the Philippines operations concluded for us in early 1945, we proceeded to the Pacific Fleet’s new advanced base in Ulithi Lagoon to prepare for our next operations and to enjoy a bit of R and R on the isle of Mog Mog. The native grass huts and buildings were standing; the natives had been evacuated to nearby islands. The SeaBees had constructed picnic and BBQ facilities and ball fields. We were authorized to send over liberty parties with athletic equipment and two cans of beer per man for an afternoon of sunning, swimming, playing ball, eating and drinking. My first experience with liberty parties as an ensign was to be in charge of 50 sailors with all their gear and beer and get them to the beach, a 45 minute boat ride, supervise their recreation…and get them back to the ship on schedule. I was outnumbered 50 to one.”

Capt. Tracy Wilder, USN (Ret)

Studio shot

“I remember when I went ashore on that island. The boat would dock at an old rickety pier and you walked through a jungle path to get to the recreation area. The warm beer was delicious.”

Ron Johnson

Diamond Head

“We anchored back in Ulithi to refuel and replenish stores. While in Ulithi we would have recreation at our favorite resort, Mog Mog. The island was very small with the highest point above sea level of about six feet. The island was covered with coconut palm trees…and divided so that about three-quarters were for the enlisted personnel and the remainder for the officer’s club. We could strip down to our skivvies and swim in the surf…or just lounge around and relax, which most of us did. Time on the island was about four hours.”

Bill Fleishman

theatre in Hawaii

In Hawaii, “Liberty was from 09:00 to 18:00, daylight liberty unless you had someone there you knew. Honolulu had lots to offer GIs in the way of USO clubs and places to go there was never a charge. I loved to dance and you could dance at the YMCA and the Breakers. Also there was a theater. It reminded me of home as the ceiling was like a sky with stars twinkling and clouds drifting by. There was Waikiki Beach. I loved to swim and had never seen a beach like this with its clear water and surf. I soon was snorkeling and riding the surf. It was really a paradise. The Royal Hawaiian was a special place. It was reserved for the submarine sailors when they returned from tours. We had lots of pictures taken in Honolulu. They had hula girls you could have your picture taken with.”

Bill Taylor

Officers on liberty

“Everyone looked forward to liberty, a time to get away from the ship. In places like NY City, San Diego, Norfolk, San Francisco and other large ports we could stay out until 7am the next morning. Once we were in the South Pacific, the only real liberty town was Honolulu. In order to stay overnight you had to put in for a special request that had to include where you were staying and the division officer had to approve it. There was a house we called “The Happy Hotel” that consisted of a bunch of cots in this guy’s basement. It was a pretty nice place. It had a large front porch where we could sit out at night and get harassed by passersby. He charged about $3 which was a lot of money back then. There was also the standard red light district: ‘three minutes for three bucks.’”

Paul Wieser

Studio photo with hula girl

“Most of our liberty was in Honolulu and it consisted of sightseeing and drinking. We tried to date some of the local girls but they didn’t seem too interested in sailors. They liked our money but didn’t want to go dancing with us.”

Jim Masie

Camp Andrews Hawaii

“Camp Andrews was a rest and relaxation camp established for US Navy enlisted at Oahu. Life at camp was very relaxed. We slept, ate, played games and drank beer. There was no reveille on your three days there or bed check. We slept in tents. All we had to do was cross the road and we were on our own little beach.”

Charles Paty Jr.

Ship’s Store

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The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA has officially named the gift shop site as the Showboat Shop. With the new name, we thought it appropriate to share comments from our former crew members on the actual Ship’s Store while at sea.

Ship Store

The Supply Department operated two stores on the Battleship, both located on the second deck. Store #1 sold toiletries, tobacco products, and all food products. Store #2 sold clothing and accessories, stationary supplies, and did watch and jewelry repairs. There were 30 storekeepers in the division. The stores were open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 – 11:00am and 1:00 – 4:00pm, and on Sundays and holidays from 1:00 – 4:00pm. The Supply Department also manned the ice cream and soda fountain seven days a week from 1:30 – 3:30pm and, when at sea, also from 6:30 – 10:00pm.

“The Ship’s store that was located next to the fountain sold candy, cigarettes, stationery, jewelry (like cigarette lighters, fountain pens, watches). The profits went into the ship’s welfare fund that was managed by the chaplain. The second store, located near the ice cream machine, sold soap, toilet articles like after shave, and chewing gum. The nickname for the soda fountain was ‘geedunk.’ You could buy Pepsi for a nickel. The Battleship was lucky to have an ice cream machine.The ice cream came in a paper cup with a little wooden spoon. The ice cream was also used as the grand prize for sporting competitions between divisions like softball and tug of war.”

Paul A. Wieser

“One storekeeper and his assistant operated Store #1 when not on liberty or watch. Everything in the store was marked up about 15% over cost. The profit went into the ship’s welfare fund. Cigarettes were very popular. Lucky Strikes was the best seller, Camels second, then Chesterfields. We rationed some of the kinds of hair tonic and mouth washes because if they contained alcohol the crew was known to drink it. The storekeeper was in charge for every cent at cost. If he came up short he would have to make up the difference at next pay day.”

Don Grasby, SK 3/c

“Gedunk is Navy slang for ice cream. We bought our pogey bait over there at the stores. Pogey bait is candy bars.”

Donald Rogers

To visit our online gift shop please visit http://www.battleshipncstore.com/ or come to #1 Battleship Road, Wilmington, NC 28401

The Brig

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brig

THE BRIG: Stryker’s Hotel

”When I moved up to executive officer from navigator on February 19, 1943, I became very interested in the ship’s brig. I found that a lot of deadbeats were being sent there where they could lie around and read comic books while their other shipmates were doing their work for them. I soon tried to take measures whereby the brig would be most unpopular. I started the rule that no man in the brig could be off his feet from 0830 until 1700 with two rest periods and a half hour for noon meal or bread if they were on a restrained diet. If they tried to lie down the Marine guards were instructed to order them up and to pound on the soles of their shoes if they didn’t obey. It wasn’t long before the chaplain made a call on me and told me that some of the men in the brig had complained to him about my order and called it “cruel and inhumane treatment.” I told the chaplain to trot back down to the brig and tell them that they were being required to do exactly what every shop girl in Macy’s basement did everyday and if they didn’t like the hours and requirements, to keep the hell out of my hotel. From then on it was Stryker’s hotel. I never had any more complaints and the occupancy rate at the hotel was greatly reduced.

Finally, we were allowed beer on board to be doled out at the rate of two cans per man on beach parties liberty. Prior to that, it had been hard even on shore stations to get beer. We were in Noumea when beer was authorized and pressure was put on me to get some of it. I called Chief Dillingham and Chief Minvielle, my two top crew representatives, and told them I wasn’t getting the beer because I didn’t think there was a place on the ship where it would be safe from pilferage at unauthorized times. They though it over and came up with this: “We don’t use the brig much anymore, so why not lock it up there? We’ll pass the word that the first SOB that draws brig time will cause all the beer to be thrown over the side.” They added that they would see that culprits could be taken care of other than being taken to the Captain’s Mast where the punishment might be brig time. Again, I bought their suggestion and we had a few black eyes once in a while, but no lodgers at the “Stryker Hotel” [the brig] for months to come.”

- Commander Joe Stryker, Executive Officer

strykerdesk