USS Salt Lake City CA25
Shipswake Newsletter, 1943

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In this issue we bid farewell to only one of our officers. This time it is affable ball-red-02 Ensign Ivan T. Rich, an assistant engineering officer. Ensign Rich has been aboard the SLC for 4 years and six months. He is just completing 16 years and 2 months of continuous sea duty and the last 8 of these years have been beyond the continental limits of the US. So no one begrudges him his orders to shore duty in the states. In fact, our good wishes accompany him.

In nosing through his health record, Ensign I. T. Rich, Lt. (jg) observed: "It says here I've got brown hair, my liberty card says I've got black hair. The fact of the matter is, I ain't got any hair!". Just call it 'flesh-color' Ensign John V. Carlin ball-red-02 Deceased sneaked over his fast one. He had further difficulty, "One place they got me as born in Oregon, another place they got me down for Iowa. I wasn't born in Oregon." "At any rate you had sense enough to come West," Lt. Comdr. Charles A. Ware ball-red-02 Deceased of California put that one over.

Three fast ones and you're out, "Winter will be over before we know it", sagely observed C. E. Possinger, Lt.. It could be the heat or shell shock. Lt. L. H. Phillips calls our attention to a relay in Central Station; "Bridge reports DD KIDD has left the formation. She has the WOTJE Watch." Sounds like she left just in time.

Seven men of the "S" Division signed up this past week for correspondence courses. Rather "were signed up" by Lt. Comdr. Lincoln L. Letterman who was the instigator and advisor. Shoot at that.

The cartoon of this week was cleverly conceived and artistically executed by our favorite Staff artist, Bennett. Photographs have been made of it and mailed along with our battle report. Look for it to be reproduced in some Naval publication or released through civilian channels. Now we suppose he will want a raise.

Use this expression in a sentence: "Confusion - slightly organized." It is like our own "confusionasm."

The commendation we received from the USS Lassen last week is another treasure in our sea chest. A reputation is an enviable thing to have. It is built up by co-operation, energy and skill and for this occasion the rest of us owe respect to the officers who directed the work and the men who handled the ammunition.

This is officially proclaimed as "Share your Card Week". Share your Valentine Card with those who have no one who loves them.

To Ensign John Carlin, our felicitations [Congratulations]. His wife has just presented him with a baby girl, their first child. And a welcome to ball-red-02 Deceased Ensign Robert J. Serazin, USNR. E-V(G), who has just reported aboard.

February was always a fast month. Look at it this year. 1st the Marshalls; 16th Truk. And there is an extra day this year too.

This Sunday we dedicated our new altar. It is quite attractive, very compact and serviceable. The CM1c, did a craftsman-like job of it. Come and see it....at church.

The race of behemoths? is not over, it is yet to come. ball-red-02 Deceased Jim J. Fratianni, RM1c spaghetti-bred, C Div. vs. J. G. Urey, AMM3c (that guy again V Div. of Blue Grass fame (and corn pones)). Both complete with managers, trainer rubbers, bellies and fannies deluxe. Place your bets early. It is going to be a breathless contest .

London has recently opened a "Churchill Club" where allied soldiers gather for open forums. It is proving highly popular.

There is much talk of Negro players finally crashing professional baseball this year.

"There has been increasing complaints from overseas servicemen on the smuttiness of touring USO shows" Newsweek 1/10


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From a recent speech at Chattanooga, TN., by John L. Sullivan.

Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, we borrow what seems to us a striking and significant paragraph;

Ten years ago, in December 1933, there were over 26,000,000 people in over 7,000,000 households dependent upon work projects or direct relief. In contrast today, 26,000,000 people are setting aside a substantial part of their pay envelopes every week in the year for the purchase of War Bonds. Over 50,000,000 people have become investors in War Bonds. These savings constitute the greatest thrift program that the World has ever seen. I believe that the spread throughout the country of this practice of thrift contains tremendous social, economic and political implications for our national future. We'll subscribe to that belief of Mr. Sullivan's, but we'll also add some observations of our own.

These Americans mentioned by Mr. Sullivan are the same people whom various enemies of our (Mr. Hitler the loudest among them) were despising a short time ago as soft, indulgent limpets whose chief ambition was to live off the government and who had lost the courage and determination they should have inherited from their forefathers.

These are the same Americans, too, who were expected by various homegrown worriers to crack up completely when and if we should get into another war. Hence, when war did arrive, assorted persons in posts of power conceived it to be their duty to kick the American people around, coerce them, bully them into supporting the war effort, deprive them forcibly of luxuries and some necessities, freeze their earnings by compulsory methods and so on.

It turns out to have been a mistake. Americans are not that way at all. Voluntarily, and in spite of, rather than because of, the busybodies who keep getting in their hair and down their necks, they are backing the war effort as few people ever have done.

The Sullivan report above quoted is just one indication of what is going on. Another is the enthusiasm and complete honesty with which at least 95 per cent of American income-tax payers, new and old, are paying their taxes to help finance the war.

The conclusion is obvious. Americans are adults, and they can think for themselves, and when their country is in danger they will fight like wildcats in every way they can. They don't have to be babied, coddled or ordered around by their leaders. All you have to do is tell them frankly what the emergency is and then trust them. Collier's Editorial 11/6/43

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"Because we wear uniforms, it does not mean that we are not a part of the civilian population of the United Sates. As patriotic American citizens, we must contribute our share of cash to the war effort." Adm. Harold R. Stark. We thus become a nation whose Armed Forces are so determined to win and end this war that they are willing to help finance themselves.

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Recipe: How to make a Sailor
Take on civilian, slightly green. Stir from bunk at early hour. Soak in shower daily. Dress in a blue jacket. Mix with others of his kind. Grate on chief's nerves. Toughen with booting. Add liberal portions of beans and soup. Season with wind, rain and snow. Sweeten from time to time with chocolate bars, let smoke occasionally. Bake in 110 degree temperature summer and let cool in below zero weather.
Serves 130,000,000 people

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Loyalty is the strongest word in the English language. It names the virtue that gives personality, the sinew[That which supplies strength or power] and fiber of integrity. Loyalty is the distinguishing characteristic of the true sailor. Men are not measured by their physical strength alone. A physical giant without loyalty becomes a liability rather than an asset. Neither is the possession of money a true standard of a man's worth, nor is a brilliant mind necessarily the mark of a great character. Talleyrand was one of the keenest minds of Napoleon's day and yet because he was more clever than courageous, shrewd but weak, Napoleon said, "Talleyrand is a silk stocking full of mud." Aaron Burr was one of the brilliant minds among the men who laid the foundation of our American nation. He was as physically brave as he was mentally brilliant but he was spiritually weak and totally lacking in loyalty. Today, Washington and Lincoln stand out among our country's great leaders while Burr is remember only as a despised traitor.

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What is true in past history is still true as our generation writes history again. It is not strength, money nor brain that is the final test of a man's character, but a deep sense of loyalty to the cause he serves. The real test of man's character is in his loyalty to his idea. Occasionally you meet a man who scoffs at idealism but the world has caught all of its inspiration from men who dared to dream and then were loyal to their dreams. Churchill remains loyal to his ideas and the ideas of British Empire and England struggles on. Quisling sells himself and his people and his country and his people bleed, suffer and die. Americans keeps faith with her ideas and calls upon every individual, from the new recruit just entering the service to the seasoned veteran of many years, to make his ideas American's ideas and to be loyal to them to the last degree.

America, this day, expects every man to do his part. The measure in which we remain loyal determines whether we shall be classed with the Burrs and the Quislings or with the great who write the glorious history of our nation.

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COURTSHIP, 1943, by Kathleen Suttee

Marry me, marry me Sally, and be
My wife for a week till I go to sea.
We'll live in a castle, my darling, my sweet,
With six other couples on Rackety Street.
The landlady promised (I heard her myself)
A bed, a chair and a corner shelf!

Our fare will be love and un-rationed fish,
And shank's mare will take us wherever we wish.
Oh, we'll be as happy as ever we can
In a world forgotten by God and man.
So marry me, marry me, Sally, and be
My wife for a week till I go to Sea!!

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To the Editor:
from: ball-red-02 Deceased Charles L. Maschinot, RT2c "C" Division

I note with interest the comment of the English observer in comparing the service publications of the English and the Americans "to the disadvantage of the latter." He further states that our papers contained no thought, no serious thinking on the whys and wherefores of it all.

In the first place, we have several "serious-thinking"' civilian publications such as Reader's Digest, Time, Newsweek and Atlantic Monthly, which deal at great length with our problems, and which, I am quite sure are very widely read by our service personnel.

In the second place, the service publications are not published with the intent of bringing the whys and wherefores of our many worrisome problems before personnel of the services, but rather, are concerned with alleviating the "fatigue of constant alert" as mentioned in an article on the second page of last week's Sunday Supplement. As mentioned above, the serious thinking was left to the Civilian Publications which find their way to almost all parts of the service.

It is not my contention that we Americans know what we are fighting for, even with our Time, Newsweek etc. My point is that our Service Publications are not meant to cover the more serious aspects of life.
---5th Division---

In answer to the author of "This is about America, the future and you", which appeared in last week's paper, I would like to add my few words in the Foc'sle Forum.

What are we fighting for? This seems to be the main problem in this fellow's article. He claims that fellows he know aboard this ship "Have the attitude that this is just a distasteful prelude to returning home." Well, what of it? What disgrace is there in wanting to go home? That is only natural, and if a man never wants to go home something is wrong with him. And if it is such a terrible thing to want to go home, which shows we appreciate home, as we should, then what's the use of fighting to keep our homes?"

Take for instance this ship. We have all been through a lot together. We have shown that we can take it and dish it out. And I believe that just being here doing that shows that a man knows what he is fighting for. We many not go around waving flags and making soap box speeches on every street corner, like the press would like us to do, and we many not be able to put into fancy speech, just what we are fighting for, but each and every one of us has that feeling down deep inside, and to anyone who is worried about us, I say don't worry, we're doing all right. Men who fight and die for something know what that something is, otherwise they wouldn't fight like they do.

Our friend also mentioned the soldier vote, which we have all been hearing so much about lately. If that isn't the rawest political joke and farce I've ever heard of! I just have to laugh. Sure they want us to vote. Like heck they do. Someone back there is afraid we will all vote for the wrong man. Otherwise why didn't they revise the law that states we much register at home to vote? For proof, how many men on this ship alone were able to vote? I'll bet 5, not 10%, just because we were unable to register. See what I mean? Take me for instance, I've been home 4 days our of nearly 3 1/2 years and now I can't vote. Multiply that by millions and you can see someone is against us voting. And yet our friend said the people back home wanted us to have our say.

And another thing is taking place while we are away, which is going to result in more deaths in peacetime, probably in percentage, that wartime. Yes, it's here again, prohibition. There is a dark horse prohibition party back home which is doing very good these days. They already have two states completely dry, and recently bragged in Time magazine that they have at least 5 counties in all the other day already. Why haven't we a say in that? So I'll come back with the original question revised, "are we fighting for that?" I don't think so. We're not drunkards, and it is all right to drink, but prohibition starts a lot of illegal trouble which could be avoided if people used their heads. Yes, I'm talking about bootleggers and you all know how it was the last time.

So you people see it all comes down to this. We know what we're fighting for, but the people back home don't. LOOK AT US and what we are doing and then look at the folks back home, especially the strikers, and see what they have done. Yes, it's true everyone is working for us back home. And who wouldn't for the money they are getting? And yet they have the nerve to strike for more. The truth is they don't know what is going on and if you or I ever tell them, they'll laugh, that has happened. And yet everyone gets excited because a couple of writers claim we don't know what we are fighting for. Well, it's beyond me. All we can do is wait and plan for the post war era and adjust ourselves accordingly. And let us hope things go like they are being planned, minus the prohibition.

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Chief Electrician A. J. Squires ball-red-02 Deceased

This ship has a total of 2,750 lighting fixtures, not including portable equipment such as hand lanterns and flashlights. 1,700 of these fixtures are for general illumination using 25-50-100-200 watt lamps. Their life expectancy is 1,000 hours, or 42 days of continuous use, at which time the filament (resistance wire inside the bulb, that emits the light) will burn away.

Tungsten, a mineral used in the manufacture of the filament, is at present scarce, consequently there will be shortage of lamps in the USA this year.

Another important factor in light consumption; Every un-needed light turned off reduces the ampere load on the main generators - which then take less steam pressure to rotate them- thereby saving water and the wherewithal to make the water and steam fuel oil!

All hands are asked to help conserve our lamps and our fuel oil by turning off un-necessary lamps throughout the ship. This does not apply to the red-globe battle lights during GQ and "darken ship" conditions as they are needed for safe passage lighting.

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A Scotch soldier, for Christmas, drew a check for one million kisses, and sent it to his wife. The wife's next letter said, "Thanks very much. The cashier of the local bank is cashing it on the installment plan."

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I have been besieged with request to give the boatswains' mates a write-up. So, in the following, I have endeavored to explain the boatswains mates' "raison d'etre".

After unforgivable hour between 0300 and 0400, I am rudely awakened from peaceful slumber by the grating voice of a celebrated M.A.A. (It must take years of practice to acquire the falsetto baritone characteristic to bos'ns mates.) "Hit the Deck!! Rise and Shine! Unload and Lash!" All those expressions, of course, boil down to "GET UP". So, giving amorphous one last fond embrace, I raise myself wearily from my rack. After shiling away 2 1/2 leisure minutes by showering, shaving and dressing, I repair to the chow line with thoughts of eating early chow, since my duty is to relieve the phones. Ah, but there at the head of the chow line stand the sailor's menace, the Boats'. Meekly I explain my case to him while his breath beats down upon my forehead. Then I wait for his consent to go to chow. "Wait!" he screams, "Dats what dey all say, Mac. Anyhow, where is yer Chit? You know what they say in Russia- no chitsky, no chowski." After five or ten minutes spent in fruitless argument I give it up as useless and start for the end of the chow line which has doubled in length while I was arguing. "Nuff said--such are the ways of the boatswain's mate.

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"Soldiers and officers deeply resent the attitude of some USO camp show performers who apparently feel that the men want filthy gags.

...Boys who are going into battle and who have just left a minister, a rabbi or a priest do not want to listen to dirty material... There's no necessity for it, and the boys don't want it." Adolph Monjoy

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Contributions from ball-red-02 Charles "Shep" Shepard

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