20 Oct. 2000
When I came aboard the SLC as a 17 year old fresh out of an orphanage I
was treated like dirt. The old salts let us know in no uncertain terms we
were invading their territory and were going to do all they could to make
life miserably for us. Did they ever.
Although there were lockers to be had to store and keep personal things in,
I could not get one. I was told to use my sea bag and ditty bag for my
locker. Then every time I left my quarters and came back someone had opened my
sea and ditty bags and threw everything all over the deck. My
Dress Whites, Dress Blues, underwear, socks and all my personnel hygiene
supplies. Are you getting the picture?
When I was assign to lookout division, I had told every that would
listen that I could not stand heights. So where do you think I was assigned.
Crows nest. I liked to never got up there and once I did I sat on deck and
never once looked out to sea. I was never reported for not performing my
When the ship
was put into dry dock I was ordered to go over the side and chip paint and
barnacles from side of ship. When the ship is in dry dock it is about 4 to 6
stories high from bottom of dock to main deck. I absolutely refused to go
over the side and work on the scaffolding to chip anything. I never went
on liberty as I could not walk over the gang plank from the ship to the
Result I had a captain mask. I finally told the captain that there was not
a man on board that could make me go over the side including him. I told
him I would fight and we both would end up at the bottom of dock. He asked
how come I was lookout in crows nest as that was quite high and there was
no complaint registered about that. He checked my story out and found I
was telling the truth. He dismissed me and said I would not have to go
over the side and he would take care of the people responsible. Never
heard any more about it. Could this happen on a Navy Ship?
Well it did! Why did I want to leave the SLC?
Being in the look out division an eye test was required. Nine sailors in
front of me all read the same lines on the eye chart and I was required to
read some small print so I would fail and then they could transfer me to
the deck division. They must have thought they had some kind of dummy
they were dealing with, so I told them I could not read it. My thoughts
were, being transferred, my life aboard might improve. I soon learned
that old salts stick together. My living condition got worst. Now I
get the dirtiest and filthiest jobs. No... these jobs were not routine
but were created for me. When we came back to the state for repair and the
list for people who could go on leave for two weeks and my name was on it
really upset their apple cart.
Well to make a long story short I took my two weeks leave.
Not having a family to go home to I stayed in San Francisco
and when it came time to report back aboard the SLC I decided to jump ship.
I was not going back to that miserable life aboard the SLC. In time I turn
myself in to the shore patrol. Got court Martial... spent time in the brig.
The time I spent in brig was a whole lot better than what I spent on SLC.
I went on from there and served almost five years in
the USNR aboard other ships and duty. How many kids were so miss
treated I don't know, but I'm sure I was not the only one.
The late Walter Winchell said in one of his news broadcast..."How many
kids were in the Navy brigs and that many kids could not be wrong?"
With Honor and respect I am
George P Tucker