Saturday, August 19, 2006

3 October 1955

Dear Folks

Well, here it is Monday night & we are somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean—not far from shore, but far enough so that I’d hate to have to walk home. We are being escorted by two heavy cruisers & a destroyer, which spent the afternoon intermittently running around & being hidden in heavy rain squalls. Rain squalls at sea are different from those on land, save perhaps on the great plains; there are no buildings or hills to break the wind, & the rain beats with such fury on the waves that clouds of mist or steam roll over the waters.

The other day I saw my first flying fish, & they seem to do just that, even though science claims they merely glide with extended fins. They are quite small, I’d judge from my vantage point on the foc’sle (bow or front end), & glide low over the waves for distances up to two city blocks.

The day before we entered Mayport, we sailed through a slight current from the River Styx. One chief died of a heart attack during flight operations at night, & was found on the wing of a plane. A Lt. Cdr. Died that same night in his sleep, & a pilot was killed flying from shore to the ship. The chief was carried below decks, down steep ladders & through narrow hatches, to the vegetable refrigeration room. The next morning one of our mess cooks, who had been asleep & heard nothing of the event, went down to get something for the noon meal. The poor guy practically had a fit. I imagine it would be a slight shock to open your refrigerator & see a body lying among the onions & potatoes.

Just got a letter from one of my NavCad buddies—Harry Harrison (I’ve mentioned him, I think—he was four classes ahead of me in Pre-Flight). He’s in Corpus Christi now & going to get his wings very soon.

Bought some postcards in Jacksonville, but don’t know when I’ll get around to mailing them. You know, I’ve just had a thought—I told you about the "I"’s in my letters; well, from now on I’ll do like the kings do. Refer to myself as "we."

Right now it is near taps, so I’d better finish up for now. I’ll write more later.

Till then, I am
Your waterlogged Son
P.P.S. When you coming dad? There isn’t much time!

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