WWII COFFEE ON A U.S. WARSHIP WAS

probably not that great of a cup (I am guessing)..you could, I am so sure, see the bottom of the cup after filling it. No doubt that was some nasty stuff (worse than Denny’s, probably); but sailors drank it! by the hundreds and thousands of gallons, over seven seas, in a snip of time..talk about bravery under pressure. I could no sooner drink sh***y coffee than a giraffe can change his spots to tiger stripes; on an aircraft carrier..like the ark; with blacksmiths, airplane mechanics, line welders, bomb loaders and cooks..them who made the junk sold as coffee, YUCK! and all of the rest. Dad drank it. As a matter of fact, he gulped his last gulp, down in the mess, when he heard a something; and felt a slight rub from the kamikaze twin-engine’d airplane, a so-called ‘Betty’ that had just struck the main deck, piercing through and spilling bombs below, on fuel and munitions stores where they readied the Hellcats, and torpedo planes, –hung the torpedos with care, for dealing with boats, identified as suitable targets by the distinct outline of their pagoda masts..by the elevator, for the short rush up, and then launch. Spaghetti&meatballs was on Dad’s tray when he left that, set it on the table swallowing coffee, and making his way topside where the order was quickly given to

ABANDON SHIP!

Not that great of an afternoon, all in all; and bad coffee to boot. This generation doesn’t have what it takes, for the most part, that is clear as a mountain stream swimming with trouts..to do what these men did. And it’s immaterial, anyway, since wars aren’t fought anymore like that..with the human touch. An eye in space assesses a target, locks onto a thousand mile quadrant..some one sees a red light, pushes a button, –and that battle’s over, buddy. Hope they got their hundred-gallons-a-batch coffee’s ahead of the microwaves infilling their area..all that’s left after it, bunch of mugs sitting there, steaming hot, for a head count.

“Sayonara, sucker!”

In the middle of all of that (the foregoing), Dad got called to the bridge one day to see the captain..Captain Young. All kinds of thoughts ran through his head, concerning, did they find out he lied about his age to join? Would they throw him in the brig till they could discipline him severely, and send him back to his dad, who had not given his parental permission to join the service?? Was everybody getting in trouble??????? With these thoughts batting around in his brain, he reported as ordered:

“You wanted to see me, Sir?”

“At ease..”

(Dad had been decorated, unofficially, with a specially fabricated tin star on a ribbon, for his coffee-making prowess, much appreciated by those in his section aboard the USS Ommaney Bay; that coffee, kustom brewed by Dad, was apparently superior in every way to the standard faire served to fellow sailors throughout the navy, in days of yore. But this was not about that..this was to be some kind of special interview, on the captains time, and the taxpayers’ dime. What could it be?)

A silver star for excellence..in coffee!

“Aviation Ordinance Man Robertson (First-class)..the Commander-in-Chief wants to know if you would like to exercise your franchise..” (said the captain)

“I’m sorry?”

“President Roosevelt, your Commander-in-Chief, wants to know if you would like to exercise your franchise.”

“My WHAT??”

“Do you want to vote?”

This was 1944, in an election year, and democrat organizers weren’t taking any chances on losing a vote (as usual) through under-attentiveness to the potential pool, at large. Relieved of his worst fear, and not wanting to remain under scrutiny any longer than was deemed absolutely necessary, thereby increasing chances of having his criminal secret brought to light, Dad answered the captain forthrightly in due season..and unflinchingly:

“No Sir, I don’t believe so, Sir! is that all, Sir?” and with a stiff salute, hastily beat it back to his station, filled with a warm and abiding sense of gratitude for a miracle from his Maker..to not have to leave his seagoing comrades-in-arms, and ship home to Mother. “Thank you, Jesus!” Within a span of mere months, he would experience the miracle that brought him back firmly, and once and for all, in a life of service to the Lord. No more wavering. Also, in the bargain, he got me for a son..Imagine that!

I started drinking coffee early. There I am on the right, caffeined up.

~c.r.

Published by scrunchymacscruff

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