Jumping ahead of the story, Secretary of the Navy, James Forestal paid Memphis a visit just after our graduation from aviation school. The base Commander was demoted and shipped to sea (on a garbage scow I would hope). Raincoats were never uniform of the day again. I did buy an identical one eventually in an Army and Navy Store for $3. It could not be kept in my locker because it was not Navy issue. I left it at the apartment with Gerry. Can you imagine the money that Commander was bank rolling for himself?
The incident raises the question - how many other gimmicks did he have going.
Forestal was an excellent choice for secretary. Another fine decision by Franklin Roosevelt. I've often wondered how he ever received knowledge of the foul doings.
Whistle Blowers? Some time after the war, if you remember, Forestal committed suicide. I never heard why he did it. Maybe he couldn't live with so much corruption in this wicked world.
With school came calisthenics every morning at six, chow at six-thirty. Double time as a company was the only way we traveled. No Gob was allowed to be alone unless he was carrying written permission. The permission was questioned on every block along the way. Without it you faced a Captains Mass and became a PAL (prisoner at large) for two weeks, reporting three times a day to the Ensign in charge of prisoners.
Can you guess who that Bastard was?
Routine of the first three weeks:
· Obstacle Course - Over the river and through the woods
· Shot gun range - I was black and Blue from my right ear lobe to my ankle
· Chow time - By then I could eat the damn cook.
· Code Drills - Morse, Semaphore and wig wag.
· Aircraft School - 3 to 4 hours
· Clean the barracks
· Taps and lights out
A Drum and Bugle Corps was started at school about the time we moved in. Requests were made for capable members. Old Coogie, considering himself one of the best, signed up. I was surprised to find there were many members as good and even better than I. The overzealous ego was beginning to crumble. But, that was secondary, Primary meant we had three out of four weekends liberty. With Gerry living in Memphis now I needed that. It also relieved us of Friday night barracks scrub down which ended with waxing the floors. Friday night was drum corp. practice night.
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