V E Day

The boring days dragged on:

· Gas and service the planes after each flight.

· Keep a chute handy.

· Fly the rear cockpit when it is empty.

· Pull checks at the end of each day.

· Get your liberty card and catch a bus to Memphis.

· Get drunk.

· Get .......

A sailor's life was a tough life.

When Victory in Europe announcement came over the speakers, the cheering could be heard in Memphis fifteen miles away. I had just come from the flight line to shower and catch the bus.

The gang was partying. The barracks noise level was high high. A lad just back from the Mermensk, Russia Run had a bottle of Vodka 120 proof.

"Hey, Coog", someone called, "try this."

That Vodka was as smooth as velvet, but the fire it created in the stomach was an experience. I showered, was into my blues and headed for the door.

"Hey, Coog, one more."

I don't know why there were two busses waiting at the gate when there was ordinarily just one. I was confused, but I must have staggered into the right one because I found myself in Memphis.

"What happened to you", asked Gerry?"

The busses, by the way, were tractor/trailers. The trailers were plywood boxes without windows. One dim overhead light allowed you to realize you were not alone. They were owned by Ed. Crump the political boss of Tennessee. He was not giving sailors a free ride. In Memphis, every damn park and firehouse was named after him. I wouldn't be surprised if he and the crooked CO in Millington didn't split the profits on those illegal raincoats.

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