Are They Yarns Or Honest Accounts Of Real Occurrences?
My oldest brother was one of my heros, and he was in the US Navy!
I also had the opportunity to sit in with the Navy Band during a performance in Keokuk, while it was on tour the fall of 1955.
I signed up the following May. The recruiter wanted me to wait and go in with an all Iowa company the end of June, but I had a deadline to meet. I needed to enlist at age 17 to allow for my discharge the day before I became 21. That meant a 4 year enlistment in 3 years and 5 days!
First shipboard duty was on the USS Wrangell-AE 12 in Brooklyn. Several cruises on the USS Forrestal-CVA 59, USS Essex-CV 9, and USS Saratoga-CVA 60, (all aircraft carriers), took me to the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas during the late 1950's. I was fortunate to have assignments from that point on that allowed my family to remain with me during the remainder of my career. After a tour of duty with Unit Band 15 at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in northeastern Illinois, I joined the staff of the Navy School of Music (in Washington DC during the Kennedy years and Virginia Beach Virginia for four more years), 1960-68. Then assigned as Leader of Unit Band 11 on Guam from 1969 to 1971, I traveled with my band throughout the Mariana and Caroline Islands.
Upon return to the continental United States, I received the AA Liberal Arts degree from Mesa College, San Diego in 1974.
The Naval career was completed where it all began, at Great Lakes. Retired with the rank of Senior Chief Musician. What an enjoyable way to fulfill a military obligation.
Each Story is certified by the writer to be true.
Navy Schools Casa Materna Unit Band 121, San Diego USS Wrangell Med Cruises Unit Band 15, Great Lakes - 1970's Basic Music School Unit Band 15, Great Lakes - 1960's Navy Aircraft Our First Adventure Navy School of Music Staff Unit Band 193, Florida Leader, Unit Band 11, Guam
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