Friday, November 10, 2006

What did you do in the war, Dad?

Here are some of the stories my dad has told about being in the navy during World War II:

Spending an entire watch (that's four hours) chipping ice off the deck.

Nearly falling off a bosun's chair while painting the ship. (A bosun's chair is one of those things that looks like a swing -- seat's about four inches wide.)

Sleeping in with the torpedoes rather than in the mess because it was more quiet.

Going to the Wardroom to inform the Officer of the Watch that the mines they'd just loaded had no firing pins and the guy in charge of the loading hadn't noticed.

Some big wig's daughter shooting off a mine. In the harbor.

Stealing booze that somebody else had stolen from the Wardroom for VE Day celebrations.

Waking up on a park bench in Edinburgh after said celebrating. With his face painted. How, why, who? It remains a mystery.

Walking several miles home, taking all night, while on leave because he'd missed the last bus.

Having to get a note from his parents to sign up because he was only 17.

Am I proud of my quiet, stoic dad? You better believe it.

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