Remembering Dad on Veterans Day

11 Nov

Please click on image for better view.

In the foreground is the naval destroyer, USS Kimberly.  My dad served on this ship in WWI. 
The ship in the background is the USS Leviathan, the vessel on which the famous actor Humphrey Bogart served. 
 
As one can discern from the painting by Burnell Poole, the Atlantic can be rough.  According to dad the first week was spent hanging onto the railing and throwing up.  For some reason the seasoned shipmates believed that chewing tobacco would “cure” sea sickness.  This lead to all the crew, including my father taking up the habit of chewing tobacco. 
 
Remember this is a time before radar and required someone climbing up near the top of the mast to serve as an observer in the crow’s nest.  Although this was sometimes used as punishment for some he said he would volunteer for the duty and it was his favorite job. 
 
He described hearing loud “thumps” during the night as unfortunate members of the crew were tossed out of their hammocks. 
How I miss him and hearing the stories of his service in the US Navy.   The best I can do at this point is to share some of his accounts with others and I’m sure that if he were alive today he would be proud.
 
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One Response to “Remembering Dad on Veterans Day”

  1. bsmith March 4, 2011 at 12:36 am #

    I’m a history/war buff. I think WW1 may have been the most savage war ever waged. Of course it was all about imperial interest, even though the history books make us all believe it was about Ferdinand’s assasination. 20 million people died in this war. I read my local paper here in L.A. the other day and it revealed that the last surviving soldier passed away. Some 110-year-old guy in Britain. It was interesting to say the least. An American vet passed way a little while ago. He was thought to be the last. The stories about how these guys dealt with things like mustard gas and artillery is eye-opening.

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