Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.
I am trying to remember the names of the troop ships I came over and back to Bremerhaven from Brooklyn. One was the USS Geiger but not sure which way.
We departed Dec 21st 1963 and it was a miserable but memorable trip. Storms all the way. I sat on deck on Christmas Eve sharing a bottle of rye with a buddy until it got too dangerous with a waves crashing across the ship. There was a poor merchant marine on the bow spotting for icebergs who we "warmed up". It was truly hell below decks with vomit everywhere for nine days. Coming back in June every one sunbathed on deck.
I went over in 61 on the USNS Buckner.
That does ring a bell. Those ships were old...like us.
I went over on the USS Geiger Oct 1963 but came back to the states in April 1965 and it was to be the first Air Flighs carring Troops. SSG E-6 Retired Lawrence S. Snow former B Trp 1/2 ACR and other units.
Could have been worse. Went to Korea in 60 on the Barrett and came back early 61 on the Patrick. Both ways 30 days.
30 days! Any stops like ah Honalulu?
Going over we had stops in Guam, Okinawa and Japan. They let us off for the day and everbody got drunk and laid. Coming back we only stopped in Pearl Harbor and nobody was let off the ship.
Dad made the trip from the Port of Tacoma to Pusan, Korea, in July 1950. They were supposed to stop in Japan, but were redirected straight to Pusan.
Unit (72d Heavy Tank Bn, 2d Infantry Division) equipment went on the Rutger. Unit cargo went on the Joplin. Not sure which ship he was on, either the Greeley, Stewart, Collins, or Mitchell.
The advance ship, already almost to Pusan by the time the 72d left Tacoma, was the USNS M. M. Patrick, carrying the 9th Regimental Combat Team, 2d Reconnaissance Company, and 2d Quartermaster Company.
Other ships carrying the 2d Infantry Division, the first division to arrive in Korea directly from the US when the war started, were: General C. G. Morton; California Victory; Sultan; Funston; Freeman; Darby; Towle; Mormacson; Arcadia; New World; Linfield; Elko; Robinhead; and Wake Forest.
I went over on the USNS Rose along with the USNS Buckner in February 1958...It was part of the Operation Gyroscope with the 3rd AC. That was some ride...Snow out in the middle of the ocean and cold. Goinmg home in July 1961 was great..Flew on one of the first Jet flights to McGuire AFB NJ... Joe Finch
Wow I never heard anyone flying home. It also reminds me that no one ever called home. It was a huge hassle and expense. Letters and care packages were it. However I flew from San Francisco to NY with two buddies and we all got bumped up to First Class on a 747. We had flight attendants spoiling us with drinks. Too cool.
USS Geiger, USS Patch, USS Rose, USS Upshur
I went over on the USNS Upshur in December, 1962. Small ship, big waves, constantly in motion. Puke everywhere. Came back home in June, 1965 aboard the USNS General Alexander M Patch. Much larger ship, much calmer sea, the motion was almost non existant. However, much, much, much more puke. Don't understand that. The motion was barely perceptable but people were puking their guts out. We didn't walk on board. We hopped from dry spot to dry spot.
Prior to Viet Nam, everybody came & went on a slow boat. Since then a trooper could literally be in a fire fight one day and be in Grandma's house sipping tea the next. The big difference is the time spent on the troop ships "decompressing" from combat with your battle buddies and trying to come to grips with what you'd just gone through. Now, we come home in a jet in a matter of hours with people we don't even know. No wonder our returning vets are falling apart...