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.
A very good point. As I mentioned before it was rare to even call "home" in Germany. Now husbands and wives talk via the internet daily. That must be very surreal...
A retired USMC Sergeant Major turned history professor at Ft. Lewis helped me to understand the differences between then & now. I can't imagine the confusion, guilt and stress.
Note: I came over on the Geiger in 1960, a MSTS Merchant Seaman told me the Geiger and sister ship Upshur were Atomic Test Ships in World War II, the old seaman showed me where the welders had cut off the test parts on the ship structure prior to it being placed on troop transport. He also got me over sea sickness with grapefruit juice and saltine crackers; things like that you never forget. Sailed to Viet Nam on the Upshur with the 11th Cav. in 1966.
Jeeze Jack, As much time as you spent on these boats you could've gotten credit for being in the Navy!
Never thought of that Navy credit, Max. My dad had a few months at sea during his Army career.
During WW II: New York to England (1944); England to Belgium (1944); Germany to New York (1947).
During Korean War: Washington to Korea (1950); Korea to Washington (1951). Not sure about stops on the way back, but on the way there it was direct from Tacoma, Washington to Pusan, Korea, non-stop.
During Cold War: New York to Germany (2d Cav 1953-55) (We flew back to New York in 1957); US to Korea (1960); Korea to US (1962); US to Germany (1963).
I left newport news Virigina in January of 1961. Spent my 18 birthday on the General Maurice Rose. Got sea sick as soon as we left the port. What a rolling bucket of shit bucket. They gave you a chow pass so you would not have to eat twice. After 15 days I turned in a blank chow pass. We went to Rota Spain to pick up 800 sea bees, the ship was not crowed enough. We slept 5 high and I was right under a heating pipe. In the morning a Sgt would blow a whistle and I would bang my head. When we hit the north sea it really got bad. When you had to piss in this trough the ship was so rough you got it all over you. I remember falling and some guy fell right on top of me. Did't have the strength to push him off of me. When we hit Hamburg I ran down the plank and kissed dry land. We then boarded a train that I loved and it was all up hill from there.
Flew over 707 nov 60 they needed bodys on boarder for Berlin crises . Stayed for cuba . came back on usns William o darby left 6-63
Good grief! Sigmund we both travelled to and from Deutchland on the same ships. My favorite spot was on the fantail, but I did spend adequate time leaning over the rail. Those trips were a favorite part of my life, being a small town kid from Texas. Robert