Sept 15, 2000-Seems like a good day to
think back on something that happened 50 years ago.
I was 20 years old and a Radarman on the Dehaven. Eddie
Snellings' pictures sure do bring it all back more clearly.
Well, I was not up there firing the first rounds at Wolmi-Do. My
station was the Primary Tactical (PriTac) radio
circuit. Crew members may remember this equipment
(or at least a key part of it) because the motor generator
for it was the big round object down in the scullery area. It was
the thing you fell against when the ship rolled a pretty good one (to
port) while you were going through the chow line. I think the equipment
name was TBS something.
Anyway, on the 13th, I was hunkered into a corner with my handset and logbook. Those 58 minutes or so that we were in there that
day seemed like a very long time to me, and I
imagine to the rest of the men aboard. It made me
think that old familiar thought that millions of young
Americans had experienced before us - something like: "what the hell am I doing here?" My thoughts of the farm in
Kansas, and the thickness (or rather the thinness)
of the TinCan's bulkhead at the 01 level beside me,
were interrupted by those immortal words from Captain Allen,
"Let's get the hell out of here." His voice was so distinctive, that he did not really have to say: "this is Bookcase
Baker." All listeners were quite ready to get
that clear order, even though it didn't come out of
the General Signal Book. I'm sure Bob Burns could give
us the flag hoist that went up then.
I believe we had orders (By the Op-Order) to be at anchor in there for an hour, but I'm not sure the hook ever got wet. Those
snipes seemed to respond better than ever before to
those bells to get moving out of there.
Many thanks to Eddie's family.
RDSN Bob Sauer
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