GARY LILLIE (NAVY)

HARRY NOLLSCH (ARMY) FRANK MORAWA (GERM. ARMY) LOYD BRANDT (MARINES)        Life of Frank Morawa      Reluctant Heroes       The Purple Heart       I Flew the Big One CHUCK CHILDS (USAAF) HARRY PUTNAM (NAVY)       Veterans       Leaving Home for WWII JERRY TEACHOUT (USAAF) STEVEN WARREN (NAVY) GORDON LEASE (COAST GUARD)       Brothers in Arms CLARENCE CARSNER (ARMY) WALLY DAHLQUIST (USAAF) GEORGE W. LARSON (NAVY) ALAN HERBERT (ARMY) PETER DAHLBERG (ARMY)      Life-Changing Experiences     Friends for Life WARREN FAGERLAND (ARMY)      He Took My Place RICHARD PERKINS (MARINES)      Letter home, 1944 RUSSEL FRINK (NAVY) EJI SUYAMA (ARMY) THOMAS K. OLIVER (USAAF) JIM LOCKHART (NAVY) REX ALAN SMITH (ARMY ENG) VINCE FITZGERALD (NAVY) LESTER SNYDER (USAAF)       A Most Exciting Mission for Durkee's Crew HONOR FLIGHTS PRISONERS OF WAR CHARLES ANDERSON (USAAF)      Life of Charles Anderson      Tom Oliver in 2009 STAN LIEBERMAN (ARMY) HARLAND HERMANN (ARMY)      Letters during WWII      My Combat in the 442nd WALTER MARCHAND (ARMY)      D-Day Doctor's Diary JUNO SUNDSTROM (ARMY) KEITH CHRISTENSEN (ARMY)     Story of Stan Lieberman      John Fuller Goes to War HAROLD JANSEN (Navy) JOHN W. FULLER (NAVY) DEAN SHAFFHAUSEN (NAVY) CHARLES GERLACH (NAVY)      Combat Mission 15 WAYNE BREWSTER (ARMY) WILLIAM A. SEMLEK (ARMY) KENNETH HALLIGAN (ARMY) HAROLD TAYLOR (USAAF USAF) WALTER MEHLHAFF (ARMY) EDDIE KODET (ARMY) TOM McDILL (ARMY)      Story of Had Taylor PAUL PRIEST (ARMY)      Riding Rails before WW2      Oliver photos 2012 VICTOR WEIDENSEE (ARMY)       Weidensee maps OLA CAMPBELL (USAAF) DALLAS BLOMQUIST (Marines)       Christmas Lights BILL LOFGREN (ARMY) HOMEFRONT        Harry Nollsch       Taps Delayed JOHN WILKINSON (ROYAL AF) MARCELLA LeBEAU (ARMY) HILARY COLE (USAAF) TOM WENN (USAAF) JOHN GASTON (USAAF) MAURICE CROW (USAAF) GEORGE MOLSTAD (USAAF)



My US Navy Experience

February 18, 1958 – December 16, 1961



In January 1958, after sitting around the house after being laid off from Munsingwear in Minneapolis, MN for a month or so, my Great Aunt June exclaimed, “How long are you going to lay around? Why don’t you join the service?” I thought about that and decided the Navy would be for me so my cousin (who had been given a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force for hitting an officer) said “I’ll join with you.”

We went to see the Navy recruiter in Minneapolis, and on Feb 18, 1958 my cousin Harry stood on the train platform and waved goodbye to me as I headed for San Diego. My recruiter had given me options about what rate (job) I could seek in the Navy and it was narrowed down to a choice between Storekeeper and Photographer. My job at Munsingwear had been stacking underwear, and I wanted no part of “storekeeper.”

The train trip was a long ride and the only thing I remember was stopping in Phoenix and seeing orange trees in full fruit. We had a few moments to step outside so we gathered what turned out to be the sourest oranges we ever tried to eat. Pulling into San Diego and the introduction to the Naval Training Center was a real eye opener. We were given a battery of tests almost immediately, tired or not. Amazingly I scored quite high and I was able to confirm I could pursue school as a Photographer after finishing Boot Camp and attending an intermediate school in Norman, Oklahoma.

Boot camp was not too bad, a Minnesota boy in Southern California in February. As we “marched” into camp we were given the traditional hazing new recruits get from the “old salts” that had been there for a few weeks. Rumors flew about the shots, the haircuts, etc. etc. as we were processed, got our uniforms, short haircuts, got our medical exams and shots, visited the dentist, and such. We were transported to Camp Nimitz, named after Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz of the WWII Pacific Campaign. I remember standing in the morning chow line in formation, rain pouring on our heads and thinking, “this is rather lousy”. I looked across the river, saw Marines in full packs running and concluded, “This isn’t too bad”. I remember our company barracks were on the second floor, I was on a top bunk, the mattress was a cotton bag filled with straw. It didn’t matter. I also found out that at that time, Navy recruits marched more miles than any of the branches of service. We also spent a lot of time on the “Grinder”, a large asphalt parking lot, doing exercises with our rifles. It was initially quite hard as our arms were sore from our shots.

Between the marching and drill, we were worn out at taps, and slept well except for the leg cramps that forced one to jump out of your bunk in some misery. The only watch I stood that I remember was one evening just after taps. I was patrolling the barracks and I heard Odoms, a large black man who was the Recruit Company Master at Arms. He yelled “watch, come over here”. It was dark, since lights were out, so I worked my way over to his top bunk. I said “what do you need Odoms?” He said, “hold this!” as he produced his fully swollen member. Using my wooden nightstick, I whacked it quite smartly, he cried out and that ended that. No further words were spoken about that incident.

The next weeks, after leaving Camp Nimitz and moving to another barracks Main Side, were more marching, more drill and training in various aspects of being a sailor. I remember one training event where we were put in a parachute harness, pushed out on a cable high above a pool, allowed to swing to a position where you would land butt first, released to fall into the pool, take off the harness and swim to the edge. Landing hurt, but we all survived.

We also received training in knot tying, use of firearms, use of a gas mask in a room filled with tear gas, and all kinds of “adventures” that contained possibilities in the future. We shot M-1’s at the rifle range while Navy fighters came in for landings at Miramar just above our targets. I couldn’t help but think, like I did, what it would be like to shoot at those planes. We got to tour a submarine, we were transported by small boat out to a Navy transport ship in San Diego Harbor, right by the Aircraft Carrier Bon Hom Richard, or “Bonnie Dick” as it was called. My goal when I joined the Navy was to sail the Pacific on a carrier, just like I had read about in my High School years about WWII.

Before we graduated from Boot Camp we had to spend a week “mess cooking”. Somehow, during that week I found myself in a position of lying on potato sacks up under the eaves of the mess hall, sleeping away. I don’t remember any grungy work during that time. We were also given an 8-hour Liberty in San Diego on a weekend day, to spend, as we want. Most everyone obtained a bottle of booze and consumed as much as they could. Some, after doing that, found tattoo shops and returned to base with as many a four large tattoo’s on their bodies that, during the following week, scabbed up and really looked bad. Although I had my share of the spirits, I was never tempted to get set up for life with artwork on my body.

I wasn’t given any Recruit Company responsibility and maintained a low profile. I stood my watches, both inside and out and remained healthy. One thing I remember was our company of about 70 recruits there was only one who could beat me at arm wrestling. I guess that was a good thing, no one messed with me. I also remember we had a recruit from Mexico. He had joined the Navy as an enlisted man as the fastest route to citizenship. He was a trained Plastic Surgeon, his last name was Sedano and when Boot Camp was completed he was assigned to Balboa Naval Hospital. It was a nifty thing to have our own Doctor in the Company.

When graduation day came, our company marched in review with the other graduating companies. Each company had a Petty Officer in charge; ours was a Chief Petty Officer (E-7) who seemed to drink a lot. We had a little get together to say goodbye and I remember the Chief saying to me “what was your name again?” Perfect, I thought!!

I caught a bus to the Los Angeles Airport, and while waiting for my flight to Minneapolis for my 30-day leave I discovered, in a soda pop machine, something I hadn’t seen since I was in Elementary School. Beautiful bottles of Dr. Pepper smiled at me. I had last seen Dr. Pepper in the brownstone grocery store in the basement of across the street from our rental apartment. I drank three bottles as fast as I could.

I don’t remember much about my leave, nor do I remember how I got to Oklahoma for “P” School. I do remember arriving in May and being told before I could start the six-week school I had to go Mess Cooking for six weeks. Payback!! Mess Cooking was hot, long days and hard work. We started at about 5:30 in the morning, did breakfast for the students, had our breakfast, cleaned up the place with sandstone on the steel runways and lye on the tile decks to the Petty Officer in charge, (a Boatswain Mate 2nd Class’s), satisfaction. We repeated that for lunch, and dinner every day for 6 weeks. I remember washing steel trays in a deep sink up to my elbows in hot water when it was over 100 F outside, hotter inside. I don’t remember any days off.

I do remember the Petty Officer being a rather unreasonable man, having us redo the work area over completely if there was something he didn’t like. Apparently one of the other Petty Officers in charge felt he was unreasonable too, for one night they got into a brawl and our nemesis ended up in the hospital, not to return while we were there. We had a new hero and felt justice had been served.

“P” School was a breeze after mess cooking. Basically it was a review of material from High School. The two things I remember best from that time was my brother and cousin driving down in my 1950 Oldsmobile to visit for a weekend and a class session where we stood in back of jet plane to feel the strength of the exhaust and we each got into the cockpit of a Douglas AD Skyraider and were instructed to start the engine.

After “P” School we took the train to Pensacola, Florida via New Orleans. We had a short layover in New Orleans, in the morning and walked about wondering what all the excitement was all about on Bourbon Street. It just didn’t look that great at that time of day.

We arrived at the Naval Air Station Pensacola looking forward to starting “A” School (Photography School). Once again, the eight week long stint mess cooking at the NAVCAD chow hall postponed school. This chow hall served the Naval Air Cadets, in training to learn to fly and land on an aircraft carrier. The duty was a lot less objectionable than mess cooking in Oklahoma. The Cadet’s ate at tables with plates and real cups and saucers. We had an automatic dishwasher to do most of the drudgery (though we still had to scrub the pots and pans by hand).

After completing our time we finally started Photo School. It was a great time, hands on use of camera’s, developing film, making prints. We attended many lectures, took tests, got our hands really into it. The cameras were 4 X 5 Speed Graphics, using large format sheet film, just like the press photographers used in WWII. The lenses on the camera’s were great, the image quality superb. We also learned about Aerial Cameras, and a touch into 35mm cameras. Remember, this was in 1958. We also had the military aspect of being at the Naval Air Station. We stood inspections and marched to class. One inspection still stands clear in my mind.

We had a student who had re-entered the service in our class. He was older than the rest of us and he was from Texas. He had a big Cadillac. During an inspection, the Lt. Commander would look first at our shoes to make sure they were shined, and then at our belt buckle to make sure it was also shined. Then his eyes would look up at our chest to see that our kerchief was tied properly. When he did this for the Texas man, he saw a chest full of ribbons and the Lt. Commander stepped back and saluted the enlisted man. It turned out that this Texan had lied about his age, joined the Marines at 15 and was wounded at Guadalcanal. He was mustered out of Marines when they learned of his age.

While at Pensacola, watching the Cadets try to land on the Aircraft Carrier out in the Gulf of Mexico I lost the interest I had in pursuing the idea of being a Naval Pilot. Needing to wear glasses had, functionally, precluded that possibility.

The graduation of our class from Photography School culminated the distribution of the fleet assignments. I had hoped to be assigned to a Carrier in the Pacific. Nobody got that kind of assignment. In fact, only two were sent to the Pacific. One graduate went to the Island of Kwajalein, the other to Adak, in the Aleutian Islands. The rest of us were all assigned to the Naval Photographic Center in Washington, DC. I was disappointed to not be sent to sea. Our barracks at Pensacola were right along the Gulf, a beautiful view. Just a short distance away was the club for enlisted persons. It was easy, and not very expensive to drink beer at the club, usually out of quart bottles.

One night, after drinking too much beer I returned to our barracks and was awoken by another photo student, David Pate from Detroit, telling me to “get out of his bunk”. I did, apparently, and asked him the next day what happened. He told me about watching me trying to get into the bunk above him (not mine) and when that didn’t work I crawled into his. He never let me forget (we were stationed together at the Naval Photo Center) about the night he found “Lillie in his bunk”. Being in a barracks in the South, I was not familiar with another visitor that could show up. After taking a shower one should put the wet towel on the bunk framework to dry. If one put it in their locker, the cockroaches found that great, one would need to shake the towel and stomp on the buggers on the floor (called “deck” in Navy lingo).

I arrived in Washington DC in the fall of 1958. I didn’t know then that I would remain there for the rest of my time in the Navy. The Naval Photographic Center was located at the Naval Air Station, Anacostia, DC. At the time, it was an active Air Station, though much of its mission was to serve a Naval Reserve Component flying mostly Douglas Skyraiders (AD’s). We were right along the Anacostia River, adjacent to Bolling Air Force Base. From the steps leading into the photo center (a three story building about the size of a city block) we could see the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building. NPS was an impressive building, made up mostly of red brick.

I was assigned to the Motion Picture Processing Division. It was located on the second floor, and took up the full length of half of the floor. I found that there were about 100 people assigned plus the civilian employees who headed up most of the various functions in the division. The navy personnel would come and go, the civilian employees provide the continuity. The sign at the entrance to the lab, after you had passed the Officer of the Day and staff upon entering, said “What You See When You Are Here, When You Leave, Leave It Here”.

My first job at the Photo Center was screening movies before they were sent out to the fleet. I ran four or five high-speed projectors and one normal speed projector. I would visually inspect the high speeds, checking the film for scratches on both the picture and sound track images. At the same time, I would run a film on the normal speed projector, watching for scratches and such on the picture and listening to the sound track for any aberrations. Films I remember the most were the “Victory at Sea” series and one film for the medical folks, “Emergency Child Birth” The high speed version of the latter was quite hilarious as the baby would literally pop out at a very rapid rate.

The “Victory at Sea” series would frequently attract some sailors on their way by to watch. One particular one, “The Pacific Boils Over” about the attack on Pearl Harbor drew somewhat of a crowd. That one grabbed deep into a sense of nationalism and at the conclusion of the film someone yelled out “Let’s go kill Yamato”. Yamato was Japanese American, a second-class petty officer assigned to the chemical lab on the third floor. Yamato was also a member of the underwater photo team, the same group that had been on the submarine Nautilus as it made the first circumnavigation of the North Pole. Yamato had been outside the Nautilus, underwater, under the Arctic ice, filming the submarine.

I spent a couple of months screening film. During that time I was told I would have to go mess cooking for three months. I drew a line in the sand telling my superior that I would go mess cooking again after all those I had gone to Photo School with had been mess cooking. I reiterated that I had already done three months total mess cooking since joining the Navy and they had done none. My superior said “that isn’t the way things work”, but I was not going (in my mind). Finally, he said he could understand my point and said, “Would you do passageway detail right here in Motion Picture Processing”? I asked what that was like and he said that it was a job that involved swabbing the deck, waxing and polishing the tile. It also meant I would have to clean the heads (bathrooms). In other words, I would be an on-site janitor. I said, “I can do that”.

Two incidents come to mind during that 3-month period. First memorable thing occurred while I was cleaning the head. A Chief Petty Officer from the division came in, we began talking and he asked me if I knew the poem “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”. I told him I had heard of it, but had not read it. He began to recite the poem from memory. I recall it took at least an hour. I was impressed. The other thing I remember is they had a spill in the film cleaning room. The cleaner used was Trichloroethylene. I had to mop it up, and then pour the bucket into a sink in a very enclosed space. I almost passed out. Trichloroethylene is a very powerful chemical and I could have done myself harm. Pouring it into a public sewer system is probably a no-no by today’s standards.

After completing my passageway detail I was assigned to the shipping department. One of the primary functions of that job was driving a 1-ton panel truck to the Kodak processing plant on Okie Street in Washington. My first problem was I needed a Navy Drivers license, which I obtained. The second problem was I had never driven a stick shift vehicle. I also learned how to do that. Much of the film I transported was classified. I had a Secret Clearance by then but then needed a Top Secret Clearance. While I waited for that to come, whenever I had Top Secret film a First Class Petty Officer with that clearance would ride along. Clinton Knapp had no driver’s license. Prior to my assumption of the role of driver the driver carried a .45 Automatic. That ended when the D.C. Police stopped him for speeding on Anacostia Drive. As the officer approached the van’s driver side door, the sailor laid the .45 on the window ledge and said, “That is close enough”. I traveled unarmed and watched my speed.

When my Top Secret clearance came, I didn’t need Clinton Knapp with me. Clinton Knapp however was part of my every day routine. Each morning, before we started work, Petty Officer Knapp was in charge of taking muster in the passageway. Clinton had a bit of a lisp, and frequently David Pate, (from photo school) would step out and mimic Knapp. Pate would say “Division, tent huff!” “Division, parade reff!” Then Pate, a skinny black man would do the funniest wiggle and giggle. He never got caught in the act, but always started out the day with a chuckle.

After a few months I was given the opportunity to move to a new job, which I kept until just before discharge. I was assigned to do “motion picture color timing”. That job, under the supervision of a civilian by the name of John Hanyuk, turned out to be about the best job in the division. My responsibility was to color and density correct motion picture film. It was done by hand, rolling both 16 and 35 mm film, over a light table, making decisions about how to improve the image quality in the prints that were made from these originals or color masters. I would keep a log of each scene on a card, noting increases in the amount of light and the color of light that the person making the copy on a print machine would use. I would notch the film to signal the change in the printer. In addition, I would notch the film to signal such things as a fade in and fade out of a scene. When working on multiple rolls of film (up to four rolls) those notches could also be used to signal an overlay. That would create the effect of what was called a “lap dissolve’. I am not trying to brag, but I became John Hanyuk’s star pupil.

During that time I made Petty Officer Third Class, and then Petty Officer 2nd Class in the fastest time available in the Navy then. I trained a number of Petty Officers superior to rank than myself during that time. My best experience, during that time, was a film made to show to a Congressional Subcommittee about “Operation Deepfreeze”, the Navy’s program at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. I worked all night on the job. Normal procedure is to “time” a film, get it processed, view the print and fine-tune the color and density of each scene as needed. John Hanyuk and I reviewed the film the next afternoon and there were no adjustments needed. For that effort I was given a day off, the first and only time I witnessed such a thing. The other major film footage I spent many hours working on was film of Polaris Missile launches. The Polaris missile was the first submarine launched International Ballistic Missile system. It played a strong role in the nuclear deterrent program of the Cold War. I timed film shot on the surface, shot below the ocean surface, anything that could be filmed. I timed film showing the opening of the doors on a submarine and the missile erupting. It still stays in my minds eye.

The Commanding Officer at NPS for most of the time I was there was a Navy Captain, Noel R. Bacon. Captain Bacon was an aviator who had served in China just before Pearl Harbor as a Flying Tiger. He was credited with 3 ½ kills. He convinced General Chennault to let him return home to get married with the promise he would return. He married a Navy Captain’s daughter and reneged on his promise. This incensed General Chennault who dishonorably discharged Bacon from the Flying Tigers and banned him from ever attending reunions of the Flying Tigers. I spoke to a former Flying Tiger, Bob Layher many years later (at an Airshow in the Twin Cities) about Captain Bacon. Bob said, “Noel was my wingman”.

He went on to say he had had lunch with Captain Bacon in Pensacola, where Captain Bacon had a successful real estate career after his retirement from the Navy, not long before Captain Bacon’s death. I have a P-40 model airplane with the signatures of three Flying Tiger pilots on the wing, including Bob Layher. I also have a book written and autographed by Flying Tiger pilot Eric Shilling that I obtained at an airshow.

During my three years in motion picture processing I made many friends. Of particular note was Linwood “Bud” Hubler from Middletown, New York. Bud was, and is, an affable guy. He would drive home many weekends, taking riders to the Port Authority Building in New York City on the way, getting money for gas to offset the cost of going home. He would take his friends, including me, to his house for a weekend of fine civilian living. His parents and sister were very nice to all and it was such a great escape from military life. During my numerous visits I had a girlfriend, a flaming redhead named Carol. I was not long out of high school, Carol was still a student. Bud had a long time girl friend named Peggy and they planned to marry.

As it worked out, Peggy went to nursing school and they never did marry. Bud came to the Photo Center in 1959, and in late1960 got a transfer to San Diego where he got to go to sea, filming gunnery exercises. He loved it. I thought it so unfair he came after I did and he got to leave. I believe, in retrospect that because he didn’t make Petty Officer 2nd Class, like the rest of our close-knit bunch, they might have had an opening for a 3rd Class Petty Officer. Bud spent his career after his enlistment working in the newspaper industry. He retired from the photo lab at the Bergen County Record and lives in the country north of Roanoke, Virginia. Bud is an avid reader and is a quasi expert in WWII history. We still, after over 50 years, remain in frequent contact.

Most of the most memorable events of my Navy enlistment occurred during my last year. I was promoted to Petty Officer 2nd Class on November 16, 1960 and several of us who were barracked off NAS Anacostia achieved that promotion. We were able to secure a separate room from the regular barracks, had a sign made and bunked in a more private atmosphere. We felt very privileged. We were picked up by a bus, along with the others in the barracks and transported, after breakfast, to work at NPS. One day we had a 3rd Class Petty Officer driving the bus and several of us got on the bus carrying a piece of fruit. The driver told us we couldn’t bring food on the bus.

We ignored him so when we arrived at the Photo Center, he got off the bus and when into the building to complain to the duty officer, a Lieutenant. The Duty Officer blew him off, told him to get back on his bus and continue his duty. As the driver left, we heard the Duty Officer comment that the driver had been in at least 16 years (based on the hash marks on his uniform) and was “Third Class already”. Rather surprised us, but it did point to this fellow’s level of achievement.

A memorable event happened in May 1960 when the famous U2 incident occurred. Gary Francis Powers was shot down on an over flight of the Soviet Union.

President Eisenhower had gone to Europe to meet with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev for a Summit. Khrushchev abruptly cancelled the Summit Meeting and Eisenhower returned to Andrews Air Force Base somewhat dejected. We were ordered out to line the route that passed right by Anacostia Naval Air Station to “cheer Ike up”. We waved and cheered as Ike passed by in his open convertible that day. I think everyone felt good about that event.

Another memorable event, the exception to the last year statement, was my role as an usher at the funeral of America’s first 5 star Admiral, Fleet Admiral Leahy. It took place in the summer of 1959 at Washington’s National Cathedral. What impressed me most that I, as a lowly enlisted man (I don’t remember if I had made Petty Officer 3rd Class yet) was the on the same par, as an usher, to many Officers who also served in the same capacity. If I remember it correctly, unless one was an officer of Flag Rank (Admiral or General) you could be an usher too. Flag rank meant one usually had gold boards on their shoulders. There were gold boards in abundance at that funeral.

Starting off 1961, my last year of enlistment, the major event was the Inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. The week of the inauguration, I had volunteered and was assigned to a motor pool. Our job was, using automobiles provided by the Washington area auto dealers, to provide vehicle services to whomever we were assigned. I don’t remember driving anyone until the day of the Inaugural Parade. There had been an 8” snowfall the night before; Washington was basically unprepared for that kind of weather. My duty was to be the driver of the Governor of the Virgin Islands in the Parade. The vehicle was a 1959 Plymouth Fury convertible, orange in color. I remember sitting outside in that car, top down, wind chill at 7 F, for 5 hours. The Governor, I believe his name was John David, joined me just before the cars started to move. I think we passed President Kennedy, in his glass enclosed (and probably heated) reviewing stand about 5 minutes from the end of the parade. I clearly remember his grey tuxedo and top hat.

It was that year that I starred in my first and only movie. “Starred” maybe an exaggeration, however. Actually I was involved in the shooting of a film on the fantail of a Destroyer Escort tied up the Naval Weapons Plant on the Anacostia River. The film was shot in Black & White and made for distribution to the fleet. Its theme was cleanliness, and was about a sailor named Barnes who wouldn’t take a shower. My role called for me to say, loudly, “Not if you stand downwind from you Barnes”. I don’t recall if I made it off the cutting room floor, but it was a memory being there.

As the year wore on, we were moved to new barracks across the airfield from the Photo Center. I was put on the Sergeant at Arms list and duty changed from once every four days to once every eleven days. That was great, being in charge of the barracks watch. It meant I could go to bed at 11 PM and sleep until 5 unless there was a problem I needed to be involved in. No more mid-watches. In addition, that position also provided for the next day off, which was a brand new condition never seen before in my experience. I remained with that duty until we were moved, in early autumn, to the original barracks on the Photo Center side. Duty was one in 4 days, no next day off. I somehow failed to mention to anyone that I was back, and I served no duty the rest of my enlistment.

About that same time, I had pretty much completed training my replacement in Motion Picture Color Timing. He was a career First Class Petty Officer. One day a new Chief Petty Officer came into the room, and started to berate my civilian boss, John Hanyuk. John was not there. The Chief suggested that Pathe (a film lab in New York) could make a better one light (no corrections) print that Hanyuk could make a timed (corrected one).

On its face value that was, of course, ridiculous but it was a real slam to Hanyuk. I flatly told the new Chief that he had his “head stuck up his ass”. He didn’t like that and put me on report. This was just a few weeks after I had gotten special recognition and a day off for the job I had done on the Operation Deep Freeze film. There was no official punishment for me (or the Chief who had blasphemed Hanyuk, but I was informed that since I had trained my replacement, I was going to be assigned to the print lab. At that time, I had already turned down re-enlistment, had applied for an early release so I could attend Winter Quarter at the University of Minnesota and that had all been approved. I started in the print room but that quickly came to an end when I broke two bones in my right hand participating in a touch football league and my hand would not fit into the print machine.

I had the last laugh as I ended my enlistment. There was no work assigned so I wandered the Naval Photo Center visiting friends from the Animation Department on the third floor where fellow Minnesotan Bob Wicklund operated an animation camera machine, to the stage area on the first floor where movies were filmed. I spent time in the Film Depository, where all the film from the Navy archives was stored, and where a major project was taking place-converting nitrate based film (very volatile, very explosive) to cellulose based film. I didn’t stand duty because, like a said previously, I didn’t tell anyone I was back. The last weeks of my enlistment were very calm and peaceful as Christmas neared and I mustered out.

Postscript:

During the spring of my freshman year at the University of Minnesota (1962) I received a telephone call from John Hanyuk, my civilian boss at the Naval Photographic Center. He offered me a civilian position in motion picture color timing starting as a GS 7 with a promotion to GS 9 in six months. I told John I had no interest in returning to Washington D.C. The next year, in the spring of 1963 John called me again with the same offer. Again, I told him I had no desire to return to Washington D.C. I finally did return to D.C., twenty-eight years after I had left there to meet with the American Foundry Association and to lobby on Capitol Hill. On one of my early trips to do that (I did that for several consecutive years) I rented a car, and traveled up Anacostia Drive to see the change that occurred in the neighborhood I enjoyed so many times.

The neighborhood where I stopped to have a meatball sandwich and a Michelob beer while washing my clothes had changed dramatically. Men with women’s stockings on their heads stood on street corners on Sunday morning at 9 am, very threatening looking. I locked the car doors and headed over to the Naval Air Station. It didn’t look the same; there were many wooden temporary building where the North end of the runway was. Things didn’t look very well kept. I was glad I didn’t make a decision to spend a career there; it was actually quite a sad look at NAS Anacostia.

(Gary died on July 24, 2016)

Members of our Photography Class out for a night of practice and obvious “fun” with  our 4 x 5 Speed Graphics in the Pensacola Florida night air. Yours truly on the left.

Practicing portrait photography at the Photographic School in Pensacola.  Yours truly is the subject.

Washington D.C. at the movies in 1959. Still wearing my crewcut but enjoying wearing “civvies” .