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Boot camp memories. ( mine of Sept. 26 1950, Newport RI Co 26)

[ Draft ] I'm 75 year old now but, I can vividly recall boot camp. Roughly a month after my 18th birthday I found myself on the second deck/floor?? of an old WW2 barracks. It was the first time I had been away from home and I admit I was a bit apprehensive (scared even). Who were all these tough looking guys I found myself with? A bunch from Brooklyn and the Bronx. They all seemed to have DA haircuts, a sure sign of tough. (for those to whom a DA is a foriegn term, it stands for Ducks Ass. That's what it looked like. And in my day that's what the tough (read cool) guys had. Scary, but, the next morning we all went for haircuts. After a rather close cut we all looked like lil lost sheep. After shearing that is. No longer did anyone look tough/cool. Our Chief PO was Mr Fisher. A roly poly kinda guy who looked and acted more like our very own Santa Claus. We all loved him and he was great to us. It turned out that he was a WW2 retread who had been called back to active duty from the reserves. Whatever the case, we were a lucky company. Well we were untill we haqd our first seabag inspection. After Mr Fisher had his butt chewed out by the inspecting officer we had to learn how to roll our our clothes and secure them with ties. We must have spent about a thousand hours working on that. Well, maybe ten Hrs. At any rate we finally learned to do it the Navy way. Funny but, I never thought I'd look on boot camp with fond memories but that is surely the case.

I hope that some of you will relate your own bootcamp memories on this blog. If so I'll try to recall more of my own.

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Comment by Don Noland on January 7, 2008 at 3:38pm
Thanks for the reply Bill. I hope your health is good now & that you & yours will have a great '08.
I spent 8 years in the Navy & never sailed on a ship. I was in flight crews of patrol squadrons.
Don
Comment by WILLIAM (Bill) HOLLANDER on January 7, 2008 at 11:02am
Hi Don,

Yes, my boots took place in Newport Rhode Island just north of the city. I spent a few hours sitting on a cliff overlooking the Naraganset within the confines of the camp. Yes, we were right on the water. They opened the camp when the Korean war broke out and closed it shortly after. I spent 13 weeks there and I think they closed it soon after I graduated. I never thought I'd reflect fondly on boots but I find myself doing so now. I'd not want to repeat it and that's a good thing as I doubt that I'd be able to at 75.
Comment by Don Noland on January 7, 2008 at 10:34am
Was your boot camp just north of Newport? I didn't know that there was a boot camp there. Recent map shows a naval complex north of Newport. You were rught on the water apparently. I went to boot at SanDiego ('53), which was also on the bay. Good times but I wouldn't want to do it again. Don Noland

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