In 1955, the Midway returned to the States and I was, once more, on the move. I was sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be in charge of a small Floating Drydock. I flew down there and, after I was assigned housing, Ellen and the kids came down by sailing on the USNS Johnson, a transport. The housing was pretty good and we were able to afford a full time maid, which made things easier for Ellen.
The dry dock duty was very easy as, once a vessel was in it, me and my crew just stood watch to ensure there no problems, while civilian ship repair techs did the actual work on the vessel!
The duty in “Gitmo” was also great for the kids, as they had a nice school, with door-to-door bus service, and our maid to pick up after them and help them. Christmas was a good time for them.
During this period Castro was just a rebel up in the mountains, and we could drive into Cuba any time we wished. The station’s fresh water came from a river and a pumping station a few miles inside Cuba. Where the river emptied into the ocean was a nice beach, where we often went swimming in the fresh water. On the return drive to the base, we’d stop for a bit at the pumping station, then head on again. It gave us a break from driving the rough, unpaved mountain road!