Happy Days!

by The Boatswain | January 11th, 2006

While I was on my 30 days leave I got orders to report to Bremerton, WA. (Typical of the Military, always send you as far away from where you are, as they can! I COULD have gone to Boston, 65 miles away, but NO – send him a couple of thousand miles!) After a typical 5 or 6 day train ride and a 2 hour ferry ride from Seattle, I arrived at the Bremerton Naval Base, and checked in. They didn’t know exactly what I’d be doing but said I’d be there a while and to go ahead and have Ellen join me!

Of course, after the hassle of her packing things up, catching and riding a long, boring train ride across country, joining me in a small rented apartment, buying a car and Ellen getting a good job at the base, NATURALLY, I got a set of orders to drive to Farragut, Idaho, for duty at what had been a training station!

The only good part of the orders was that we would be issued plenty of gasoline vouchers (gasoline was one of the many things that were rationed!) and we would finally be able to fill the gas tank of the car!

Any way, we packed up, loaded the car, and took off for Idaho! Half way across the State of Washington, I pulled into a gas station, proudly declared “Fill her up!” and commenced to take out the ration coupons! The attendant laughed at me and asked, “Haven’t you heard the news? Japan surrendered, the WAR is over and there’s NO MORE RATIONING!” All I had out of the coupons was a bunch of scrap paper! Anyway, with a full tank we were on our way again!

Ellen and Van in route to Idaho 1945

Ellen and Van in route to Idaho 1945

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The United States Navy rating of Boatswain's Mate is a designation given to enlisted members who are rated as a deck seaman. The colloquial form of address for a boatswain's mate is 'Boats'.

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