The Return of an Airman

by The Boatswain | November 4th, 2006

Cruising and operating in the Med was usually pretty much routine duty, but occasionally there would be accidents, causing a flyer to eject from his aircraft, and then get picked up by one of the escorts, to be returned to us by helicopter or, preferably by Bosun’s Chair, as when this was done, the other ship was rewarded by containers of ice cream from us!

Approaching Gibralter

Approaching Gibralter

Coming alongside to return an airman.

Coming alongside to return an airman.

Riding the bosun’s chair

riding the bosun’s chair

During the deployment, the crew had the chance to tour many historic areas, such as Marseilles, Sicily, Greece, etc. The ship was usually anchored out in the various harbors and shore leave was done via the ship’s boats.

The ship's boat ready for liberty.

The ship's boat ready for liberty.

I didn’t go on tour, though, but took a leave to go by train to visit my relatives up in Holland, which no one from our family had done since leaving Holland. I have a cousin, Diet, who was close to my age, and toured me around.

Diet on one of Holland's famous dikes.

Diet on one of Holland's famous dikes.

Diet and I in a tourist place, wearing traditional clothing.

Diet and I in a tourist place, wearing traditional clothing.

All in all, the Wasp’s tour of the Mediterranean went pretty good and late Fall found us headed for Jacksonville, Florida. We needed to transfer some people to the Midway before SHE deployed and, hopefully, get an extended leave in the States, as I had also had word that Ellen was about to have another child! (Wonder what causes that?)

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About This Site

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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