Now Ellen enters the arena!

by The Boatswain | November 9th, 2005

About 11 days after we got involved with that fire, we were back at the Training Station, I resumed going to the skating rink and I met my future wife. (Oct. 22, 1941, to be exact!) Since the money situation was tight, especially on MY side, we started going to the local USO. There servicemen and their dates, could dance and eat snacks and just enjoy themselves. I had a good buddy, who also had a girl friend in Fall River, and we hitch-hiked back and forth, the 16 miles, together. Winter in that area can be pretty bitter, especially in the Newport area, where the wind and storms came of the ocean! The last bus from Fall River was at 10:45 pm, and, if we missed that, out came the handy thumb signal! Cars began to get scarcer, too. One night, Jim McCrossan (my buddy, who came from South Philadelphia) and I could not get a ride and hiked the whole 16 miles! Boy, even wearing a Navy Pea coat, sweater, gloves, long underwear, etc., we darned near froze!

Ellen had a friend that worked in Newport and said we could ride in with her in the morning, IF we stayed in Fall River overnight. By this time, I had met all of Ellen’s family and was invited to spend the night when I came to town and sleep with her brother Leo. This worked out fine for the winter, but Leo was a “sleep-talker”! Mumbled all night….. Later, he joined the Navy, too, as his older brother was already in. Then, of course, Dec. 7th changed all our lives!  (This picture is of Leo and me, but a bit later, when he was in and I had become a Petty Officer. We managed to get a leave together!)

Leo Fagan and Jacque Van Cleef (approx: 1942-1943)

Leo Fagan and Jacque Van Cleef (approx: 1942-1943)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

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'.



Family and Friends