Slaughter Among The Icebergs First American Fleet Impressions Of ...

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Volume I, Number 2
Slaughter Among the Icebergs
(Continued from Last Week.)
Over and over again the peals of
wild uncontrollable laughter and sobs
floated from No.2 messing compartment like the spasmodic wheezing
of a dying asthmatic sufferer. Chaos
Now if it was anyone thing which
the crew of our ship prided itself
above all else and for which they had
received many compliments throughout the fleet it was their incessant
ability in keeping level headed thru
any and all emergencies. Yet flesh
and blood can endure so much. Where
human beings are concerned as they
were in this case the slender thread
that supports the prop of reasoning
began to weaken at an alarmingly
fast rate. There could be only one
remedy. The cause must be removed
so action was paramount.
A flying squad of corpsmen converged at last upon the hapless messcook and managed to lead him off
to the sick bay where a straight jacket prevented him from furthur harming himself. This, however, did not
hamper the style of his outcries.
Something had to be done to effectively gag his almost inarticulate
mouthings. The wise saying that necessity is the mother of invention was
aptly proven when a capable yeoman
brought one of his brain childs into
play. Saying that a gas mask had
more uses than a cat had lives he
rapidly fitted a mask to the messcook.
The pitiful cries were thus at last
silenced .and men breathed normally
(Continued on Page 2.)
Norfolk, Virginia
Robert Harold Christenson
Robert Christenson of s:,lt Lake City
was swept overboard on the night of 30
January. Each and everyone rememhers
well the heartbreaking task of trying to
locate his body in the face of the hurdcane·likc winds and waves which were
prevalent on that night.
It suffices to say that all hands felt
his passing more keenly than could ever
be imagined. He was 8 good shipmate.
Morc words are unnecessary.
First American Fleet
At the beginning of the hostilities,
prior to the Revolutionary War, the
Colonies carried on the war at sea by
means of "privateers" or private vessels which were authorized to capture
British merchant ships. This was a
cheap method of waging war as the
privateers were not paid salaries but
given the entire proceeds from the
sales of such ships as they captured.
About 70,000 men in Massachusetts
alone were engaged in privateering.
In one year they captured over three
hundred British ships.
These privateers had an indirect
effect on the results of the war, as
they undermined English commerce
and increased our standing among
the other nations. However the privateers had little effect upon the military operations as they preferred
capturing richly laden and poorly
armed merchant ships to engaging
men-of-war in battle.
In order to protect their harbors,
many of the Coloni€jS estab\isbed
small navies of their own. This proved
(Continued on Page 4.)
February 2, 1939
Impressions of Gonaives
Gonaives, Haiti, with a "population
of 8,000 negroes, is situated 65 miles
north-northwest from Port-au-Prince,
the capitol of the country. Its only
manufactoring claim is the salt works
although a mineral spring nearby is
highly prized by its inhabitants.
Gonaives, as cities go, proved to
be about as attractive to a sailorman
as a swarm of yellow jackets would
be at a highland clan gathering. Although not possessing any of the
desirable attributes of other towns
and cities with which we are familiar
nevertheless we found a few novel
and interesting sights there.
Probably the erect bearing of the
negro women as they carried huge
baskets of clothes on their heads was
watched with admiration. Our women
back home should take a tip from
them provided they desire that graceful swing in walking.
The dwellings, patched together
with everything from brush to driftwood, are painted blue and white. The
paint, if it is paint, resembles a
white-wash mixture of rather mediocre grade. Its pastel tints resemble
nothing found in our country.
Over the white graveled roads
numerous small donkeys provide the
chief means of transportation. To ride
on one is a distinct experience one
will never forget. Along these roads
runs a long ditch which is used for
everything from washing clothes to
watering live stock.
One thing for certain, one will never forget Gonaives. No doubt all of Us
are a bit happy that it isn't our lot
to live there.

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