ANOTHER ALASKA STORY - 1963
"Just to show you all how quick on the draw a snipe could be when it's booze that matters. Well after that liberty launch ran afoul on the reef I vaguely remember the one other crews launch ran into some sort of trouble and tugboat Annie was called to action, in order to bring back a very inebriated crew. I personally saw a plaque from the Red Dog Saloon sent to M-Division, thanking us all for drinking the bar dry, to the last bottle.
Well anyway one of our guys (MM-2) had been brought back to building 20, by the tugboat and climbed the Jacobs ladder, then he approached the chief on deck requesting to come onboard. The chief noticed along with the rest of us that were sober, he had two bottles tucked (bulging) under his uniform, in front and plain as day. Not wanting him to get into big trouble the good chief granted permission to come onboard and just said that he was to man the rail behind him and from over there he wanted to hear two splashes, naturally meaning two bottles hitting the water. This fine Machinist Mate promptly walked over to the ships lifelines, removed his shoes and threw them overboard one at a time, we all heard two splashes, the good chief was happy and we all had a toast later. To replace the shoes was only six buck's and a spit shine.
Another Alaska story was that I wanted to hike up to the Mendenhall Glacier, so sharing this with a buddy he then asked if this other guy could come and we all began inviting shipmates to come along. This idea was growing fast and before the day was out we had some hundred and thirty going. Then there was concern raised by an officer that there had been a couple of Grizz attacks in the vicinity and that we would need a couple rifles for protection or the much desired trip would have to be cancelled. That part was easy, being on the ships Landing Party I contacted a buddy in Mar-Det and "Walla..." two Garands with ammo. However as the group was heading thru the woods, we came across a little country store and by this time my Marine buddies along with myself avid hunters before joining up, pooled our money and purchased a box of 30-06. Silvertips and exchanging out the metal piercing military rounds hoping to bag the biggest Grizzly out there, "you know, young and bulletproof". Then after we had been on this jeep road about an hour heading for the glacier when met up with two 4-WD pickups, two couples on their way to church.
They really gave us a taste of true "Alaska" hospitality by teaming up and driving us to the glacier, making many trips. Then said they would be back to help us back down, and they did "What I wouldn't give to meet up with them again" "Anyone remembering this trip please let me know"
Jarl Fossum (M-Div)
By the way if any of you are on the road this summer, planning a drive along beautiful highway #12 through Southwestern Washington State, be sure to feel invited to our minifarm. We feature Norwegian Fjord horses and beginning to work up a team. Just give us a heads up before hand so we can give directions and be home.