ELEVATOR #3 FELL INTO THE SEA
I WAS ON THE TUGBOAT
THAT TOWED BENNINGTON
TO PORT ANGELES, WASHINGTON
Yes it was heartbreaking to say good bye to Big Ben.
Here at 17 years old, I was a gunho sailor. I loved being on the Big Ben. My 4 years went so fast.
One day I was walking from my compartment to the stern and I heard a big crash. As in turned around to investigate, our #3 elevator was gone. I said, I dont beleive this, but sure enough it had fallen into the sea. Man, we were the laffing stock of WEST PAC.
I was one of the boxers on the Ben. We use to have smokers every two weeks. I got my tail whipped a few times, hahahah.
I was under captains Ryan, Compton, Ware and Wampler. They were all god Co,s.
I went on the Ben at 17 and I got discharged 3 days before my 21ST birthday. 1958-1961.
Robert lee ROCKY Crockrell
Years later, while in my 50"s in 1994, I went from Merchant Marine to a Tugboat company, Crowley Maritime Corporation, out of Seattle.
One lazy day they called us to go to Bremerton, Washington, 20 miles away, to tow an old WW2 Aircraft Carrier to Port Angeles, Washington.
I said No Problemo. The Captain said They would call us before our arrival and tell us which one to pull.
I almost died when they said # 20, The Bennington. I have to admit tears flooded my eyes. My captain said "Whats The matter Rocko", I told him That was My old ship. Where I grew from a Southern Ohio Farm Boy into a Man.
Yep The good old dayzzzzzzzzzzz.
Gig Harbor, Washington