When I first came aboard, the
Noxubee had no bell. But on one of our shipyard visits she was
fitted out with one. Right after it was installed, I was the
gangway watch PO and had the honor of striking the first
"time" on our new bell. I was standing watch on the
bridge because we were in drydock and the gangway was slung to the
starboard side of the bridge so the bridge was the quarterdeck.
Another time, when the ship was in Norfolk Naval Shipyard in
late 1950 the OD was LT. Alfred A. Uczynski. He was one of the
officers that came aboard when the Korean war first got started.
We gave him the nickname Alphabetski. The crew had nicknames for
all the Officers and Chiefs.
My time on the Noxubee was my first exposure to other races. I
was raised in a central New Jersey town and no one ever explained
"race " to me. Back in those days, Blacks were called
the N word and the Chinese were Chinks. American Indians were
Redskins. All of which were meant to be derogatory. Living with
guys like Gilbert Parks, Tom Pierce, Eugene Spady, Ernie Johnson
and others taught me there was no difference between the races. We
were all the same. About this time President Harry Truman signed
the Executive Order that desegregated the military.