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  USS Noxubee AOG56

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45-59 ribbon bar
Noxubee Crest

Noxubee 1950


By Jack Conover

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.