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  USS Noxubee AOG56

A Tribute To Those That Served

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Noxubee Crest

My First Ship


By Jerry Zentz

 
Noxubee 1953

I served aboard the USS Noxubee from 7 Dec. '52 to Mar '54. Noxubee was my first ship, right out of boot camp. We were stationed in Rhode Island. I was 18 years old and it was my first Christmas away from home. We took a Med cruise and about two days out of Newport we went on water rations, dehydrated milk and potatoes. My later cruises on carriers were quite different.

Jerry 1954 After I reported aboard at Newport I was immediately assigned to the deck crew. I had the 6th highest scores in my company at boot camp, but you know how the Navy is! Anyway, I tired of hanging over the side chipping paint on the anchor, real fast, so since I had lots of typing (along with all the other easy courses) in high school, I went into the Ships Office. When I left I was a YNSN. I came aboard in the middle of the night, the next morning we assembled on deck. Just being a hick and never having been aboard a ship, I spit on the deck. I might have been stupid but I was very discerning, I saw the Boatswain look at the spit, then look at me. I never spit on the deck again.

Chief Horton 1953 Going across the Atlantic the catwalk was occasionally closed due to bad weather (I assume it was always that way). There were times sleeping forward that we got nothing to eat until the weather calmed. We first went to Casablanca. There was a tremendous ground swell going in. We anchored & the bum boats came around. The Capt. told the Boatswain to keep them off. The bum boats wouldn't listen to him so he charged a firehose and knocked one of them right out of their boat. Needless to say, Boats did not go ashore in Casablanca. We went to Tripoli; Marseilles; Bari and Naples, Italy and Gibraltar. Going through the Straits of Messina on the way to Bari our steering failed so we headed right for the beach.

I never got seasick and I was on an AOG, AO, DD, and 3 carriers, but the only time I came pretty close to getting sick was on the Noxubee. I had radar duty in a very small, curtained compartment right behind the bridge. Sitting in there when she was really rolling was no fun.

I was in the Navy for 10 years and left as a ET1. I was notified just before getting out that I had been selected for Chief so it was a hard decision, but it was just to much time away from the family.