UNION

Posted in General Custard on January 23, 2013 by Charles The Undecided

Long ago, there was a flash in the forest.  I was immobilized at the vision.  I was drawn to it, and pursued it with all my modest skills, but it disappeared into the mist of unavailability.

For an entire cycle of seasons it never appeared again.

Suddenly the following spring, seemingly out of the midst of everywhere and nowhere, there it was.  Again.  I was stunned.  The vision beckoned to me with an invisible force of nature.  I approached it gingerly, panicked and anxious.  It smiled at me and calmed me.  We both turned together and walked slowly off into the forest of nowhere and everywhere, and the sun followed us wherever we went.

Soon there was a communion, replete with all the things that define communion:  affinity, fellowship, kinship, friendship, togetherness, closeness, harmony, understanding, rapport, connection, communication, empathy, accord, and unity.

That communion gave fuel along with a heat that built a fire which blazed with all the light and intensity of the Sun.  There could be no dream for any man of more perfection.  Life was full and grand.

Then came the night late one winter when the stars aligned in an arrangement of perfection.  It was the night of the union, and it came with overwhelming passion, lasting well into exhaustion and beyond.

That union bore a fruit, and a creation of beauty that fruit was.  It was yet another perfection.

Suddenly, I was filled with fear.  What does one do with perfection except appreciate it?

Voices told me that I was not worthy of such perfection; and in my clumsy attempts to be its caretaker, I would destroy it.  And, the voices told me, any man who destroys perfection is doomed to live the life of the damned.  I was truly afraid, which I will not easily admit to anyone.  I fled.  All my life, and to this day, I have never backed down from an unsolicited confrontation with anything in nature, even armed human beings.  With or without a badge.  Barehanded.  But this… this was my ultimate unknown: myself faced with myself.  I truly retreated in total confusion.

Like a coward, I fled back to lose myself in the anonymity of the forest of nowhere and everywhere.  God, how I detest the word “coward.”

For many cycles of seasons I wandered aimlessly, looking and not seeing, searching and not finding, asking the question, “What is perfection and what does one do with it?” and never really finding the answer.  Or any answers.

On a dreary day late in the winter of the fourteenth cycle of seasons, I wandered into a sunlit clearing and froze at the sight of my perfection, standing motionless and smiling at me to come closer.  I closed the remoteness between us, and we began a preliminary and exploratory dialogue that rapidly eased into a cordial lengthy discourse, finally revealing that we had both been seeking this reunion since our last parting.

Yet another fire began.  It was not the intense, blazing inferno of youth, but rather an even bed of embers punctuated by blazes of excitement and joy.  That fire grew into a self-sustaining source of energy; and yes, another communion complete with all the elements expected of a well-formed communion.  It grew, and became a union in every sense of any well-formed fusion.  It was a union that lasted through a myriad of both trials of tears and jamborees of joy, and became a play of acts that lasted for many, many cycles of seasons.

Then came the change.  Imperceptibly at first, but resolute in its insidiousness.  The blazes of joy and excitement slowly gave way to sputters and pops of a dying fire.  The air became thick with smoke and ash where once there had been the blaze of a perfect union.  The communion began to fragment and dissolve, threatening the very existence of that perfect union and the fire upon which it was built.

The embers of the union were still burning strong, but not as brightly now.  Even the actors in the play could see the last act on the horizon, and they became afraid the embers would die into cold, lifeless ash.

A council was called and it lasted many moons.  Negotiations were intense and varied from and to every extreme.  The objective, at first, was what price was to be paid to preserve the union.  As options were explored and weighed, the focus shifted to heal and preserve the communion which had given birth to the union.  After sifting through all available and imaginable options, an acceptable solution could not be conjured in any shape or form.

Eventually, after stripping away all the obvious layers of logic, reason, and emotion, a design of action revealed itself that was in accordance with some unwritten law of the cosmos: Preserve the embers. At any and all cost.

In order to prevent the embers from dying into cold inhumanity and all communion rent asunder, the union must be divided while there was still life-giving heat from the coals.

With the union dissolved and the embers divided in two, they would continue to burn and persist in giving warmth to the world.  The communion, however diminished, would continue.  Through tears of loss and regret, the union was disintegrated.

The communion, although diminished, continues.  The embers still burn, giving heat in the world in places where it is needed.

As I look down on my finger and see my wedding ring, I wonder why it is still there.  That symbol of the perfection of a perfect union.  Then I remember.  When I take it off and look through it as a portal, I can catch a glimpse through the mist a sunlit clearing, and perfection standing there, beckoning me on.

Then, unthinkingly, I slip it back on my finger and go about my business spreading warmth in the world where I can see it is in demand.

Pugilistic Pugilism by Pugil Stick

Posted in General Custard with tags , , , , , , , on January 5, 2013 by Charles The Undecided

Pugil stick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pugil bouts are a frequent part of combative training in use of the bayonet.

A pugil stick is a heavily padded pole-like training weapon used since the early 1940s by military personnel in training for rifle and bayonet combat.[1]  The pugil stick is similar to a quarterstaff, or Japanese bo, and may be marked to indicate which end represents the bayonet and which the rifle butt.  Dr. Armond Seidler of the University of New Mexico invented the Pugil Stick training method during World War II.  It was initially adopted by the United States Marine Corps, but was later included in United States Army combat training as well.  Dr. Seidler received an award from the Marine Corps for his invention.

Pugil bouts are usually conducted with hard contact while wearing protective gear such as groin protectors, American football helmets, hockey gloves, and chest protectors or shin guards, such as those worn by baseball catchers. Some pugil sticks are made with integrated hand guards to reduce the potential for injury. Military procedures for pugil bouts are often detailed, with United States Army and United States Marine Corps both prohibiting pugil training by anyone who has recently suffered concussion of the brain, lest they suffer traumatic brain injury.

Some organizations, such as the Society for Creative Anachronism, use similar weapons for sport purposes, but it is generally discouraged as too dangerous. Practitioners of modern Eskrima spar with full contact, using lighter but unpadded sticks and protected only by gloves and a fencing mask. Unarmed techniques (punches, kicks etc.) are also a part of discipline, as is grappling. This style of fighting is more realistic than pugil stick training, but is regarded as too hazardous and technically demanding for the average Soldier or Marine. Pugil training gives recruits the adrenaline rush of combat minus the potential for serious injury. Benefits are gained even with the minimal amount of training they receive.

Pugil stick sparring was popularized in the United States by the American Gladiators, a physical game show which ran from 1989 to 1996, and again in the 2008 revival. In the popular “Joust” contest, competitors would try to knock each other off pedestals using pugil sticks.

The name “pugil stick” is a neologism from the Latin noun pugnus (fist), the source for other English words such as “pugilist” (boxer) and “pugnacious” (eager to fight).

USMCRD_San_Diego

It was another bright sunny day and, again 98 degrees. Five miles inland it was 110. We were lucky. We were at MCRD-San Diego. United States Marine Corps Recruit Depot. We were closer to the Pacific Ocean and had the onshore breeze.

Today was the ‘fun day’ of training. The art of hand to hand combat using our m-14’s with a bayonet on one end and the rifle butt as a club. For this exercise we had ‘stacked’ our M-14s.

stacking

There was a pile of gear on the ground. Football helmets, boxing gloves, knee pads, and elbow pads. Our daily uniform supplement. Put ’em on.

Line up and count by fours. Ones line up here, twos line up over there, threes over there and fours over there.

There were two sets of pugil sticks per line. A pugil stick being the length of an M-14 with bayonet attached. The ends of the sticks were padded… sort of. If you got hit it was going to hurt. Guaranteed.

After ‘taking a knee’ a period of instruction followed on how to kill your opponent with various strokes, combinations of strokes for disabling your opponent and kill strokes.

Then, of course came the rules for training, the main one being, not to kill anyone today.

Shortly we were in our respective lines. The first two in each line were armed with pugil sticks. On the word from the ‘Go!’ the combatants rushed each other from 50′ to do their worst to their opponent. When the DI blew his whistle, all combat halted immediately. I was third in my line, and counting the opposing line I saw that I was up against a 6’2″ black recruit that must have weighed 275 lbs. I, weighing 185 and standing 5’10” only muttered the word, “Fuck.”

When the whistle blew for my turn at eternity I had already planned my attack and my advance was purely action. Reaction was not even in the picture. I charged my opponent and gave him a swift bayonet stroke to the left side of his neck, knocking his helmet off and knocking him to the ground. I was smaller but extremely quick and fit from many years of being on the swimming teams.

The whistle blew immediately, per the rules of loosing a helmet was an automatic loose.

Back to the back of the line for me… and him. The next go-round we were against each other again. There were 125 of us in Platoon 366 and the odds of coming up with the same opponent seemed a bit fishy to me. By this time I guessed that the DI’s were placing bets on the winners.

My opponent looked mean enough, even through his protective gear, and given our size differential I knew a Donnybrook John Wayne style could only end with me in the hospital. My plan for my second attack was exactly the same as the first. A quick kill was the only solution. We were both right-handed which meant that our bayonets were both to our right and opposite facing each other. I hoped that he would not expect a repeat plan of attack. Bang! Off went his helmet and down he went, again.

A standard issue M14 weighs 9.5 pounds with an empty 20 round magazine and a bayonet attached, usually the case when forced into a hand to hand combat situation.

M14-large

m14withbayonet

A bayonet blow to the side of the neck is a kill shot, no matter how you execute it. If decapitation occurs, game over. More often the maximum damage done is severing of the carotid artery which usually leaves the victim standing for two seconds due to the shock of impact and the wound. As all blood to the brain is diverted out the wound, the victim is dead before he hits the ground.

carotid artery

I was up for a third trip through the line. I figured that my opponent would expect yet another repeat performance. I rehearsed in my head a one, two strike aimed at a quick kill. There are two main rules of fighting: 1- Cause so much pain your opponent is immobilized, 2- Kill him. Once the ‘Go!’ was sounded, I rushed my opponent. Just before I reached him I knelt in a spread stance like a sprinter at the starting line. This reduced my target size and defeated a neck chop, which he tried, but missed over my head. I immediately gave him a swift butt stroke to the groin which yielded a satisfying sound of pain. Taking the next step I moved in and gave him another neck bayonet stroke. His helmet flew a few yards away and he fell with a resounding thud. As I returned to my place in line I looked back to see four recruits walking-dragging my opponent to an ambulance on standby.

As that day ended, I felt a sense of satisfaction, and it had nothing to do with my opponent. He had signed the same contract as I, and agreed to play the same game as I. I was deeply satisfied knowing that some DI’s had lost a lot of money that day.

MCRD is not a joke. The Marine Corps is not a joke. On any given morning in the predawn hours a bunch of misfits and near-do-wells pile off some buses and are yelled at to find some yellow foot steps and stand on them. Some are fat. Some are stupid. Some are here rather than being in jail. Some just have no where else to be. Some just want to be with the best. Eleven weeks later they will be.

Eleven weeks later they that make it through the training are highly skilled killers, and well motivated to do the same upon command.

There are over 200 ways to kill another human being with ones bare hands. Marines know them all. There are over 1000 different ways to kill another human being, employing the tools of the trade. Marines will eventually know them all.

If the situation presents itself, buy a Marine a drink, and say nothing of it. He will buy the next. Guaranteed.

Every ‘Memorial Day’ and every ‘Veterans Day’ someone will say to me, “Thank you for your service.” I will always reply with a smile, “Thank you.”

What is going through my mind is, “Where were you?”

I know where I was.

PugilStick

Fun in the sun.

Incongruities

Posted in General Custard on December 30, 2012 by Charles The Undecided

incongruity |ˌinkənˈgro͞o-itē, ˌiNG-, -käNG-|
noun ( pl. incongruities )
The state of being incongruous or out of keeping.

—————————————————————————–

I am always fascinated with incongruities involving the human soul.

There are many activities engaged in by humans which are inexcusable in the light of a religion or belief in a higher power. Things that are both unimaginable and excusable in most societies of the world. We have rules within which we coexist as a melding of occupants of this tiny planet.

Except for the exceptions: The incongruities.

The links below are a couple of my contributions to this phenomena and my contemplations thereof:

A Good Day For Killing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgmcKGd4yqU

The End of Peace:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGV_MKPfhA0

Once upon a Sunday

Posted in General Custard on December 4, 2012 by Charles The Undecided

ss14

It was a beautiful Sunday morning in the Spring of 1952 and we were running late for church at St. Andrews Episcopal Church across Arlington.

My father had worked late into the night repairing our 1948 Ford sedan. That morning he had ‘left one more thing to tighten up’ and we were running late and had left him standing like a greasy statue in the driveway as my mom and I fled toward our destiny with God.

Being late to church was a thing not to do. The only seats left were the entire empty front row and my mom was steaming full tilt down the side aisle dragging me by my arm faster than my 7-year-old legs would take me. We reached the front pew just as the choir was ending its final note. All the performers were singing patiently at their stations inside the sanctuary. With a deft, well-practiced move dear mom propelled me into the pew as she slid into the outside corner seat. As I landed I slid a ways down the polished pew on my slick brown pin-striped Sunday Suit pants. That was fun. I slid a few feet further. More Fun. I took a larger leap and slid back up against mom, and immediately felt the death grip of her bony clawed hand on my arm as she hissed in my ear, “Do that again and I’ll take you out to the car and beat the tar out of you.” Not that I had thespian-ism in my sites for life, but I had learned by then that high drama could produce wonderful results. As the last strains of the organ were dying into silence and before the Minister could speak, I summoned my most terrified look and in my loudest voice proclaimed, “NO MOM! Don’t beat me AGAIN!” I wailed in convincing distress.
It was quite some time before dear old mom threatened me again.ss7

A world apart within…

Posted in General Custard on November 29, 2012 by Charles The Undecided

Many years ago I introduced my wife to a world within our world she never dreamed existed. About a year after we were married we decided to take a trip from our home in the Puget Sound area to Eugene Oregon. Being an ex-trucker, I announced that we would be leaving at 1AM the next morning. After her initial shock, I explained that it was the best time to travel: Safer, fewer assholes on the road, fewer cops, fewer everything…
About 3AM I pulled our car into a truck-stop just south of Portland that had a decent restaurant. My wife had been by this place a thousand times but never noticed it. At night it stood out like a carnival in the desert. I had steak, medium rare with a baked potato and salad. She and the kids ordered breakfast. She was always amazed at the discovery at her age, that there was an entire world and 24 hour society within her world and she never knew it.

Yesterday I was cruising a developer’s site for downloading a piece of software I want a friend to get. After some perusing various options I came across this statement:
“has bitcoins and wants to trade them for TotalFinder – also I offer bitcoin earnings in my affiliate program”.

Bitcoins? What’s a Bitcoins? Off to Wiki…
__________________________________
Bitcoin (sign: ฿; abbrv: BTC) is a decentralized digital currency created by the pseudonymous entity Satoshi Nakamoto.[1] It is subdivided into 100-million smaller units called satoshis.[3]

It is the most widely used alternative currency,[2] with the total market cap at over 100 million US dollars.[4][5][6]

Bitcoin has no central issuer; instead, the peer-to-peer network regulates Bitcoins’ balances, transactions and issuance according to consensus in network software. Bitcoins are issued to various nodes that verify transactions through computing power; it is established that there will be a limited and scheduled release of no more than 21 million coins, which will be fully issued by the year 2140.[7]

Internationally, Bitcoins can be exchanged and managed through various websites and software along with physical banknotes and coins.[8][9]


___________________________________
The term “decentralized digital currency” is a TREMENDOUSLY powerful three word description.

It turns out that Bitcoins are, just like any other conventional currency, are bits and bytes that exist only in computers here and there. Bitcoins can be exchanged for gold or any other currency in the world at various exchanges.

The BIGGIE about Bitcoins is that EVERY aspect of their existence, ownership, and transaction details are COMPLETELY encrypted and privy only to the principals engaged in any single transaction.

Probably a good idea to reread the previous sentence a few times and let the concept sink in…

Being that this Bitcoin concept is REAL, VIABLE, and in use every minute of every day and ONGOING is non-fiction. The details of this Bitcoin thing is fascinating and tremendously complicated, yet reliable, simply used and very VERY real.

Add the facts that every Bank and every Government has tried to ‘bring Bitcoins down’ since its inception on January 3, 2009 and failed. Bitcoins is so world-widely distributed and encrypted that an attack on it is virtually impossible.

After digesting the Bitcoin concept and recovering from the shock and awe of its brilliance in both design and implication, the mind turns to applications in the ‘real’ world.

Money laundering? Duh.
Exchange places for commodities that are frowned upon by various Governments? Duh.

And a thousand other Duhs. Banks could fail worldwide and Bitcoins would still be chugging along in its own world of commerce. Biggest Duh of all.

Bitcoins are valued on the promise of something in exchange.

Bank based currencies are now value based solely on the promise of another promise in exchange.

________________________________________
On to applications: Silk Road

Drilling down into the many facets of the world of Bitcoins, one will INEVITABLY come across the granddaddy of all Flea Markets in the world: Silk Road
Wiki says:
The Silk Road (from German: Seidenstraße) or Silk Route is a modern term referring to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa. Extending 4,000 miles (6,500 km), the Silk Road gets its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade along it, which began during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). The central Asian sections of the trade routes were expanded around 114 BC by the Han dynasty,[1][not in citation given] largely through the missions and explorations of Zhang Qian,[2] but earlier trade routes across the continents already existed.[citation needed]
Trade on the Silk Road was a significant factor in the development of the civilizations of China, India, Persia, Europe and Arabia. Though silk was certainly the major trade item from China, many other goods were traded, and various technologies, religions and philosophies, as well as the bubonic plague (the “Black Death”), also traveled along the Silk Routes.
The main traders during Antiquity were the Indian and Bactrian traders, then from the 5th to the 8th century AD the Sogdian traders, then afterward the Arab and Persian traders.


————————-
Wiki also says:

Silk Road is an online black market operated as a Tor hidden service.
_____________________________________________
This last little sentence is a nuclear bomb thrown into the room of Worldwide Governments and Economies who are already constantly scrambling to maintain their precarious house of cards establishments.

A no holds barred (literally), completely anonymous world marketplace for EVERYTHING imaginable.

I offer a quiet, awestruck, and respectful, “Holy fuck.”

As you can imagine, regulatory agencies and governments across the globe declared war on Silk Road with serious sounding promises of retribution and destruction.
So far, time has shown them to be empty desperate rhetoric from a terrified status-quo and their lackeys.

In response:
Subsequently, Silk Road’s administrators posted on the Silk Road forums the following statement:

The die have been cast [sic] and now we will see how they land. We will be diverting even more effort into countering their attacks and making the site as resilient as possible, which means we may not be as responsive to messages for a while. I’m sure this news will scare some off, but should we win the fight, a new era will be born. Even if we lose, the genie is out of the bottle and they are fighting a losing War already.
—Silk Road Administration[20]
______________________________

My job, that of placing one hand into another, is done here. I will leave the larger world of excavation and revelation on these and like targets to you, tempered only by your inquisitiveness and balanced by your available energy. Drill.

HNY

Posted in General Custard with tags , , , , , , on November 22, 2012 by Charles The Undecided

It is blissfully and blessedly quiet and peaceful.

As I look up and contemplate the Cosmos, I say a quiet and sincere Thanksgiving prayer that there is no such thing as Thanksgiving Music.

Thanksgiving is not din-din with the savages as depicted in the Folklore propaganda. Well maybe sometimes, depending on the lineage of your family tree, things can get pretty savage at Thanksgiving… but I digress… where was I?

Thanksgiving! Yes, Thanksgiving IS an enigma inside riddle that is wrapped in… shit I forget the next part. Oh well. You get the idea. What I was getting to, but never did, is that Thanksgiving is a Thanksgiving within and of itself… as it is a period of reverent reflection, the inspiration of which may carry us through the Great Battle that is the Christmas Holidays.

Thanksgiving. QUIET reflection on the good bits of Life, and giving forth with a grateful surge of sincere appreciation… WITH NO PRESCRIBED FUCKING MUSIC. How could this be real?

It is quiet and peaceful. Even the hubbub of prospective Turkey gobblers is muted and reverent. An NO Thanksgiving Music.

You may or may not be familiar with the phenomenon of, what I call, the Saving Grace.
It is a ritual that has become an Axiom of Life that makes ALL facets of life bearable.

For me, it all began with Country Western music. Country Western music, just by itself, makes me suicidal. Always has.

EVERY time a CW tune floated into my ears like fingernails on a chalkboard, after the loud requisite, “Aaaggghhh!!” was the single thought, like the sun coming out at night, “Well, at least it can’t last forever.”

It became a continuum of a serial revenge series: Will this one end or will I die first?

If I was with someone, I even had my own cheer leading squad for my team against the Evility of the Evildoers who invented CW music for paltry bits of silver at the price of the sanity of millions. I do not know anyone who likes CW music. If they do like CW music, and I find out, I must kill them. But now I digress into yet another of Life’s complex mysteries… best be back to the Saving Grace, for now anyway.

Once I got past the age of having dollar bills fall out of my Birthday cards, I developed a deep-seated hatred for Christmas music. Lord save me from Christmas music.

The ONLY reason that I am still alive today is the Saving Grace. With each Post Thanksgiving Christmas Carrol (I live in constant terror that SOME ASSHOLE will come up with a shitload of Thanksgiving Songs, just to make a buck off the misery of the rest of the world’s population.) I grit my teeth and whisper intensely, “Mother Mary, full of Grace, please reassure me that this one too, cannot last forever.”

Recently the concept, relativity, and application of the Saving Grace has begun to metamorphose into an even greater and grander Ex-Lax for life’s greater turds of anguish.

This recent upgrade to Saving Grace 3.0 can be attributed to a single concept that descends on the tortured soul of yet another Post Christmas Syndrome victim, like the balming blessing of a bathing in Cortisone Cream. The Saving Grace within the new and improved Saving Grace, comes to us from within that bright light that we all long for, manifesting itself in the Epiphany that New Years has ONLY ONE song. And it ain’t Danny Boy.

New Years. A one song Holiday, and IT’S ONLY SUNG ONCE at midnight! A true gift and blessing for all humanity. The Light of all Lights. At the end of the Holidays. [Deep in our hearts we knew that they COULDN’T last forever.]

Hopefully I will be seeing the LIGHT with you on the other side of Christmas Present…

In case not, I’ll say it now, “Happy New Year!”

Circuitous Karma

Posted in General Custard on November 2, 2012 by Charles The Undecided

Lori is the mother of a High School buddy of mine. She is 91, is a character, and has a full & rich social life. Her Son, my buddy Doug committed suicide 10 years ago, while ‘getting used’ to “anti-depressant” medication. Lori’s Husband died 20 years ago from a heart attack.

Lori and I have been friends for 45 years. We talk at least a couple of times a month. I used to stop by and visit frequently. Lori reads avidly and is a member of a local Book Club of her peers that are rapidly diminishing in number.

One of our recent discussions embraced the phenomenon of ‘Past Lives’, prompting me to send her his first two books on the subject by Brian L. Weiss, M.D.
After reading the first book, Lori called me yesterday to tell me how fascinating she had found it and we discussed the subject matter.

The discussion embraced the story of James Leininger.

“James Leininger’s parents want their 8-year-old son to have a great life — his own life. But for the past 5 1/2 years, the Louisiana boy has been reliving pieces of the life of another James — Lt. James McCready Huston, a World War II fighter pilot from Uniontown, PA who was killed near Iwo Jima more than 50 years before James was born.”

James Leinigner’s story is published in the book: Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot (Of course I have now sent her a copy.)
As James’ story goes, in a former life as Lt. James McCready Huston, USN,  he flew a Corsair Fighter off the USS Natoma Bay, and both he and the Natoma Bay were in the thick of the war against the Japanese from 1943-1945… including being a part of Task Force Taffy II who, being vastly outnumbered in the Battle of Leyte Gulf from 23–26 October 1944 during the US invasion of the  Philippines. During this engagement Admiral Halsey was suckered North by a Japanese diversion with the vast majority of US Naval Forces while a two pronged attack on the US Invasion Forces by the Japanese was barely thwarted by the vastly inferior numbers of remaining US Naval Forces (Task Forces, Taffy I, II, and III). The crucial engagement is known as the Battle Off Samar.

F4U Corsair (1942)

F4U-1_Corsair

In researching the Natoma Bay, I came upon one of those ironic twists of fate: The EVENTUAL fate of the USS Natoma Bay, as expressed in the last sentence of this little FYI tale…

USS Natoma Bay CVE-62
Sister Ship: USS Sargent Bay (CVE-83)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

USS Natoma Bay (CVE–62) was a Casablanca class escort carrier of the United States Navy.
She was laid down as Begum (MC hull 1099), on 17 January 1943, by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Co., Inc., Vancouver, Washington, under Maritime Commission contract, named Natoma Bay on 22 January 1943; launched on 20 July 1943; sponsored by Lady Halifax, wife of the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States; and commissioned on 14 October 1943, Captain Harold L. Meadow in command.

Post-war activities

On 20 June the escort carrier headed for Guam for partial repairs, then continued on to the United States. By 19 August, when she arrived San Diego, the war was over. During September and October she underwent repairs, alterations and general overhaul, after which she reported for duty as an “Operation Magic Carpet” transport. During November and early December she carried servicemen from the Philippines to California, then after detachment, 29 December, she was transferred to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

Decommissioning and disposal

Reporting 20 February 1946, she decommissioned 20 May, berthing at Norfolk. In October 1949, she was reassigned to the Boston Reserve Group. Reclassified CVU–62 on 12 June 1955, she was declared unfit for further service in 1958 and her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 September.

She was sold on 30 July 1959 for scrap to the Japanese.

[Lori died last week, one week short of her 92nd birthday. She is loved and missed.]