|Posted by Richard Ames on November 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
From Paul Lutz:
From Paul Lutz:
When the 1945 Class President, Capt. Paul R. Peak called me to ask if I would write a class of 1945 column for the Alumni Bulletin I replied that I was not in touch with many of the class but I had some history that could interest "old timers" and some others. Paul said go ahead and here it is:
The German Army Motorcycle (Mon Cycle)
Over the years when the Class of 1945 got together I was always asked to tell again the story about the German Army motorcycle. What follows is that story.
In the summer of 1945 with the European war over, several officers were transferred from the Cutter Duane. One of these transferred back to the USA was Lt. Henry Keene, the ship's navigator. Henry had somehow attained possession of a captured German Army courier motorcycle.
This was a small one cylinder BMW model with a passenger seat behind the operator. The motorcycle was taken during the invasion of southern France when a German Army courier encountered a group of Navy Seabees who shot the driver with a Thompson sub machine gun. The driver was killed and the motorcycle damaged. The Seabees returned the motorcycle to their main base, Bizerte,Tunisia, and repaired it. The motorcycle was not in condition for a long trip but it was great to ride on the base.
When the Seabees went back to the USA, the motorcycle stayed in
Bizerte and eventually Henry Keene took possession of it and parked the cycle near the jeeps
attached to Duane in Bizerte. When Henry left, he asked me if I would like the motorcycle, and I thought that would be fun. Sometimes the motorcycle had problems with the foot starter when the metal support would break. The support was made of aluminum and only a very skilled person could re-weld it. When I could, I rode the motorcycle on the base, but eventually I had great difficulty in finding anyone to
repair it. When Duane left Bizerte on her last sweep around our bases in Sicily, Italy and France the
motorcycle was broken and left stored in an airplane hanger on the base. Upon return of Duane I went to see if I could get the motorcycle and found to my dismay that it was gone.
I soon learned that the order had been made to transfer all German equipment to the French Navy at Bizerte, and the cycle was in the French storage yard. I was incensed that the French had my cycle and went to the French Navy Headquarters and talked to the Liaison Officer, a Lieutenant Ferateau, who I knew from his visits to Duane. I remember telling him "YOU HAVE MON CYCLE". This made such an uproar that Lt. Ferateau went to the French Chief of Staff and returned with the directive to return the motorcycle to me.
I was elated and went to the storage yard to get the motorcycle. The officer in charge of the storage yard was an older French Officer and I guess he was amused by the young American who was speaking to him in French with a North African accent. At any rate he not only gave me the motorcycle but he had it repaired first and also included with the motorcycle a spare engine.
Duane was now scheduled to leave Bizerte for Charleston, South Carolina and the question came up as to the motorcycle. I never thought I could get "mon cycle" back to America and never asked for permission. In fact, Commander Scullion, Exec. Officer made it a point for me to NOT ask to return the cycle on Duane. So I intended to just leave the motorcycle on the dock when we left in August. Things changed when the last US merchant ship arrived to finish the American withdrawal from Bizerte. The day before the ship was to depart to the USA
I met a young officer from the merchant ship, the radio officer, who visited the Duane as he saw it was a
communications ship. This Officer was a friendly man from NewYork City. His name was Charles Von Haupt Kessler, and he had an unusual background. His father had been the youngest colonel in the German Army during World War I and had a major part in the battle of Tannenberg. After the war he came to America and joined the US Army as a colonel and had been on the US Army war plans staff when WWII began. The father died shortly after WWII began. His name, Kessler, caught my interest and I mentioned my mother's family name, Kossler. There were enough things in common that we talked for several hours. As the officer left Duane, he asked "Is there anything I can do for you?" Just as a bolt out of the blue I said, "Yes, could you take my motorcycle back for me?" He said he would ask the skipper, and if he could, he would take it. The merchant ship was on the other side of the wharf, just about 50 yards from Duane. Soon he came back to say the skipper was roaring drunk and he could not talk to him until the morning.
As this discussion went on I was the Officer of the Deck on Duane. About 10 pm, as best I remember, he came back to Duane and said "the skipper is still very drunk, but the chief mate told me to go ahead and bring the motorcycle". I pointed out the motorcycle and invited him to take it. I gave him my home address in Crafton so he could have a destination and he walked the motorcycle along the wharf to his ship. The last thing I saw was a cargo sling reach down from the merchant ship and "mon cycle" rose up and disappeared into the merchant ship.
I had no arrangement to pay him any costs and felt that it was such a chancy business that I would never see the cycle again.
Amid our great joy in returning to America I forgot the cycle. To my amazement, in the mail that reached Duane in Charleston, South Carolina, there was a short postcard from my father saying "your motorcycle is in the garage!" And so it was, the motorcycle and the spare engine all in beautiful shape and carefully crated.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania kindly gave me a title for "motorcycle" and a license plate. It was such fun to operate it in Crofton. I gave a great share of the children rides on the cycle as well as all the relatives. I never went long distances on the cycle but once I rode it to Annapolis, MD, when I was at the US Navy Postgraduate School. It ran great and got about 50 miles per gallon. After I bought my first auto in Carnegie, I took the motorcycle back to Crafton in the spring of 1947. I was uncertain what to do with it. My father was buying an auto and would need the garage, and I couldn't take both my auto and motorcycle to my next assignment. I did not want to sell the cycle — that would have been improper. Amazingly, other things happened. My next door neighbor, William Garret Haag, a year younger than I and a boyhood pal, had gone into the US Army and was one of the people rushed into the breech at the Battle of the Bulge. He had been shot, losing I 1/2 fingers on the left hand, and had his hand smashed. The Army Hospital (Crile General Hospital) outside of Cleveland Ohio did the reconstruction work after Bill was returned to the USA. The reconstruction was very successful and Bill was exercising it to build strength when we were together in Crafton in 1947. One beautiful summer day, Bill and I were working on the cycle in the alley behind our houses. Often I had taken Bill for rides on the cycle and he greatly enjoyed it. As I watched Bill work his injured hand with skill, I understood what I should do. I stood the motorcycle up and asked Bill if he was strong enough to work the clutch lever on the left handle. Bill tried, it was hard, but he could do it. I immediately said "Bill, the motorcycle is yours! The hand exercise will be fun too". I signed over the title, and Bill was so delighted. I was delighted too as this is exactly what should have happened to "mon cycle".
To finish the story, in 2009, Bill is deceased. I talked to his son last year. He said Bill sold the cycle when he needed money when his wife was dying from cancer, but the cycle can still be seen in the area near
Victoria, Virginia, their last home and is still running. As for me I have had a thousand laughs from this — my favorite story.
|Posted by Richard Ames on August 4, 2013 at 12:10 AM||comments (2)|
I just renewed the hosting fee on the Sherman website today.
The notification in the email to renew or lose the website brought home the fact that I've been too busy doing all the "everyday things" and neglecting some of my "important but not urgent" projects .... Things like creative outlets that have stalled, my artwork, my genealogy, a couple writing projects, and the Sherman website as well as the next proposed Sherman reunion. I'm not sure if I have a problem with procrastination or perfectionism? Probably both!
Right after the San Diego Sherman reunion last September, I experienced some sobering health problems and I've been working hard to get back in shape and hopefully stay strong and out of the hospital. When this happened last October I also experienced an eyesight problem which really depressed me when working on my art. My right eye has improved somewhat and I'm hoping for the best. To kickstart my drawing and painting projects, a couple weeks ago I rejoined the Maryland Hall for creative arts artist co-op and started attending life drawing classes every Wednesday morning. I have not forgotten about the Sherman painting on the Alaskan NOAA navigational chart. In fact I have created a drawing of the Sherman that I really like and it is 99% complete and ready to transfer to the chart for the painting.
I've probably said it before somewhere on this website that its been my good intention to update the site on a weekly basis and start blogging to this website on all things Coast Guard nautical and historical. And again I encourage any of the site members participate, to post, blog,,, upload photos, sea stories, interesting web links anything you think would be appropriate for this website!
I would also welcome any assistance in running the website if interested consider being an administrators or moderator for this website. I really don't enjoy being a one-man band. I'm sure there's lots of other points of view and good ideas out there that would help make this a lot more interesting website. A team effort.
I welcome all comments and ideas!
August 3 2013
Glen Burnie Maryland
|Posted by Richard Ames on December 6, 2012 at 6:35 PM||comments (3)|
|Posted by Richard Ames on December 6, 2012 at 10:45 AM||comments (0)|
USCG COMPASS the COAST GUARD Blog site Message from Commadant
USCG News Release
|Posted by Richard Ames on December 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM||comments (0)|
J.J. O'Neil has invited you to the event 'Our "Fallen Hero" BMC Terrell Horne, III' on Coast Guard Channel Community!Fair Winds and a Following Sea, CHIEF...
Time: December 6, 2012 all day
Location: CGC Halibut
Organized By: J.J. O'Neil
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2012 7:01 AM
Subject: Donations for the family of BMC Terrell Horne III (Info from CG Sector LA/LB)
I received the following informaton from Coast Guard Sector LA/LB:
In lieu of flowers, the Horne family has asked money to be donated for their children's college funds. The CG Foundation has set up a web site to accept donations for Chief Horne's family through the Fallen Heroes Scholarship. If you would like to donate, please see the information below.
Under "Donation Amount", there is a drop down box stating "where it is needed most". Please select Fallen Heroes Scholarship.
"In memory of" box, type in Chief Terrell Horne III.
Note: The donation web link does not work on the Coast Guard network.
Checks can be sent to:
Coast Guard Foundation
394 Taugwonk Road
Stonington, CT 06378
Checks made to the order of Coast Guard Foundation. In the remarks section on the check write "in memory of Chief Terrell Horne III"
The Coast Guard Foundation can be contacted at 860-535-0786.
Cards to the Horne family and the CGC HALIBUT crew can be sent to:
13871 Fiji Way
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292-6910
See more details and RSVP on Coast Guard Channel Community:http://www.community.coastguardchannel.com/events/event/show?id=1015216%3AEvent%3A513271&xgi=5pJA0bUWBBQPC5&xg_source=msg_invite_event
|Posted by Richard Ames on November 26, 2012 at 9:55 AM||comments (0)|
Back from my holiday! .. Basically I "De clutched" for a while after our Sherman Reunion in San Diego the first week of September! High Anxitiety for me .. Then the super storm Sandy ... I have encountered a few health problems that started when I was cleaning up from the storm, that event pretty much changed my course for a while.
The good news is that in spite of all the unknowns, the reunion turned out Great! thanks in large part the warm welcome we all recieved from the Active Crew and Command of the Sherman!
I hope to back in commission soon and return to adding information and news to the website and building the membership. I want to start putting some plans together for a 2014 Sherman reunion on the East Coast ... I welcome participation on the Sherman website, please consider adding your Sherman/ USCG photos, videos, comments, and sea stories! I would welcome any help with the the website and the 2014 reunion. So please contact me if you have ideas, suggestions and/or an interest in helping out with the USCGC Shemran association!
|Posted by Bernie Avalle on September 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM||comments (0)|
WHEC 725 Jarvis last mission, will be retired soon and replaced see link:
|Posted by Richard Ames on September 6, 2012 at 9:25 PM||comments (0)|
The San Diego "Visit the Sherman" Reunion 2102
A lot of hard work and much uncertainty .. But in the end, with teamwork and faith that everything would work out for the best! ... It certainly did! Our main goal was to visit our old ship one more time and that came true thanks to Sherman's excellent Officers and crew. The hospitality was beyond our exspectations in every way!
We all had a memorable time with old friends, savoring old memories and creating new friends and new memories!
Bernie Avalle (our official Sherman Association Photographer and A/V officer) will be uploading his photos soon . But don't be shy, post your favorite photos from the reunion, the Sherman tour, San Diego, seen from your point of view! add captions, make comments! Check out the Slide show / video Bernie put together for the SD Reunion ...the new video is posted under the "Videos" tab.
We had a good business meeting after the farewell breakfast. And the consensus was that we would start planning the Baltimore 2014 Sherman Reunion. You will see changes in this website as we focus on that goal.
So as we move forward please participate in the website and the reunion planning . We will be forming reunion committes to help make the Baltimore reunion the best it can be for our crew members. The main reason to attend a reunion is to see YOUR old friends! ..To do that we need help in build the membership that include the shipmates from the years you served on the Sherman. You are the best person to help find and contact those Shipmates! We can help ... More on finding crew members soon!
So stand by to change course to a new destination: Baltimore 2014!
|Posted by Richard Ames on August 7, 2012 at 1:35 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Richard Ames on July 11, 2012 at 6:45 PM||comments (5)|
The Sherman Reunion Hat order (of 50) is in currently route to our Alameda "distribution center" (Roger Lumibao ENC Ret.) This hat is identical to the Official Sherman hat except for the added 378' logo and made by the same vendor that supplies the original CG hats. ... Hopefully the hats will be available pre-reunion in the ships store and can be purchased with a credit card and/or Pay pal .. Roger and I have been sending hats back and forth between Baltimore and California to make sure we know the best shipping costs and insure the hats are delivered in good shape. Between the costs of a quality custom hat and postage, offering these hats is more of a service to our Sherman crew members - and try not to lose money in this endevor!