In looking through the West Virginia Battleship Association's website I found many good stories of that ship's battle history during World War II but noticed there were no stories about that ship crew's shoreside adventures, many of which I had personally heard or experienced during my years as a crew member of that great "wagon.. I'll relate some of them as well as I can remember them even though they took place nearly 69 years ago.
STEAMY SOUVENIR BUYING
We were able to get some R and R at times in between battles out in the South Pacific. When it was considered safe to do so we were allowed to go ashore to fenced off areas separated from the local civilians. One such place was in Leyte harbor in the Phillipine islands where we had been shelling Japanese troops with our 16-inch guns. After the enemy was forced well back from the shoreline where we could safely relax, consume some 3.2 beer and barter with the locals across a fence I saw one old woman beckoning me to come buy her photo packets of young women who were bare from the waist up. while we were dickering over the cost I noticed a steamy stream of liquid flowing out from her ankle length skirt. It dawned on me she was peeing while we talked! I still bought the photos.
After some other battles we made our way north to do some more bombarding at the island of Okinawa, following a grueling period of doing our share to battle the Japanese at Iwo Jima. When the Japanese were pushed back far enough for the area to be reasonably safe for us, the skipper turned us loose for some more boozing and sightseeing in a larger area than had been available for us at Leyte. One of my buddies managed to get more than his share of the 3.2 beer, consumed, enough to make him sick. Nearby was an unused water well with a 3-foot wall around it. He leaned over the edge of the well and let loose all he had in his stomach, as well as a mouthful of dentures. That stunt got him a trip back to the Sates for new teeth. That was the last I ever saw of him..
There are some other shoreside stories farther down in my lists of blogs so if you are interested, scroll down to them. As time goes on and I get triggered into thinking about them I'll tell some similar stories.
In September, 2013 I hope to attend the annual meeting of the West Virginia crew and their family members in San Diego, CA. The crew members are so few now this 2013 meeting may be the last one. I hope to hear some more tales from those able to attend the meeting which I want to add to this blog.