By Major Thomas
After sustaining damage in a storm, we were sent home for repairs. Arriving in Pearl Harbor is a sight I will never forget. There had been a rain shower right before we arrived but the clouds were moving out. The ocean water was a beautiful clear, deep blue. The green on the island, along with the straight yellow and orange rows of pineapple plants, stretched out in the rich, brown soil. With the background of clearing blue sky, that was a sight I will never forget.
We were only allowed Cinderella liberty while at Pearl Harbor due to the fact that Japan was still occupied by United States and other occupational forces. Therefore, the Japanese were still resisting at some locations and the security was extremely tight. The military insisted that all personnel going ashore would pair up. We went ashore to have fun and get “plastered.” The problem was, when we came back to the ship, we were still pretty stinko and still looking for more fun.
One night, somebody suggested that we sneak in the captain’s quarters and “pee on the deck by his bunk.” (Today, I really can’t imagine what fun that could have been!) We snuck in and, before we could do anything, we heard a noise. Lo and behold, the skipper was in his bunk! That scared the heck out of us and we all ran like the devil to get out of his cabin. We thought for sure he probably saw who it was and were in real trouble come morning. We went below decks and hid. However, nothing ever happened. Either he didn’t see us or he just didn’t say anything.
Major Thomas, age 84, served three tours in the Korean War from 1952-1956 as an Engineman Second Class in the Navy. He was raised in Owensville, Missouri where he returned after his enlistment. He and Marge are retired and enjoy working with stained glass, antique tractors, puzzles, and writing his memoirs.