By Leo Block
This booklet describes the lifetime of the enlisted guy aboard a Farragut category destroyer through the pre-World battle II years; the battle training interval in 1941; and the wartime years. It good points first-person narrations gathered from interviews and correspondence with the few last Farragut type destroyer sailors, and in short describes the evolution of the destroyer and the Farragut category destroyers, 5 of which survived the struggle.
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Additional info for Aboard the Farragut Class Destroyers in World War II: A History With First-Person Accounts of Enlisted Men
It was not unusual to be shipmates with a “Ski” for an extended period and not know his complete last name. ” Boatswain’s mates, other than the chief boatswain’s mate, were called “Boats” and 3rd class boatswain’s mates were known as coxswain (pronounced cox’n). When a seaman was placed in charge of one of the ship’s boats he was also addressed as “cox’n” but only for as long as he remained the helmsman of the boat. Other nicknames were related to a special event or occurrence. At a critical point of a night exercise, one of the Farraguts was required to ﬁre a ﬂare from a Very pistol.
In other services if there were a vacant sergeant’s billet and a corporal was placed into that billet, he automatically became a sergeant. In the navy system, if a ﬁreman 1st class were to be placed into a billet that called for a machinist’s mate 2nd class, he still remained a ﬁreman 1st class and was paid as a ﬁreman 1st class until he met all the promotional requirements for advancement to machinist’s mate 2nd class. After the ﬁrst automatic advancement after four months service subsequent advancements required the following:9 1.
The smaller the ship the harder you work”; this was the general axiom of the U. S. Navy and destroyers were the smallest, fastest, roughest riding combat ships of the navy. ” The Dungaree Navy concept did not in any way detract from military smartness or discipline. In port the quarterdeck (not a true deck but a location designated by the captain)1 was always the altar of the ship. There was no smoking or loitering on the quarterdeck and the gangway watch (usually a petty ofﬁcer of the seaman branch) and his messenger were always in an immaculate uniform of the day and on their feet, constantly alert, for the entire four hour period of their watch.
Aboard the Farragut Class Destroyers in World War II: A History With First-Person Accounts of Enlisted Men by Leo Block