The Ship and the Crew
(click on thumbnails for full image)
You can read a short history of the LST 794 (from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships) here. Or a much more detailed chronology, taken from the ship's log, here.
The "Black Gang." My Dad is 4th from right in the front row.
The officers (click to expand for names and positions)
Here are some shots of the crew
Battle Stations at a 20 mm gun. (My dad at left).
Inky, the amphibious dog. Inky belonged to Lt (jg) Paul Rork, who was the ship's 1st Lieutenant. Lt. Rork bought Inky in California before the ship sailed for Hawaii. Inky later achieved some measure of fame because of her habit of eating cigarette butts.
As Lt. Rork tells it: "... Not the crew, but the army or the marines that were aboard, would smoke and throw their butts over the side, but didn't know the lee side from the windward side, and the butts would fly back on the deck and Inky would come over to a butt and sniff it. It would burn her nose. She would knock off the ash and eat the cigarette, literally eat it. And she did this for over two and a half years."
"When she had her puppies, and when we brought them home, the veterinarian called me over, and he said, "You have to tell me the history of this dog." I said, "What's wrong?" He said, "There's not a worm in any puppy." ... He said, "Tell me what she did." I said, "Well, she was famous for eating cigarettes." "Awww," he said, "You know what a worm capsule is made out of? What kills the worms? Nicotine!" He said, "I have to write this up for the Cornell Veterinary Journal." . . . which he did.
| Two local recruits ! (LST 714 in the background).
|Painting a boat davit.|
|Signalman Don McKay manning a flipper light.
The '794 had very good signalmen. For a story about them, Click Here.
|"Keeping an eye on things"
George Fried(?) and an unidentified signalman keep a sharp eye out.
| "Pick a Card . . . any Card"
George Fried, PhM2c (and MagM1c - Magician's Mate 1st Class)
And here are some views of the ship
Front Starboard quarter showing side carried pontoon bridging units and LCT 1392 carried on deck. What's an LCT? ..you ask. Click Here for more on LCT's.
Sure, ..you say, ...anybody can put an LCT onto an LST, ...you say. But, did you ever wonder how they got it off ? Click Here to find out how to launch your LCT ! (....join the Coast Guard, ...learn a skill!).
The weather deck - note "Inky" the Spaniel near the closest group of sailors.
Beached, unloading a tank.
Steaming in heavy seas, although not too heavy to sleep - Note the man in the hammock at the bottom of the frame. In hot weather the crew often abandoned their quarters for more comfortable sleeping on deck.
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