MY NORRIS STORIES VINNIE CRIMAUDO 46/47

SOMETIME IN JUL/AUG 1946 THE SQUADRON OF THE 4 DESTROYERS HAD LEFT TSINGTAO AND WERE HEADING TO SHANGHAI FOR A ROUTINE PATROL. AS THE SHIPS WERE HEADING UP THE YANGTZEE RIVER IN LINE WITH EACH OTHER THE ORDER WAS GIVEN TO PLACE THE CAPTAINS WHALE BOAT OVER THE SIDE WITH THE CREW ON BOARD..NOT REALLY SURE WHY THE ORDER WAS GIVEN BUT THE WHALE BOAT WAS PUT OUT FROM THE DAVITS AND WAS BEING LOWERED TO JUST ABOVE THE O DECK WHILE WE WERE STILL CRUISING UP THE RIVER..

AS THE BOAT WAS BEING LOWERED THE REAR BLOCK SLIPPED AND I WAS ON THE TILLER END AND FORGET WHO THE BOWMAN WAS AT THAT TIME WERE THROWN INTO THE WATER, THE ENGINEER WAS STILL IN THE BOAT HANGING ON TO THE CONTROLS AS MY BOWMAN AND I WERE DRIFTING DOWN TOWARDS THE BERRY DD858 ..THE BERRY ALSO HAD THERE WHALEBOAT AT THE READY AND THEY LOWERED THE BOAT INTO THE WATER AND PICKED UP MY BOWMAN AND MYSELF..

THAT WAS A SCARRY MOMENT IN MY LIFE AND THANK GOD WE WERE NOT INJURED..

                 KOREA DUTY, AUG/SEPT 46
 
THE SQUADRON WAS ASSIGNED DUTY IN JINSEN, KOREA, THE ASSIGNMENT WAS TO STOP ALL TRAFFIC OF SMUGGLING OF CONTRABAND TO SOUTH KOREA FROM THE NORTH..EACH SHIP PICKED UP A KOREAN 8 MAN PATROL OF COAST GUARD PERSONEL AND WERE GIVEN A DESIGNATED LOCATION TO PATROL..IT WAS A ONE WEEK ASSIGNMENT, WE LEFT JINSEN AND HEADED FOR THE YELLOW SEA AND TOOK UP STATION, WE HAD A LCVP BEING TOWED BEHIND US AND I WAS THE COXWAIN, EACH TIME WE SAW A HUGE SANPAN OR SHIP WE WOULD HEAD IN THAT DIRECTION AND THE KOREAN LT WOULD GET ON THE SHIPS PA SYSTEM ORDER THE BOAT TO STOP, THE 20MM GUN STATIONS WERE ALERTED AND THE KOREAN PATROL WOULD GET INTO THE LCVP AND WE WOULD HEAD TOWARD THE TARGET..

  I WOULD MOVE THE LCVP ALONG SIDE THE TARGET AND THE PATROL WOULD GO ABOARD THE TARGET SHIP AND DO A COMPLETE SEARCH. IF ANY CONTRABAND WAS FOUND THE CREW WOULD INPOUND THE SHIP AND TAKE IT BACK TO JINSEN. WE DID GET SEVERAL CARRYING ARMS TO THE SOUTH AND THE CREWS WERE ARRESTED..

  BACK IN TSINGTAO DURING THAT TIME, TSINGTAO WAS A US NAVAL BASE..THE SHIPS WERE ALL IN THE HARBOR AND ABOUT 2100 AN EMERGENCY ALERT WAS GIVEN THAT THE COMMUNISTS WERE IN PATROL BOATS AND HEADING TOWARDS THE HARBOR. ALL SHIPS IN THE HARBOR WERE ON THE READY TO RECEIVE THE THREAT, ALL GUNS WERE MANNED AND READY AND DURING THE NIGHT U COULD HEAR THE SHELLS FLYING OVER THE SHIPS AND HEADING INLAND.THE COMMUNISTS WERE JUST TESTING THE WATERS TO SEE IF WE WOULD RESPOND.

   ANOTHER INCIDENT I REMEMBER, THERE WAS A PBY BASE IS TSINGTAO AND WHEN IN PORT EACH SHIP WOULD GET AN ASSIGNMENT TO SEND A 2 MAN CREW TO PATROL THE BASE, IT WAS OUR TURN AND ANDY COSTA AND MYSELF WERE ORDERED TO PATROL THE BASE, WE WERE DROPPED OFF BY OUR CREW FOR THE 1600 TO 2000 WATCH AS THE   RELIEVED CREW RETURNED TO THE SHIP.WE WERE TO BE RELIEVED AT 2000 AND BY THAT TIME A HEAVY FOG ROLLED IN AND YOU COULD NOT SEE 10' IN FRONT OF YOU..WE BOTH WERE ARMED WITH A 45 WAIST GUN AND A M14 CARBINE. AS THE NIGHT PROGRESSED IT WAS NOW 2100 AND AS WE WERE WALKING AROUND THE PERIMETER AND NO RELIEF IN SIGHT WE HEARD VOICES COMING FROM THE WATERS EDGE AND THEY WERE CHINESE..I MUST ADMIT ANDY AND I WERE SHAKING IN OUR SHOES SINCE WE COULD NOT SEE ANYTHING AND HEARD THE VOICES GETTING CLOSER..WE LOOKED AT EACH OTHER LOADED THE CARBINES  AND CHALLENGED THE THREAT BY WHO GOES THERE..THE VOICE FROM A CHINESE SOLDIER WHO SPOKE LITTLE ENGLISH SAYS NATIONALIST SOLDIERS LOST IN WATER..TH
  EY WERE ARMED TO THE TEETH AS WE SHINED THE LIGHT ON THEM..THEY WERE 6 NATIONALIST COAST GUARD, WE CHECKED THERE ID AND THEY HAD NATIONALIST ID CARDS ON THEM.. WE ORDERED THEM TO MOVE UP TOWARD THE HANGAR AND WE COULD SEE THAT THEY WERE NOT SHOWING ANY THREAT.. THEY BUILT A BONFIRE TO KEEP WARM AND WE HEADED INTO THE HANGAR TO STAY OUT OF THE ELEMENT..BY MORNING THEY WERE GONE AND THE FOG HAD LIFTED AND OUR RELIEF CREW SHOWED UP AT 0800.. WE RETURNED TO THE SHIP AND I MUST ADMIT THAT WAS A HARROWING EXPERIENCE FOR AN 18 YEAR OLD KID FROM BROOKLYN..

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