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Re: [PMMC-NLUS] Summer Reading: Looking for a Ship

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  • capt.ob@comcast.net
    All Hands: This is a great book!...I read it years ago!....Lykes Brothers is a sad story....Lykes was a cattle company with cattle ranches in Cuba...They
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 20, 2011
      All Hands:
      This is a great book!...I read it years ago!....Lykes Brothers is a sad story....Lykes was a cattle company with cattle ranches in Cuba...They started their own steamship line, and at one time it was one of America Flag's largest with over 50 ships...I retired from MM&P in 2007, and I believe there may have been only  2-4 lykes Bros ships left sailing...I sailed several,including Stella Lykes,Dr Lykes, and as a rigger, I almost lost my life rigging aboard the Leslie Lykes at triple A Machine Shop in San Francisco...I took a rigger's job off the SUP Board for thirty days( so I could stay ashore a little longer...having fallen head over heels "in lust" with a beautiful redhead with green eyes and peachy skin!...I worked the swing shift 1600-midnight, loft rigging(wire splicing) and doing "boom jobs" as on the Leslie Lykes....I also rigged the lifeboats, jumbos and all the gear on the SS Loyala Victory and the SS Batron Rouge Victory, which met a tragic fate going up the river to Saigon from Vung Tau (Cape St. Jauques)...On that terrible day, Captain Harold John Mahoney..Master of theJoseph F. Merrell(Grange Victory)(just passed the final bar in October 2010) had picked up his pilot and headed to the mouth of the river....He was told to let Baton Rouge go first, as it was her turn..but .Mahoney stood on, and with +6,000 tons of explosives, passed over an explosive charge that the VC had placed in the river..(meant for him and his ammo).then came Baton Rouge, which the VC thought was the Merrell and they exploded their charge....Captain Conrad Carlson grabbed the wheel and drove the Baton Rouge aground, avoiding blocking the narrow channel....five men from MEBA and the MFOW lost their lives..and the ship sank.....Later divers patched her and floated her, removed her cargo, and I happened to be anchored at Vung Tau when she was towed out to P.I to be broken up.....I gave the prayer at the Baton Rouge Victory Memorial, which stands on the pier adjacent to the SS JeremiahO'Brien when it was dedicated..I knew Mahoney over  46 years...I sailed Bosn with him as Chief Mate...and later when I joined MM&P we continued our friendship...he was born on May 17, 1917...I still have the crew list from when we sailed together in 64-65...we sailed to Viet-Nam, but also to Antarctica loaded with snow plows, heavy equipment....and beer...i still have pictures of when I kicked out the 50 ton jumbo at #3 and the 30 ton jumbo at # 4...we worked day and night, as it never got dark...there were no longshoremen there so we earned $2.46 an hour cargo time during regular working hours, and $3.05 during overtime hours!..As Boatswain,I earned $6,750.00per year base...an AB got $6,250, and a Dayman got 6k even...with OT we were all making over a grand a month!!!..Those were the good old days...we often stayed in port for days...and partied hearty!....The merrel ended her life  in a collission  down off the coast of socal  and got hit right at #4 hatch...she limped into port Hueneme and sank at the pier...she was an 85,000 HP  and had sailed continuously since launching-...she was a good ship, and a lucky one...untill her end....

      Captain K C O'Brien---- Original Message -----
      From: ROBT ULRICH <bulrich@...>
      To: PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wed, 20 Jul 2011 15:52:49 -0000 (UTC)
      Subject: Re: [PMMC-NLUS] Summer Reading: Looking for a Ship


      Hi Phelps,  I did something similar with Alibis books.  I ordered two copies of "At All Costs" which is one of the best books about a singular event.  I met the author in Portland at the last National Conference held there.  Again the book costs next to nothing but shipping brings it to about $5.  I bought a couple of copies to put on our raffle table at our meeting. 
      See you on the 28th at our Monument.  Cheers.  Bob Ulrich

      From: Pacific Merchant Marine Council <pmmc@...>
      To: PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 8:22 AM
      Subject: [PMMC-NLUS] Summer Reading: Looking for a Ship
      Ahoy Members and Friends,
      "Looking for a Ship" is not a new book but it looks informative. Something educational for those who have not shipped out and possibly contentious for those who have served in the Merchant Marine. A sample of the text may be found at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0374190771/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=.
      Amazon.com has well over 100 copies, hardback, paperback, and audio tape. Prices start at $.01 and shipping on all seems to be $3.99. I purchased a hardback edition in "very good condition" for $4.00 total.
      My personal Merchant Marine library continues to grow. Maybe you have some favorites you might suggest.
      We can always exchange maritime related books and magazines whenever we gather. Next getogethers July 28 in Sacramento and July 29 Coast Guard Island.
      Have a good read...
      PS Too bad about Borders Books closing.

    • WO Guilherme Freitas, USNSCC
      Sam, I also read the book and enjoyed it. I ordered a copy of the book for my son, Davis Freitas, and had it sent to him at the Seafarers International Union
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 22, 2011

        I also read the book and enjoyed it.

        I ordered a copy of the book for my son, Davis Freitas, and had it sent to him at the Seafarers International Union Paul Hall Center For Maritime Training And Education in Piney Point, Maryland.

        Davis has completed Unlicensed Apprentice Program Phase 1 and is waiting for his ship to start Phase 2.


             Guilherme Freitas

        --- On Wed, 7/20/11, Sam Sause <grandtrans2000@...> wrote:

        From: Sam Sause <grandtrans2000@...>
        Subject: RE: [PMMC-NLUS] Summer Reading: Looking for a Ship
        To: PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 10:49 AM


        All, I totally enjoyed "Looking for a Ship" I read it several years ago, bought a few additional copies as give aways, gave one to my father inlaw which I got back several years after that with the names of two or three other peeps he had leant it to. I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the seafarers' life in the days of freighters and union hall hiring - a great read. I still have at least one copy left I (maybe 2) thanks for dredging up this old memory of a great read. Am thinking maybe I should read it again.


        Sam Sause, Senior Vice President, PMMC, Past President of Alameda Council and National Director


        From: PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com

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