Veteran Stories:
John Peterson

Navy

  • The Memory Project, Historica Canada
Enlarge Image
Listen to this story

"It was a very bad storm and one of the retaining bars on one of the cages holding the depth charges on the starboard side of the ship had broken off...the depth charge started rolling around in the ship, and we had to make sure that we got that back into place... so I volunteered."

Transcript

We just worked in seconds, not minutes or anything like this.  And in rough seas when I had to get my crew to with block and tackle to lift the depth charges* in place, and then they would place them onboard.  In rough sea, that wasn’t too easy.  But, in those cases, that wouldn’t be frequent because in the rough weather we were not chasing too many submarines because they loved the calmer seas and they loved it at night especially.  But that was one thing.

Also, yes, I remember once when it was a very bad storm and one of the retaining bars on one of the cages holding the depth charges on the starboard side of the ship had broken off, or had been dislodged, I should say.  And we had to make sure… the depth charge started rolling around in the ship, and we had to make sure that we got that back into place.  And here the water was coming over the sides of the ship, as is often, that was the way it is with the corvettes.  We had water on it all the time. And since I was one of the torpedomen, and the PO [petty officer], he thought, “Well, maybe I should do…” No, he wanted a volunteer torpedoman, so I volunteered to secure this thing.  So the PO was holding on, turning around the side and warning me whenever a big green one, or a big wave, came up, was coming over.  So I worked my way to the rails where, it’s hard to explain… they were actually fore and aft, if you would, and I got hold of this depth charge, and I was ready to roll it over to the rail and a big green one came over.  So the PO said, “Duck.” He yelled it, and at that time we really had to yell because it was noisy.  And I ducked, and it would wash over me and then, would just about sucked me over.  Finally, I got up and I was just pushing it up and I got it in and locked the bar, and a real big one came over.  And I was just about washed overboard, and I think my little baby finger was the last thing holding on.  And once that subsided, I got the hell out of there.

 

Follow us