When I get some time (soon? When do you ever get enough time?
I'm trying to find "a round tuit" on eBay.) I'll list the people that I have heard from along with some information about
them and how they relate to the BARRETT. I have already mentioned many or most of them in here somewhere but it would be nice
to have everybody on one page.
William W. Silver, SH1. Bill really never mustered in because he and I never really
lost contact with each other except for intermittent periods of time. We did lose track of each other for a long time but
the Padre (William A. Getchey) used his contacts with the Chaplain Corps to reconnect the three of us again. Bill was the
SH1 on board during my time and was in charge of all the ship's service stuff. He got transferred to Kwajalein during the
time I was aboard but he would come back aboard for a visit via the tender when we were anchored in Kwajalein's harbor (or
whatever it was). He went on to become a CPO and then got a commission and rose to LCDR before they pretty much forced him
out in 1977 with 30 years service. He was still then only 47 years old and probably would have stayed in even longer but
there were some severe retirement penalties if he stayed on. He lived for many years down at Coronado in the San Diego area
and then in mid 1992 he bought a military housing duplex on a decomissioned Air Force base in St. Marie, Montana. St. Marie
is north of Fort Peck Lake and Glasgow, almost to the Canadian border. He combined the duplex into one residence and has
lived there happily ever since. You wouldn't think anyone could make that drastic a change and be happy but he likes it there.
He says the state is still quite unpopulated and that's something he very much likes. He says it is sixteen miles into town
with only one lane in each direction and that frequently he doesn't see another car on the road all the way in to town. Now
that's "wide-open spaces"! He has had many interesting and even unique duty stations. I would like to get him to write some
detailed accounts of his life and career. Maybe he will yet but he's not into this computer age at all. No computer, no email,
no internet, etc but he recently had a relative move in near him that I think may get him interested in more modern technology.
Silver had served on some of the other MSTS ships prior to the BARRETT and I did manage to reunite him with one of his shipmates
from the SHANKS. Silver and Sheldon Sidlow (Shelley) had not seen each other since 1954. Shelley had been the senior personnelman
on one or more of those ships and was responsible for troop embarkation/debarkation). Bill went to boot camp at the San Diego
NTC in 1947.
Coronation ("Connie") Helm: I just heard from Connie (9-21-04 or thereabouts). She was one of the
corpsmen on board during my time. I'll write more about her soon. It was really great to hear from her. We only "talked"
by email but I am looking forward to really talking to her. She said that the other Wave on board, Mary Ann Short, died some
time back from cancer. So far, Connie is the only shipmate that I have actually found due to the website. Her husband and
daughter found the site, saw her picture, and had her contact me.
Ronald A. Louis: (14 MAY 2007) I didn't hear from
"Uncle Louie" but I did hear about him. David Foote, a retired Navy Captain now living in Alameda, CA, worked with or for
Louie when Louie was a Navy Captain! Louie, at that time, was still part of MSC (Military Sealift Command) which is what they
changed MSTS to. We figured that Louie probably retired about 1983 with thirty years in. Nobody seems to have heard from
him in about twenty years but we are going to try to find him. I was greatly surprised to hear this since he did not seem
to me to be one who would have made the Navy a career. "Word" was that he was a Stanford graduate with a major in music.
He was also the scion of the family that owned Louis Stores (big grocery chain) in the Bay Area at that time. Does anybody
have more information? (15 JUL 07: FOUND! We haven't actually talked yet but he left a message for me and than I left one
for him. He's alive and well up in the SF Bay area!). (17 JUL 07): Uncle Louie called today and we talked for quite some time.
It was great to recall those times and catch up on 52 years. More later from me, I hope.
Robert H. (Bob) Rust: Just
when I think that I'll never hear from or about anybody else, then I do! I just talked to Bob Rust today (7-2-07) on the
phone. He and his son in law had found the site and his son in law wrote to me. I wrote back to the both of them and then
Bob called. How amazing can some of these events be? We haven't seen each other or talked to each other since Bob left to
be discharged in June of 1955. Bob came from Alabama and returned there. He has been successful in business and has raised
a fine family. He is still working. He's going to send me photos. As we talked he reminded me that there was a small safe
in that office of ours up on the Promenade Deck because we kept some documents in there that were classified "SECRET". He
had clearance and I had gotten a clearance when I was at the Naval Shipyard. I wrote away for and got a complete copy of
my service and medical record. I'm going to have to look through that again to see if there is any evidence of my SECRET clearance.
In the year that I was aboard I don't recall ever having to look at a document classified SECRET or CONFIDENTIAL but I did
handle dispatches at the shipyard up to and including SECRET. When I applied for the clearance I didn't think there would
be a chance in the world they would ever clear me for SECRET but they did with no problem. Rusty had been stationed on Guam
for about 18 months before he got on the BARRETT. He had also done a tour or two aboard the BRECKENRIDGE. He remembered that
Mclane's nickname was "Chick" and that Mclane was a ship's serviceman. So now I have discovered TWO of my old BARRETT shipmates.
That's pretty good for fifty years. I've got to get in touch with Connie and let her know. (15 JUL 07: I did go back through
my old service records. You can order them from somewhere and I did that about a year ago. Supposedly you get a complete copy
of everything in your service record but I didn't see anything about any clearance for SECRET or even CONFIDENTIAL. But I
know that I was cleared for these two classifications and I did handle documents with these classifications.)
BUTTON:(APR 09) Heard from William and we spoke on the phone for quite a long time. William was a YNSN who made about three
trips as the Chaplain's Yeoman.