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Part of Signal Gang - L to R - rear - Doherty - QMSN; Polleta - QMSN; Nepi - QMSN; front - McShea - QM3; Tomczac - QM3; and Chief Lay.


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Chief Marvin C. Lay; Doherty - QMSN; Mike Polletta - QMSN
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Me - QMSN; and Cox - QMSN Check Out Cox's Ghost Story.                                                                                           


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Snowden - QMSN; T. Joseph - QMSN; Nepi - QMSN


From June of '52 to October of '53, the Arneb was my home, and my life. How I managed to get into the signal gang without Quartermaster/Signalman School is documented here.
I figured it's about time, after a half-century, to give some of my shipmates at that time, some exposure. For the record, I think I have all the guys recorded here, and if there be any missing, it's only because they dodged my camera purposefully. Ha ha. Notice, except for one officer, it's just the "guys". On occasion Officers would achieve the Flying Bridge...here's a good story.
The C/Os I had while aboard, both great guys also, was for the latter five months of '52 - Captain Harry Meeker Steward Gimber, Jr; and for almost another year, Captain J. C. Wylie, whose daughter - Captain ( Commodore ) Betsy Wylie was COMSCLANT for a couple of years while I was sailing.


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Snowden - QMSN; Me - QMSN; Hollywood - QM1


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Snowden - QMSN; Hollywood - QM1; and Nepi - QMSN


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Marvin C. Lay - QMC

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Lowering, or recovering an LCVP                    


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Terwilliger - RMSN; and Malik - QMSN                


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Mike Polleta - QMSN; Adams - QM2


Just as depicted in the photos, everyday was a good day...a happy day. I can't remember one bad incident, and that's saying something. Some of these fellows may have been in the Bridge gang...it's been a while, however, I'm pretty sure of the RMs, who spent alot of time up on the flying bridge.
I will admit that I did spend quite a bit of time when I could, in the Radio Shack, tweeking up my typing skills learned in Jr. High, and copying morse on the radio....Of course, not to mention that that's where the coffee pot was.

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Waters - RM3; and I - QMSN


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Cox - QMSN; Rivers- RM3; Doherty - QMSN


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Foreground - Makin - RD2; squatting - LtoR Nepi - QMSN; Hollywood - QM1; standing - Peters - RMSN

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Lowering LCM


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Doherty - QMSN; Polleta - QMSN; Lycan - QMSN; Weiss - QMSN


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Cardinal - RM3


The Arneb of course, was an "Amphib"...a working ship not too far removed from a Merchant freighter. With its five-hatches, and Jumbos at four of them, she could handle eight LCMs, and fourteen LCVP - eight nested, one each in an LCM, and six in davits. Two other boats - the same size as LCVPs, but without ramps served as the Officers launch, and Captain's gig. The Arneb was a C-2 class vessel...Marad built. Strangely, I was to command one - the USNS Bald Eagle years later.

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Lt. Bass - Comm Officer; Weiss - QMSN; Cox - QMSN; Hollywood, QM1


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Semaphorist


Of course, a book could have been written, but wasn't only because I'm too lazy...to be honest...but it would only have been good plain reading, and who wants that? I must mention the Operations Officer - Lt. Cmdr. Semon, a fellow who held a Merchant Marine Officer's license, and who sailed, I think, with Esso - Exxon today....His permission got me into the Department. I must also mention that the First Lieutenant - the skipper's right hand man...more so than the Exec...also held an MM license, and had sailed as Chief Mate. Both had somehow or other managed "Regular Navy", when at the time many Merchant Marine Officers were only "Reserve", and discharged after the war.
A funny thing, when I left Mobil Oil, and shipped with Grace Line, a Government subsidized outfit, I had to accept a Commission...something I neither needed, nor wanted, and told them so. I held Lt. Jg. for ages...probably still do. Ha.

This just in Oct 11 2008.
Photo of Arneb Officers taken 12-12-53 and submitted by Joseph McGarry whose Dad Cdr Joseph McGarry USAR Ret is shown second in from the right - bottom row. Recognize any of them?

I am sure about the skipper - Capt. J.C. Wylie seated in the center. Wylie relieved Capt. Harry Meeker Stewart Gimber, Jr. about a year before. Wylie went on to make Admiral and wrote a book on Stategy. His daughter - Betsy Wylie made Captain USN, and became Commodore of the Military Sealift Command - Atlantic, and was my boss for a couple of years out of the twenty I was skipper with them...she did alright. On his left and right two new faces presumably XO and Ops Officer replacements for Cmdr Purcell and Lt Cmdr Semon. Two over to the left from the skipper is Lt. Anderson - First Lieutenant. Anderson came from the Merchant Marine and became Regular Navy. He was the skipper's real "right hand man". At the extreme left is then Ensign Niemick - Asst. Navigator. See additional photos of Keimick; Semon; and Purcel in following pages this site. John Hebbe insists Kiemick is Ens. Richards or Richardson from Rochester, N.Y. He also identifies the fellow top far right as a Comms Officer - Tim Branham from Tampa. My thought is that it's Lt (jg) Allen - Navigator. The are some others I recollect but forget their names. In the photo somewhere is Chief Warrant Bosn - Bowman.
Another thing is: did we have this many officers in the ship compliment? It could possibly be the photo includes Naval Reservists on their two-week cruise...we had them at times. We won't know for sure until the individual I.D.s himself...if he's still kickin'. A photo like this is certainly a rare find.
For more photos, and history Click here, or on the Ahead button below to go to the "Bridge Gang".



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