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About once a month I receive a call from my good Navy buddy, Tiff Graham, of Richmond, Virginia. His heavy southern drawl and casual speaking manner have never changed over the years and I always enjoy hearing from him, because there are always new stories. We served together on the Daly for the full 4 years of our enlistment, 1951 to 1955. We were both at the Great Lakes Training Center for Boot Training at the same time, however he was in Company 342 in Camp Barry and I was in Company 340. Our paths never crossed until we were assigned to the Daly in Charleston, SC.


After completing our training, we both arrived in Charleston, SC, on the same overnight train trip, then mustered on one of  the docks at Charleston Naval Shipyard and were assigned to the USS Arcadia, a destroyer tender, for an interim stay.


In our recent conversation we were  reminiscing about our stay on the Arcadia when I learned his experience was a bit more complicated than mine.


It seems that when his group stood muster on the first morning of arrival, they were told that they were scheduled for leave and to report back to the base in 7 days to begin their assignment to one of the mothballed ships.


Without hesitation Tiff spoke up and asked the First Class Boatswain in charge why they had to take leave now, when they were  told they could make their own schedule for leave.


 The Boatswain, obviously annoyed at the question by a defiant boot just off the train, instructed Graham to remain at attention while he marched the group off to the base office.


 Graham did as he was instructed and remained on the dock for some time until the shipís cook from the Arcadia spotted him and inquired as to where he was assigned.


 Seeing that Graham was a raw recruit, he took him aboard the Arcadia and immediately assigned him to kitchen detail. His duties were; arise at 4:00 a.m., head for the kitchen and cut butter. Meal after meal, day after day, for nearly thirty days he cut butter into little patties. That assignment   never changed. His reward was one day of liberty a week during his month long assignment.


Then one day the Shore Patrol appeared and began making inquiries about a certain recruit that was AWOL. The recruit they were seeking was Graham and was apprehended, but before they could haul him away, the shipís cook vouched for him and confirmed his assignment in the galley.  The issue was finally resolved when

Graham was assigned to the USS Daly roster. He then spent the next two months on the deck gang of the Daly chipping paint and standing fire watches. He never again served time in the shipís mess and was

grateful for that, but the deck hand work was hard enough.


The Daly was re-commissioned on July 3, 1951, sometime later Graham was assigned to the Fire Control gang and I to the Gunnerís Mates. We were in the Second Division and bunked just below Mount 5 in  the same stack of racks. He was on the bottom and I was in the middle bunk. Thatís where we bunked for the remainder of the cruise.


I was lucky, I never served any duty in the galley or mess hall, but both Graham and I stood bridge watches at the helm for about 2 years while at sea.

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