The following is an excerpt of one of my fondest letters from my father, Wayne C. Ammeson. I asked him to write some letters regarding experiences during his time aboard the Bordelon....

 

"(Back to the past)

“As you know, I served in the Mediterranean Sea. When we were done there, we left the Med. and stopped off in Dartmouth, England. From there, we went to Edinburgh, Scotland. The last stop was Oslo, Norway...and it was off to the North Atlantic.

 

When we crossed the Arctic Circle, we became members of the "Royal Order of the Bluenose". The North Atlantic is usually rough going. What we did there was chase submarines... At one point, we sprung a leak in one of the forward compartments and we had to batten it down. The trouble with that was that was where the toilet paper was stored. So, we had to "make do" for about a week.

 

For our efforts in the North Atlantic, we were awarded the “Meritorious Unit Commendation" medal, for all of us. After that, we set a course for the States and the end of the cruise.

 

On the next cruise, (around Africa) we stopped at latitude 00.00 and Longitude 00.00 on the

 

Equator. That's where we held initiation for first-time-crossers.

 

It started at the bow of the ship. We commenced crawling the length of the ship.  On the way, they hosed us down and paddled our behinds. When we got to the Stern, there was a man in a bonnet and diaper. There was grease on his stomach and we had to “kiss the baby's belly"…. then the Chief Corpsman squirted hot sauce in our mouths. Finally, after crawling through the "garbage chute", we went before Neptune and were dubbed "Golden Shellbacks". Isn't that something?

 

I crossed the Equator four times on my second cruise. One thing you see in the Southern Hemisphere is the Southern Cross. It's unmistakable. When you’re out to sea, and the skies are clear, you can see the entire Milky Way. As far as that goes, it just makes you humble......

 

Over and out.”   Dad