Confessions of a BT
By Marc Sahr
I read this morning’s edition and the Midway’s 111 days in the IO cruise, Brought back a TON of memories as I was a BT2 then working for Chief Rags (Larry Ragghianti) in 2-Charlie fireroom. I think BTCS Rick Mudge (who you’ve referenced before) was our LCPO, having relieved ‘OB’ (BTCM Melvin O’Briant). We stood 6×6 watches the entire time. You had to know your craft on Midway.
Anyway – what I wanted to do was make a confession. We had a FA messcook from Tennessee who had recently returned to the pit after serving his 90 days. The mistake S2M made was allowing the mess cooks to keep their NEY award t-shirts that you issued them when they went mess cranking.
This FA kept his t-shirt in a steaming locker in the pit, and when we’d start bitching that we were hungry (and the Weenie Wagon on hangar bay 2 was secure), he’d put on his S2M t-shirt, go up to the bake shop (right above 2C Fireroom on the 2nd deck), get a paper hat and grab the keys. The cooks up there didn’t give him a second look….
Then it was off to the reefers to snag an airdale reenlistment cake (we were particularly fond of only the airdale ones as they were considered passengers without a GQ station), and a box or two of Magnolia chocolate or strawberry milk. Then just drop off the keys and back down to the pit to feast. The upside down mess deck trays went back to the scullery and the perfect crime was complete.
I haven’t thought about those things in too many years. This is why I crave those old stories of yours because during the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s I was there.
BTW – that fucking Weenie Wagon was a lifesaver for us hole snipes. The messdeck MAA’s used to bust our balls about being dirty and smelly, and requiring a clean t-shirt under our coveralls (which most hole snipes didn’t wear on watch). The Weenie Wagon changed ALL that BS, plus we didn’t have to wait in any lines as we could send our messengers up there for ‘take out’ and eat on watch. Got the most sleep that way. That Weenie Wagon would make a good story by itself!
Sorry this turned into a novel, but wanted to share my confession with you :).