BT1, “Belay That,” BT2

By Garland Davis

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We were inport Hong Kong when BT2 was advanced to BT1.  We had one more night of liberty and then it was underway for thirty days of patrolling the Formosa Straits to keep the Chinese Communists from fucking with the Nationalists on the Island.

I made CS1 the same day.  Neither of us had the duty.  After the Old Man gave us the advancement certificates and shook our hands we caught the next boat, the first class crows weighing down our left arms.  We were on the way to celebrate.  We were both sporting red.  Me because I didn’t have the time in yet and BT1 because he had been a bad boy sometime in the past.

Our first stop was the China Fleet Club for a few and then we ran down to Wanchai for six or twelve and to cut out a couple of Suzie Wong’s from the crowd.

NOTE: After the hit movie, The World of Suzie Wong, half the bar girls in Hong Kong changed their Bar Names to Suzie Wong. END NOTE

Some where along the way, I lost the snipe. The Suzie I spent the night with woke me at 0400 and I caught the 0500 boat to the ship.  We sailed at 0800, without our newly minted BT1.  The RM1 told me that at 1000, the Station Ship sent a message that BT1 had reported, and they would bring him out in two days when they sailed.

Four days after we sailed from Hong Kong BT1 was high lined from the destroyer that had been station ship to our decks.  Once he was free from the Bosun’s Chair, the bridge passed, “BT2 lay to the bridge.”

He told me later the Captain said, “Consider this your Captain’s Mast and congratulations on making BT2. You’ll be restricted to the ship for our next inport period.  Do you have anything to say?”

The QM1 told me that BT2 replied, “Thank you, sir.  Damn, I kept it almost five days this time!”