Page 4On March 31, 1943 Ann and I were engaged to be married when she visited me in Boston. During that time the Hotel Statler would have a dance each Saturday night. The town was full of Naval Officers, many of whom paid two dollars each to attend the dance, while all the hostesses got in free. As I was engaged to Ann, I did not want to give too much attention to any one hostess. Since I did attend almost all the dances, I got to know a lot of hostesses. After Ann and I were married (September 30, 1943), we lived in an apartment in Cambridge alongside the Charles River until the BOSTON sailed for the Pacific. One day as Ann and I were entering the subway, three of the dance hostesses were coming out of the subway. They came running toward us with their arms outstretched, saying "Swede, where have you been?". I was motioning them away and at the same time saying "I want you to meet my wife". I think that my later explanation to Ann was accepted, but then I really never knew for sure.
During my two years in the BOSTON, I first served as Junior Division Officer in the third division (Main Battery 8"/55 caliber turret three). Elmer Hale, a Mustang Lieutenant, was my division officer. My general quarters station was in the port quarter of the 40mm battery and my watch station was the same. Next my GQ station was changed to Turret Two (the high turret) and then to The Main Battery Spotting Officer in the main battery director (Spot One).
During my period of standing gun watches, I was designated to be the catapult plane launching officer. The gunner who maintained the catapults checked me out on all the checks that should be done on the launcher. My first launch instruction was to be given by the Gunnery Officer. He told me to be sure to fire the launcher on the middle of the up-roll. He then demonstrated by firing on the middle of the down roll --- he never again came on the fantail during any launching operation. The pilot who got bounced off the water by the GO, told me "Don't ever let the GO be involved in any more launches!"
USS BOSTON (CA-69)
My watch station was changed to Officer Of The Deck. My move to OOD was rather sudden. One afternoon the Navigator called me to his stateroom and held school on PacTen, which was the Fleet Operational and Maneuvering Instructions. He said that I should study the manual for the rest of the day and evening as I was to stand the top OOD watch on the bridge at 0800-1200 in the morning. The change of watch was a good deal for me as I was placed on a watch rotation of one watch in six instead of the one watch in three that applied to most of the rest of the ship. Captain Herrmann said that he wanted his OODs to be "bright eyed and alert at all times". Of course there was still the hour of General Quarters at dawn and at dusk along with ships divisional duties and a little time to eat and sleep.
I was next made the Sea Detail OOD for leaving/entering port-atoll, and for going alongside other ships for mail, fueling, freight transfer, etc. One particular maneuver in which Captain Herrmann indicated his confidence in my performance as an OOD was when the BOSTON was out ahead of the formation conducting anti-aircraft practice by shooting at balloons released by a destroyer. The formation was steaming at 20 knots and the BOSTON was zigzagging steaming at 24 knots. When the exercise was completed, BOSTON was to resume her normal station in the circular formation. Captain Herrmann and Admiral Theabaud were on the deck two decks below the Navigational Bridge, where I was, so I just called over the side to the Captain --- did he want to ease back into station, or to proceed directly. His response was "Let's proceed directly". With a 44 knot speed differential, there was no time to work out a maneuvering board solution, so all maneuvers of course and speed had to be made by "seaman's eye". The results of my effort brought the BOSTON exactly to her proper station. I called down to the Captain, "On station, Captain". The reply was a normal "Aye, Aye" as though it was an ordinary maneuver!!!
In July 1945 I returned to Annapolis, Maryland to attend the Post Graduate School in a course of Ordnance Engineering, and from September 1947 until June 1948 continued the course at Purdue University from which I received the degree of Master of Science in Industrial Engineering.