8. Shipboard News On The USNS Pope By David Ayers

Topics for discussion are limited on a pleasure cruise such as ours. The game room seems to be the most popular congregating area but the talk is limited to playing cards. Perhaps the dining hall is the second most used area with discussions centering around the unbelievably delectable meals served. The most frequently talked about subject, however, deals with the angle of bank and roll of the ship and its effects on passengers.

Everyone boarded the Pope bragging how he could never get seasick while at the same time trying to convince himself inwardly. Some were convinced that remaining topside was the ideal method, while others were determined not to remove themselves from their rack. The men who haven't yet let the rolling bother them have set out to ‘comfort’ the less fortunate. One individual, Gus—‘the 24 hour recliner’--, arises three times daily for his meals. Upon arrival at the dining hall he is greeted by his friends with cheers and applause. Some are so kind as to inquire how Gus feels.The longer he can remain at the table the more stirring his departure. Also, the men who are lucky enough to sit with Gus give a more vigorous ovation when he leaves. Poor Gus!!

Others have set out to measure the angle of roll on the ship rather than the darkness of green on friends' complexions. One of the most ingenious and accurate methods was developed by an individual who claims to be an authority on pendular action. The Stork, a real swinger himself, developed a mechanical device which accurately measures the degree of bank by suspending his dog tags from a coat hook and scribing degree marks on his locker door. The Stork may receive the third degree when his tags are picked up by the wrong person.

One more method commonly accepted is called the porthole method, and is most frequently used in the dining hall. By carefully observing the amount of horizon present in a porthole one can, while sitting at his table, readily observe our angle of role. The roll is measured in eighths of a porthole. As an example, 1 7/8 portholes is a fair roll for sure. In the event we are confronted with any bad weather, some individuals will most likely spend more time watching the roll of their stomachs rather than that of the ship.

134th Aviation Co.

Ft. Bragg, NC, once known as the Home of the Airborne, recently played host to the 134th Aviation Company and adopted a real Guard of Honor. The 134th Demons, for six months, played havoc with the local communities while conducting combat-type operations and preparing for their next assignment. Unlike the ever-popular Pussy Galore (the 134th's name for the 192nd AHC which was also on the Pope), the Demons are all men who have proven themselves by their daring deeds and escapades. Who else would start a fund, the contents of which goes to the brave individual who returns from a night on the town with the most unusual pair of panties. Also, the 134th Demons were probably the only people in the US Army who were permitted to have and cultivate goatees, as befitting a true Demon. These lasted until some fuzzy-faced junior officer and his merry band of paratroopers lost their title of Kings of Happy Hour to the Happy Hippies of the 134th who took over Happy Hour for post-flight briefings. It seems that Junior had a kindly relative who didn't appreciate his youngster being defaced and replaced.

All of these trials were necessary in preparing the Demons for their assignment in Vietnam. In fact, they were so well prepared that someone decided they should go to conflict with just one lift platoon and one gun platoon, while sending the other lift platoon to the cold north (Korea).

Along with the Demons (Slickies) and Devils (Gunnies), the 134th is supported by the 618th Transportation Det. and the 832nd Signal Det. In preparing the unit for their stay in Vietnam the men sent along a few items to make life a little more bearable for themselves. The list of such niceties includes two 30 KW generators, one 15 KW generator and ten 10 KW generators; 65 innerspring mattresses, 35 refrigerators and coke machines; 2 ranges; 65 beach chairs; 30 sofas and leather chairs; 400 cocktail glasses; two 20-man rafts plus the normal equipment every aviation company needs.
AM Def Ser Cam
Last modified: Tuesday March 14th, 2023