I was transferred from Edisto in the summer of 1962 to MSTS (Military Sea Transport Service), based in Brooklyn, New York - assigned to the Military Officers Afloat Pool. From there, all of us were assigned to the Military Departments on various of the MSTS transports that sailed from the Brooklyn Army Terminal. We transported U. S. troops, officers, dependents and other government employees between the U.S. and Bremerhaven, Germany. During the next 22 months, I made 32 trans-Atlantic crossings aboard several different MSTS ships. One special trip was aboard the Gordon (below, left). It started in March, 1963 during a blizzard as we sailed from Bayonne, New Jersey (across the Hudson from Manhattan). We crossed the Atlantic, through the Straits of Gibraltar, into the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea and to the East African port of Dar Es Salaam (in what was then Tanganyika - now Tanzania). Our mission was for the U.N., transporting Indian troops fighting with U.N. forces in the Congo, back to India where that country was having border skirmishes with Red China. We loaded troops in Dar, then sailed to the Kenyan port of Mombassa and loaded more, then sailed for Bombay. The six days we carried these troops from Africa to India were pretty much the only six days of real work we had during the entire two month voyage. We arrived back late April, with the greatest sun tans of all time. Experienced the ultimate in sunbathing - high noon on the Equator!
The Patch (below, right) was significant because she was the last ship I sailed on before being released from active duty and returning to civilian life!
USNS Gen. William Gordon
USNS Alexander Patch
Left and right - Two 1963 shots on board the Patch, at sea on the north Atlantic