Journal Entry  -  September 26, 1999  -  Day 15

Sunday Morning Position Report
8:00 a.m., Pacific Daylight Time

25 Degrees, 03 Minutes North


113 Degrees, 16 Minutes West

Days Run:

66.8 Nautical Miles


5.57 Knots (Average)  running at reduced speed due to a fixed ETA of October 16 at the Panama Canal.

Total Run This Leg:  585.7 Nautical Miles
Total Average Speed:  5.35 Knots
Hours / Days From Departure:  109.5 Hours, 4.56 Days
Distance To Go This Leg:  2,362.1 Nautical Miles
Estimated Time Of Arrival:  October 16
Present Course: 141 Degrees Southeasterly to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California
Winds: Northwest at 15 Knots
Seas & Swells:  6 Feet
Barometric Pressure:  1014 Millibars
Air Temperature:  66 Degrees
Visibility:  Barely 10 Miles
Skies:  Low Overcast, very high humidity
Sea Floor:  Ocean depths below USS New Jersey vary from 830 to 1,200 Fathoms, or 4,980 to 7,200 Feet.

Position:  USS New Jersey is now 55 Nautical Miles West-Northwest of Cabo San Lazaro.  This cape is described as faced with rocky cliffs, often appearing as an island when first sighted, although it is now far beyond our vision.  Mariners are warned that a stranded wreck lies 3.8 miles North-Northeast of the cape and reported to be "radar conspicuous."  To the East of this cape is Bahia Magdelena, a large body of water with a series of lagoons extending some 60 Miles North.  The North and East shores of this bay are reported as low, barren and fringed by shoals.

Feeding the Sailors - 1943 and 1999

USS New Jersey was launched on December 7, 1942 at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, one year to the day after Pearl Harbor.  At 2:16 p.m., Mrs. Carolyn Edison, wife of New Jersey Governor Charles Edison, smashed a traditional bottle of champagne across BB-62's massive bow, and the second Iowa-class battleship took to the Delaware.

Twenty thousand spectators applauded New Jersey's successful construction and launch.  Kate Smith sang a rousing "God Bless America," and the battleship's 57-year career in the water was underway.

Five months later, on Sunday, May 23, 1943, she was formally commissioned while moored in the same Navy Shipyard.  Captain Carl F. Holden was her first Commanding Officer, and he had 2,400 officers and crew as the ship's first complement.

Later that Sunday afternoon, the New Jersey deck logs report that "Drills and Exercises" were held, including a fire drill.  Also, the battleship's forward draft was 25-feet, 9-inches, and her aft draft was 34-feet.  She was receiving freshwater from the dock, had received no fuel that day, had expended 2,150 gallons of fuel, and had 95,175 gallons remaining.

Two weeks later, the June 8, 1943 logs show that at "... 0715, Ensign R.C. Parlea D-V(6) USNR, left the ship, in charge of 30 men for team duty under instruction of the anti-aircraft Training Center at Price's Neck, Rhode Island."

Feeding 2,500 men aboard the ship in the Philadelphia Navy Yard amounted to regular deliveries of huge quantities of groceries. Fortunately, the city was well equipped then to deliver the product, as it is today.  Once overseas, the story was different.  Toward the end of the Pacific war, the battleship would go for as long as two months without replenishment.  Spam became the staple.  But not so in Philadelphia.

Again, from the June 8, 1943 log, records of the ship's food supply deliveries were entered: at 9:45 a.m., received for general mess, 15 crates of lemons.   At 11:10 a.m., From Frank Cristaldi Company, the following stores: 1,071 lbs. celery, 640 lbs. squash, 700 lbs. asparagus, 2,520 lbs. apples, 1,200 lbs. lettuce.   At 2:35 p.m., from the Ben Carson Products Company, 500 lbs. green peppers.

At 9:20 p.m., the crew held drills and exercises, first a Yellow air raid alert, then at 9:37 p.m., Blue air raid alert; at 9:55 p.m., Red air raid instructions carried out; at 10:15 p.m., Secured from air raid alert

On June 16, 1943, another sampling of food delivery entries: at 1:30 p.m., from F. Christaldi, 1814 South 13th St., Philadelphia, 1,000 lbs. squash, 1,050 tomatoes.  From Henry M. Young, Dock Street Wharf, 50 gallons clams.

On June 17, 1943, another food entry: at 2:30 p.m., From Frank Christaldi, 300 lbs. tomatoes, 300 lbs. beets. From J.P. Eubank and Co., 1,022 lbs. lemons, 430 lbs. bananas, 2,970 lbs. carrots, 420 lbs. okra. From W.L. Evans, 2,085 lbs. fillets of flounder.

Later in the year, this entry from September 21, 1943: Received from Supply Department, Navy Yard, 1,998 lbs of Corn Flakes.

C.J. Good, Sea Victory's Cook, has some of the same challenges feeding New Jersey's tow crew on this trip as the cooks aboard BB-62 did, with the obvious exception of quantity.  "CJ," as he is always called, aims to please with variety, substance and consistency, and he always delivers.

He served as cook on last year's USS Missouri tow with Captain Kaare Ogaard, who said of him then: "He's been an exceptional cook on this trip.  He's got the toughest job on the boat; I've always said that, and I always will."   Since then, CJ has taken the around-the-Americas tow of the USS Oriskany with Ogaard, and finds himself aboard again with the USS New Jersey.

Born in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, 56 years ago, he grew up in Lone Jack, Missouri, about 40 miles east of Kansas City - "a town named after a big ole Jack Pine when it was settled," says CJ.  He now lives in Kingman, Arizona, when he's not bounding across the seas, as he has done as a Navy sailor for 20 years, and with Crowley Marine Services for the last 10 years.

Most of his tug experience has been in Alaska, he says, because Crowley has extensive service in the 49th state.  CJ prepared for 90-day trips during those days, when the tugs would leave Seattle and spend the rest of the time hauling fuel and supplies to the small villages along the state's vast expanse of shoreline, from the Juneau area in the Southeast, to the far reaches of the Aleutian chain in the West, and through the Bering Sea to Prudoe Bay in the remote polar North.

Preparing food for a crew of seven or eight is a far cry from the 125 servings per meal in his Navy days, he says, or on a Destroyer with 300 aboard, but he still must manage large supplies and keep hungry mouths satisfied.  He enjoys baking, and the tug's galley always has plates of his sugary delights available day or night, right next to the bowl of fresh fruit.

For New Jersey's trip from Bremerton, the Sea Victory "load-out" of food supplies looked something like this:

5 lbs. scallops, 6 cases Pepsi, 10 lbs. brown rice, 10 lbs. smoked salmon, Rotini, Granola, cup-o-noodle, 50 pounds ground beef, 75 lbs. ground beef patties, 5/6-lb. pkgs. sirloin tips, 32-9oz. top sirloin steaks, 54 lbs. bacon, 60 pork chops/bone in, 13 ham hocks, 41 lbs. sausage links, 12 lbs. bulk sausage, 12/1.5 lbs. Italian sausage, 5/6lb. spare ribs, 15/3lb. whole fryers, 12 lbs. chicken breasts, 2/10-12 lb. turkeys, 3/6 lb. turkey breasts, 4 lbs. prawns, 2/5 lbs. cod, 10/6 oz. halibut steaks, 11/2 lb. imitation crab, 9 lbs. polish sausage, 14 lbs. pepperoni.

Breads - 37 loaves: French, rye, wheat, white, whole grain. 26 lbs. butter, 11 lbs. cheese, 14 lbs. cheddar cheese, 5 lbs. Monterey jack cheese, plus: mozzarella, parmesan, cottage cheese, Swiss; 30 dozen large fresh eggs, 14 lbs. margarine, milk whole, 2%, fat-free, frozen desserts - ice creams bars, red/green apples, 24 each, golden apples, 24, 20 lbs. bananas, 10 cantaloupes, 12 grapefruit, 3/3 red/green seedless grapes, honeydew, lemons, oranges, pears, pineapple, 2 watermelons, plums 5 lbs., kiwi 12, 1 flat strawberries, 12 mangoes.

Vegetables - alfalfa sprouts, avocado 12, 6 bunches broccoli, 3 cabbage heads, 3 red cabbages, 12 carrots, 50 lbs. dry onions, 12 bunches green onions, 160 lbs. baking potatoes, 25 lbs. red potatoes, 25 lbs. tomatoes, 5 lbs. zucchini, frozen vegetables, crackers and chips, cereal, beans, pasta.

Beverages - 33 cans 2 lbs. drip grind coffee, apple juices, cranberry, grapefruit juices, 26 boxes herbal tea, 11 cases juices assorted, canned vegetables 100 +, 55 units of canned fruit, soups, baked beans, fish and meat/canned, 44 units, sauces and condiments, 100 units, spices and extracts, 50-plus units, baking supplies and mixes, 100 lbs. sugar, 31 lbs. brown sugar.

CJ also has special requests added to his load-outs: small jars of maraschino cherries, maple flavoring, and although walnuts and almonds are usually included, he gets pecans, and assuredly, 8 boxes of sweet dough mix.

Added to all that are the crew's daily fish catches which so far have included albacore, yellow tail and yellow fin tuna, and mahi-mahi.  From the rate of things, there's much more to come to add to CJ's menus.

Submitted by Bob Wernet onboard the Sea Victory.


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