1946. WW2 was over, the Ammunition ship, USS Red Oak Victory, (4,000 tons of explosives), coming home, anchored in Port Discovery Bay (see photo below).Going on leave, I had money wired to Western …
1946. WW2 was over, the Ammunition ship, USS Red Oak Victory, (4,000 tons of explosives), coming home, anchored in Port Discovery Bay (see photo below).
Going on leave, I had money wired to Western Union, Port Townsend. Climbed up the mountain path and finally got hitch into town. So excited about leave, never thought how to get back aboard ship.
Got money, had a sandwich, went to hitch back to no avail. Finally saw a taxi. $8.
The afternoon sun drops quickly, the forest night black as coal. We arrived, I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. Driving back & forth, couldn’t find the path! The ship looked so small, lit up down in the water. Finally found the path and with the flashlight showing the way, descended in the dark.
Half way down, I thought I heard a sound to my left. Listening, there was also a sound to my right. It suddenly dawned on me! Mountain lions! They feed at night! I stumbled faster and went right into the icy cold waters of Port Discovery Bay!
Water above my knees, I kept reaching the bottom for stones and throwing them at the beady green eyes reflecting from the flashlight in the shrubs at the water’s edge. My rank was a signalman, I sent a request for a pickup and escaped what could have been a horrible ending. Needless to say, I was glad to be alive.
During the day, with my telescope, I could see them roaming around on shore.
Sorry to say, I never got to see the taxi driver to thank him for saving my life! Thanks too to the Tatum Family of Port Townsend who were so kind to me. I am now 93, married 68 years! Some things, you never forget.
Singer Island, Florida