Theophilous Meatyard III
Since May 22, 2016
I recently published a book (about my father’s overseas travel during the opening months of World War II) and my son has been urging me to write a book about my experiences in the Med. We were there for two years and were out to sea 75% of the time (three weeks out and one week in, with a skeleton crew on duty in port, which is why we got to see a lot of Roman ruins).
An example of experiences in the Med: We looked for Soviet subs (ASW) and once were following a sub when a big Soviet cruiser came alongside of us, on our left (port side). Then the sub we were following, which was submerged, turned to port, so obviously we couldn’t turn the same way because we’d hit the cruiser. Then I heard the jet turbine revving up (drank jp-5 fuel). All of a sudden, the turbine kicked into gear and we could actually feel the boat plane upward in the front. We immediately turned hard to starboard, turning behind the cruiser and then we resumed following the sub.
The last I saw of the cruiser, it was pretty much dead in the water. It started to turn to starboard (like we had), then when their captain realized what was happening, the cruiser tried to turn to port. Everyone on our ship on deck was cheering.
As a radioman (which is now an IT rating), I was assigned to typing up and transmitting enemy sighting reports during general quarters (paper tape fed to computers). Three or four times, the captain came down to the radio shack during general quarters and stood right behind me as I was typing and sending out enemy sighting reports. After I finished, the lead radioman took the captain aside and I heard him say, "This isn't helping." I heard the captain say, "I'm just seeing how it's done." The captain didn't come down to the radio room after that.
We saw a black Scottish Terrier running along the deck on one of the Soviet ships. At another time, when near a shallow anchorage in the Med, we saw a Soviet sub stop near a large Soviet surface ship that was anchored. A hatch on the sub opened and smoke came out of it. The sub crew immediately transferred to the surface ship.