Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Trains and Boats and Planes

Okay, so nobody ever rode the train from the States to Taiwan, but Sarj describes his trip back to the States by ship:

This is the ship , the USS General W. A. Mann (AP-112), that my wife and I returned to the States on. We had quite a trip that took almost a month.

We stopped in Guam and my wife insisted that we go on a tour that the Navy was giving for a small price. I told her there is nothing on Guam to see except Gooney Birds (They caused a lot of problems there and are a story themselves). But as a good husband, I agreed.
The tour was conducted by a young Seaman and we rode on an old Navy bus (no A/C of course). We ended up visiting every bar around the island in order to get relief from the heat by means of a few beers.
The tour included a box lunch. You all know what that is -- an apple and a day-old bologna sandwich. Remember how good they tasted on midwatch? Ugh!
Anyway all the wives got upset and were in revolt and the trip ended sooner than planned. We returned to the EM Club at the base where all the smart people stayed in a nice A/C restaurant and lounge.

The night we left we went through a bad storm and had a fire on board. That was quite an experience.

I sent this thinking that maybe others, especially families traveled by this ship or another one to or from Taiwan. I know there were a lot of families returning on the ship we took.

I believe there were two ships that provided transport to and from Taiwan. Maybe someone knows what the other ship's name was.

It was exciting to travel under the Golden Gate Bridge on that big ship. You felt like you could almost reach up and touch it

Good story, Sarj. What about the rest of you? Did anyone else travel to or from Taiwan by ship? We Air Force guys flew most everywhere, of course, but the rules allowed you to request a ship for overseas travel. I never met anyone who took that option, but I'm sure there were some who did, especially in the 50s and 60s.


Anonymous said...

I'll always remember the Gen Mann. As a teenager, I took it from San Francisco to Taipei in 1963.

As a point of irony, the Gen Mann was decommissioned, moth-balled, and eventually sold to Taiwan, where it returned for a final time to be salvaged and scrapped.

sarj said...

Very interesting. Thanks for the story. Maybe you went to Taiwan on the return voyage that brought me home to San Fran in Early Oct 63.
That would have been real interesting.

Anonymous said...

Our Family returned to San Francisco on the Gen. Gaffey in 63 or 64.