Motorcycle in the Library!

This is a recounting of a yarn told by the assistant weapons officer about the 1968-69 WestPac deployment. I won't identify the participants by name, but those who were there will surely remember this cast of characters.

It seems the CO was very much concerned about the safety of his crew, and was alarmed about possible injuries his crew might suffer if they purchased one of the Japanese motorcycles available at very attractive prices in the country of manufacture. The CO issued a typically authoritarian edict that no motorcycles were allowed on board. Well, the assistant weapons officer was in a position to control access to the special weapons publications library, and he knew the CO never visited that space. So he purchased a fine Honda or Yamaha or whatever it was; smuggled it aboard during the midwatch, and disassembled it in the library so it could be stowed out of the way.

Everything was fine until they started that long, slow trip back across the Pacific. There just wasn't enouigh to keep him busy, so he started reassembling the motorcycle. It went together deceptively easily, but when he was finished, there were two pieces left over. They were a pair of large bolts, almost half an inch in diameter, and nearly 8 inches long. As he described it, they were obviously very significant to the overall strength of the motorcycle, but he just couldn't find where they belonged. As the day of return came closer and closer, he became increasingly anxious that he would be unable to use his motorcycle for fear it would come apart at some critcal time. He started asking around the crew if anyone knew about motorcycles; and if he thought them trustworthy, he would explain the situation and ask their advice. Finally the long awaited day of return arrived, and he still hadn't determined where those bolts belonged. As San Diego came closer, he became less cautious about whom he asked. Just before Chicago entered San Diego, The FTMC librarian asked with some concern if he still had the two bolts.

AL Wellman

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