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"Staten Island Emergency Repairs"
Submitted by Frank H. Stephan MM1c USN

The Euryale was all packed up, we had all hands carrying twelve and twenty foot lengths of bar stock up a gangway into the machine shop. We then were out of the snow and wind but we had to lower what we were carrying down the hatch where the hands below in the shipfitter shop would take and pass the bars down to the hold where it was inventoried and placed in the bar stock rack that had been welded in place there.

The Storekeeper in charge of the hold did a great job. Two years later, he could tell you what was in his inventory. We worked all night getting all the boxes and bars and sheets and pipes aboard. Breakfast was still being served when the word was passed to set the special sea detail. A towboat came alongside and stood by while the Captain backed us into the East River. The wind had dropped but the snow had turned to drizzle making watch standers on deck shiver in their blues. We had not received any foul weather gear so you did what you could and put up with what you had.

After an hour the ship started to rise and fall in response to the ground swell and it was now hard to stand up on deck. The Deck gang was running around! We were busy checking the chains that kept the trucks and other deck cargo in place. Soon we came to the Ambrose Light Ship and we headed out to sea. The waves became worse and soon the ship was shuddering as it climbed steeper waves and the propellor would come out of the water and shake the ship. It was becoming a problem to make headway.Then the ship turned and we once again saw the lightship, we were going back into the harbor.

After a few hours we anchored off Staten Island and we found out that the ship was splitting up its side and that we had to make repairs. The deck gang picked up one of our trucks and swung it over the port side therby causing the ship to list and exposing the crack in the starboard side where the engine room gang could see the ocean coming in. The repair force rigged bos'ns chairs over the side with welders and in the rain repaired the crack so that we could continue our voyage to the Pacific where we were desparately needed. At least six of the welders suffered flash burns of the eyes because of the reflection off the wet sides.They were sick bays first patients!

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