Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the War....

One of the stories my dad told of the Sarita was the "testing" of the radar system on the shake-down cruise.

He was stationed in the radio room and could hear the communications from the radar operator to the bridge.

A contact had been acquired and the distance and bearing were being called out. "Contact 4000 yards, dead-ahead"
The ship made no deviation from course.

A little while later: "Contact 2000 yards, dead-ahead"
The ship made no deviation from course.

Then: "Contact 1000 yards, dead-ahead"
The ship made no deviation from course.

"Contact 500 yards, dead-ahead"
The ship made no deviation from course.
At this point the radio room crew started to discuss the situation and wonder if the target was real or why the ship was not turning.

When the call of "Contact 250 yards, dead-ahead" was heard the radio room guys got tense and started to secure themselves in case anything were really in their path.

A short while later the ship started to turn but it was too late. A jolt was felt and a grinding noise was heard throughout the ship.

The contact was indeed real and was dead-ahead and now had been struck. The Sarita had struck a marker buoy and had torn a hole in the port side of the ship, high up on her bow.

My dad speculated that the bridge didn't believe the target to be real so took no evasive action. Radar technology, at the time, was new and untrusted.

The ship was repaired, but was left with a large steel plate patch on her port side for the rest of the war. A prominent battle scar on the visage of the fair Sarita.


I have one photo showing the repair (see above) but, the quality is not good enough to see the patch clearly.

If anyone can substantiate this story, I would love to share your evidence.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Radio Room

My dad was a USN Radioman Second Class and this was his "cubicle" while on-board the Sarita.




Thursday, March 20, 2008

Crew: Supply & Dispursing Division

Crew: Second Division

Crew: Officers Cooks & Stewards Mates

Crew: L Division

Crew: Hospital Division

Crew: Gunnery Division



Crew: First Deck Division, Mr. Hollanda

Crew: E Division Electrical

Crew: C & R Division

Crew: Communication & Radar Division

My dad, Elmo Bregoli, is in the back row, white t-shirt, with the pipe in the background going around his head.

Crew: Butch, The Skipper's Dog

Crew: Captain and Officers




Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What's in a Name

ORIGIN OF SHIP'S NAME

SARITA is a minor planet discovered by Reinmuth 15 October 1914 at Heidleberg, Germany.
It is a tenth magnitude planet.

Taken from USS Sarita's Billet. Date unknown.

Welcome from the Commander


COMMANDER'S MESSAGE

It is my privilage and pleasure, to welcome you onboard. This ship is an Auxiliary Cargo Assault Transport, and it is expected that during the present contemplated tour of duty, it will come in contact with the enemy at least as much as any other vessel.

In the truest sense of the word "SARITA" is a Combat Vessel.

It is expected that each and every man will learn to do his job, every single part of his job, and learn to do it well, and promptly.

Learn to do it in the efficient, quiet cheerful manner which characterizes the true man-o-warsman.

This cooperation is vitally needed, and expected, to build our organization.

A ship cannot operate successfully unless properly organized.

Our ship must be the most efficient of its type.

ERWIN E. SMITH,    
   Lieut. Comdr. USNR
Taken from the USS Sarita's Billet . Date unknown.