WW II Atlantic ASW Patrol on the 83331
(Jack is on the left side)
In his own words – Jack Parker, SM 2c
It's amazing that after almost 60 years I can
remember some things so vividly and others I can't recall no matter how hard
I try. After finishing boot camp and signal school at Manhattan Beach in
Brooklyn, N.Y. in the latter part of 1943, I was assigned to the 83331
stationed at Little Creek outside of Norfolk, VA.
During our Atlantic ASW duties we generally run a patrol for a period of
three days and return to Little Creek for one day to load up on food and
supplies and refill our gas tanks. Due to the fact that we carried about 2000
gals. of gasoline and with our Sterling Viking engines we burned a lot of fuel
and therefore we could only stay out for three days. The only exception to
this was when we would accompany a buoy tender and end up in Moorehead City
N.C. or Cape May N.J.. While on these patrols we would normally stand sea
watches of 4 hrs. on and 8 hrs. off. We had a few occasions when due to men
being on leave etc. we then would stand watches of 4 hrs. on and 4 hrs. off.
This was a little tough particularly during the winter months when we would
be covered with ice and of course with the 83footers 98% of steering would
be from the outside flying bridge.
Our crew consisted of 13 men and one
officer usually a j.g... Our skipper was Lt. j.g. David B. Gray. I believe he
is still alive at the age of 91and resides in Panama City Fl. . Our crew
were all rated specialists and we had no seamen therefore we all stood sea
watches normally with 2 men taking turns at the wheel and as lookout. In
addition there would be a motor machinist mate on duty in the engine room.
Our speed was normally slow and medium speeds while on patrol to conserve
fuel and I believe we used both engines since it gave us better control