Question from Milton Bush: I have some recipies from a PT Boat 108 cook
who was at Green in 1944: Spam made 10 ways; hot dogs with a red sauce; corned beef, etc. On long PBY
missions, did food get cooked on board, or was
it mainly cold sandwiches and jars of soup?
Fred Henning: We did not do gourmet cooking on PBY flights. We always had
coffee on the stove. That was the first thing we
did when we reached cruising altitude. Most of the time we had sandwiches
and such although the crew cooked a few times. A few times we had K Rations -- that was the worst. Sometimes we
had cartons of C-Rations especially for extended
missions, more than one day. When we went to Japan, we had C-Rations. We
existed on those for several days at Atsugi Air
Base where we were socked in by weather. There was no other food there
except abandoned stores of tea and rice. The C's
Milton Bush: I think the dock was known as The Officers Dock. I am trying
to collect the PBY plane nicknames for the
several squadrons. The PT guys just used the nicknames on the radio during
missions. I just got a journal from a Ron 23
skipper. Goes from March 14 to Nov. 4, 1944. Theirs was the last to leave,
early Dec. One crash boat remained, Little
Joe. Do you recall your plane's nickname and some of the others in the
Fred Henning: We did not use any nicknames for radio call signs in VPB 53.
In each operational area we flew, the squadron
had a code name to which was attached a number for the particular mission.
I don't remember our code name/word for Green
Island. When operating out of Samar our code name was Milkshake. Then our
assigned call sign for a particular mission might
be Milkshake 23, for example. We never used the squadron ID, VPB 53, in
radio communications, nor pilot real names.
Sometimes after making contact with another '53 plane we used first names
or familiar nicknames in further communications.
But planes, or pilots, did not have assigned nicknames as they do today.
Fred Henning: If I remember correctly the field ovens were fueled by
gasoline that was held in tanks at the bottom of the
stove. The stove was sort of rectangular shape from top to bottom. We
could put griddles on top of it - the oven could be used for baking, etc.
It was sort of like a large camp stove with burners on top. Any refrigerators were run
by generators. I don't remember diesel fuel being used - smelled too much and smoked too much.
I think at base 17, in the Philippines we had an
oven sitting on top of bricks with a space underneath for a burner or
wood. The baking would start about one to three am, according to what was being baked.
On the boats I drew bread from the base
galley to use on the boat. It was kind of dicey on Green and Treasury as to cooking. you had to start early and most of the
time there was only you and maybe another to start and there were Japanese
around sneaking into the camp.
I think, on Treasury the boats were idled
into the bushes and it was cut away around the boat and that was its berth
ashore. We had
curfew at 7 pm and no one from base was allowed to go down to the boats
after that time - and vice versa. On the boat we had a sort of converted
field stove with oven below the burners. Take care, Earl