Life in a Tin Can:
This was once “home sweet home” for all of us.

If you noted a strong bond of friendship and deep spirit of camaraderie among our shipmates at our first reunion (buddies drinking, chatting, joking, laughing and mingling with one another day and night), it was no illusion. These were tin can sailors, who once stood in line to go to the head, wash their face and hands, to eat a meal or take a shower.

It was a daily routine, day after day, week after week. For some, month after month; for others, two or three years.

One need only look at the above cross section of the “Mighty Converse” (when things were going badly we jokingly called her the “Mighty Reverse”) to understand exactly what we mean. Three hundred or so boys (a few of them were young men) living on a floating piece of tin about 375 feet from end to end by typically 30 or so feet wide. Then, consider that maybe about two-thirds of that limited area is taken up by engineering spaces, mechanical gear, ammunition compartments, gunnery devices and equipment, and fuel tanks.

The other third was living spaces. Picture, if you will, 60 guys sleeping in a compartment not much bigger than your master bedroom; 300 people eating in a mess hall about the size of your living room; cooks preparing their food in a galley no bigger than your kitchen; eight men sitting sometimes for 30 or 40 straight hours in a turret smaller than your bathroom.

No, my friend. Not four decades, nor five decades, nor six decades could ever change that strong bond of friendship . . .  camaraderie . . .  togetherness . . .