U.S.S. ALTAIR AKS-32

Why I Joined The Navy

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It was 1947 the war had not been over that long. My cousin Helen and I road the trolley down town to take in a movie. Tampa was a small town back then with two theaters on one main street where Woolworths, Walgreens and Mass Brothers were the centers of commerce.

It was a hot humid day in July and I couldnít wait to get into the cool movie house. They didnít have air conditioning back then but used blocks of ice and fans to keep the room cool. When we came out of the theater I noticed several sailors in their summer whites walking arm in arm with girls, some guys even had a girl on each arm.

We found out that a couple of Destroyers were moored over at the bay so we walked over to take a look. When we got there one of the ships was preparing to get underway. Sailors were everywhere hugging and kissing girls then they walked up the gangway and left some of the women waving and crying on the pier I know it does not sound patriotic but right there and then I decided that the Navy was for me.

Tom Planes