Nicholes, Captain Walter S., 1944

Nicholes, Captain Walter S., 1944

Walt wrote his story in a book The Seagoing Years- Memoirs of a boy at war in 2011. He swallowed the anchor in 1953 after serving as Chief Mate. He is very modest and would only say the following:

I did not know, personally, any cadets or other seamen who died during the war. Saw some, from a distance, dying but never close-up or aboard any ship I sailed.

An Engine Cadet on one of my ships did get a bit of shrapnel in his thigh from a 20mm hit near the gun tub where he was assisting during an air attack but it amounted to naught. The bit of metal was extracted w/o anesthetic and I think a large band-aid applied. He made a big deal out of this, so far as to apply for, and receive, the Maritime Commission equivalent of a Purple Heart. We teased him relentlessly about his “battle wound”, and that was about it. He is now deceased and this is not worth mentioning. Come to think of it, there was the inebriated young seaman who choked to death while eating peanut butter with a spoon, but again, nothing heroic here.

 

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