BOOK FOR NAVY AND COAST GUARD SAILORS AND SEA HISTORIANS
A personal account of history
of enlisted ranks of the United States Navy.
Sea Bag of Memories
Images Poems Thoughts and Crafts
of the Small Ship Sailors of World War II
Wm. J. Veigele, Ph. D., USNR (Ret)
THE SEA BAG
When an enlisted man received his uniforms and other items in Boot Camp
a salty Petty Officer tossed to him a canvas sack, a Sea Bag. From then
on the sailor kept in it everything he owned. He lugged his Sea Bag with
him to every station and ship. Mementos from those places where he served
gathered in his Sea Bag. It became a storehouse for his memories of his
Rummaging through his Sea Bag a sailor could trace his career, where
he had been, ships on which he had sailed, actions in which he had taken
part, and shipmates he would always remember. In that sense, the repository
of his memories of his time in the naval service was his Sea Bag.
After the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor, many American men who joined
the U. S. Navy and Coast Guard became crew members on small ships they
called the Donald Duck Navy. These ships guarded America's coastlines,
stalked submarines, and escorted convoys across the oceans. In Europe
and in the Pacific they swept mines and also led landing craft to invasion
Life aboard the ships was crowded and cramped with no privacy. They
pitched, yawed, and rolled viciously, decks awash, forecastles, pilot
houses, and flying bridges buried under water. They weathered the worst
of nature and the enemy. These young men were a special type, mostly reservists
with no previous sea duty.
Like many sailors, they played music, wrote poetry, drew, painted, and
crafted items that were original, humorous, and artistic. It is amazing
that they had the mental and physical discipline to do this under cramped
and brutal conditions. This book is a tribute to them, and it helps to
preserve and record some of those original creations. This SEA BAG will
bring back memories for those who served and show others what it was like.
This book is dedicated to small ship sailors many of whom trained at the
Submarine Chaser Training Center and are members of the Patrol Craft Sailors
Association. They are Too Good to be Forgotten.
THE SMALL SHIPS
Many types of small vessels served in the Navy and Coast Guard of the
United States during World War and they too had their poets and artists.
Their efforts and works should be recognized. However, in this book I
consider only the works of the sailors from a select group of small ocean
going ships. They are:
Submarine Chasers: Patrol Craft (PC), Patrol Craft Control (PCC),
Patrol Craft Escort (PCE), Patrol Craft Escort Communications (PCEC),
Patrol Craft Escort Rescue (PCER), Submarine Chaser (SC), and Submarine
Chaser Control (SCC).
Patrol Vessels: Yard Patrol (YP), Yacht (PY), and Coastal Yacht
Minesweepers: Fleet Minesweeper (AM), Patrol Craft Sweeper (PCS),
Fleet mine sweepers (AM, ex PC and ex SC), and Auxiliary Motor Minesweeper
Gunboats: Motor Gunboats (PGM, ex PC and ex SC).
Coast Guard Cutters: Submarine Chaser (WPC), and Submarine Chaser
After World War II many of the former small ship sailors continued to
generate original work that depicted or reflected on their years aboard
ship. The book shows those works and also material from sources other
than small ship sailors persons associated with the construction
of the ships, training of the crews, and historians.
This 320 page cloth bound book has 200 photographs and figures and 26
The Sea Bag
I. The Donald Duck Navy
II. Other Ship Insignia
III. Training Small Ship Sailors
IV. Life Aboard a Small Ship
V. PC Patrol Craft
VI. SC Submarine Chasers
VII. Other Small Ships (PCE, PCS, AM, YMS, PGM, YP, PY, PYc)
VIII. Coast Guard
IX. Exploits Actions and Losses
X. Other Contributors
XI. Going Home
XII. The Later Years
A: Items Issued to an Enlisted Man
B: Photographs of Small Ships
C: Specifications of Small Ships
Plates Engineering Drawings of a PC
Related Web sites
Bill Veigele enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and went to Boot Camp at the
Great Lakes Training Center. He attended Diesel Schools at the University
of Illinois and the Navy Pier in Chicago. He trained at the Small Craft
Training Center in Norfolk, Virginia and the Submarine Chaser Training
Center (SCTC) in Miami, Florida. In Portland, Oregon he helped put PC
793 in commission. Veigele served as a MoMM 2/C on PC 793 for twenty-two
months in the Pacific. After discharge from the Navy in 1946 he did another
hitch as enlisted man in the Naval Reserve. After graduating from college
he received a commission in the Naval Reserve. He served with Surface,
Composite, and Research Reserve Companies. Lt. Veigele was Commanding
Officer of Research Reserve Co. 9-21 in Denver, Colorado. He retired from
the Naval Reserve in 1968 with twenty-two years of service.
Dr. Veigele earned a B. A. and an M. A. in mathematics and physics from
Hofstra College, Hempstead, New York in 1949 and 1951 and a Ph. D. in
physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado in 1960.
Dr. Veigele is a plank owner of, was Vice President, pro tempore and
is serving a third term as a member of the Board of Directors of the Patrol
Craft Sailors Association. He is the author of seventy-five articles and
five books including the popular and acclaimed PC Patrol Craft of
World War II.
SOME READERS HAVE SAID ABOUT THIS BOOK
As a PCE sailor
I relate to the contents of this book. It portrays the guts and
determination of young reservists during those awesome times. It
is a superb book.
EPCER 855, RADM, USN, Ret.
This is the only book that shows how
we felt about the Navy and WWII through our art and humor. It's
a "must read."
Ted Treadwell, Former Commanding Officer
of SC 648 and author of The Splinter Fleet.
Veigele gives details of life on a
small combatant through sailors' arts and crafts. These ships fought
the enemy and the sea and played important parts in winning WWII.
This book is a "must read."
Obie Armstrong PC 1204, Past
President of the Patrol Craft Sailors Association
This [book] is not only rich in its depth
of information but fascinating for its photos, cartoons, poems,
art, drawings and miscellany. . . .
exquisitely drawn plates . . . will
make ship modelers ecstatic . . .
. . . . . historians and researchers
now have a gold mine of information heretofore never disclosed.
It is a beautifully executed hard bound
book . . . and is highly recommended . . .
. . . . conscientious attention to detail
I found the book superb in every way.
Congratulations on your excellent presentation of the life aboard
the small ships.
Sea Bag of Memories - Images,
Poems, Thoughts, and Crafts of the Small Ship Sailors of World War
320 pages 200 photographs and figures 26 color plates Available
on CD-ROM in PDF
Format Price: $14.95
by Wm. J. Veigele, Ph. D., USNR (Ret)
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Astral Publishing Co.
333 Old Mill Road # 324
Santa Barbara, CA 93110-3655
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