CRS As told by:

Karl's CT-Tales


Ratzeputz"When I first arrived in Bremerhaven, in the fall of 1966, you had to wear your uniform on liberty for the first 30 days. So, when I was taken down to Sleazy's on my first night in town, I was initiated in Charlie section.

There were three of us being "welcomed" that night. There on the bar were three shots of something called ratzeputz. We were told, all we had to do is drink them down, one after another, and we were in. No problem. Each of us downed our three shots.

We all thought we had it made until one of the veteran Charlie section guys took a match and placed it inside each of the shot glasses. Lo and behold, a blue flame! Well, up on the bar came three more shots of ratzeputz! This time, I licked the inside of glass until it was clean and then waved it around until it was dry. We all passed the blue flame test the second time around. Ah, Naval traditions."


"Does anybody else remember the German sailor who used to go into Sleazy's and win the chug-a-lug contests? This guy was unbelievable. He would open the bottle with his teeth, which should have given us a hint. On the signal to begin, he would pick the bottle up with his mouth, lean his head all the way back, and his throat would just open up and the bottle was empty. He would put his head forward and bang the empty bottle on the bar! This all happened in a matter of seconds. I've never seen anyone faster then or now."

From Rod Ward (Legends Band 66-67): "You asked about the chug-a-lug guy in Sleazy's, well, we knew him pretty well from the Famina Bar in the fishing harbour area of Bremerhaven. Although he spoke fluent German and had bit of English he was, in fact, an Icelandic Merchant seaman. I've seen him open a bottle with his teeth spit out the top and actually suck out the beer quicker than you could pour it on the floor. He even told us how he did it. Before biting the top off the beer, he would first bang the sealed bottle to gas it up inside, then when he did remove the top, it shot out down his throat because of the built up pressure. Mind you, how he opened his throat that way I dont know. Talk about jealous. Still he was one hard and very strong guy." - Rod



Found this ticket to a Charlie Section party. $3! Those were the good old days!

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Frank's CT-Tales

"I was stationed in Bremerhaven from Dec. 1960 to Sept. 1964. Was probably the best duty station I had in my entire 22 year career. A German linguist and manual morse op while there. Worked P&R on the second deck, third if you count the basement. Also spent a few months on the line in "R" branch spaces during and after the Cuban crisis. All but a few marines were shipped out to Camp Lejeune during that crisis so there was a need for more morse operators. Since my division officer (Lt. Custer) had noticed that I would sit at the SP-600 receiver in his office trying to copy the news broadcast from WSL (not sure of call letters), he figured I would make a superb ditty chaser. What a culture shock for me. Having never sat at a circuit, it was no picnic for me. Got the knack of it after a week or so and rather enjoyed it. Subsequently had my clearance revoked since I had "Formed an affection for a foreign national." As you know, That meant I got married to a german girl. I was lucky and had my clearance restored after about six months and returned to the ops section where I remained until my transfer to Russian language school in Monterey, Calif. Unfortunately, I don't have any memorabilia anymore as it was all thrown away by my aforementioned wife (now ex) many, many years ago."

"Only have memories in my mind. A few of my old shipmates were: Dan "Rocky" Bonyeau, Howie Fontaine (was SEA for DIRNSA prior to his retirement in the late-80's), Ed Pomeroy, Denny Knott, Russ Martin, Tim Lunn, Jim Parish,CTRC James Moser, CTRC Sullivan (who p :-) ed away this past year), CTAC Al Kisner, CTT1 Lou Eighmey and many more great shipmates whose names I cannot remember."


While perusing the stories on the web page, saw Ord Jones' name. He passed away many, many years ago. Anyway, his name reminded of a classic "security" tale which maybe Dick Eastman can confirm or refute.

It seems that Ord, a WO at the time, and his wife were adopting a German child. Well you know what happened next....HE FORMED AN AFFECTION FOR A FOREIGN NATIONAL and SEGRU either pulled his clearance or wanted to do so. From what I heard from some of the sailors who worked for him or knew him (he was the T branch div officer, I believe) said he was fit to be tied. All ended well though and he got his tickets back and rejoined the crew.

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Bob's CT-Tales

NSGA Bremerhaven, Germany
Section "Charlie" Early 1957

Jerry "Giles" Argo
Jack Bair
Bill Barber
R. H. "Bob" Bush
Adam "Denny" Chavez
Fremont "Monte" Clark
Ed Cochran
John "Jackie" Cole
John "Deac" Deacon
Bob "Dimp" D'Imperio
Vern Dunbar
Lewis "Lou" Eckhart
W.A. "Willie" Fiorilli
Guy "Sir Guy" Fritz
Paul Fuller
Charles "Gas" Gaskin
Johnny "Chips" Gelvin
Fred Giovanetti
Ray Gober
Hank Haggard
Bob "Bones" Haggerty
M.S. "Max" Harris
Jim Hayes
Charlie "Drycell" Heiner
Charlie Hewitt
John "Jack" Hipp
Robert "Bob" Hough
Gloria Irvine
Bob "Johnny" Johnson
Don "Choo Choo" Justice
Ord "Father" Jones
Michael "Mike" Kostinko
Bill "Kub" Kubiak
Gary Lehnerz
Ernest "Barney" Limper
Bob "Marty" Martin
Len "Matt" Matyia
Frank Meinhardt
Jack "Merc" Mercado
Dave "Swede" Mnnemann
Edward "Pappy" Nordt
Albert "Woody" Norwood
Tom "Togo" Paolozzi
Larry "Pop" Poppe
Erroll "Tank" Reed
R. "Reedly" Reed
Marty Ruggiero
Morris "Ryan" Ryan"
H.W. "Two Beer" Shaeffer
Joe "Billy Joe" Shumate
Russell "Beaver" Sidles
Joe "Baby Joe" Smith
Bud Stillwagon
James "J.V." Tanner
Robert "Bob" Tarr
Dick Thayer
Alvin "Ace" White
Bill "Willie" Wilson
Gene "Woody" Witherell
Jim "Stubber" Wright
H.D "Zig" Zeigler
Others from the 56/57 era included:
Capt. P.P. Leigh
Lcdr M. B. Gillespie & bro.
Lt. Chester G. Phillips
Lt. Sebastian Trusso
Capt. (USMC) Allen
Ens. Paul "Pete" Dillingham
Ens. S. J. Kuplinski
CTC Hank Weitzel
CTC George Mercado
Larry Saling
Ed Yelsosky
Donald A. Mehaffey
F.D.R. Shaeffer

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