korean war

Discussion in 'Diamond Lil's' started by exkaydet, May 27, 2008.

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  1. I was doing some research for a memoir on the Korean War and the Ladybird was mentioned. I arrived in Sasebo, Japan, on July 4th 1950 and , in addition to my other duties, was OIC of the US Army fleet, two AKLs, two LSMs, and two small tankers. When things calmed down a bit, we reopened the officers' club which had a good restaurant, bar and gaming room equipped with two lines of slot machines. When the Ladybird was towed into port and tied up to a pier( I am sure for the duration ) we were notified that it was to be the headquarters for the ranking British admiral, and I, as the entertainment chairman, visited to offer the facilities to the officers of the Ladybird. I was introduced to Lt. Freddie Mills, who, as I recall, was the admiral's aid. Also, in chatting with him, I discovered that he had not had fresh vegetables for a long time. I called the OIC of food distribution who received daily "forced issues" of whatever came from the hydroponic farms and had the Ladybird included in the distribution of these products.
    The next week Freddie invited me to the Ladybird on Sunday evening for "small food and cinema." The cinema, of course, was British and the food was small compared to the beverages. It was the first time I had ever tasted Drambuie.
    We were in summer uniforms which were simply khaki shirt and trousers (no ties). As I got to the head of the gangplank, the offcer on deck,with a crew of sailors piped me aboard. If that wasn't enough, all were dressed in white over black with the officer in white mess jacket and black tie!

    I didn't really feel out of place until I entered the salon, and saw all the officers in similar uniforms. After being introduced to them, I took Freddie aside and asked why they were dressed like that with a war going on. I'll never forget his answer, almost verbatim, "I say, old man, you can't let a small colonial war change your way of life."

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