I enlisted in the US NAVY at age 19, on Nov 3'rd 1951, in Kankakee, Il. After the physical in Chicago, Il., we boarded the train at Union Station, and were on our way.
Four days later we deboarded in down town San Diego, Ca. We were met by the shore patrol, and herded in to a Navy Bus. For 14 weeks of training at Boot Camp, San Diego.
The first morning was a shock. We were rudely awakened by a Petty Officer, we were told we had 30 minutes to shower, shave, dress. He marched us (sort of) to what they called "chow".
At 8am we loosely formed up and marched to "sick bay". I didn't feel sick, but I went anyway. If I had known what was waiting for me, I might have felt nauseous. Shots every where for everything.
Next was a trip to the dentist & Eye Dr. for Navy issue glasses, and last but not least my first regulation hair cut.
Then we were issued our "sea bag", and Navy Clothing, except for Dress Blues. They weren't ready although we were.
We were assigned to an 80 man company for training. After one week in San Diego, we were shipped out to the Desert north east of San Diego. (No water there). This was for our 1st 6 weeks of training.
We marched in formation, manual of arms, cleaned the "Barracks", we were taught to do our own clothes (Mommie!!), and stood watches in and around the "Barracks", plus 1 week of mess cook duty.
We were then sent to RTC in San Diego for advanced training learning all Naval History, plus interviews to see what they thought we were suited for while in the service. And finally we were granted our first liberty, a whole 6 hours. Noon to 6pm.
After 8 weeks in RTC we graduated, and assigned to our first duty stations.
Come visit with me for a while.
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This Page Last Updated 12/31/2001,by E.Themer.
Jim Themer passed away,9/7/2000.
I,his widow is maintaing his site.