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Kodiak Alaska Military History

Navy Flying Squadrons

Fred Tuxworth VS-70

I reported to Glenview Naval Air Station, in Chicago on December 16, 1941. Nine days after Pearl Harbor and two weeks before my 27th birthday. At 27 I would have been too old to enter the aviation cadet program. They really needed pilots badly. The day following my arrival I was in an N3N. There were only 160 flight students at Glen View at that time. They were so disorganized that we didn't have uniforms. When we attended a USO sponsored dance, we wore our civilian clothes. Two months at Glen View and one month at Love Field at Dallas, TX, and they had room for us at Pensacola.

I received my ensign's commission in September 1942. They were graduating six to eight at a time, every Tuesday and Thursday. I unfortunately did not know anyone in my graduating group. I had missed a three-hour flight training session due to a special meeting. The instructors at the VO-VS training squadron seemed quite happy about it. They informed me that the specific training session I had missed would not be repeated for two weeks, however; in the meantime they could keep me busy towing targets and other similar jobs that the junior instructor would have had to do if I hadn't been available. As a result of this delay, most of the pilots I ran into were strangers.

My orders after a 30-day leave were to San Diego. I violated the Navy rule that you carry all of your gear with you when traveling. When I traveled to San Diego I flew in a DC3. At that time the maximum luggage weight could not exceed 40 pounds without a severe financial penalty. Since I was heading for San Diego and the war was in the South Pacific, I elected to carry only summer gear. As a result I was wearing a tropical uniform in Ketchikan Alaska in January. But then long underwear saved the day.

In San Diego I met two other new pilots with the same orders as mine, VS-70 in Sitka, Alaska. They were Arnold Ingy and Jim Wainwright. We boarded a train for Seattle and were immediately impressed with the West Coast war attitude and how different it was from that of the Mid-West. When they took us aboard the Seattle train, they kicked off a woman and her two children. We apologetically helped her unload her luggage, but there was nothing further we could do. It took us three or four days to get to Seattle. Sometimes our train sat on siding overnight. Civilian passenger travel was not a high priority.

As resourceful as Naval Aviators always are, we made the most of it.

It turned out to be one continuous military party. As I recall there were an Army Captain, a Navy Chief Warrant and his wife, two Army nurses, one a Captain and various other military personnel whose personalities seemed to be dimmed by time. I do remember in Portland, Oregon when the conductor told how long we would be stuck there, we all enjoyed rooftop dining at an exclusive Portland hotel.

At the Sand Point Naval Air Station in Seattle, we were to await transportation to Sitka. We kept ourselves busy chasing coeds at the nearby university. We traveled by civilian motor vessel. We arrived at Sitka in the middle of December 1942. We were a group of eight replacements. As I recall I had 235 flight hours and assume the others had similar time. This was a mistake the Navy made but I don't believe ever repeated. New, low-time pilots and Alaskan winter weather - - very bad.

On arrival at Sitka I spent a few days in sickbay with a strep throat and by the time I got out, two of these replacement pilots were dead. How and why, we didn't know. They went out and didn't come back. In the first five weeks, four of the eight replacements were lost, including my friends Arnold Ingy and Jim Wainwright. Ingy was only recently married.

This can make a very conservative pilot out of you. I absorbed every piece of advice that was offered by the old timers. The word was, stay under the weather. I saw a great demonstration of this by Bob Ellis on Christmas, 1942. We were in Ketchikan and we were not flying because of the poor visibility. However, Bob Ellis and a Navy Chief Petty Officer who also had his family in Ketchikan had decided to be home for Christmas. Bob's flight was the only one that left Sitka that day. When asked if he had all the emergency gear he needed, he asked for one more item, a broom. He explained to us how it worked. As the visibility became reduced because of snow, you get down to about five feet above the water and slow fly. If the visibility suddenly goes to zero you chop throttle and set her down. You taxi until visibility permitted and then took off again. If you taxied too long, you would use the broom to sweep the accumulated snow off the wings. Of course for this to be successful, your dead reckoning position must be accurate at all times and you must be over water, preferably not too rough.

I used a broom only once and that was after spending a night with the Canadian pilots at Prince Rupert while my Kingfisher was moored to a buoy. I had visited Prince Rupert at the suggestion of Bob Ellis. They were doing the same patrolling as we were. Most of the pilots were veterans of the European war on rest duty. They were flying "Supermarine Sharks", a bi-plane; floatplane, some "Nordine Norseman" and once I saw a Bristol "Blenhem". They were great drinkers. I remember the drunker they got the more they insisted to me, the "neophyte", to stay under the weather.

My first assignment was to Ketchikan were I met Tom Connely from Boston. He was living at the Stedman Hotel and I moved in. Shortly after, Marshall Creel from Reno, Nevada replaced him. Creel had permission from Captain Bob to use Bob's wanagan. This was a house on a log raft tied to a downtown Ketchikan waterfront dock. This was a great living arrangement. The house was approximately 20 feet by 40 feet with a narrow all-around porch and sat on a log raft. The building was all kitchen except for two small bunkrooms each with double deck bunks at one end. The bathroom was an outhouse nailed to the outside of the house.

Our planes and crew were at a floating hangar attached to the Ellis Air Transport hangar. Our crewmen lived above the hangar area. The planes never came out of the water except for severe maintenance. This flight station was several miles north of downtown Ketchikan and usually required a taxi ride to get to "squadron". This situation improved dramatically after the Coast Guard assigned us a Coast Guard cox'n and a crashboat. After that we had water taxi service to and from the planes.

The crashboat was a re-arming barge. That is a twenty five to thirty foot light, plywood, square bowed, open boat with gigantic padding on all gunwales. They were intended for rearming flying boats in the water. They had giant chocks for carrying torpedoes and bombs, and a big Chrysler engine. When empty they would plane, they were quite fast.

One very windy day, Creel landed in the lee of an island several miles from our dock because of the wind and rough water in Tongass Narrows (Ketchikan waterfront). The Coast Guard cox'n and I took the rearming barge crashboat across the narrows. There we found Creel holding his Kingfisher, nose in the wind, with power. We tied his leeward tip float in the barge and made our way side by side across the rough water to our dock. I'm sure we saved a Kingfisher that day plus a nasty and perhaps final bath for Creel.

We received a special lesson in bush operations one day from Bob Ellis. He had come in from Sitka and discovered we had not flown because we had not be able to start our engines. Normally we would use a Salamander, which was a kerosene heater and blower setup that would circulate hot air through a fabric tube to the covered engine. This would usually provide summer conditions for starting the engines. On this particular day the Briggs and Stratton engine that powered the Salamander would not start. Bob found Creel cleaning the Briggs and Stratton carburetor and I was redoing the points. He proceeded to show us how to start a cold engine in the bush and then had each of us start an engine.

We drained the oil in a bucket and heated it over an open fire. Then we removed all eighteen sparkplugs, put them in an empty starter cartridge can, flooded them with gas and set them on fire. With the hot oil and spark plugs replaced, we hand propped the engines. The mechanics enjoyed this as they got to sit in the cockpit as we did the propping. We stood on the finger float and pulled the prop through from the backside. You can only pull it through one compression.. If it didn't start, the engine must be cleared and then re-primed and tried again, and again, and again.

After a few weeks I was called back to Sitka and then reassigned to Port Armstrong a facility about 1 hour south of Sitka. The crewman and I were told to pack our belongings and go to Port Armstrong the next morning. If the conditions were not suitable for landing, we were to proceed on patrol. This procedure was repeated for five or six days. We would be advised by Port Armstrong by radio, "do not attempt a landing". Tom Connely was the last one to land there and his plane capsized in a williwaw and was lost. Tom was able to get safely into the rescue launch. When we were finally able to land, we did. And then we were not able to get out for the following week.

Port Armstrong was located just inside Cape Ommaney on Chatham Strait. Cape Ommaney was at the southern tip of Baranof Island. The Armstrong facility was unusual. It was a small land locked harbor about 3/4 mile long and 1/4 mile wide and had about a 1/4- mile narrow winding channel leading out to Chatham Strait. It was almost totally surrounded by 2,000-3,000 foot mountains. This terrain caused the williwaws under high wind conditions. It had been a whaling station at one time and it was a Japanese fish reduction plant when the Navy took it over. It's one great attribute was that it had electric generating power from a two foot diameter wooden water pipe that lead from a small lake about 200 feet above the facility. The air space over this small lake also provided enough turning room so that a plane could land going into or out of the harbor. If you landed going west (into the harbor), you were committed, there was not room to turn around. If you landed east, you had to make a very tight turn over this small lake and sideslip quickly down to the water so that your landing run would end before the harbor did. All the buildings were on the dock. Seabees eventually built the small BOQ on a piece of flat ground. A station rule required that a Springfield rifle be carried any time you left the dock area - - Kodiak Bears!

Bob Ellis spent some time earlier marking my charts with red pencil dots. Each dot represented the location of a mink or fox ranch or a closed for the winter cannery. He suggested visiting them any time we could and to carry any surplus newspapers or magazines. He said they really enjoyed visitors and that being familiar with their location could possibly save our lives some day.

Weekend liberty at Port Armstrong was spent at Port Alexander about eight to ten miles south. This was a fishing village with a population of about 250 people in the summer. In the winter there were twenty. The wife of the fisherman, who ran the poker table at Art Carlson's bar, was pregnant and the town was looking forward to the 5% population increase. Art Carlson's bar was the entertainment center. Art offered several services beside the bar and the poker table. He raised mink and fox for furs, he was the town barber, dentist and was said to have occasionally set a broken leg. When the Navy came on a Saturday night, the entire town stayed up until the Navy left. If the water turned too rough, this could be sometime Sunday. I spent one Saturday night sleeping on the billiard table.

This was really bush flying. I returned one day from an aborted patrol to find that Port Armstrong was fogged in. I headed towards Ketchikan and discovered it was also fogged in. The fog was flowing in from the west so I headed east. I ended up approximately 100 miles east in Wrangell. And I was stuck there for 5 or 6 days. Each day I would go the to Coast Guard office in the Post Office building and contact Port Armstrong by radio. Each day I would learn that I couldn't land in Armstrong or Ketchikan. This went on for approximately a week. Then one day I was told I could land. By the time I got to Armstrong, the weather had closed in again. But this time I could sneak into Ketchikan on the last of my fuel.

We enjoyed our stay in Wrangell. We practically became local citizens. On our arrival we went to the one hotel and I explained our situation to the manager. We could be extended credit until I could return with money.. We then made the same arrangements with a restaurant. I borrowed ready cash from the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer.

My crewman, a young kid, had a ball. The crew of a local Coast Guard patrol boat adopted him. He moved in with them, they gave him a uniform and introductions to several of the local high school girls. He was very good with an accordion and was able to borrow one. On the other hand, I presented a pretty poor picture. I was wearing a summer flight suit over long johns. I had on fleece lined flight boots over heavy wool socks. But Wrangell was friendly. I managed to attend a red man's ball and danced in my stocking feet. I also attended a high school basketball game, Wrangell vs. Petersburg.

On the morning that we left, my crewman said he had promised several girls that we would buzz the town when we left. We did, low, down the main street. My wife several years later read in Alaskan Life Magazine an article by a Wrangell native. She remembered as a little girl that this was Wrangell's only war experience and it upset the town fathers who considered reporting the incident to the Navy. We returned weeks later and paid our debts. I never heard further.

When we returned I instructed the young crewman that we should wear our full uniforms and try to leave a better impression than we had previously. I was wearing a uniform and fleece-lined winter flying gear all over long underwear. Unfortunately as I was disembarking over the front of the main float, I slipped on a small piece of ice and went into the water. There was a shack on the dock with a potbelly stove. We stirred up the fire and I stripped, hung up everything, and then put my drying but still wet uniform back on. We walked into town, paid our debts and returned to the shack. I put all those clothes back on and flew for an hour back to Port Armstrong. When the water warmed up I was not too uncomfortable, a testimonial to long underwear.

Tom Munster, who I believe was the senior Airedale at Armstrong, usually flew with me. We claimed to be the best boat crew that ever manned a OS2U. We frequently, after a dawn patrol, would return to Port Armstrong while the other Airedales were still in the sack. We would approach approximately parallel to the finger float, cut the engine, and lift the port tip float by Tom standing on the starboard wind tip. When the port float passed over the finger float, I would go out the port wing and Tom would return amidship. This would drop the port float into the water, neatly straddling the finger float. We then tied up bow and stern and greeted the Airedales as they arrived. This resulted in a lot of kidding, bragging and ribbing. One day, with heavy adverse winds conditions, while attempting to make a downwind turn during docking, I ran aground on the windward side of the cove. Tom and I resorted to desperate measures in response to the hoots and catcalls from the Airedales. Tom slid aft astride the top of the fuselage to the vertical fin. I followed until the bow of the float floated clear and the wind blew us off the beach. We then docked by sailing her backwards, up to and astride the finger floats.

Baranof Island is very rugged. It is made up of 3,000-4,000 foot mountains and both east and west coasts have many deep fiords. Two fiords near the southern tip (Cape Ommaney) almost meet. It provided a convenient short cut to Port Armstrong if you had reasonable visibility and at least 400-foot ceiling. You could fly up a three mile long fiord from the west, climb over a two hundred foot finger of land and enter a seven mile long fiord that led to Chatham Strait about three miles north of Fort Armstrong. These fiords were beautiful. The sides were steep and tree covered. There was one passage through Baranof Island farther north that Bob Ellis called Red Devil Pass. A passenger that Bob had taken through years before in a Red Lockheed Vega had named it. Bob said that regardless of your experience, you could always get a thrill out of this passage. It was possible to fly through at six hundred feet. He did advise the first attempt should be at 2500 feet until you learned the way. I did it twice and got the entire thrill I wanted at 1200 feet. Any lower than that and there was no room to do a 180 in either direction if you should make a wrong turn. You pass several waterfalls that started above you and ended below you.

There was also a "back door" to Sitka Sound named Lisiansky Inlet. It could be used as an alternate route. Our Station Exec a very experienced US Naval Commander, named Joe Daganal attempted to use it in bad weather one day to bring Army "big brass" from Juneau. He was flying a Grumman Goose (JRF). He didn't make it; all were killed.

We had one other tragedy while I was at Ketchikan, probably in January 1943. A civilian contractor owned Lockheed Electra, (the same type of plane Amelia Earhart was flying), was reported overdue at Yakutat. It had reported engine problems, I believe around Prince Rupert.

Creel and I took off immediately to see what we could find. I tried to put myself in the position of the unfortunate pilot. The ceiling was 200 feet but the visibility good. The only place I could think where an emergency landing could be made by a land plane was on the north end of Queen Charlotte Island. There was a wide beach there and everywhere else there were steep, heavily wooded hills. I flew the length of the beach twice. It was rough but a plane could be bellied in if you were desperate enough. My situation became desperate on the return trip. Snow! Light, but it doesn't take much. I had to fly at about 25 feet to maintain contact with the water. The only place I could see through the windscreen was that small area under the telescopic gun sight. For some strange aerodynamic reason the snow avoided that spot. I used point-to-point piloting as Bob Ellis had taught. Short legs and distinctive landmarks and "guesstimated" compass courses. I experienced pretty intense anti-aircraft fire later on occasions in the Pacific, but I don't think I was ever as scared. Anti-aircraft fire usually is over in a short time, this flight was for over an hour. Even today I "Pucker up" when I think about it. The lost Electra was not found until a month later when the ceiling permitted. It had hit the trees in the hills. There were two men and a woman aboard. There were some injuries, eventually all died.

Tongass Narrows, the ship channel that flows past Ketchikan, has fairly extreme tides and currents. After a spring high tide it could become choked with spruce logs. For years these big logs had been bound in gigantic cigar shaped rafts and towed to market by tugboats. In a storm the tugboats occasionally would cast off their tows for their own survival. These rafts would break up on shore and the logs would end up in the shore side trees on the many islands. Occasionally on a spring high tide thousands of them would be floated free and become navigational hazards. Returning to Ketchikan one day I landed nearly five miles from the dock because I could not find a clear area any closer. I spent the next hour picking my way through the logs to get home. Some of those logs are three to four feet in diameter and thirty to fifty feet long; they were not to be ignored.

Port Althorpe was about an hour north of Sitka. It had its own peculiarities and hazards in adverse wind conditions. One day Tom Baccus was making a down wind take off to avoid a prolonged, propeller eroding taxi and take off in rough water. He made it but left his starboard tip float in the trees. He proceeded as planned to Sitka and made a normal landing. He taxied ashore keeping the wind to starboard and set it safely on the ramp on the port tip float.

Bob Ellis happened to be at Port Althorpe once when a Kingfisher capsized. He sent a message to Sitka that they had salvaged the plane and Bob was going to fly it back. The Sitka station objected strenuously but Bob flew it back safely. He said later that once they had drained everything, and got the engine running satisfactorily, there was nothing to be concerned about except corrosion. And that was going to happen immediately. This plane was disassembled totally, washed down and inspected. It was then reassembled. After that we always had one more plane than the books showed.

Other contributions that Bob made were a great help. On one trip I made to Sitka he suggested we take an extra life raft to Port Armstrong. He said we should inflate it and play with it. An inflatable life raft does not behave like any other watercraft. Getting familiar with could be helpful in an emergency. He also came up with the "picnic lunch". This was some selected canned goods and other non-perishable food packed in a waterproof rubberized bag. His reasoning was that if a pilot felt he could spend a night or couple of days in the bush, in comparative comfort, he may not try too hard to get home. Among our emergency gear was a Springfield rifle for protection and food and a small 30" axe for firewood. Bob said you must be a good pilot to keep your plane flying. Failing that, you will need to be a good boatman to keep her afloat. Failing that, you better be a good woodsman so you can walk back. After this statement when not wearing the fleece lined flight boots, I always wore 12" logger's boots when flying.

In May 1943 we returned to Sitka. The squadron was being transferred to the Kodiak area. We were not there long, but long enough for Will Stobie and I to become engaged to two of the girls that had arrived in the spring. When the squadron moved, four of us were left behind to indoctrinate the new squadron. They had heard of our wintertime troubles and insisted. Bob showed again his compassionate side by selecting Tom Baccus, Tom Wilson, Will Stobie and I for this duty. When we did leave for Kodiak we left without Stobie. He had an emergency appendectomy. Those are the breaks. He finally arrived later with a Chief Petty Officer in the back seat who held Josephine, Stobie's cocker spaniel on his lap. We understand that they made several stops in quiet coves on the way so that Josephine could be put out on a wing to pee. We were not long in Kodiak when Stobie and I received word that the two girls had jumped ship. They were Civil Service employees and were under contract to the Navy. They elected to leave and took a boat to Juneau. Stobie and I fortunately one evening at the O club overheard the ship's service officer complaining that they had stripped him of his Navy help by calling in all available personnel in preparation for the reclaiming of Attu and Kiska from the Japanese. We volunteered the girls' services, he took us to see the station exec and got his approval, and the girls were hired. They arrived eventually by NATS. Once again Bob did us a big favor by sending Stobie and I to the Afognak dispersal base to serve our training time before the girls got to Kodiak. Stobie and Effie were eventually married in Seattle. Lorraine and I were married in Kodiak by an Army Chaplain (with two other chaplains as witnesses) when I received word that my replacement was on his way. She took the "motor ship Baranof" back to the States and I flew NATS. A great start for a honeymoon.

Jim Spencer had nicely covered operations at Kodiak. He referred to the cold box lunches during patrols. I believe I may have originated that practice. I requisitioned a lunchbox from supply hoping it would contain a thermos bottle for coffee. It did and from them on I always prepared and carried lunch on those long, boring patrol sweeps along the shipping lanes. It would divert my thoughts from the fact that I was flying a single engine plane over that dark, gray Gulf of Alaska many miles at sea. Marshal Creel at one time claimed that he had invented the device that "hooked up" his heart to the planes engine, if the engine quit, his heart stopped.

The lunch thing worked. I prepared my own and soon noticed that my crewman was carrying his own. I could entertain myself when I had peeled an orange or grapefruit by opening the canopy about 1/2". I would then spit the seed at the narrow opening. The airstream would suck the seeds out if you even got close. I also carried the largest cigar I could find. This I lit when I turned back to shore. I knew that when the cigar was finished, I could begin to expect to see land ahead soon.

Bob Ellis showed again what a thoughtful skipper he was. I asked once for a day off to accompany a Red Cross organized group of talented entertainers-all Navy personnel. Bob said we were supposed to have a day off, I believe, every 8 days. He had abandoned the practice when he found that the fellows usually spent long hours in the sack and did nothing special. He felt this was a detriment to morale. He said that any time we had something special to do, we could have the day off if we could get someone else to fly our scheduled patrols. He added that if we couldn't find someone, he would fly it.

In October my relief arrived and I proceeded to the States via NATS.

After Alaska

After a 30-day leave I reported to San Diego where I received orders to proceed back to Seattle and join Squadron VC-76 and transition to fighters. This was a composite squadron formed to fly from escort carriers. It was made up of twelve wildcats (F4F's) and nine avengers (TBF's). Our training took us to Seaside Oregon, then to Holtville, California for night training. We then went to Los Alamitos, California where we received the FM2. This was an updated Wildcat produced by Eastern Aircraft (General Motors subsidiary). It was astounding what an additional 100 hp and a 400-pound weight reduction could do for an airplane. Our first attempts at field carrier landings were ridiculous. We discovered that our landing pattern should be at 50 knots instead of the 75 knots for the F4F. It was late Spring when we moved to San Clemente Island for further training. There I received orders to proceed to Alameda and join VF-6. I was pleased. This was an outfit that would be flying Hellcats (F6F) and destined to deploy in a large carrier (CV). Shortly after the squadron formed, it was sent to Santa Rosa Naval Air Station. We trained there until fall with side trips for night training and rocket training. Santa Rosa was a great place. Most of us who did not live at BOQ lived on the Russian River, a great vacation area. In the middle of November 1944 we embarked for Hawaii on the old carrier Ranger. At least ninety percent of the wives left behind were pregnant. This we concluded was caused the Santa Rosa water. We trained at Hilo, Hawaii for approximately a month. The nature of the Pacific war had changed. There was reduced danger from Japanese capital ships. The newer threat of the Kamikaze had emerged. The Navy had decided to drastically reduce the number of torpedo planes and dive bombers aboard the Essex type carriers and double the number of fighters. To facilitate this, volunteers were requested to transfer to Air Group 17 that was ready to proceed to Guam. I volunteered. The replaced torpedo and bomber pilots were transferred to Air Group 6 for training as fighter pilots. We spent several weeks on Guam where we thoroughly explored the islands. There were still a few Japs on the island. A loud-speaker equipped detail was going out daily attempting to entice them to surrender. They expected to be executed.

We traveled by escort carrier in late January 1945 to Ulithi Atoll. There we boarded the Hornet (CV12) that was to be our home for the next four months. We arrived just in time for the February '45, two day, low level carrier attack on the Tokyo area.

In early June we retired from the Okinawa area and proceeded to Leyte in the Philippines where we learned we were going home. We traveled on the Hornet that had suffered hurricane damage on the flight deck and was scheduled for repairs.

We had flown for a couple of weeks from the Hornet's damaged flight deck. The forward end of the flight deck had been bent down over the stem of the vessel during the hurricane and caused our planes to momentarily stall as we passed over the bow. The Hellcats tolerated this and flew through the stall. When a Corsair attempted it one morning, he did a "split S" into the water and the carrier plowed over him. We never saw the Corsair again but the pilot surfaced behind the ship. The Guard Destroyer rescued him. He was unconscious but not seriously hurt. He remembered nothing after the split S. How lucky can you get?

Twenty-four of us had been preparing to take off for a strike when the Corsair crashed. We were returned to the ready room. When we were next told to man our planes, we were astounded to find our planes at the bow facing aft and the carrier "backing down" at incredible speed. We took off over the fantail. When we returned, we were informed that we were now members of an exclusive group of twenty-seven. Only three pilots had done this previously during the Essex's type carrier acceptance trials.

After the War

The last day of my 30-day leave, the Japanese surrendered. I reported to Floyd Bennett Field in New York for ferry duty. We were to pick up F6F's aircraft and fly them to the west coast. I learned at this time of the point system for discharge. I qualified and was separated from the navy when they finally got a separation center set up on Wall Street in October 1945.

I immediately went back to work for the company in Indiana that I had worked for part-time while a student at Purdue University. When the Korean War broke out I was in a perpetual sweat expecting at any time to be called back to active duty. My employer was in a sweat too. I had become Chief Engineer and we were in the middle of a post-war plant expansion. When the Korean War was over I was offered the opportunity of resigning my Reserve Commission, so I did.

I found that flying could be a great tool for an engineer. I borrowed planes from friends for business purposes so often that my employer bought a Beach Bonanza. For years I enjoyed having a plane at my disposal. In 1959 we moved to a coastal village on the south coast of Massachusetts. Over the years, in addition to raising two boys, we had become interested in sailing. We decided to go for bigger water than we had in northern Indiana lakes. We acquired a 36' Schooner and in our spare time we sailed the coastal waters of New England from New York to Nova Scotia for the next 30 years. This came to stop when an associate put the boat on the rocks off Cape Ann near Gloucester, Massachusetts. We still live in the coastal village on the south coast of Massachusetts. Now we sail on other people's boats.