Rhonnie Scheuerman’s Inspiration Station For All In Need This Morning
Author Fred Moore: Spencerport, New York
Our family dinners in the late 1950’S were always full of conversation. One evening my son Dave, asked, “Dad did you ever see any real fighting in the war? “No, the armistice was signed by the time I shipped out. “A de jested look came over Dave’s face. The kids at school had been sharing their fathers’ war stories. Didn’t I have any to tell?
I did come close to dying once. ” I said, aboard the USS St. Croix..”
Our duty was to get the ship in tip-tow shape to sail back to the States. I was ordered to climb on top of a Welin Davit crane used to lower landing craft into the water- scrap off any rust and apply a fresh coat of paint. The crane arm went up and down on a pair of large wheels fitted into a track. I sat between the two wheels, 60 feet above the water.
The wheels turned. Someone was lowering a boat! I threw my scraper overboard but I was pinned in, slowly being crushed. “Shut it off:.. I shouted. No one heard. “A steel plate starred at me in the face: CHICAGO IRON WORKS, WEIGHT 25 TONS. I prayed to pass out before I felt the pain.
A sailor ran to shut off the Welin Davit. The wheels lurched to a stop. Others arrived to pull me out. I had cuts on my legs and was covered in blood and grease; “Wow,” David said. ” I bet you sure thanked that Sailor “That was the strange thing.” I said “There weren’t that many of us. I never saw that sailor before, and I never saw him again”.