Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Showcasing the US Canoe Club’s finest ships in foreign lands has gone on for decades! This story comes from a tin can Naval Officer from back in the early Sixties on how to make a bridal suite out of the Motor Whale Boat with one of them sweet Australian Kate Upton look alike honeys…

When the USS Gurke took part in the Coral Sea Week commemoration in 1962, one port was Sydney, Australia! After a few days of total fun we left for a one day cruise to the next port of call… Newcastle, Australia!! On board were a large group of Media newspaper people because we were going to operate with a submarine for a few hours and it was good press!!!

No sooner had we cleared Sydney harbor when one of my men comes to me with…

"Mr. Fox you promise you won't tell?"

“OK I won't tell!”

“There is a girl in the motor whale boat!”

Well I broke my promise for sure enough there was a girl hiding in the Motor Whale Boat! That’s all the reporters needed to have a field day at the expense of the US Navy!! Quickly we took the whole press bunch aft to watch some phony drill as we whisked the girl to forward Officer’s Quarters!! The ship’s doc kept her there all day till we reached Newcastle!!!

We kissed the press goodbye and finally spoke to the girl! She claimed some sailor had promised to marry her and she was stowing away to the States!! We nicely read her a long list of crimes she had committed and the possible amount of time she would spend in prison... yadda, yadda!! But if she wouldn't say a word we wouldn't press charges!! She happily agreed… so when the coast was clear we scooted her off the ship!!!

Within hours we had high priority messages a flying fast and furious from Washington as to how we had shanghaied some gal from Sydney and raped her three ways to Wednesday! She had gone to the authorities claiming she had been kidnapped by whoever… etc... etc.!! It was a true public relations nightmare!!!

Things were pretty hairy for a while! I guess common sense ruled in the end as everything was forgiven and forgotten!! But another adventure in the long and great history of the USS GURKE!! The story is all true to the best of my slightly failing memory!!!
Your shipmate, Jon Fox

Holy Jehoshaphatz… how in the hell did they get that little lady on the ship… undetected even?!? Not the least to say, what they'd do with the lil’ thing once they started head’n back to the states!! First, they had to get her past the guys at the fleet landing… then past the liberty boat coxswain and security on the boat… Get her up the gangplank one way or the other… cross the Quarterdeck… Haul her down below decks… and THEN, when they finally made it, figure out how to keep all the other animals off of her!! If she got passed around from shipmate to shipmate it seems it would defeat the purpose of all that effort!!!


  1. In his book "Battleship", Paul Stillwell recounts the saga of one Madeline Blair, who stowed away aboard USS Arizona in March of 1924 in New York City after a day of public visits. For the next three and a half WEEKS she hid out aboard, first in a turret, then in the engineering spaces. Her intent was apparently to hitch a ride to California. A sailor's seabag was stolen to provide her with uniforms, and several crewmen smuggled her food, which she paid for with sexual favors to the sailors. As the ship lay at anchor in the Panama Canal Zone, a CPO caught wind of it and ratted her out to the officer of the deck, who had the Master-at-Arms search the ship. The young lady was found, and was, ejected from the ship, swearing like a sailor :), and rowed ashore. She was later returned to New York by commercial passenger ship. 23 sailors were eventually court-martialed, and sent to prison. The Chief who broke the stowaway story carried a gun for the rest of his life, as several of his former shipmates threatened to kill him.

  2. Dan, I saw your comment and answered you. Go ahead, full speed, sir.

  3. Dan, I saw your comment and answered you. Go ahead, full speed, sir.