So I was off to Seaschool at Grave’s End in London, right on the River Thames.  While I was there I had an attack of appendicitis. The appendix was gangrenous so I remained in the hospital for a couple of weeks.  I was well taken care of particularly by one of the young nurses, Nurse Fenton.  I returned to Seaschool and finished my training, then returned to Liverpool where I would be assigned to a ship.

My seaman’s log indicates I first set sail on the St Tudno, on March 4, 1946, as Stwd. Boy, Training, with “Very Good” rating for ability and for conduct.

In August, ’48 I requested discharge because of my mother’s health issues.  The log notes “Cessation of Sea Service “at own request” August in ’48.

However, upon being home a few weeks, I was called up by the Army and had a physical.  They sent me my railroad ticket, subsistence for a meal, and the assignment to the military camp to which I was to report – Oswestry, North Wales.  In the meantime my buddies advised me to go back to sea to avoid the big boots, marching, and a rifle.  So I decided to see if I could go back in the Merchant Navy.

After a lot of diplomacy and tact, I managed to persuade them to let me go back to sea.  I had had all “Very Good” ratings on my former assignments so that probably helped.  I only had a few weeks before I was supposed to leave for Oswestry.  After being denied a ship for many days, I finally persuaded them to put me on whatever ship was available.  It was the worse ship I ever sailed on!  An old coal burning cargo vessel bound for So. Africa.  I sailed on that ship within a few days.  My brother, Tommy, sent my papers back saying I had already gone to sea!  I heard no more about it.  Goodie, Goodie!  😀

That was November, 1948.  I continued at sea until March, 1951.  It was a Godsend that I returned to sea since the pay was excellent (many times more than the army would have paid me).  I was sending an allotment to my mom and siblings since my dad had emigrated to the United States.   While I was still at sea my mother and young siblings joined my dad in America.  Since they no longer lived in Liverpool, I spent my leave time with Aunt Ann.

I made application for a Visa to USA.  On leave I took some tests, with x-rays, blood tests and proof that I had no disease.  It cost me quite a bit.  I had to have a sponsor who would be responsible for me, so I would not be a burden to USA.  It took about a year from making application to finally being accepted.

After spending my money on a passenger ship ticket, I had about a five pounds (approx fifteen dollars).  I was finally on my way to join the rest of my family in the good old United States.  I had had several voyages to the United States while in the Merchant Navy so I knew it was a place I wanted to become my home!

My sister, May, was the first to become a US citizen because she married an American GI.  The rest of the family, including me, had to have five years residency before being able to become a citizen, which we all did quite happily!

sam citizen







About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
This entry was posted in English childhood, family, Hayes family, Sam's Story, Uncategorized, World War 2 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to SAM’S STORY, part 6 – MERCHANT NAVY

  1. Ok, ok…it’s killing me—when do a certain two people meet and how??

  2. Faye says:

    I’M longing for the full story!

  3. oneta hayes says:

    Another one is coming. I wasn’t too happy about being left out even though I did plan the story through childhood.

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