-; THE BLUE BONNET;- A weekly publication of the ship's company of the
U. S. S. Houston, Captain G · N. Barker. U. S. N.• Commanding Officer and Commander C. A. Bailey.
U. S. N.• Executive Officer.
Editor. Lieut. ( jg) E. A. McDonald; Assistant Editor. Ensign J. P. M. Johnston; As.
sociate Editor, Stefan Sivak. Jr.• SKlc; Associate Editor. W. J. Bannen. Seale; Cartooniat
W. C. Ridge; Printer. R. L. Beckwith. Seale.
" NOBLESSE OBLIGE"
is French and it means " nobility obliges,"
i. e., the nobility of one's position
in life makes a certain standard
of conduct and obligation.
We had the good fortune,
several years ago, to see this exemplified
in a charitable deed performed
cheerfully by two distinguished Naval
Officers, Rear Admiral J. M. Reeves
( Ret.) and the late Rear Admiral
Ashley Robertson, then Commandant
of the Eleventh aval District.
Admiral Reeves, who at
that time was a Captain in command
of Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet,
had lately returned to San Diego from
Panama, in his Flagship, the Langley.
Many problems assailed him. His airplanes
were inferior and the casualties
among his flyers were heavy. Yet
one concern seemed to stand out acutely
from the others. It had to do with
a last minute transfer of a petty officer
on the eve of our sailing from
Panama. Coco Solo Air Station needed
a rigger and we had to send Bill
Brown to fill the void. Before going
over the side with bag and hammock,
Brown confided in the Chaplain that
his wife was ill in San Diego and that
he hoped that transportation could be
arranged for a passage to Panama.
Brown took his bad streak in stride
which only increased his popularity
on the Langley.
On the way North, Capt.
Reeves learned of the forced separation
in the Brown family and decided
that something must be done about
it. A movement schedule told him that
a avy transport would soon touch
at San Diego and he felt sure that,
however crowded the ship might be,
there could always be room for just
Radio messages were sent
and answered but the news published
in the radio shack was bad - " no
bunk available for Mrs. Brown." " By
THE BLUE BO NET
gad, we'll see about that," said Capt.
Reeves. He sent for the Chaplain. " I
want you to have Mrs. Brown pack
her things and have her on the dock
when the transport arrives. Get a
nurse if necessary, I'll do the rest."
The Captain stepped ashore
at about eleven that morning.
As ' he walked to the office of the District
Commandant, we saw him turn
his head and scowl at the gray sides
of the big transport. He went to the
office of Admiral Robertson, one of
the best beloved of Naval officers.
They agreed " Something can be done,
something shall be done." They left
the office together. I can still see them
heading for the dock where the young
wife, the Chaplain and the baggage
stood. " Cheer up, young lady," cried
Captain Reeves, " We'll get you to Coco
Solo or bust." Down the crowded
dock they hurried and up the steep
brow to the quarter deck. The O. O. D.
said the Commanding Officer was ashore.
More delay. The ship was to
sail at 1300. Eight bells, one bell, two
bells. The Ship's Captain returned and
found two determined officers awaiting
him. At 1310 the siren sounded
and last preparations were made for
getting underway when the Admiral
and Captain emerged from the crowd.
" We found a bunk for you, Mrs.
Brown. Bon voyage, and God bless
With bag and baggage
and a happy heart the rigger's wife
sailed that day to rejoin her husband
at Coco Solo.
Needless to say the Admiral
and Captain missed lunch that
day, and I doubt that they even gave
it a thought. There is " oblesse
oblige" for you. Captain Reeves later
became a four- star Admiral, Cammander-
in- Chief of the U. S. Fleet.
Admiral Robertson lies peacefully now
near the grave of the unknown soldier
Your uniform is a badge
of nobility. It gives you a standard
of conduct far above that of a man of
- W. A. M.
' Twon't be long afore our happy
home pokes her nose outa tha
Navy Yard and starts a skitterin'
over tha wave and foam.
In this Navy a body can't be a
hankerin' to anchor one place for more
than a mite or he'll be finding his
moorin's yanked up by tha roots afore
they begin to take hold. So us Navies
allus keep our bones primed for a
S'pose your Pa is wonderin'
when his grain'll be ready for cuttin'.
That stand in that upper eighty
oughta run about 70 bushels per acre.
Seems sorta funny now ' bout
me once havin' to pitch in with tha
threshin' crew at hayin' time, but
guess I'll allus bear a soft place in
my heart for farmin' tho they say I
can't plow a straight furrow.
Ma usta set such a heavy meal
durin' threshin' time that we had to
bring in the saw horses to keep tha
table from bucklin'. ' Twas a sight to
see that food disappearin'. I don't
know what made tha most noise, tha
eatin' or tha combine in tha field.
We shure pack away tha food
here, too. When tha crew's in a hungry
mood tha mess cooks have to be
runnin' on tha double for more vittles.
They're so worn out by runnin'
to tha galley that they soon rattle
worse'n a bag 0' bones. That's why
we gotta be relievin' ' em every three
Well Marie, I'll be a sendin'
you writin' matter from now on ' bout
my traipsin's over tha globe. Tell
Sal, I'm tickled pick she married
that runt Felix Jackson. Maybe she'll
beat some sense into his hollow head.