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Swim Call

On June 17, 1945 the Bergall returned from her fifth war patrol. She had sustained such extensive damage to her stern from the mine explosion that she was sent to Pearl Harbor. It was then decided that she was required to return to Portsmouth for permanent repairs.

Heading first to Pearl and then on through the Panama Canal, the crew encountered boredom. The standard surface transit speed was 15 knots and every morning, time was taken for a morning trim dive. This insured that if they had to submerge, proper balance was already established. After that, for the men, there was standing watch and the answering to the standard requirements of the boat.

In June and July... it was hot! With the diesels running and the Sun beating down, it was nice to gather topside for the fresh air and a gentle breeze.

Lounging on the deck was a luxury! Carl Weber, is in the foreground with the baseball cap and arms on his knees and Sid Hoialmen is the first in line (lower right corner), lounging on the rail at the right with MoMM3 Sidney N. Wellborn Jr. two to his right.

Some more 'loungers' taking some sun. Standing on the far left is Ken Cost, standing far right and leaning on the safety line is Mort Soiett, at Soiett's feet is M. Karhan, the three squatters in front of the guy to Ken Cost's left are Robert Fascelt, Joseph Nowak, and George Marquis with Carl Weber, with the cap, at the front on the right.

Here's J. J. Ott outfitted from Honolulu on their way to Panama!

When the Captain decided it was appropriate, he would announce, "Swim Call!"
So, with proper top lookouts, those not on duty were allowed the refreshment of the cool Pacific to enjoy.

A quick check with the Look Outs and it was time to jump in! In Hawaiian trunks is M. Karhan.
Note the canvas shield mounted on the cigarette deck for the look outs and the 'uniforms' of the crew!

A relaxing breeze after a dip in the sea was VERY welcome! BO Todd is in all white.

The tower provided a 'high dive' for some.

During the transit through the Panama Canal, the mood was much more relaxed. Far removed from the lingering threat of enemy craft, now it really felt like they were heading home. Smiles weren't hard to find among the crew.

Lt. Welch was happy to be heading home.
Having made all five war patrols on the Bergall, Lt. Edward G. Welch earned the following:
Silver Star, Marine-Navy Commendation, American Defense, American Campaign, Asian Pacific, WWII Victory, Navy Unit Commendation and the Philippines Liberation awards.

George Marquis took a second to snap a friendly 'target' off the bow.

Sliding through the ditch made for a relaxing afternoon.

It was announced that Commander Hyde would be staying ashore when the boat reached New England for a shore command. The crew gathered together and gave the 'old man' some gifts for his 30th birthday.   They gave him a watch (with "13" engraved on the back), a deck lounge chair and their deepest respect and thanks.

Mort Soiett in sun glasses and M. Karhan takin' a break.

Here, Lester 'Shorty' McEwen grabs a ringside seat.

She arrived back stateside on August 4, 1945 for repairs and 10 days later the Japanese surrendered. Her efforts earned her crew a well deserved break. A lot of her crew got out of the Navy to return to the civilian life they had fought for. Four months more and she was back on her way to Pearl Harbor.

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