I’ve enclosed some prints from slides for you that I took in the summer of 1963 while I
was on the S/S Steel Chemist as a Crew Pantryman. The Steel Chemist was my first ship! Our trip
was about 4 months. We left New York and went to the following ports: Ceuta [Spanish Morocco],
Latakia [Syria], Beirut [Lebanon], Suez Canal, Hodeida [Yemen], Karachi [W. Pakistan],
Bombay [India], Cochin [India], Madras [India], Calcutta [India], Chalna [E. Pakistan],
Columbo [Ceylon], Djibouti [French Somalia], Assab [Ethiopia], and Barcelona [Spain].
I was 16 at the time; the captain was Captain Brady, the Chief Engineer was
Amos P. Woods, the Radio Operator was Richard Lahey – I am amazed that I can recall those
names 43 years later. As I recall, the voyage was uneventful, and the crew all got along nicely.
The photos of the ship at the dock were taken in Cochin, India. There is a photo
of me [white shirt] standing next to the Boson – we were on our way home in the Atlantic and
the crew had a party on the fantail. There’s another photo at the party and it has Jeff Peck
sitting down and drinking a bottle of beer. Jeff is now on the faculty of the US Merchant
Marine Academy at Kings Point, and is a professor of Maritime Law. While on the Steel Chemist,
Jeff sailed as an ordinary seaman. There’s another photo of Jeff at the wheel.
As for me, I went on to college at Temple University, graduating in 1968 with a
degree in psychology, and then continued on to Dental School at Temple. During my years in
college and in dental school, I continued sailing on SIU contracted ships, sailing all over
the world, and accumulated a total of about 2 years actual seatime. While doing this, I
constantly continued to upgrade myself with SIU courses, and ultimately sailed as 2nd
Electrician as well as FWT, and Oiler. In 1968, I was on the Steel Chemist again, as FWT,
but was onboard only 4 days, as I got sick and got off in Baltimore. Upon graduation from
dental school, I served as a dental officer in the US Navy, on board the aircraft carrier
USS John F. Kennedy, making two deployments to the Mediterranean.
After the Navy, I entered private dental practice in Boston, then decided to
specialize in Public Health Dentistry, and received a degree from Johns Hopkins. Then, I
began a career as Head of Dental Public Health at Marquette University School of Dentistry
in Milwaukee. I retired from Marquette in 2003, and have kept busy volunteering part time at
a free dental clinic in Milwaukee.
As I recall my time at sea, I have many, many fond and pleasant memories! Some of
the happiest days of my life were in the US Merchant Marines!
This is a more recent photo of me, with my cousin Ben, in Venice.