Interview with Robert C. Becker

From the Interview with Robert C. Becker of Sequim, WA
conducted by Eugene Walker on May 13, 2002 at
the Fort Worden History Center. Mr. Becker served in the U.S.
Army 14th Coast Artillery in World War II. Here he describes mine
plant operations:

“In our battery we had the USS Bell. It was a mine
planting operation and I took part in one of the operations. It was
real interesting and it could be dangerous. If a guy got tangled up
in that cable, you could drag him right off with the mine. But
everything went well, nobody got hurt. We practiced right out here
next to the (Point Wilson) lighthouse, on the shore there. One
mine was fired every year…blew the water up about 60 to 100
feet. “

He describes target practice:
“All of the guns were still here. Even the 12-inch down on
the coast was here. We had a 3-inch rifle, Walker was its name.
We fired it, and that’s when we fired a volley through the mast of
the Bell towing the target. We were supposed to be shooting at the
target dragged about a thousand feet behind. The logistics were a
little bit wrong.”

A prank on a fellow soldier:
“Some fellow that came from the South. He would never
take a bath, and he’d always come in late and make noise. After
nine o’clock, you’re not to make any noise, and the lights were out
of course. Well, he’d do both (turn on the light and make noise).
One time the guys found a little crab and they knew just what to do
with it. They put it down the bottom of his bed. When he got in
bed and he touched that thing with his foot, he jumped out of bed
and hollered.”

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