National Geographic : 1948 Jun
Alexander G. B. Grosvenor New Jersey's Cruising Youngsters Bunk Sardine-fashion in Tiers of Four Each man has a locker so small that he wonders how he can cram all his gear into it (page 711). One lad uses a peacoat locker top, his compartment's popular card table, as a writing desk. 30 feet long, towed by carrier planes. As a special treat, tiny drones were launched from catapults aft (Plate XIV). These radio controlled planes, guided by an aviator on New Jersey's fantail, made kamikaze-like passes over the ship from every angle. Pur suing erratic courses, they were harder to knock down than the sleeves. "Hummingbirds" Deliver the News "Intheolddays,whenIwasatsea ..." Who hasn't heard these words from some salt crusted seaman of yesteryear? Imagine what he'd say if he saw a helicopter delivering the morning newspaper! Each day around 0630 (6:30 a. m.) one of these mechanical hummingbirds, operating from the Randolph, made the rounds of every ship, delivering packets of guard mail and the Cruise News, the squadron's daily newspaper. Transfer of mail took only about 30 seconds. On approaching the ship, the co-pilot lowered a satchel by hand. Petty officers on New Jersey's forecastle detached it and hooked on their own outgoing mail. Occasionally, too, a hitchhiking officer was dropped off or picked up (Plate VIII). While the 'copter hovered above the deck, a steel line was lowered by winch mounted on the helicopter's roof and hooked to a linen strap under the arms of the passenger. Then the pilot hoisted him until he could swing into the cockpit. Our first landfall in the British Isles was Butt of Lewis, northernmost point of Lewis, largest island of the Hebrides. In a few hours the sheer cliffs of Cape Wrath drew abreast as we continued eastward to Dunnet Head, sentinel of the western approach to Pentland Firth. It was a beautiful Sunday morning when we entered this 7-mile gap between the Ork neys and the mainland. The waters just inside the Firth were so placid it was difficult to believe the warning of the British Islands Pilot, which cautions vessels, in fair weather or foul, to expect extremely turbulent waters.