National Geographic : 1955 Dec
832 '. (' ;sl 1'id. Olficiai Home from Weather Station Bravo, Half Moon's Crew Mans the Rail off New York Masts bristle with radar antennas and other complex -ear designed for spotting planes and measuring speed and direction of winds aloft. Such ships patrol Atlantic and Pacific stations for 3-week stretches. Coast Guard's 2,592-ton Half Moon is one of 17 Navy seaplane tenders converted into floating weather observatories. executive officer, developed a magnificent han dle-bar mustache. A busy "Here. let me show you" officer, he took vigorous charge of the first ice-breaking party. forward of the five inch gun. It was cold and there was a good sea running. After half an hour Commander Noe barreled up to the bridge to report to the captain. His great mustache, which had always been white. was droopy and lifeless. It was frozen solid. Because his face was numb from the bitter wind and spray, Commander Noe hadn't known what was happening. (ommander Guill took the report and then ordered his executive officer below and into a steaming shower before the iced mustache could frostbite his upper lip. TIhere's no Coast Guard regulation against having a beard or mustache on patrol up here, but it's not a wise thing to do." Commander Guill said. "If you were caught in an open boat, you'd have a better chance with a clean shaven face." (ommander Noe preserved his mustache. however, and wore it back to New York when the ship returned from Bravo. The Half Mloon is one of 21 U. S. Coast Guard cutters fitted out to patrol four Atlantic stations assigned to the United States. Ships of Great Britain. France, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden man five more, with financial assistance from about seven other countries. All appear on the National Geographic's new Atlantic map. Ships Stand By for Rescues Positions of Bravo and other stations were fixed by the representatives of the participat ing nations with four things in mind. First, the ships stand by in their assigned areas of the ocean, ready for immediate rescue work. Thus, if trouble develops, ships and aircraft crossing the North Atlantic have a friend somewhere near. Logs of the weather ships contain terse accounts of fishermen taken from sinking trawlers, disabled ships towed to the nearest port, critically injured seamen transferred from their ships to mainland hos- 9.r i=lI I A ar"