The Destroyermen

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Trainbrain16, May 13, 2015.

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  1. They were running. There was no other word for it, no comforting euphemism to make the sting less sharp. In fact, it seemed impossible to wring the slightest sense of purpose from the confusion, privation, terror, and bone-numbing weariness they’d endured since the very day the war began on December 7. Now, three months later, they were running away (‘limping’ might be the better term), and they hadn’t even had the chance to lick their wounds. The tired men and elderly ships of Destroyer Squadron (Des Ron) 29 had hurled themselves repeatedly at the implacable juggernaut that was the Imperial Japanese Navy while their numbers were ruthlessly slashed by disaster and disrepair. It was a tragically lopsided contest, a feeble gesture of defiance against overwhelming odds. In the end, a gesture was all it had been. Now all that remained was to flee--and it was probably too late anyways.
    Lieutenant Commander Dirk William Hodges, captain of USS Walker (DD-163), stood on the starboard bridgewing and tried to maintain at least a semblance of dignity in his rumpled and sweat-stained shirt. His left hand clutched his hat to his head against the thirty-knot breeze while his right tried to keep the half-filled mug of lukewarm coffee from slopping onto his uniform.
  2. Adrian sat on the cot in the med-bay scowling, he should be on an island fighting with his fellow marines but no that dumb ass private had to go and step on a mine and walk away with not a scratch but Adrian had gotten a chunk of shrapnel to the arm. It was nothing to bad but it was enough for the Captain to order him on one of the boats for treatment even though he had been fighting for five days with the metal in his arm. He stretched himself as he thought of how the fight had been going, many dead on both sides more due sickness than combat hell half these new marines had never been out of their home town let alone to the tropics where the sun was just as much your enemy as the one pointing a rifle at you. Adrian was getting restless as he felt the ship move with the sea, at least the nurses were a slight better to look at than the wide eyed farm boys he fought along side with on the islands.
  3. Connie was busy working over Adrian's arm, shaking her head a bit at the stubborn Marine's gripping. "Ohh shut up, will ya'?" she said, roughly jabbing him in the arm with a shot of anesthetic. "You're much better here on this ship than you'd be back in Java right now. You wouldn't have seen it, but the Dutch harbor at Surabaya was nothing more than a smoldering crater when we pulled out. Honestly, you got lucky, if you could call what we're steaming into lucky."
    #3 Trainbrain16, May 13, 2015
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  4. "I'm more use with a rifle on Java than here on a ship, i'm a Marine not a sailor but it seems that either way I look death in the face it's just that here I got a chance." Adrian said as he let out a hollow laugh. He leaned into the pillow behind him and let the nurse do her work, the sooner she was finished the sooner he'd be able to hold a rifle again plus it was easier than letting a Marine medic work on him. The ship swayed making something bump into his arm where in he let loose a string of profanity and curses to the ship's helmsman on the upper decks.
  5. "Well right now you're in my medical ward so why don't you shut it and give Mr. Kutas a little break?" she scolded. "This old tin-can can only sail so smoothly, and I'm sure the Jap armada would have shelled your ass into about a thousand pieces by now if you'd stayed." She started cleaning up a bit more of the blood that had started spurting out of the hole in his arm as one of the other nurses glanced over from the guy she was working on and said "How come you always get the handsome ones, Connie?"
    "Ohh be quiet, Leslie," she shot back, blushing a bit. "Can't you see I'm busy?" She looked back at the injured Marine and blushed a bit more, in a way revealing her thoughts. He was pretty handsome, and those scars made it clear that he'd seen his share of action, but she probably wouldn't say that to his face given the circumstances.
  6. Adrian leaned against the pillow again and just let the nurse work. "So how'd you end up here...Connie was it?" He asked the woman who was tending to his wounded arm. She seemed as though she would be rather pleasant to talk to and plus it would distract him from his arm.
  7. "Yeah, that's me," she said, smiling a bit. "Remember yesterday when that freighter Langley sank? Me and the girls were onboard along with about 30 P-40E’s in crates when she got bombed into a smoldering wreck. The rest of the crew and passengers got sent south to safety on the oiler Pecos, but us and three of the P-40 pilots were just kind of forgotten and left here in Surabaya. Lucky for us, and for you, one of Captain Hodges’ search and salvage parties found us sheltering in the rubble of the barracks and took us in." About then the ship's actual surgeon Douglas "Doc" Stevens came in. "I expected to find you ladies here." His Massachusetts accent was strong and nasal.
    #7 Trainbrain16, May 14, 2015
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  8. "Not much better here." He said as the doctor showed up. "Oi doc, when am I going to be combat ready again?" Though Adrian didn't know what he would really be able to do here on a ship since he wasn't a sailor, just a simple marine.
  9. "I don't know," he said, pointing to Connie a bit rudely. "Ask her. As for the rest of you, *gestures to the other five girls in the room* I bet you nurses want to be nurses, right?" He sat down and rubbed his chin a bit. "I never had a nurse before. Tell me, Sergeant," he said, looking at Adrian. "Have you ever had a nurse?" He shook his head. "Never mind, of course you have. You're a wounded hero, after all. I'm sure you've had nurses all over you."
  10. "I'm no hero, just a man doing his job and I haven't been around so many beautiful faces since I was state side." Adrian responded, though he had a bad feeling about where they were headed and not just about the I.J.N ships no doubt ahead of them somewhere but something deeper, something primal was warning him and he didn't like it.
  11. "Pff," Doug scoffed when Adrian complemented the nurses. The girls had blushed a bit, especially Connie, but Steven's remark soon put a stop to that. "I know you're officers and I'm just a lowly Warrant. I don't give a damn. I know about you nurses; wouldn't even give me the time of day if I came squirming into your nice, clean, modern hospital. Well, this is my hospital! If you want to stay here and help, that's fine. There'll probably be plenty to do. But if you want to give orders or get in the way, you can just turn around, climb that ladder and go play dollies under the depth charges because I don't need you. It's bad enough having women on a navy vessel in the first place, but women getting in the way is even worse." He paused long enough to see their expressions and smile. "I've got Jamie *points to Jamie Miller, the young lad that was his pharmacist's mate* He makes a pretty good nurse, even if he does look dreadful in a dress."
  12. "Hmm a Warrant officer and a doctor with a young man that follows him about where he goes and you've seen him in a dress I know the Navy has a reputation but I never thought I would see it first hand but I don't judge, if we find ourselves in a Jap bushwhack up ahead then you might not want to make enemies of the people who might be the difference between the life or death of the service personnel on this ship including yours it may just bight you in the ass Warrant Officer." Adrian said to the man having seen enough of the petty jealousy about female officers back at Parris Island who were either acting as clerks or some other minor job to help serve their country and had put a stop to it with a rather ruthless routine of PT. He didn't tolerate discrimination if he could help it, it provided to big of a moral risk for those being discriminated against and he knew some bad shit was gonna happen soon and they would need all the hand they could get, their was no way they weren't being stalked by a Jap task force right now and if the erratic moves of the ship were any indicator then they were closing on us.
  13. "Bite ME in the ass?" Doug laughed.
    Connie's eyes narrowed and she forced a smile. "Surgeon’s Mate Stevens, is it not?” she asked, and her voice held an icy calm. Doug arched an eyebrow, but jerked an aggressive nod. “Your captain asked that we report to you and that’s what we’ve done. I know this is your ‘hospital’ and I’m prepared to defer to you.” Her voice took on a dangerous edge. “But since you insist on wallowing in your ‘lowly Warrant’ status I’ll remind you I’m a LIEUTENANT in the United States Navy. My ensigns might not pull rank on you, but I SURE AS HELL WILL! You’re clearly not a gentleman, so I won’t appeal to you as one, but as a superior officer I insist you get up off your skinny ass and show the respect due my rank or by God, I’ll have you up on charges for insubordination!” Her voice had risen as she spoke, until her final exclamation was uttered as a roar that her small form seemed incapable of producing. Jamie Miller’s chair hit the deck as he rocketed to attention, and even the wounded Marnie that Leslie had been working on made his way to his feet, his face a study of embarrassment mingled with respect. Doc Stevens remained seated a few moments more, but finally he stood also, an expression of mocking insolence on his face. He threw an exaggerated salute. “Your orders, ma’am?” The question dripped sarcasm, but Connie smiled in anticipation of his reaction. She looked at Jamie. “You!”
    “Pharmacist’s Mate Miller, ma’am.”
    “Mr. Miller, stow those dominoes and disinfect that table this instant. We could have more casualties at any moment.”
    Stevens cleared his throat. “And what about me?” he demanded, surly. Connie was sorely tempted to upbraid him again, but instead she smiled sweetly and indicated the rest of the nurses as she went back to working calmly on Adrian's arm. “You, MISTER Stevens . . . will tell us what you want us to do next. This is your ‘hospital,’ after all.”
  14. Adrian was amused by the dressing down the Warrant officer had just got, he walked over to a port window and saw one of the other ships in this little convoy he found himself in. He walked back and found a chair since his arm had been sufficiently bandaged and sown up by the good nurse. "Where have you been Connie we could have used you when dealing with the new men who we had to deal with." He said with a chuckle as he watched the nurses and doctors go about their work taking care of the wounded who had suffered far worse wounds back on the island.
  15. Connie smiled as the doctor started finally giving the other nurses reasonable jobs. "I was on Langley until she sank, then I was hiding in a hole on Java, and now I'm here," she said simply, shrugging a bit. It was about now that a man quite a bit shorter than Adrian with brown hair and eyes came into the room. He glanced around a bit, then looked at the Marine and approached him. "Are you that Marine Sergeant, Adrian Fowler?"
  16. "That would be me, am I needed?" Adrian asked the man, he found it odd someone may be looking for him since as far as he knew he was one of the few Marines on board this ship.
  17. The man smiled, extending his left hand to shake since he noticed the Marine's right arm was wrapped in a heavy bandage. "The name's Duvall. Isaac Duvall. Captain Hodges wanted to know if you'd be willing and able to man one of the anti-aircraft machine guns since he figured you might have some experience with those kinds of weapons and his crews aren't experienced at all. That and one of the .50 cals on the forward deckhouse is short a gunner."
  18. "Might as well it's better sitting down here doing nothing, you lead the way Mr. Duvall." Adrian said to the man, though he knew by going with the man his life expectancy just dropped since AA was a priority target for fighters.
  19. Isaac nodded, leading the way up the ladder to the top of the forward deckhouse, just aft of the bridge. The two amidships 4"/50 mounts were on either side of them, and the port-side .50 caliber mount was indeed short a gunner. Off in front of them and to port the heavy cruiser HMS Exeter could be seen, and abreast of the Walker on the other side was one of her two sister ships, Mahan. The other, Pope, and the British destroyer, Encounter, were steaming in the same positions on the other side of the famous river cruiser. Off to Walker's starboard side steamed their faithful old destroyer tender Black Hawk, who was a much bigger target than all but Exeter, but was still reasonably armed. It was about then that the general quarters alarm blared and the visible crewmembers visibly tensed as shells started raining down around the old gallant cruiser.
  20. "Fuck." Adrian thought as he went to the gun and loaded the first round on the belt of ammunition into the weapon before pulling the charging handle back and watched as it slid forward priming the .50 to fire. He started to scan the skies for any zeros or Kate torpedo planes that might be launching from any carriers the IJN might have in the area, he looked around him and saw he was situated in between two larger AA cannons and he also saw he had five more 100 round ammo boxes near him though if this was anything like the other battles with the IJN then he was gonna need a lot more.
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