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 Author  Topic: Ron 15's Christmas Party, 1943
  Nuge210

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Nuge210   Send Email To Nuge210 Posted on: Dec 26, 2009 - 8:41am
A part of the squadron based in Maddelena in late December, desired to repay their
British counterparts for their generous hospitality, by throwing a dinner and cocktail party
on Christmas Eve. The turkey and all the trimmings were apparently supplied to all the bases in time for Christmas, so that was no problem. Having no wine mess, like the British, a punch would be concocted with a proper amount of torpedo alcohol and fruit juice.

The Ron 15 Torpedo Officer and Squadron Doctor ( nicknamed 'Louis Pasteur' ) determined
how much and how to make it "non-poisonous". (Sounds like they used a lot of bread, kind
of like a filter ). The shined up dipper for the punch, after being plunged in, turned black
upon removal from the punch bowl. The toasting continued on regardless and a splendid time was had by all involved.

British Coastal Forces Christmas gift to Ron 15 was a 5 inch shell casing, engraved for the occasion. Photos still survive but the shell casing was never seen again. ( Wouldn't that be
a nice find ).

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.



Steve Nugent

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EARL RICHMOND

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of EARL RICHMOND  Posted on: Dec 26, 2009 - 3:48pm
hi ted they probably poured the alky in the shell case. ha earl

earl richmond

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TED WALTHER

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of TED WALTHER   Send Email To TED WALTHER Posted on: Dec 29, 2009 - 6:43am
Earl;
Maybe, but to me it sounds like it went into somebody's sea bag. My Dad had a 5 inch shell casing , cut down into an ash tray. He had it engraved at NavSta Coco Solo, Panama, 1951. My mom still has it in her living room.
He also had a 3 inch shell cut down into an ash tray too.
Take care,
TED


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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Jan 4, 2010 - 12:31pm
I came across a site, http://www.submarineresearch.com/Bulletin80.html, that mentions oil from the croton plant was used to deter the drinking of "torpedo juice":

"Torpedomen were a step ahead of the Navy chemists who doctored torpedo alcohol with red dye and sometimes added croton oil (An extract from a tree that causes extreme diarrhea) to the mix. We quickly learned to add a small amount of the questionable torpedo alcohol that might contain croton oil to a glass of water. When shaken, the water would turn milky if croton oil was present. Milky mixtures were avoided, but clear results were a green light for consumption. The red dye was a simpler matter. We just ran the alcohol through an endwise loaf of bread and the red dye was absorbed by the bread. The result of this work was 190 proof booze that when mixed with pineapple juice made a wonderful Hawaiian cocktail."



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  Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Jan 4, 2010 - 1:54pm
That is funny Jeff!
One of our PT658 crewmen Beaty Lay, a Torpedoman 1/C on PT185 stationed at Green Island told me of a story very similar to that one. He was tasked by the Boats CO to "denature" all of the torpedo alcohol while they were still at a rear base (Noumea? possibly). Beaty had purchased some food coloring while they were in Panama I think he told me. Thinking ahead for the future, he was able to get the red food coloring and "denatured" (it was stored in 1 gallon cans) the torpedo juice with fake crotin oil. Evidently, the crotin oil also turned the alcohol red. The officer then checked the cans of alcohol to ensure it was colored red, thus ensuring it contained the prescribed amount of crotin oil. Then about 6 months later, on Christmas Eve, the CO was lamenting how he wished he had been issued some alcohol in order to make the crew some Christmas Cheer. It was at this opportune time that our enterprising young First Class Torpedoman, Beaty, told the skipper that he could always use some of the torpedo alcohol he had stored away earlier. The skipper asked how that was possible and Beaty told him he had used Red Food Coloring instead of the real crotin oil. So although he got a few cross looks from the CO all was forgiven and the crew had a Merry Christmas after all. The punch was delicious and a holiday red color. Pretty cool huh? Jerry PT658 Portland OR

Jerry Gilmartin

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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Jan 4, 2010 - 2:04pm
That's funny Jerry! Beaty is a smart man. I wonder if he tapped his stash occasionally? Or saved some crewmen, thirsty enough to brave the seemingly croton tainted stuff, a bout with the runs.



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gwolson

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of gwolson  Posted on: Jan 6, 2010 - 10:29am
I would love to see some of the photos. Does anybody know who I would contact.

Gunnar W. Olson

Grandson of Bill Olson
RON 15, PT 214; RON 37, PT 539

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EARL RICHMOND

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of EARL RICHMOND  Posted on: Jan 6, 2010 - 2:38pm
hi guys i used to also make apricot brandy with apricots,sugar and yeast,in a 5 gallon distilled water bottle.also made raisin jack with raisinsd,sugar and yeast in a 5 gallon dehydrated potato can.set it out in jungle for about 7 days with a cover on it andit was READY to party. whoopee .this was wjhile i was on base duty.foxholes came in handy for this and the aussie camp also helped. earl

ps i always wondered what that red stuff was.really messed up the alky.couldn,t even distill it out.the pilots brought whisky backl from new zealand and austrsalia and sold it for about $35.00 a quart.

earl richmond

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