Wednesday, January 23, 2019
WW II Vet Ray "Pops" Merrick-- Part 4: Crusing on the SS Lurline To Australia
Pops was carried over to Australia on board the SS Lurline, formerly a luxury ocean liner, now converted into a troop and supplies transport. It had been the flagship of the Matson Company. However, there would be no swimming for him or his fellow shipmates as the pool had been drained and was loaded with supplies.
It was not all luxury for him as he had to stand watch, 4 hours on and 8 hours off, nothing he couldn't live with. They called the anti-aircraft guns pom-poms. It was a long voyage over to Australia and they had air cover for part of the way, but continually zig-zagged to avoid the submarine menace.
He was fortunate enough to get a cabin that now slept five. The soldiers on the other side of the Lurline were stacked eight high. Over there, in rough weather, the guy on top would get sick and throw up on the guys below him.