Page of stuff under construction.
That's John W. Willmott at age four who went to war against The Hun
He survived and thought he'd like to join the Life Saving Service of
But sh..... - watch your language, kid -- uh shucks, when I applied,
they said you
be too young, not growed up and ain't got no education yet. Said get
smart and git
yo nose and mind into everything and come back when you is graduated.
Anyway, out of kindergarten and into second grade at the big school
up on the hill
I got much education including that there are bullies in the school
yard and on the
streets who on account of their size, power and tagalong punks try
to run everything
by brute force. I found most kids didn't like these bullies any more
than I did. But
it seemed the janitor in charge and teachers were afraid of this one
bully so we kids
suffered a while - but not forever.
One day some of the bigger boys lured him way out back, holding him
fence, punched him some. They called us smaller kids to get a lick
or two in before
letting hm go. I didn't want to hit him like shooting a fish in the
barrel but they said
he deserved a couple of whacks from me. So I gets close and hauled
back to swat
him a good one when he kicked me in the shin bone which hurt like He..
- watch yo
language boy - hurt like all git out! I got angry and swung my foot
high and mighty
into his crotch an he doubled up, smashed to the ground and laid in
a head to toe
"fatal position" yellin' like a stuck pig and moanin' an whimpering
like a sick girl!
From that, he never hit another kid and I learned that most kids and
people are good
folks who just want to be left along and get on with their lives.
I also learned the value of rules that everyone must obey or people
get hurt. I also
learned the value of having more good friends for protection than the
few bullies had!
)ne day when my class was about to be promoted, the teacher took a
picture of some
of us. In a few days she gave it to me for my mother who kept it for
See it below:
Well, I got promoted but not graduated yet. Notice the "funny" clothes
we all wore!
I, like most kids didn't get out of knee pants of knickers until High
School unless we
belonged to the Boy Scouts and got to wear long as well as short pants,
So what about the USCG? - Click to join The
United States Coast Guard!
Did you know the USCG is the oldest U.S. military service. It was founded
in 1790 as the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service charged with preventing
beating the import tax?
It then became the U.S. Life Saving Service with it's duty to save
lives along the
coasts and at sea as well as guard the coasts and enforce the law.
The men were
called Surfmen because they launched small boats directly into the
ocean surf to
rescue people from ships at sea in distress and which were wrecked
on rocks or
Surfman also stood watches in watchtowers for ships in distress or
rockets fired by
the ship as a signal of distress.
And they did beach patrols along the ocean beach where they punched
a time clock
theycarried with a key at a post standing above the high water mark
they had completed their patrol on time.
In addition, they did picket duty in 38 foot picket boats sometimes
lights out in the inlets where smugglers sneaking in could be stopped.
The motto of the Surfman was "You have to go out. But you do
not have to return!"
The Surfman was an enlisted man with high boat handling capabilites
who received $60.00 per month, third class petty officer's pay plus
per diem. And
his specialty was launching the 16 to 20 foot rowing boats directly
into the high surf.
And the insignia was a gold life ring with crossed oars as on my unform
gold shield on the sleeve cuff identified the wearer as part of the
Note too: I was taught to tie the necktie with a perfect dimple - or
- do it over!
Gosh! I'm haunted by that huge picture. I shall put in a smaller one
later so as not to scare you!
This was my official USCG photo taken in early 1935 shortly after high
school graduation in 1934.
I served at the Fire Island USCG Life Saving Station off Bayshore,
Long Island from 4 March 1935
until September 1935 when I was transferred to the Coast Guard - Fort
Trumbull Radio Training
School (FTTS) at New london CT where I "converted" my advanced amateur
radio experience into
the ability to operate all the Coast Guard radio equipment aboard ships
and at shore stations.
More on that later Meantime:
For openers, I tack on an old faded picture I took of some of my shipmates
USCG Tampa at target practice using Colt 45 7 shot pistols on
the firing range at
Egmont Key, Florida. I will come up with the date later from records.
But there was much before this and much after this before my 3 years
which began on 4, March 1935 and ended on 4 March, 1938 with an Honorable
Discharge in the name of one -
John W. Willmott, Service Number number 211-137!
Talk with, not
to me by clicking this line!
Page original Sept. 10, 2005
Rev. Dec. 08, 2005 at 1538 EST
Rev. Apr. 30, 2006 at 1847 EDT
Rev. Sep. 18, 2006 at 1708 EDT