"Now Hear This"
“My Days in
United States Navy”
By John T. Woods
Chief Parachute Rigger
I joined the Navy in 1948. Forty-five years later, in 1993, I began to
write this account. It is not meant to be an interesting story, but instead is
more of a journal of what I remember of those days. There was nothing special
about my years in the Navy. In the grand scheme of things, it was as a raindrop
in the ocean. But, to me and many thousands of others like me, it was a special
time. Many of us served our time and did our duty in relative safety and ease
while others suffered hardships, danger and even death. I salute all those who
served, in whatever capacity. We share a comradeship which others cannot fully
I chose “Now Hear This” as the title of my book because it is a phrase often used in the Navy. It prefaces all announcements in the Navy and means Pay Attention! You are about to be told something important. Not to say that
what you read on the following pages is important in any way.
My memory of times, places, and people is spotty. On one hand I might
remember with almost complete clarity, on the other, I am completely blank. It
is somewhat surprising to me, how many details I do recall. I do not claim that
everything is completely accurate, but it is a true account of how my mind tells me it was.
For those of you who take the time to read this, I feel you will gain a little understanding of what it was like to
be there…. to be away from home and family, to face completely new challenges. It was a time in my life that I will always cherish for the friends I made, the places
I visited and the experiences I had.
I am thankful for a loving family. For my Mother, my Father, although
I barely remember him, my brothers and sisters, my Wife and wonderful in-laws, and then, of course, my children and grandchildren
who are the ultimate rewards in life. I am thankful too for the many warm friendships
that I have had.