I don’t want to take from the Grunion (see below) but I also need to post that today, was the day Flier left Fremantle for the last time.
After the successful sound testing on July 30, she trained during the 31 with the Muskallunge, then after Muskallunge left on the first of August, did a night training mission from 1-2 August, pulling in for final refueling and stores the morning of the second with orders to depart by that afternoon.
Al was the commissary officer and it was his job, along with Flier’s cooking crew, to provision the boat with as much food and creature comforts as they could. Flier had an ice cream machine, a HUGE coffee maker, carried coke syrups to make sodas with (or pop, as we say in Michigan), and a cold room and refrigerated room so they could carry fresh produce and meats and dairy.
Despite that, Flier would have been absolutely swamped with the dry and canned goods everywhere. They would be stashed under the tables, behind control panels, wedged between pipes, stashed under bunks. It says a lot that the Dace, when carrying the full crew of the Darter onboard, found a bag of flour stashed behind one of Dace’s engines when they were desperate for food. It had been sitting there for no one knew how long! (The crew didn’t care, using the flour and some lard, they made donuts and ate those for their last 24 hours at sea!) Storage of food and items like that, I’m told, was one of the more “creative” jobs on the last day leaving harbor.
They also updated their means of entertainment. Submarines were allowed to carry a small library of books (up to 200 volumes) provided by the Navy and exchangeable between patrols, as well as a record player and records. I’m also going to point out that earlier that during Flier’s first victory banquet, I said that, according to the menu that night, the men listened to the strains of Victor Herbert and I didn’t know who he was, but he wasn’t on the second patrol. Well, that’s not exactly true. Thanks to a reader named “Maria’, she told me Victor Herbert was a composer, and so that was the music the men listened to. Gives us a touch of insight as to their musical tastes (or maybe just the kitchen staff or commander Crowley). So he might have been on the second patrol.
After their last stores were brought on board, Flier pulled up her anchor and left Fremantle. Only Commander Crowley knew where they were headed and whether they were supposed to return.