Doug Gilling - Boatswain's mate

Running time
1 min 26 min

Department of Veterans' Affairs


I was an ammunition number on a twin four inch gun, where the sole thing you had to do there virtually was to collect the shell as it came up from down below on a conveyor belt, pick it up and poke it down the gun's barrel and rush back and get another one after that. And there was, our particular turret was the after turret on the, two twin four inch turrets, one oft, one forward. And I was stationed on the after one.

And later, I became a bosun's mate where I had to master a bosun's whistle, I don't know if you've ever seen those. It's a funny little silver whistle and its main task is to get people out of their bunks in the morning, tell them when it's up spirits and then pipe the captain aboard, when he came aboard from being ashore or something like that. He came up the side of the vessel, and as he came aboard, you were supposed to pipe him, and this happened ritually.


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