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Forward Engine Room


I cannot say how many times I've been down this ladder but certainly a good many. Here is where I worked while still a teenager. As I stand here now, elderly to those visitors around me, I am once again young and responding to another call for the midwatch. The ship is fiercely hot and we are in the tropics - in the long roll of the Pacific.

I know when I get down this ladder it will be 120 degrees where I work. Another cigarette and a strong cup of black coffee will get me awake enough to read the gauges. The bucket of mugs is right behind me where they always soak twenty four hours a day and I turn to take one.

They are gone.

My shipmates aren't here.

I am old again, and my knees hurt.


The lighting is bad down in the engine spaces. The flash only whites out the near while leaving the distant black. Thus, I used photoshop to brighten up an almost solid black image. It worked, sort of, but the resolution is poor.

Main Board
Engineering Main Board

The two big wheels in the foreground are labeled "astern valve" and "forward".

The above sketch shows everyone in the engine room staring at the speaker. The caption is a description of a huge, glorious and magnificent invasion scene, with allied aircraft, ships and landing craft dominating the sea. The narrator is saying how those topside will never forget the spectical.

The Massachusetts' engine room has a grated steel deck half way up. The impression of wide open spaces in the above cartoon yields to a more cramped reality. The impression of huge machinery, pipes, guages and valves everywhere stands true.

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