|.................Boat Coxswain: ....S1C - Lynn Credille
(Coral) d. Jan 2003
.................Motor Man: .........F1C - Shirley W.
.................Signal Man: .........S1C - Lelon Brush, Indiana
.................Gunners Mate: ....S1C - Louis R. Helsel, Woodenville,
were paired up at Fort Pierce, FL.
Their training was on Higgins
boats, but the boats on the Adair were built by Chris Craft.
Brush, the signal man or flag waver,
had a duel job. While Helsel
operated one gunmount, he had to operate the other gun mount. When the
ramp was dropped upon hitting the beach, they worked together to knock
the chocks off the chains that were holding the ramp up. Then when the
ramp was brought back up, there was one crank to wind the chains in
which was Curtis's job but Brush and Helsel had to help him.
were used to transport supplies from the large supply ships to Adair.
As each load was lowered in the boat they could see the names on the
boxes. Some of these could peaches, pears, etc. and when the cases were
stacked, some them found there way into little cubby holes around the
sides or under the deck. All the boats crews found this to be a
standard process when bringing in supplies. As they cruised to the
Adair the boats would compare the booty and trade.
the hitting of the beach was quite a smooth process but sometimes the
tide was not in favor and the boat was stopped by coral. If this was
the case while taking supplies to the beach, a barge was on site to
tie up to and supplies would be transferred to Buffalo
One time, PA91-15 had this coral problem, there was no transferring
available and when they hit the coral, "Coral" ordered the ramp
we're not close enough, I'm the coxswain here, drop the ramp." Well
there load was a jeep towing tank trailer, maybe water, and it drove
off and disappeared.
convenience for Helsel was that he was well acquainted with the
electrician who was in charge of the movies and the ice rooms. He found
time to make ice cream which could include, say some of his peaches.
in Pearl Harbor, during one of these trips, a jeep was left unattended
beside the Adair, The captain ordered the jeep picked up. This made two
jeeps available for transportation while making several ports. Near the
end though, at a port in Korea, The Captain ordered Helsel to take the
jeep some where inland and loose it, a very unnerving project for
Louis. He advise to U.S. guys to take it and ran back to the ship.
last commander, Capt. C. Lee, had duty through the entire war back in
D.C. To obtain
his next rank he had to command a ship, which was the Adair. One
strange order of his was to paint every corridor, at it's wall with a
three inch white stripe with an adjoining three inch strip along the
floor. This was an aid to viewing clean white stripes during
inspection. On these quiet trips across the Pacific, Helsel was
assigned to be an orderly, seated right next to the door of the
Captains quarters. To keep Louis busy, Louis was to review and record
the ships names of each task force, starting with the carriers and on
down and write names of their commanders next to the ships name. The
list was large. When coming within range of other ships, the commander
would take his binoculars and have Louis at his side, " Helsel, what
ship it Cruiser #12 and who is in command"? Louis would respond and if
the persons name was somebody he knew he would make arrangements to
have dinner with him.
last thing Louis told Vern was that many guys who wanted to, got a
chance to shoot off a few rounds of the 20mm guns before the Adair made
it's final port call. All landing boats were off loaded in Little
Creek, VA. Only the captains gig was retained.
||One bad experience was when the PA91-15
was on duty in Okinawa and an
Air Raid sounded. The Adair sailed away to safety. When this happened,
the LCVP's were on there own, and this time they moored up to a LSD
which had a pier extending to it's stern. They were instructed to leave
two men on board and allowed the other two aboard for chow. Well
an alert was sounded and the PA91-15 was ordered to move away, the LSD
was getting out of there too. "But we have two guys missing", "Move
away." The left on board PA91-15 were called the "Gold Dust Twins";
Curtis and Helsel. They pulled away, going near shore. It was dark and
getting cold. They kept the motor running, laid life preservers on the
motor to warm them up, then put them on, shut down and hurtled under
the housing over the motor. They drifted through the night. Later they
come upon Coral and Brush who had been put off the LSD into another
LCVP. At day break they found them self's miles down the beach, the
Adair no where in sight. Heading back up the beach they
encountered gun fire from shore as they were only 2 or 3 hundred yards
off shore. Brush and Helsel returned fire and encountered no injuries.
Soon the Adair was in sight. When close enough, she was easy to pick
out as there was no other APA with a stern built like hers. The Adair
is one of a kind.
the end of their duty, the Adair moved many troops to Korea, making two
trips, one to Jinsen (Inchon)
and one to Pusan. In Pusan, Helsel
remembers the great tide differences. The first time they tied up to a
mooring, he could see out across the landing into the city. The second
time he had to look up to the landing. Pusan is where the Japanese
Invaded Korea, over and over back in the 14th thru 17th Centuries
during the Josean dynasty, their last dynasty. The "TURTLE BOATS"
were then created.