Stories from the US Navy I A Suicide in the Mediterranean by Bob Stockton
Radarman Second Class Zack Martin opened the watertight door and stepped out onto the gun sponson for a quick smoke. The clear moonlit early morning sky had yet to display the first intrusion from daylight and a brisk breeze from the big aircraft carrier’s sixteen knot speed embraced his tired body as he tried to let his thoughts drift away from the controlled chaos that usually began long before the eastbound transit of the Strait of Gibraltar.
Martin was not a happy sailor. On watch for the previous seven hours he now reflected upon the stroke of fate that found him, a veteran Western Pacific destroyer sailor transiting the Gibraltar Strait on a damned bird farm.
Martin was on the horns of a dilemma: his primary goal was to find a way to somehow get back to destroyer duty in the Pacific without sinking his Navy career. The aviation Navy was a closed community. Surface sailors stood little chance to transfer back to the “blackshoe” fleet.
It wasn’t very long before Martin was afforded that opportunity but had he known the circumstances he would have gladly chosen to remain right where he was.