Black Gang versus Deck Apes
When a Oil Burning ship is blowing their Tubes, they sometimes blow sparks and always soot out of their stacks. Blowing tubes meant just that; They blow steam through the tubes of the boilers to clear them of sludge, rust etc. When that happens, stand from under if you are on deck because you will be changing clothes afterwards. Sometimes the "BLACK " gang had a way of getting back to the "DECK APES" by scheduling this just after painting or scrub down! Happens all the time, If the black gang gets a little peeved they will blow their tubes and blow soot and dirt all over any and all. I don't remember the exact time it happened to us but we were at quarters on the flight deck in whites, and they blew tubes. needless to say there were a bunch of dirty white uniforms, But it happened just before the inspection was to be over. so didn't get out of inspection that day. The soot dyed uniforms then went to the cleaners before you ever wore them again. Those whites showed up every little spot.
----- Earl Rhoden
Biography of Earl "Chicken" Rhoden, CPO, VP24/VP12, Pearl Harbor, USS Saipan, CVL 48
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