Yes, this is another Ice Cream story. There must be a million of them, but this is mine. In the telling of it, I place my full faith in the statute of
limitations. However, to protect the guilty, I have omitted the names of my co-conspirators.
Near the end of a warm sunny day in the far reaches of the western Pacific Ocean, the USS COLLETT came alongside a refrigerator ship. As a member of the crew, I was ordered to take on food supplies from the refrigerator ship. We went out on the main deck and put on our life preservers. The Chief Boatswains Mate assigned several of us to carry supplies from the deck to one of the refrigerators below decks. Our route took us forward on the main deck, past the forward 5-inch gun mount, through the fo'c'sle hatch, and down a ladder to a refrigerator. We carried all kinds of boxes, including a few three-gallon containers of ice cream. The crew wouldn't get this ice cream; it was destined for the Chief's wardroom.
As I returned for another box to carry, I noticed a container of ice cream tucked away under a corner of the gun mount. I pointed at it for one of my shipmates. He kept moving, but knit his brows and shook his head from side to side which told me immediately to leave it be. The next time I passed him, he smiled and surreptitiously said that when we were released from the work detail, I should go to the shop with a spoon. Now, here was something to look forward to!
Finally we were released. I found a spoon and went to the shop and closed the door behind me. I was the last of five sailors to come. The ice cream was brought out from hiding. We all had our spoons at the ready. We didn't have bowls, but we eagerly dug our spoons into the ice cream. There was a lot of grinning and laughing and eating, but three gallons is a lot. I ate until I thought I'd burst. But we didn't make a whole lot of progress and we had no access to a freezer. We couldn't return it and we just couldn't eat anymore.
That evening, under cover of darkness, we tossed the remains over the side. To this day, I am of two minds when I eat chocolate ice cream with marshmallows and nuts in it. We shouldn't have swiped that ice cream, but it sure was good.