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Karamursel ("Mudsite") 1960-61

TUSLOG Det. 28
By CTRSN Duane Lueders

2003-2011 by Author

Click on images to view a larger version

My memories of KARAMURSEL began with getting orders upon graduation from CTR School at Imperial Beach. I was the only one heading to Adak, Alaska! The rest of the class was going to Europe. The PN, after reading the orders, said "Wait a minute!" and went back to his office. He came back and said "I've made a mistake - you are headed to Turkey!" Was it a mistake? Did he change my orders and send some other poor sailor to Adak? I'll never know, but I'm happy things turned out as they did.

Galata Bridge Ferry TerminalThere were many sailors checking into the Receiving Station, Brooklyn, and I was put to work in the scullery for three days before heading to McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey and boarding a Military Air Transport Service flight to Frankfurt. I stayed overnight in Frankfurt and PAN-AM'd to Istanbul. There were five of us traveling together and none of us had ever been outside the continental U.S. (CONUS).

We landed in Istanbul and by bus, we got "dumped" on the Galata Bridge, the main ferry terminal, and were told to take the ferry to Yalova. Where? How?


Galata Bridge & Ferry TerminalImagine being in Istanbul just after the university riots, in a U.S. Navy uniform, trying to find someone who spoke English in order to point us in the right direction for a ferry to a town we had never heard of!

Of course, some little kids were trying to help carry our bags. One of guys tried to tip the kids with an American quarter and they looked at him like he was crazy. We did manage to get on the right ferry and our tour in Turkey started when the ferry, after a stop at the Princes Islands in the Sea of Marmara, finally arrived at the Yalova, Turkey ferry terminal.

Most memories of KARAMURSEL were trying to overcome that homesick feeling for the first year, learning a job that was hard and exciting at times, and just getting through that 18 month tour. Being a day worker for the first 6 months or so I spent a lot of nights in the NCO club tipping a few with my buddies and sending them off to the mid-watch while I went back to the barracks to sleep it off. When my clearance finally came in I got assigned to a section (Delta, I think). Losing some of my speed with the "code" I was put in the search area for quite awhile.

Belly Dancer, Blue Pavyon Club   Belly Dancer, Blue Pavyon Club

Off duty I did the "Bul" thing with my best buddy Bob Kelscher, saw the sites and of course made the rounds of the pavyons on each trip. We met some girls at the USO, and I even dated one towards the end of my tour. We wrote for a while after I transferred to Cyprus, but ended that when she mentioned the "marriage" thing.

One thing that really sticks in my mind which could have ended up with me and a couple of others in a Turkish jail - I followed one of my buddies to the covered market where we were approached by two Turks who claimed to be police and asked us for the white shirts and Marlboros we were trying to sell. One of them opened his jacket and he was packing a pistol. I thought for sure we were heading to jail, but we gave them the stuff and got out of there as fast as we could. I never even thought about making extra money selling that stuff again.

I was a "jock" also and played basketball and softball. Our basketball team was good and we beat the Air Force teams consistently. The only one I can remember playing with on the teams was Jim Konstanty who followed me to Cyprus.

Holidays were nice and the chow hall always put on a great meal.

My good friends were Bob Kelscher, Dave Hunt, and Larry Bacon.

My tour ended in October of 1961 receiving orders to NAVFAC Nicosia. We left Istanbul on a Navy flight to Cyprus. When arriving in Cyprus I discovered that my luggage was missing and apparently had been stolen at the airport in Istanbul. A sour note to the end of an interesting tour in Turkey and the beginning of my tour in Cyprus - some skivvies and a toothbrush.

Presentation of goods from Care-A-Thon Fundraiser by KARAMURSEL Base

Me carrying canning jars and powdered milk to Little Sisters of the Poor home in Istanbul (upper left, Jan Claire at right Korshinsky)

 

Far right, Bob Kelcher. Don't know the other names. Do you? ;

 

Same here...know any of these guys?;

 

Two Turks on the beach.


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