(Eternal Father Now Playing)
Jack Hammond received this Eulogy in an e-mail from Captain Galusha.
Jack suggested that I put it on a web page and post it on the Tortuga website.
Thanks Jack, and most of all, thank Capitan Galusha for writing such a beautiful Eulogy for his fallen shipmate James Trumble…
Long before hand held GPS units about the size of a pack of cigarettes were invented and the satellites were hung into position above the earth to communicate with them. This was a short forty years ago. Ships were navigated through the use of a book American Practical Navigator by Bowditch. Of course the old salts referred to the book as “Bowditch.” The Navigator and the Quarter Master checked for morning and evening stars in “Bowditch” and then go out on deck and try to find them with their sextant. Some obstacles would be low clouds, heavy seas, and stack gases and so on. When the coordinates were determined the Navigator and the Quartermaster would rush down to the chart room and plot the position of the ship. This position was logged into ship’s log and reported to the captain. If you got a three point fix that plotted the location of the ship on a continual basis you were exceptional.
Jim was exceptional because he consistently got a three point fix. On occasion he got a four point fix. One of my first memories of him was when he would set his cover on the back of his head with the sextant pulling stars to the horizon and giving the coordinate. He enjoyed his job. He was one of those shipmates who were always in good humor and a joke or something fun to say. We wrote the cruise book together. He had the clout with the old man and had his ear. Jim earned more accommodations and medals for his contribution to the mission and morale of the ship. He was a person to know.
We continued to be friends here in San Diego and we had many fun times with our young families. We go to the mountains or out for picnics or brunch on Sundays. There's a couple of stories that will go down with Jim.
Then Jim was transferred to a mother ship for Swift Boats in the Mekong River of Vietnam. There he turned down an opportunity for a purple heart. No doubt his presence gave a boost to those who made the patrols. While there he contracted the disease that resulted from Agent Orange.
He suffered immeasurably loosing many pounds as he shriveled up. He finally had a tracheotomy so he could breath. It was my pleasure to visit him two times of crises to visit Jim in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was placed on disability and was able to receive compensation from the government. He died a painful death.
He loved the broad and deep Pacific Ocean. His finale wish was to be buried in the Pacific Ocean. So I ask you Chaplin and side boys not to commit James Trumble to the Pacific Ocean not as a job, or duty but as an honor who for one who has served his country with duty and devotion. He was my very good friend.
Navy Hymn, Eternal Father strong to save keeps us safe by night and day,
Captain David E. Galusha, USNR
May the Angels of the Sea always
our departed shipmate, James Trumble...
E-MAIL David Galusha
E-MAIL Chuck Westbrook