Morris D Farmer served in the WWII US Navy Armed Guard as a gunner. He was well liked and respected by his fellow crew members and by his Gunnery Officer. Morris passed away 12 December 2000. If you knew Morris you can contact his son at: firstname.lastname@example.org Morris (Moffee) Farmer left High School in Southern Illinois midway through his senior year and headed for the Navy. After boot camp at Great Lakes, Gunnery school, and Armed Guard training in New Orleans, he reported for duty in October 1944 to the oil tanker S.S. OSCAR F. BARRETT. He served aboard the BARRETT for three months ferrying oil from Aruba or Caracas, Venezuela, through the Panama canal to an oil depot on the Pacific side of the canal, traversing the canal six times. From March through July 1945, he was assigned to the cargo ship S.S. BENJAMIN H. LATROBE. Most of that time was spent attached to a convoy that intended to cruise around the world to demonstrate our supremacy on the seas. They went from Perth Amboy, NJ, across the North Atlantic to the UK. Then through the Straights of Gibraltar, across the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal, and into the Indian Ocean. They made several ports of call in India and as far east as Rangoon. However, sabotage and the Japanese threat caused the rest of the circumnavigation to be aborted. They came back west across the Indian ocean, passed Madagascar and made port in Portuguese East Africa, a neutral port. Here, they tied up directly behind a German Navy Ship that had sought out the neutral location to spend the duration of the war. Continuing south and rounding the cape of South Africa, Farmer rode out his second hurricane! In this one, the LATROBE faced into the wind with all engines ahead full, for more than 24 hours, yet made zero headway! The LATROBE returned to Perth Amboy in late July, allowing Farmer to be part of the celebration in Times Square, New York on VJ-Day. So, what was the mission-critical cargo carried by the LATROBE? They had left Perth Amboy with 10,000 tons of beer destined for war-weary US troops around the world. From August 1945 until his discharge in April 1946, Farmer was at west coast Navy bases at SHOEMAKER, ALAMEDA, OAKLAND, and SAN FRANCISCO. He tried to get sea duty in the Pacific, but the Navy said he "just wanted to go for a joy ride" and never assigned him to another ship. Farmer had been in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, the Mediterranean Sea, traversed both the Panama and Suez canals, crossed the equator and rounded the Cape of Africa. Yet he rarely spoke of the combat, saying only that he manned a 20MM, usually alone, and that the worst of it was in the Atlantic around the UK.
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