Thousands of images, texts, and audio/video from ECU's diverse collections and beyond.

Warren S. Lane oral history interview, January 17, 1977

Date: Jan. 17 1977 | Identifier: OH0037
Warren S. Lane recounts his experiences as commander of a Naval Armed Guards gun crew stationed aboard the merchant ship, SS Edwin L. Godkin. The ship was part of a convoy and Lane discusses the size and type of ships involved (p. 5) and being forced to sail independently from the convoy when his ship broke down three days out of New York (pp. 13-14). He discusses sailing under sealed orders (p. 6) with the protection of destroyer and blimp escorts (pp. 6-7), transporting supplies for European (pp. 9, 11, 14-15) and Pacific (pp. 9-10, 15-16) destinations, problems with shipping Army equipment on deck (p. 9), ballasting an empty ship (p. 15), and disposing of cargo at the end of the war by leaving weapons carriers on a beach and dumping explosives and shells overboard (p. 10). Lane comments on the nature of the men under his command, their lack of interaction with the crew (pp. 18, 24-25), and the disciplinary methods he employed when beer was stolen from the ship and for other infractions (pp. 12, 19-20). He discusses recreational activities including games (p. 21), correspondence courses (pp. 21-22), and tours arranged by the Red Cross (pp. 2-3, 30). Lane organized a nondenominational worship service which improved relations between the Navy gun crew and the merchant seamen because it provided an activity in which they could all participate instead of working separately (pp. 22-24). He also recalls two humorous incidents involving his skipper who was mistaken for a spy in Marseilles (pp. 25-27) and who visited a Bedouin camp in Egypt (p. 28) during shore leave. Lane retired to Washington, N.C., in 1967 and subsequently served as executive director of the Downtown Washington Association. The transcript for the interview is also included. Interviewer: Donald R. Lennon. more...