We went to active duty at NAS Patuxent River, MD for 3 months training. We moved to an apartment at
19 Officer's Court in Dec 1961, where we celebrated Christmas and Nita celebrated her first birthday by having the measles. While at PAX River, we met some new Navy friends, who would be going to Argentia with us. These were Frank and Mary Ann Harding, Neal and Pat Craig, who were with us in VW-11 and Jim and Carol Duffy, who went to VW-13. When he finished training, Joe left for Argentia in March 1962, found an off-base apartment and the kids and I flew up and joined him in April. We rented a 2 bedroom duplex apartment, from Mr. Murphy, in the little town of Freshwater, off base, where we lived until we got base housing. Jim and Carol Duffy lived in the duplex, next door, and Gene and Fana Loma Dickey lived in the other half of our duplex. Since the guys were home 3 weeks, and gone to Iceland for 2 weeks, the families were close. We had to be since the husbands were not always there, when needed.
Three months later, we got housing on base. We lived in the third (from left) apartment, next door to Roy and Maxine Rogers, and their 2 girls. On the end were Nancy and Pete McDaniel, who was the base SAR pilot. We became good friends, but lost contact after they were transferred. Nancy McDaniel let me use her paints to paint a porcelain nativity set, I had made at the ceramics hobby shop. I also made a ceramic platter. Bruce was in "Play School" and loved it. I volunteered as a "Gray Lady" in the dental department, on base, 2 days a week, while Nita played in the Nursery. Before we left, I was given a certificate of appreciation, and my picture, and a write up, were on the front page of the base paper. The VW-11 wives club luncheon was held monthly, and sometimes both squadrons got together. I was elected vice-president, which surprised me, because Joe was a reservist and several of the members were married to regular Navy guys. We did modeling at some of the meetings and sometimes we modeled beautiful furs, brought in by some furriers from St. Johns, the capitol. The picture made the front page of the base paper. Joe's crew arranged a bus tour while off duty in Iceland and got some home movies of geysers, a huge waterfall and greenhouses heated by volcanos. Here are some Iceland Pictures. The Base nurses gave Nita a cat we called "Blackie", and he was with us for many years.
We enjoyed our time in Argentia. The weather was mild and seldom did we see temperatures below 0F. In summer we traveled around the area when Joe was off duty. During our time there, we bought a new VW station wagon from the dealer off base. We got orders to leave in February 1964 and decided to drive out in the VW. The night before we were to leave they got 3' of snow across the island so we had to stay in a BOQ room with the kids while we waited for them to clear the roads. We drove the 600 miles to Port Aux Basques in 2 days, and spent the night in Port Aux Basques. We caught a huge ferry to Nova Scotia. Our cat, Blackie had to stay in the car, with food and his litter box, while on the ferry. Newfoundland Pictures Go to Next Page
Naval Station, Argentia, Newfoundland - 1962-1964