Australian Kegger

 by C.R. (Bart) Bartholomew (Sargo-Bonefish-Roncador)

The USS BONEFISH (SS223 (arrived in Fremantle Western Australia, on 21 October 1943 flying 5 battle flags. Admiral Christie pinned a Navy Cross on the Captain's uniform for Bonefish's successful maiden patrol. After a beer party on the pier, the crew continued to celebrate at the King Edward Hotel.

During that first week, the owner had to summon the Shore Patrol many times to dampen the celebration. A shipmate and I bar hopped, looking for another way to party. The beer deliveryman accepted our invitation to have one with us.

"Can I buy a case from you?" I asked.

"Sure Yank. How are you going to carry a 60-quart case?

"Sixty quarts? How about a keg? The man wheeled out a small keg, along with a tap.

One of the patrons asked "Where's the party?"

"At Ocean Beach, if we can get the keg there," I replied.

"I'd drive you but I'm almost out of petrol," the bar patron replied.

We filled his car with black market gas and drove to the King Edward Hotel to get blankets. The owner stopped my shipmate from taking the blankets, so I bolted up the stairs and tossed several blankets out the second floor window. Returning to the street, I saw the blankets hanging on the tram electric line like a Monday wash. We immediately departed rounding up shipmates and girl friends an ice. We arrived at Ocean Beach without blankets. That was taken care of by me entering the Ocean Beach Hotel, a Submarine Rest Camp, and tossing blankets out a second floor room. The window faced the beach.

After the party, my shipmate and I returned to the King Edward to be confronted by Captain Hogan, the COB and Shore Patrolmen and the lady owner.

"Who threw the blankets out the window? the Captain demanded.

I did," I replied.

The lady who owned the King Edward looked at me and, shook her head then pointed to my shipmate and said "I demand you leave my hotel."

"Captain, I tossed the blankets out the window and will pay for any damaged and return to the boat," I said.

"BARTHOLOMEW you can't while the Relief Crew is repairing her. Give me a minute to discuss this." The Captain, Chief of the Boat and the owner went into the office.

Several minutes later the COB returned and said "Bart, you can stay if you promise to apologize not to party any more here.

I stayed and partied other places. After the fourth successful patrol by Bonefish, the crew returned to the King Edward. The owner stopped me in the lobby and said "Bart, you know SARGO was my first submarine rest crew. You're a nice boy I know you wouldn't throw anything out the window or damage my blankets.

Feeling guilty I moved in with and partied with shipmates at a Beach House at Scarboard Beach.

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