Stephen Etnier signature image

A Biography of an Artist

As told to Jean Cole by Stephen M. Etnier
Written by Jean Cole with contributions by Stephen M. Etnier

(Preliminary excerpt, focusing on Navy service and the USS Mizpah.)

Reproduction or distribution of any part of this text is prohibited.
Memoir text © copyright 2009 Jean Cole and the estate of Stephen Etnier. All rights reserved

There was a sense, a feeling of war, in the air that summer.
Our eyes and ears were trained on the ominous occurrences in Europe. The Hentzes were very much aware of what was going on. When we weren't listening to the radio and discussing the events at their cottage, they would stop by our house to listen to the radio and discuss the situation further. Hitler's machinations concerned us a good deal.

Just up the river in Bath, the Bath Iron Works shipbuilding concern was making frigates and, I believe, had gained a contract from the Navy to build some destroyers. The company had a reputation for doing fine repair work, so there were often ships in dry-dock being worked upon. Large cranes and dramatic stagings were all around the area: excellent material for a picture. Evidently I was considered to be a suspicious character, for when I was discovered with my easel set up and painting the scene, I was yanked into some sort of brick building beside the Iron Works where I was interrogated as to my motives. I felt this to be a slightly hysterical reaction on their part, but suspicions of spies operating in the area were rampant. I have the idea that my friends David Graham of Freeport, and Jack Thomas, (the original owner of my first boat, the "Whisper,") who were then involved with Navy intelligence, may have alibied for me so that I was released.

Some time later on a quiet Sunday, December 7, 1941, the telephone ringing in the library suddenly broke the silence. I happened to be passing through the library at the time, so I stopped to pick it up. Mother's voice at the end of the line relayed the information of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. This was a real shock. We had all been watching the European situation closely, with the idea that Europe was where any conflict would erupt. That would be the place we would be called upon to become involved, so this attack by the Japanese was an impudent slap on the ass, so to speak.

Somehow, in the process of gesticulating, I knocked a plate off the desk: it fell to the floor and shattered. Attracted by the clatter, Betsey came in to the library and when she saw the remains of the plate on the floor she was quite upset.

"Steve... that plate has been in my family for years..."

I was somewhat annoyed and turned sharply from the telephone saying, "Betsey, I'm talking to my mother. The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. This is not the time to discuss your plate."

Betsey stopped fussing. As we looked at each other I'm sure we were thinking of the same thing: I was 38 years old, an age which made it possible to ignore the possibility of being called into military service, both because of encroaching senility and because of the children. But rather than that, we discussed how I could best serve.

There had been a patrol vessel anchored off South Harpswell during the first World War: an impressive grey ghost of a type that we boys called "110-footers." It occurred to me that I might join the Coast Guard or the Navy to help with patrolling the Maine coast in search of enemy ships or submarines, since my knowledge of the coves, shoals and the tides were what could be considered useful skills.

The Civil Air Patrol came under discussion too, since I had some flying experience. It was possible to search for enemy ships encroaching upon our shorelines by air as well as by sea.

The conversation evolved to the point where it seemed the most sensible thing to do was to try the Coast Guard: to apply for the position of chief bosun's mate on a Coast Guard vessel –something that I felt I could master well enough and be comfortable with. I made an appointment for an interview at Coast Guard Headquarters in New York.

The interview with the recruiting officer was going well enough until the fellow asked, "How are you at tying knots?" "Knots?" I asked.

"Yes, knot tying. How are you at tying knots?"

"Well, I have a man on board to tie knots," I told him. "I navigate."

The recruiter leaned back in his chair and pursed his lips. "Hmmmm, I think you'd better try the Navy," he said.

I ran into an old school chum about a week later who told me he was stationed at 90 Church Street in Boston. He assured me that if I turned up to offer my services for the Navy, I should have no trouble being accepted. But here again I discovered a stumbling block. A college education was required. I didn't have a diploma to my name, not even from prep school, to show for the years I'd spent traipsing from one class to another. Over the next several weeks, I gathered letters confirming that I had been a student at Yale and at Haverford, and I collected statements from friends, including my brother in-law (then a Captain in the Navy), attesting to my seagoing abilities. As a clincher, I thought of the Pennsylvania Academy, where I had spent most of four years; not exactly in classes, but hanging around the hallways talking to the other students about art and other important matters such as sex. But I had passed enough courses: that might count for something. The director of the school was known to me, so I felt sure I was in fairly good standing.

In an attempt to hurry matters along, I decided to enroll in a navigation course where the old methods of navigation, used by the clippership captains a century before were taught, involving a lot of mathematics. Betsey enrolled in the course with me to keep up my morale. As luck would have it, Betsey passed the course. I failed.

In the meantime, I received a letter from Joseph Frazer, director of the Pennsylvania Academy, saying the only record they had of my ever having been to the Academy was that I had rented a locker.

This just wouldn't do. I pressed Mr. Frazer for more, reminding him that the school had purchased a painting I'd done in Haiti – an act that fairly bragged about my years of study at the school. He wrote back a very nice letter this time, and included a document that was sort-of–a diploma. It was added to all the other letters I had gathered, and they were sent along for the Navy to digest.

On the 27th of May I received orders from the director of Naval Officer Procurement: "You Will Proceed in Accordance With Basic Orders and Report to the Medical Officer, Office of Naval Officer Procurement, 33 Pine Street, New York, New York, for Physical Examination for Active Duty and Further Compliance with Basic Orders."

My assignment was as commanding officer of the USS Mizpah, formerly the yacht Savanarola, which had belonged to the Cadwalader family of Philadelphia and had been donated for conversion to Navy service: a patriotic gesture to be sure. The refitting was under way at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Betsey gathered up the children, I collected the bags, and we all moved to a pleasant house on the waterway in Sturgeon Bay, arriving the latter part of June.

Once we settled in, I went to the Navy yard to get my bearings and to take a look at the ship that was to be my responsibility. Along with the Mizpah, several other yachts and Navy ships were undergoing conversion or in for repair; destined to be used for patrolling harbors or for escort duty. The Mizpah was out of the water in dry dock, and I was astounded. It was a huge ship, quite a formidable 185 feet long, and would require a crew of 65. The largest ship I had ever captained was the 70-foot Morgana, with a crew of two at most. I was terrified. This was a good distance from the Maine coast to be sure, and I didn't know quite what I was going to do about it.

The reconstruction dragged on drearily all summer but there was nothing much for me, or for the large group of Navy personnel who were overseeing the rebuilding of the vessels, to do.

We all met at a local bar after the workday, but this became a tiresome way to spend time, and was even worse when summer was over and Betsey returned to New York. I was left alone in Michigan and because of the lack of anyone at home to return to, I began spending after-work hours with one of the girls from the Navy office. It was nothing serious, just a bit of a diversion to help ease the loneliness. The juke box at the bar was forever playing a new record that had become popular, Bing Crosby's version of "White Christmas," which didn't help matters at all.

The USS Mizpah commissioning ceremonies finally took place on a windy, cold, almost snowy day in November. The weather couldn't have been more dreary. By the usual Navy standards, this wouldn't be much of a ceremony, but it was the first time I had been part of anything like it, and I had the jitters facing the assembled crew. I was sure they knew I had been a painter as a civilian, so I was convinced they were shuddering at the thought of going to sea with an "artist" in command of their vessel.

We all stood assembled on the deck. My three officers stood at attention to one side while three visiting officers who had come down from Chicago for the commissioning stood at attention on the other side. They took turns making little speeches. When it came to my turn, I took a piece of paper on which I had written out a few words from my pocket, but my hand was shaking so much that it was difficult to read. At this point I was certain the crew would be doubly frightened to go to sea under my command.

But over the next several weeks we took the Mizpah out on trial runs on the Great Lakes which, I found, could be amazingly rough, and even this sturdy 185-foot vessel didn't take it too easily. The ship's former owner, the president of the Zenith Radio Corporation, had installed very sophisticated and expensive radio equipment I had noticed on my first tour of inspection. As far as I was concerned this was all to the good, and in fact it had a soothing effect on my nerves. But when the Navy had completed their expert job of rebuilding, the equipment had been removed and regulation equipment installed. This seemed an unnecessary gesture. The fine wood, which was thought to be a fire hazard, had also been removed, but nothing had been done to alter the size of the stateroom that I occupied. It was on a par to a room at the Ritz Carlton: quite elegant, as were the quarters of the other officers.

One of my best officers, a man who remained a good friend, was my executive officer, Jim Dunn. He came aboard as an ensign; the most junior of the three officers, but he could do everything. He could type, code and decode the machines, entertain the crew, and knew the answer to practically everything, including navigation. He had a bright and inquisitive mind. After I left, Jim eventually became the commander of the Mizpah, and by the end of his naval career he was in command of the entire destroyer escort group.

After the war, when my Naval service had become an unpleasant episode of the past, I heard that Jim was advertising manager for Life magazine. He must have done an excellent job, because he was asked by Malcolm Forbes of Forbes magazine to become its publisher. The next thing I knew, Jim had a yacht about the size of the Mizpah at his disposal. Years later, when we ran into him in Nassau, Brownie and I were grandly entertained aboard.

From Sturgeon Bay, the Mizpah was ordered to Staten Island, New York. We were to join a convoy at Quebec and proceed down the St. Lawrence River to Halifax. The ship made it to Cleveland with no problems but along the way the men discovered that the two three-inch guns, with which the crew was supposed to face submarines, were old Civil war relics with anti-aircraft sights.

The crew suggested this be corrected as soon as possible. More importantly, they requested their stipend be paid before the weekend layover in Cleveland.

The disbursing office refused the request. They felt that since we would be in the area just for the weekend that it would be too short a time. This news caused a near-mutiny. I wasn't able to cover 65 pay envelopes out of pocket, so I called my brother-in law in Washington, and Captain Chillingworth graciously saved me from a fate too gruesome to mention by convincing the Cleveland office to pay the men. He also helped to facilitate obtaining the proper sights for the guns. We were delayed in Cleveland for about a week while the equipment problem was taken care of.

I got in touch with a young woman there, Kay Halle. (I had met her previously at a performance of Four Saints in Three Acts, which my cousin Chick Austin had put on in Hartford.) Kay's family ran a department store in Cleveland and were generous with their hospitality, entertaining some of the officers and Navy personnel who were stationed there. Luckily, I was included in this group. Kay was a spectacular blonde who lived in Washington most of the time, and I thought her to be very sophisticated. She had a wide range of friends and acquaintances in Washington society –politicians, writers and statesmen. We kept in touch over the years, after a fashion; maybe a phone call or note every two or three years. Kay told me a story a while later about a woman who possessed extra-sensory perception. The woman apparently made public predictions, but on one occasion, she asked Kay to relay a warning to President John F. Kennedy, asking him to postpone his trip to Dallas. Though Kay had been able to give President Kennedy the message, the warning was unheeded. I haven't heard from Kay for the past two years, but I'll always remember her kindness to me that week in Cleveland when the crew became restless.

With one disaster narrowly averted in Cleveland, we continued to Quebec, where, after a short layover, the Mizpah began navigating down the St. Lawrence with a convoy of about eight small freighters. We had been out for only a day: a day that I had spent on the bridge, determined to commit no errors. I was forced to leave the bridge momentarily, however, to retrieve a chart from my stateroom and had just entered my quarters when the ship was hit by a terrific explosion. I thought we'd been blown clean out of the water. The lights went out and I heard men shouting and scurrying about in the darkness as I groped my way back on deck. A radiator valve had let go, and steam from the radiator encircled the bridge, hissing and rising everywhere. I was sure we'd been struck by a torpedo, and probably the men thought so too. They were shouting and scurrying about in a panic and some of them began unleashing the lifeboats.

The steam pouring on deck was as frightening as the explosion had been. I stumbled onto the valve to the radiator and turned off the damned thing, which brought about some semblance of calm. I then ordered the crew to come up with some answers.

As it turned out, there had been no torpedo: nothing so vicious as the enemy attacking from the murky depths. Instead, all of the depth charges on the port side of the Mizpah had somehow rolled off the rack at a setting of 50 feet; the explosion racking the ship. Due to some poorly-designed piece of equipment, the release system had malfunctioned. Probably the rack that held the "cans" in place until a release button was pushed had been faulty. This had to be reported to the convoy commander, and my quartermaster informed me that we'd probably get hell when we got to New York.

We weren't able to assess any damages, but we thought we'd better stay with our group, and so we sailed on with the convoy for Halifax – reaching port quite late at night. It was cold and dark, but I was able to discern a tanker, one of the convoy vessels, anchored there. I decided it would be perfectly safe to anchor alongside since the huge tanker had a fairly deep draft: there had to be enough water to hold us safely too. Sometime during the night the Mizpah touched bottom and we were aground. This pleased the quartermaster, a Pearl Harbor graduate and one of the more knowledgeable people on board, who delighted in the opportunity to tease me about what the Navy was going to do to me for the mishaps that had occurred: "They're going to hang you when you get to New York! You can't touch bottom with a Navy ship and live through it! You'll be relieved of your command for sure."

Pretty unnerving, to be sure. But there she was again: my guardian angel. When the tide came in, the Mizpah rose with it.

The only thing suffered was some embarrassment on my part, but the ship was safe. The crew felt a great relief, for this gave them a chance to go ashore and take a look around Halifax. The sights were not pleasant. We all came face to face with the fact that we were at war. Tied up near us were other convoy escort vessels, most of them British and all of them bearing the signs of war. These ships were not freshly-painted and newly-renovated as was the Mizpah. They were filthy and battle-scarred, their crews weary, wearing expressions of men who had been at war and seen death.

The Mizpah sailed on with the convoy bound for New York. It was a slow trip with many breakdowns and delays suffered by first one, then another member of the flock. Once we reached the Cape Cod Canal the mishaps ceased, and we were then full speed for Staten Island. I was braced for trouble with the Navy brass the entire trip, but once I presented myself and outlined the incidents that had occurred, I was not relieved of my command, nor was I beaten over the head as I had expected. They seemed to be understanding about the series of incidents that had befallen our ship during the voyage. Even the fact that the ship had touched bottom was dismissed as a perfectly logical conclusion on my part, considering the tanker that had been afloat alongside.

With that off my mind I set myself free from the Mizpah for the next several days and took the opportunity to see Betsey and the children and to frequent New York's nightclubs –just as I had in the days before the Navy became a part of my life. I reported back to the base often, however, for various training courses. One course involved attacking submarines.

The training was done without elaborate equipment. In fact, we used rollerskates with strings attached. One skate was the submarine and it was our job to attack the submarine by "pinging" it with sound equipment. The Navy was fond of fire-fighting schools too, and when the crew had completed a training session and had nothing else to do, we would be set to correcting charts. Radar was just coming into use, and was fairly crude at the time, but we had to take courses on its proper operation. By some miracle, someone had invented a way to do celestial navigation. I discovered a book by Mixer that had tables that simplified navigation so much even I was able to take star sights, and do it fairly accurately. I had such an inferiority complex that even though it seemed simple, I checked and double-checked. I felt the men on my ship had the right to expect their position to be accurately found by the navigator. This was my responsibility: I had better get it right.

From New York, the Mizpah ushered convoys to Key West. Another ship would meet the convoy there and continue on to the Panama Canal, while the Mizpah returned to New York. This was the routine and it became quite boring after a while, mostly because the convoys necessarily moved so slowly. The mission was nonetheless dangerous, for there had been news of much torpedoing off the Florida coast. One of the blimps that patrolled the area had been shot down by enemy fire from a skulking submarine. The Mizpah's crew was constantly shooting off a kind of depth charge, a gadget called a "hedgehog", which shot a circular pattern of depth charges which encircled a submarine if there was one below. Unfortunately, other things were circled too, such as whales and schools of fish. Out of pure boredom they would occasionally be attacked just for target practice. We never found a submarine.

One of our extraneous missions was a rendezvous near Bermuda. We were to provide escort for a French submarine we were to meet at sea and bring back to Staten Island. By this time I had become fairly adept at navigating, so when we reached our destination; about 75 miles off Bermuda in the Gulf Stream, I was confident we were in the correct area. The weather was perfect, a beautiful day, warm and tropical. The water was the color of an aquamarine jewel, the luminescent quality shifting from dark to light as we circled, waiting for the submarine to appear. We had been there quite some time, becoming more relaxed, also bored, so after a while a seaman appointed as spokesman for the crew approached me. Not wanting to waste such a splendid opportunity the crew wanted to go for a swim. The war seemed so far from us that I thought, "Well, why not." I gave them permission to go in, five at a time, while two men stood on deck with rifles in case of sharks.

In the meantime, the French submarine had reached the point of rendezvous much earlier than expected and had continued on instead of waiting for us to show up. We had passed somewhere at sea.

We received instruction to return to port: and we had no sooner tied up than word was sent for me to present myself to the Navy brass. I had made the Mizpah a sitting duck, they said. I was sure that this was it, I would be made to walk the plank. I admitted everything with no excuses. Again no one seemed angry enough to mete out any punishment.

Swimming parties were rather nonchalant behavior for commanding officers in war time, but the truth is, I didn't feel at all comfortable with military procedures at any time. My fear of Navy reprisals was probably greater than fear of the enemy. I was constantly worried about my responsibility for the safety of the ship and the lives of those on board. Jim Dunn once told me that my worst flaw was that I was so concerned about this responsibility that I never taught anyone else what I knew and insisted on docking the ship myself, believing the disgrace of a damaged ship would be more than I could bear.

I had been in command of the Mizpah for almost two years when the Navy, who expected its people to want to better themselves, sent me to school in Miami. I just wanted to be left alone, to stay with the ship and crew I was accustomed to, but that wasn't to be.

And this time I was taken by surprise. School was fine and I found life a lot easier in Miami. Four or five hotels had been taken over entirely so that the officers taking the courses could remain in one area. The instruction took up the days but after school, I spent almost every evening taking a girl I had met to dinner. As usual, I fancied myself in love.

From Miami, I was reassigned to a schooling vessel in Boston with a crew of 30, named the Tourmaline. This was a testing ship for new Navy personnel: budding officer material who had never before been on a boat. For the most part, these young men had no sea legs whatever, and would become bilious while the ship was still tied to the dock. They were the guinea pigs for testing new drugs designed to prevent sea sickness. The pills averaged a 99% failure rate.

This assignment was not too absorbing but the ship had one attraction –the chef: a master at preparing Baked Alaska. The Tourmaline made daily trips out of port, usually steaming towards Cape Ann to test the mettle and staying power of the junior grades, then back to port. When word of the chef's skills spread through the officer's club the contingent of visiting officers for each trip increased. They came aboard for a different sort of testing, leaving only to sign on for a return engagement.

After the rigors of the day, I'd change into my dress whites and take myself to a Brimmer Street address to pick up an attractive woman I'd been introduced to by a fellow officer. We were enthralled with the idea of beginning an affair, but since this woman's husband was also in the Navy, stationed in Italy in command of an LST, I was stricken by a feeling of guilt: both for the woman's absent husband who was in a great deal of danger, and because of Betsey and the children waiting for me in New York. Though we were both inclined towards a bit of dalliance, our affair never took off. We spent many an entrancing evening together, often dining at the Ritz where she commanded a great deal of respect. The maitre d' would usually seat us at one of the better tables, a clue for me that she was known to the staff and no doubt fairly wealthy. This respect had nothing to do with me for when I'd arrive on my own, or with other friends, I'd find myself seated at a table near the kitchen door. I've never been able to make an impression on the headwaiters there.

On those evenings when my friend was occupied, I joined my fellow officers at Locke-Ober's, a very popular restaurant with us. The atmosphere in the bar-dining room was masculine and relaxed, the food well-prepared. The upstairs dining room, usually reserved for occasions when we were lucky enough to have a woman companion, was equally popular. I ran into Chippy Chase at the doorway one evening, taking a young woman to dinner. He was attending school at the Boston Navy Yard, learning how to attack submarines along with the rest of us. Chippy became an instructor at the school after a while, and later was transferred to Italy for the duration of the war. I hoped for his sake that the equipment had been upgraded from rollerskates.

I had been in Boston with the Tourmaline for about six months before I received orders to San Francisco to take over as navigator on a troop ship: a ship which stretched some 500 feet, manned by a crew of 300. The ship was under construction, nearing completion, but would take another month or two before everything was in place. A perfect excuse for the Navy to send me to school again. This time I was sent to Treasure Island, a Navy school in the middle of San Francisco's harbor, where the job of correcting charts of the waters of the world was being undertaken by a group of twenty-five young quartermasters under the direction of myself and another officer. We commuted to and from the island each day.

I was given a subsistence allowance, so I moved into the Palace Hotel, a place I had visited earlier in life when the family visited the World's Fairs. My art-collecting cousin, Emily Tremaine, put me in touch with her former sister-in-law, Dorothy Spreckles, so that I might not feel so isolated from the family. Dorothy lived outside of San Francisco, in Burlingame, in an elaborate house with lots of servants, and at the time she was between husbands. I was invited to a number of elegant dinners, but I couldn't justify hanging about making a nuisance of myself, even though the thought appealed to me more than passing lonely evenings at the drab officer's club. Dorothy had had her portrait painted by Salvador Dali, just one of four or five Dalis that she owned. There were a number of quality French impressionist paintings hanging on the walls of her home as well. It was a very elegant place, but I felt out of my depth.

I was accustomed to work projects: painting, flying, sailing –involved with something. In San Francisco I felt all adrift, killing time without accomplishing much. It was very disheartening, and I was becoming disenchanted with Navy life. It might have been wiser on the Navy's part to have allowed me to go on leave, to be with my family while the ship I was assigned to was being completed. But for some reason difficult to comprehend, it is a practice for the military to send contingents of men to distant ports, and once there, to cool their heels waiting for assignments, or for ships, accomplishing nothing.

There came a day, finally, when a lieutenant commander and his young executive officer requested an interview. They were running a ship called an AKA, an attack transport, which was ready to go to sea except for the vacant office of navigator. I must have made the mistake of standing at attention in a too-correct attitude or my record was fairly decent. Before any objection could be made, I was aboard the AKA in command of five or six junior officers as well as several enlisted men. This was a sizeable vessel, making trial trips running mock landings of troops off the California coast.

I did quite well with my duties, and became satisfied and content with having a familiar job and a ship under my feet. However, it wasn't long before I noticed some strange characteristics the commanding officer displayed; odd quirks somewhat akin to Captain Queeg. He had Queeg's habit of rolling steel marbles in his pocket, something that gained him a certain comfort. He suddenly developed an active dislike of me, accusing me of being too lazy to teach my junior officers the job of making entries in the log. He claimed that I was forging the entries, disguising my handwriting so that it looked different each time an entry was made. There had been a series of other minor difficulties, but this was the last straw. Before anything major could occur, I requested a transfer.

I was then assigned to an APA –an attack personnel vessel –but someone thought I should be made first lieutenant instead of navigator. As I understood it, the first lieutenant served just below the executive officer, with the same status as a navigator, but in charge of everything from thumbtacks on through to cans of consommé. A sort of glorified clerk who also keeps track of the ship's finances.

Directly, I went to the captain to explain the mistake. "I don't think you know what you're getting into," I told him. "I've never passed a course in mathematics in my life and can't really add and subtract with any accuracy except for the little things necessary for navigational purposes. I can't keep proper track of my checkbook.

"If you want to mess up your ship, just take me on board as first lieutenant."

The captain was puzzled by this confession and he scratched his head as he mulled over what I'd told him.

Trying to push him toward a decision more quickly, I added, "What's more, I'm an artist."

That did it. "Well, I think you've got your point made there," the captain confessed. "You don't sound like the kind of person I had in mind." He managed to get me off the ship with new orders from Washington; orders to go back to the ship that I'd originally been assigned to. When I reported back to the ship, I found I had already been replaced.

So there I was, on the loose again. Back I went to the Palace Hotel: more officers' club dances and lots of drab evenings to get through.

This was the worst period in my life: the nadir. I had never felt so miserable. To alleviate the loneliness and feeling of futility, I enrolled in art school. This was the first painting I'd done since joining the Navy. I was so at a loss for subject matter that I began painting the students who were painting the still life arrangements set up by the art director. And it did help, somewhat, though my frame of mind was deteriorating. I felt more than a little sorry for myself, to the point of contemplating suicide. I wasn't doing anything useful, I thought, so why not just move on, make room for someone else.

Well, one thing that made me hesitate was something Lucius Beebe had told me. He related the incidents of suicide he had covered as a reporter for the Herald Tribune in New York, and told me with real feeling: "Whatever you do, don't jump out of a hotel window; it leaves an awful splash. It really is a terrible sight."

He was greatly disgusted by the mess, so I figured the thing to do would be to throw the heavy, Navy-issue overcoat out the window before jumping so that there would be something to throw over the splash.

Even given the outlet of attending art school, I felt my position to be untenable; the misery unabated. I talked to my immediate superior about my depressed feelings and he put me in touch with a Navy psychiatrist. As luck would have it, the psychiatrist was extremely sympathetic and he listened to me with interest. He was on my side, certainly and helped me a great deal. Through his influence I was soon released from the Navy.

I immediately headed for Santa Barbara where Betsey had taken a house. She and the children were waiting for me there.