Story of the escort carrier HMS Tracker 1943-1945

CHAPTER 13                LIVERPOOL

       Liverpool and Twenty Two day's leave, plus week ends, gave all a spell of home, and
       some a glimpse of homes to be [ We've been dreaming about them ever since]. First
       leavers brought back vivid accounts of the flying bombs that were raining down upon the
       South of England. Mail was jammed by the huge flood of letters to the invasion forces, till
       they drafted a rescue squad to the G.P.S. from H.M.B. Chatham. Among these was the
       vociferous L/Seaman Geo Poole, who contrived to hold down a Post Office job for a
       handsome period.

       "Tracker" provided Liverpool with varied entertainment, sweeping in magnificently and
       removing old harbour  installations en route-a Greek merchantman nearly lost a coat of
       paint - setting the sea alight when welders ' flames ignited the petroleum- infected water
       against the ship's side dropping the screw in the dry dock, staging cricket on the sun
       drenched Flight Deck during Bank Holiday week, ammunitioning ship in lightning [the
       intrepid P.O. "Slipstream" Beamish was still leading the Party - no, not a political body,
       but the aircraft handling party, which by now had acquired a name and a spirit of its
       own], receiving parties of  Sea Scouts  A.T.S. Girls etc, and, quite incidentally, having a
       refit. As a climax, we enjoyed a fine Ship's Dance in the Litherland Town hall. By the
       time the Cable Party was piped, we had a hanger firescreen, new offices in the hanger
       deckhead , a bigger platform and net for  "Bats" increased armament, smarter motor
       boats, and - so it was alleged- tropicalized ventilation in a small section
       of the ship. Strangle enough, this very section was quite the hottest part of the ship in
       the tropics.

       On September the 7th we left to pick  up a new Squadron. There were many changes in
       the personnel of the ship's company. Our saddest loss was that of P.O. Beamish of
       " the Party" who went down suddenly with Tuberculosis and "got his Ticket", Squadron
       853 exercised their Avengers in the 200 deck landings and their fighter in 60. They were
       business like and promising. During exercises. Vice- Air Lister [F.O.C.T.] and his staff
       visited us. The Ship's Company had reached a peak of fitness  and esprit de corps,
       despite the long break in Liverpool, which was reflected in some resounding sports
       successes. To the delight of the Sports Officer Lt Glanville, we defeated "Vindex" and
       "Nairana" in soccer, and "Dido" and "Vindex" and "Nairana" in hockey. Challengers and
       invitations began to flow.

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