SURPRISE INSPECTIONS and THE ROVING STILL
What the captain didn't know was, sure enough, there was a still brewing away. Don't forget, we were a Motor Torpedo Boat Tender with torpedoes that we supplied the torpedo boats with. They were driven by a propulsion system that used 140 proof alcohol, but it was under tight control, so he didn't suspect it came from that source. But what he didn't know was the resourcefulness of the guys who did have a still brewing away. As an example, we would from time to time have apricots or prunes which was printed on the menu of the meals the commissary steward was required to publish on a weekly basis. You have no idea how much these guys were willing pay for your ration of prunes. Get enough prunes together and under proper care you can come up with some real Kickapoo Juice. Just about any fruit will ferment into alcohol if you know what you are doing. And these guys were good, so the still was on board alright, but where? The Captain would scour the ship from stem to stern, and he did this on more than one occasion. But he NEVER found the still. The question always on my mind, and I'm sure it drove the Captain crazy as well was, how did they maneuver the still around him as he performed his Surprise Inspection of the ship? No one would ever admit to having the still, and the Captain NEVER found it. Another mystery at sea never solved.
I was on the USS Jamestown over 4 years, and it never failed that after leaving port and being at sea for a few days, someone would show up drunk. Don't ask me where the still was, I didn't drink then, and drink very little now, but those drunkards on ship made life interesting from time to time.